10 Awesome Middle-School Fundraising Ideas

Education

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Middle school fundraising isn’t something we’ve done a lot here at Qgiv. It’s been a long time since any of us were in middle school! We usually talk about how we can help nonprofits raise money, not how we raise money ourselves. 

But many of us are now parents. Middle school fundraising is a thing we have to think about sometimes. Middle school fundraising is a thing we have to DO sometimes. So, we looked at what some of our clients are doing, what some of our local schools are doing, and what our own kids are doing. 

And we came up with 10 ideas for awesome middle-school fundraising activities! 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #1: Super Hero Day

Invite kids to make a small donation in exchange for dressing up as their favorite superhero for a day.  Be sure to explain how they have become superheroes to the recipients of your charity by donating to the cause you are raising money for.  This can become a fun annual event for children look forward to!  

How to do it digitally

Let’s be serious. Middle school students aren’t super organized or responsible. Instead of asking for cash donations (and risking it being lost), invite parents to donate online or at school. They can donate in advance, which gives them time to come up with a costume. You could also use an on-site kiosk in your school’s office so parents can make donations in person. 

You could also go old school and ask parents to pin money to the kids’ clothes or something. We won’t judge. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #2: Cookie Dough Fundraising

This is a very popular fundraising event to get kids directly involved in asking their friends and family to help raise dough (sorry, not sorry) for a good cause. Who doesn’t love baking cookies (…or eating cookie dough right out of the tub)? Preorder your sales and include special prizes for classes who sell the most cookie dough. Have a big party, including baking samples of these cookies, on cookie dough distribution day! 

How to do it digitally 

Offer a way to place orders online! It’s so much easier than filling out a paper order form. When the timeframe to order ends, run a report and place people’s orders all at once. When your dough is delivered, use the same report to sort the orders. You can then batch-email your supporters to let them know how to collect their cookie dough. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #3: School Carnival

Setting up free admission and having the carnival take place at the school ensures a great turnout. Favorite teachers can be invited to participate in fun and creative events including dunking booths, pretend “jail, and potato sack races. Sell tickets at a main booth to collect the donations and have each event “charge” tickets.  To add to your fundraising efforts, don’t forget to add silent auctions and big raffle ticket items that are clearly displayed. 

Screenshot from Dallas SPARK's Cocktails and Carnival event

Dallas Spark! held a “Parents’ Night Out” fundraiser to help support their mission to “ignite the spark of creativity inherent in all children.”

How to do it digitally

On-site options like our mobile virtual terminal are designed for this kind of thing. Parents can easily pay for tickets with their cards! It saves them (and you) the hassle of trying to find an ATM or writing a check. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #4: Casino Nights

Create a parentsonly event to raise money for your school. Charge an admission fee that includes “funny money” to gamble with and a chance to purchase more to keep the games going. Be sure to offer food and beverages and tables for the parents to socialize. Raffle tickets for larger items are a great idea here too. 

How to do it digitally

This is another golden opportunity to use on-site options. You could also encourage parents to preorder packets of tickets ahead of time online; just portion out the tickets, label them with the students’ names, and you’re good to go. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #5: Video Game Day

Now here’s one just for the kids. Who doesn’t fantasize about skipping school and playing video games all day? Have the kids raise money for a special cause for a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind opportunity theyll never forget. Be sure to set up a couple stations and set time limits to ensure everyone has a chance to play their favorite game. 

Screenshot of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass's Givers & Gamers event

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass hosted a fun peer-to-peer fundraiser called Givers & Gamers that’s perfect for in-person or virtual events.

How to do it digitally

Want to get wild? Consider setting up a peer-to-peer fundraising event and use a video game day as an incentive. Peer-to-peer fundraisers work best for big campaigns and small, team-centric fundraisers. Give your kids a chance to shine AND make an impact… and then reward them with an awesome day at school. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #6: Overnight Camping Event

If you happen to have access to a very organized team to support your school, you can create an overnight camping event to raise money for your cause. These types of events are special experiences the kids will remember for years to come.  Some unique things you can include in nighttime events are releasing candlelight lanterns into the sky, campfire sing-a-longs, or nighttime game of Capture the Flag. They need a little extra planning but are well worth the effort. 

How to do it digitally

If you’re organized enough to consider an overnight camping trip with a gaggle of middle school students, you’re organized enough to run a great fundraiser. If you prefer to have students pay for their trip, it’s easy to set up an online donation form that makes it easy for their parents to do so. If you want to use a camping trip as a peer-to-peer fundraising incentive, help students by choosing a user-friendly fundraising platform. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #7: Cookie Decorating Contest

Raise money by selling individual cookies the kids can decorate with imaginative toppings. The more creative and different choices for the toppings, the better. The trick here is to use a paper bowl to keep all the treats on top of the cookie. Adding ice cream makes this even more fun! 

How to do it digitally

Remember the whole kids-losing-money thing? Yeah. Consider offering a way for parents to pay for cookies (or packs of cookies) online before the actual event. Bonus: you’ll know exactly how many cookies you’ll need. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #8: Fun Family Walk

Fundraising walks that include the whole family (including strollers) are an excellent use of your fundraising time and effort. Walks bring the community together for a fun and healthy activity. Including a t-shirt to wear with registration gives participants a keepsake for taking part in the event. Plus, they’re a great way to show off your event in the community with a sea of bright t-shirts walking through the neighborhood. Be sure to invite sponsors to provide water, sports beverages, and healthy snacks at the end of the race and a comfortable place to mingle with other families after the walk. 

How to do it digitally

Walk-a-thons are common in Qgiv’s hometown; we’re all familiar with the paper sign-up sheets and the frustration that collecting donations can cause. This is the perfect time to use a peer-to-peer fundraising platform! 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #9: Pajama Day

This is an easy way to get everyone involved; you can include bringing your favorite stuffed animal to add to the fun! It’s nice to include some special breakfast treats like donuts, fruit, and bagels that parents can donate. Better yet, invite the parents in on the fun by having them share breakfast and hot chocolate with their children.   Adding a special movie for everyone to watch while theyre all in their pajamas makes this day extra special to look forward to. 

How to do it digitally

This is another option that’s great for simpler fundraisers (where a student donates in order to participate) or as a peer-to-peer fundraising incentive. Either way, setting up a way for students to participate online is way easier than cashing a zillion checks. 

Middle-School Fundraising Idea #10: Engraved Brick Fundraiser

For larger projects including playground improvements, new buildings, or even a new walkway or garden, a great way to collect donations is giving people the opportunity to engrave a brick, which becomes a permanent part of the structure.  Children and families alike enjoy seeing their names displayed as a permanent reminder of how they helped build something important for the school that will be enjoyed for many years to come. 

How to do it digitally

Set up an online donation form pre-set to the cost of an engraved brick. Make sure to include a field for donors to write out what they want their brick to say. When the fundraiser is over, run a report, and boom! You’ve got your list of engravings. 

More Middle-School Fundraising Tips:

Include some friendly competition to make your middle school fundraising goals easier to reach! Consider including prizes for the top 3 fundraisers at your school, or for the entire class that raised the most money. Having a special pizza party for the whole class at the end of an event is a great way to celebrate the hard work they did fundraising. 

And don’t forget to thank parents! This can be done in a post to your Facebook group, or a written note the kids take home. Be sure to include details on the total amount raised and how it will be used. All of this will go a long way toward gaining continued support in your ongoing middle school fundraising activities. 

We hope this list of 10 middle school fundraising ideas inspires you to take on your next rewarding project at your school. Looking for more ways to make an impact with fundraising for education? Check out the following resources: 

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