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18 Fun and Effective School Fundraising Ideas

Dec 15, 2020 | Fundraising

Looking to start an exciting fundraiser? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because we compiled the 18 best school fundraising ideas!

School fundraisers are great because you get to support beneficial school projects, including but not limited to, adding fun extracurricular activities, a daycare center, or fun after-school programs. In fact, raising funds for a school helps students learn valuable leadership skills, gain confidence, meet with peers, and empathize with a good cause.

Throughout this post, we’re diving into classic, modern, and entertaining activities that everyone will want to be a part of. Let’s dive in, shall we?

 

1. The Pooch Walk

dog walk best school fundraising ideas

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

We’ve all dreamed of taking our furry friend to school someday. Well, now you can. A dog walk is an original idea to bring the community together and show off your pup (or pups) to friends! Students, teachers, and parents can bring their dogs and walk together to a specific meeting point. Charge an entrance fee and ask participants to bring tasty snacks and set up a picnic at the end of the walk.

Bonus: Go the extra mile. Get in touch with your local animal shelter and spread the word about animal adoption. If someone wants to sign up but doesn’t have a pup, connect them with the shelter, and get a puppy in need to meet with a potential family. Wouldn’t that be cute?

 

2. Book Fair Extravaganza Challenge

Cost: $
Earnings: $$

Reach out to your local or school library and ask if they can donate a few books. Pitch your cause to them and make sure they get pumped about it too! Next, set up a school poll and have students vote on what topics they would like to read about. Charge a small fee to get students to enter. Those that read the most books win a cool prize. And parents? They can get in on the fun too.

Bonus: Host a trivia challenge about the books students read and make the competition more interesting!

 

3. Trekking/Biking Challenge

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Trekking and biking are inexpensive ways to get people pumped about doing something different. Not only that, if you live close to biking and trekking areas, you can connect with experienced guides who can help design the best roadmap for your route. Then, have participants join teams and ride or trek to a common goal. To earn money, sell admission tickets.

Bonus: Sell water bottles, head or wrist bands, and other basic gear to those who register. Get in contact with a local store to help you brand the gear with your school mascot/symbol and sell them as souvenirs!

 

4. Vintage-Style Lemonade Stand

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Let’s go vintage, why don’t we? This classic activity is cost-effective for any school fundraiser and can help you hit your fundraising needs in no time. Have the carpentry club donate/build a stand or get in touch with a handy mom or dad that can donate the structure. Next, get your creative juices flowing and design a super cool sign. Set up the stand in an upcoming school event and sell lemonade!

Bonus: Offer premium lemonade options. Look up cool and inexpensive recipes to make your lemonades even more appealing and delicious. A few ideas include adding ginger, mint, or other herbs. But there are a ton of other ingredients you can play with.

 

5. Movie Drive-In Watch Party

Cost: $$
Earnings: $$$

Turn an old-time classic (drive-in theaters) into a cool idea for your next high school fundraiser. Use your school campus or parking lot to set the “stage”. Next, get your hands on a projector and a cool movie for everyone to watch. Your earnings will come from selling tickets, popular movie snacks, and other goodies.

Bonus: If your budget is running low or time is running out, host a virtual Watch Party on Facebook. Choose a movie, schedule a time, and receive donations. Read the copyright information thoroughly to ensure Facebook doesn’t drop the film in the middle of your event.

 

6. Fun Cupcake Bake Sale

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Who doesn’t love baked goods? Bake sales are excellent ideas for a school fundraiser and for a good reason: it’s cost-friendly and everyone’s going to love it. Our advice is, go for the gold and make delicious cupcakes. You can make different flavors, themes, and decorations—go all out!

Bonus: Kick it up a notch and come up with a unique theme for your cupcake decorations (popular Netflix series, seasonal, holiday, YouTubers, and more). This will make your fundraiser even more delightful and interactive.

 

7. Delicious Chocolate Bar Sales

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Another cost-friendly idea for any school fundraiser is selling chocolate bars. It’s a practical idea for kids to raise funds for their school—especially if time isn’t on your side to plan for something bigger. There’s a downside though, it’s a very popular idea, so get creative! You can offer customers chocolate bar bundling (offer different flavors for a special price) or write killer sales pitches to win their hearts.

Bonus: Want to go above and beyond? Throw on a chef’s hat and make homemade chocolate to sell. Who knows? This could be the perfect chance to create your school’s signature chocolate!

 

8. The Pup Wash

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

While parents are juggling work and kids, your school can offer a creative solution for their pets. Not to mention, this is a cool idea for high school fundraisers too. We love this unique school fundraiser because it’s so fun—and leaves you with hefty earnings too. You give parents a break and their puppies—a bath. The best time to host a dog wash is during an early fall day or on a warm spring afternoon. This will ensure everyone feels comfortable.

Bonus: Make sure you offer pups fresh water. Get feeders from local pet shops who will be happy to donate these and other materials such as shampoo or towels. If you’re looking to make an extra buck, sell doggy treats and lemonade to owners standing by.

 

9. Mouthwatering Food Truck Day

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Another great idea for high school fundraisers is hosting a food truck day—yum! Food trucks are all the rage right now and if any popular ones roam around your community, you’ll want to connect with them and ask them to come to your school. This is how it works: Invite food truck owners to be a part of your event. Ask them to donate a percentage of their earnings to your school and negotiate the best rate for both parties.

Bonus: Decorate your school’s campus so that everyone feels welcome! Small businesses will appreciate the promotion, and students will enjoy scrumptious treats.

 

10. Board game Competitions

Cost: $
Earnings: $$

Board games have been around for a while—and they’re on a popularity rise now too. Plus, there’s fun for everyone! This is one of the best school fundraisers, because from strategy games, word, fantasy, to card and role-playing games… each student will surely find their favorite. It goes like this: Pick a few board games, sell tickets to students who want to sign up, and get some really cool prizes donated.

Bonus: Have teams sign up and choose quirky names for the competition. Host the event in an open space and invite friends and family to come watch. Charge an entrance fee and sell treats. If parents want to play, they can be part of the fun too. Plus, the winning team goes home with an amazing prize… maybe even 50% of the funds raised!

 

11. Charity Spelling Bee

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

Spelling bees are a great way to encourage education-friendly fundraisers. Plus, they’re fun and inclusive for all ages. Spelling bees are a classic, so getting creative is important. For a spelling bee to be successful, make sure you strategize the way word difficulties will play out and what the prizes are for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be! Sell admission tickets for those interested in participating. Invite friends and family to come watch and charge a small fee to come to the event as well.

Bonus: Host brain-training sessions prior to the competition.

12. Trivia Debate Competition

Cost: $
Earnings: $$

Our students are the future and amplifying their voices is essential. This is a great and creative high school fundraising idea to get students talking about community issues in a motivating way. Think of it as a trivia competition idea, but instead, teams debate about various topics. Earn money by encouraging teams to sell the most tickets.

Bonus: Teams who earn the most money earn perks like selecting their favorite topic or going first on the debate.

 

13. Bingo + Talent Show Night 

bingo-unique-school-fundraiser-idea

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

This school fundraising idea is yet another vintage classic, but with a little spin on it. The great thing about bingo is that almost everyone knows how to play it. You can either squeeze bingo sessions during school hours like lunchtime or after school, or you can go all out… To earn money, sell tickets. Throughout the event, you can sell drinks, snacks, and other goodies.

Bonus: Organize a bingo + talent show night, where attendees get to watch unique performances from students in-between number calling. Students enjoy winning prizes AND get to watch friends show-off their talents on stage. Fun!

 

14. E-Game Tournament

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

A fun high school fundraising idea is hosting an e-game tournament. Not only will students get pumped to support the school, but getting video game consoles is pretty easy, as students can donate their own consoles for use. If this isn’t the case, connect with local video game stores and ask to rent a few consoles. Make final, age-appropriate video game selections, charge an entry fee to compete, give out amazing prizes or even trophies, and voilá, let the games begin.

Bonus: Ask students which video games they would like to compete with. This will ensure you get as many students excited for the event as possible.

 

15. Photography Competition

Cost: $
Earnings: $$

Encourage students to really tap into their creativity by hosting a cool photography contest. Almost every student has a camera on their phone nowadays, this means there’s a higher chance of getting a lot of sign-ups! If you have a school newspaper, you can even feature the winner.

Bonus: Choose a theme for the competition (pets, sports, hometown, storytelling, hobbies) and charge a small entry fee. Remember to offer an epic prize, which motivates students to do their best.

 

16. Creative Book Swap

Cost: $
Earnings: $$

Get students hyped about reading and sharing their interests with others! Ask participants to donate their old books (in a good state). Set up tables in your library or outside your school. Those interested in vintage books or unique book titles can purchase them for a small fee. All earnings will go straight into the school fundraising project.

Bonus: Make things more interesting and ask students to make secret notes on the book covers dedicated to the next owner. This adds a unique and sentimental value to every book in the sale!

 

17. Candy Jar Count

Cost: $
Earnings: $$$

If you’re looking for a practical, cost-friendly, and fun idea to raise funds for your school, host a good ol’ candy jar count. Grab a large jar and fill it with candy. A few ideas include M&Ms, Starbursts, Jelly Beans, or candy bars. Tickets sold will give staff and students a chance to take a guess about how much candy is in the jar. Offer a different prize or the same candy jar.

Bonus: Set up a few candy jars so students increase their odds of winning.

 

18. Winter Ball

Cost: $$
Earnings: $$$

Probably one of the most classic school fundraising ideas, yet a fun way to get students pumped about a school activity—all while donating funds to the school. There’s so much you can do! Sell tickets, non-alcoholic drinks, treats, and more.

Bonus: Ask a local photographer or aspiring student to take photos and charge a small fee—which goes straight to the fundraising project. The photographer will appreciate the promotion and who knows, even get more gigs in the future!

 

In conclusion, school fundraising ideas can be fun!

best-school-fundraising-ideas

The best part of hosting a school fundraiser is how much fun you’ll have. Sure, there may be a few stressful moments here and there, but in order to overcome them, be smart about strategizing the activity, share tasks with your team, and ensure good communication. Keep in mind, your fundraiser is for a greater cause—you’ll be making a change in people’s lives!

Looking for an easy solution to set up your school fundraiser in minutes? Check out Rally Up!

 

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