Top 100 School Fundraising Ideas


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When it comes to fundraising for your school, figuring out the best ways to get your supporters excited can be tough. After all, your donor base is made up of a diverse mix of parents, teachers, community leaders, and even students! That’s a lot of different voices to listen to. But with the right fundraising ideas and tools, you can successfully raise money for your school while keeping your donor base engaged.  

Use these ideas and tips to create a fundraiser your school will never forget: 

Why host a school fundraiser? 

Implementing a well-organized and engaging fundraiser can yield numerous benefits for your school. Here are just a few: 

Fund extracurriculars and school supplies 

One of the most obvious benefits of school fundraisers is the ability to fund programs and resources outside the standard curriculum—sports teams, arts programs, and classroom supplies—all contributing to a well-rounded education. 

Teach kids math and leadership skills 

Fundraisers are an excellent way to make learning fun and relatable. Through handling money, calculating profits, and tracking donations, students are able to apply classroom knowledge in practical ways. It also teaches them responsibility and leadership skills by having students work as a team to earn the money for their extracurriculars.  

Engage with the community 

When your community gets involved in your fundraising, it strengthens the bond between you.  It’s an opportunity to showcase your school’s achievements and build relationships that can translate into broader community support for your educational goals, as well as allow you to network with potential future partners. 

10 most profitable fundraisers 

Before we jump into the list of ideas, here’s some of the most profitable and common types of fundraisers you can organize. 

  1. Bake sales: A bake sale is a classic for a reason. It’s a simple way to raise money, involving minimal costs and effort. Plus, who doesn’t love a good brownie? 
  1. Candy grams: Around holidays or special occasions, selling candy grams can be a fantastic way to spread cheer and raise extra money. It’s a fundraiser that’s sweet for everyone involved. 
  1. Spirit days: Selling school spirit through dress-down days and themed attire can boost morale and funds. Think pajama day, superhero day, or even a decade’s throwback theme. 
  1. Merchandise: Selling school-branded merchandise is a great way to bring in funds while promoting school pride. Students and parents love fun t-shirts, hoodies, and water bottles. 
  1. Fitness challenges: Challenges like an obstacle course or a jump rope contest encourage physical activity and a healthy competitive spirit among participants. 
  1. Fun runs: A twist on the typical 5K, fun runs often involve color, mud, or some other theme that makes the running experience not only healthy but also fun. 
  1. Raffles: Raffles can be done at any time and for almost any budget. Whether it’s for a 50/50 prize or a basket of donated goods, everyone loves the chance to win something. 
  1. Wishlists: Donors love to give in-kind gifts. By creating and promoting a wishlist, you make it easy for them to give directly to your school’s needs. 
  1. Sport tournaments: If your school has a competitive spirit, a tournament can be a thrilling way to raise funds. Think basketball, volleyball, or even an annual teachers vs. students game of dodgeball. 
  1. Talent shows: A talent show is not just entertaining—it also invites an audience of family and friends who want to see students show off their skills. 
elementary students posing for a camera for school fundraising ideas

Elementary school fundraising ideas 

Different age-levels may require different approaches to fundraising. Here are 25 school fundraising ideas for elementary students.  

  1. Bake sale: Have students and parents bring in some homemade sweets to sell.  
  1. Readathon: Encourage reading for a cause, with parents pledging donations for books read by students. 
  1. Handmade crafts: Have students create their own crafts to sell at a school event or for holidays. 
  1. Field day: Host a fun-filled day of games and activities with a fundraising entry fee. 
  1. Art show: Showcase students’ artistic talents by selling their work at an art show. 
  1. Pajama day: Have parents donate for students to come to school in their pajamas for a day! 
  1. Parent day: Host a parent day for parents to register with their kids to compete in different challenges. 
  1. World fair: Charge an entrance fee for a world fair where students can learn about different countries. 
  1. Carnival: Host a carnival for your community and sell entrance and ride tickets, as well as carnival food. 
  1. Show and tell: Allow students to bring in something they’re proud of to show off for an entrance fee into a school-wide show and tell. 
  1. Mother’s Day gifts: Students can create special gifts for friends and family to buy as Mother’s Day gifts. 
  1. Early Father’s Day BBQ: Host a BBQ event to celebrate Father’s Day before school lets out for the summer. 
  1. Scavenger hunt: Have parents register their students to compete in a themed hunt with donated prizes. 
  1. Foot race: Host a mini ‘marathon’ race for elementary students to compete in for an entry fee. 
  1. School concert: Host a concert with your student musicians and singers where the event ticket is a donation. 
  1. Lemonade stand: Get students excited for summer by hosting a refreshing lemonade stand to raise money. 
  1. Book fair: Partner with a local bookstore to raise money and interest in reading. 
  1. Walkathon: Kids can walk and earn pledges per lap from their family and friends to raise money for their school. 
  1. Costume contest: Allow parents to donate to enter their students into a dress-up day contest with award prizes. 
  1. Garden sale: Students can sell plants they’ve grown at school or home to raise money and learn about the environment. 
  1. Movie night: Host a themed movie night with a small entry fee and concession sales. 
  1. Holiday cards: Have students make and sell holiday cards to their friends and families to raise money for the school. 
  1. Spirit day: Encourage students to find a sponsor to donate for spirit dress up day. 
  1. Can drive: Collect canned goods from students and make it competitive by hosting a pizza party for the class that brings in the most cans.  
  1. Face painting: Set up a booth during a school day and charge a small fee for face painting. 
middle schoolers sitting in a circle for a field day for school fundraising ideas

Middle school fundraising ideas 

Students are able to take more responsibility while fundraising in middle school. Here are 25 school fundraising ideas for your middle school students:  

  1. School dance: Charge an admission fee and sell snacks as students dance the afternoon away. 
  1. Talent show: Students pay an entry fee to show off their skills for the audience. 
  1. Fashion show: Allow students to show off their fashionista side with a fashion show and sell clothes at the end of the event. 
  1. Trivia night: Host a quiz night for students and families, charging teams an entry fee. 
  1. Car wash: Appeal to car owners and have students host a car wash over a weekend. 
  1. School supply drive: Ask students to bring in extra school supplies to fill up the classrooms. 
  1. Science fair: Charge a small fee for participants and offer prizes for the best science fair project. 
  1. Basketball competition: Have teams register to compete in a 3-on-3 basketball competition. 
  1. School merch sale: Arrange for a pop-up shop of custom branded school gear to raise funds. 
  1. Rock climbing: Host a fun rock-climbing wall that students can donate to climb. 
  1. Fitness challenge: Host a jump rope or other fitness challenge for students to collect pledges for. 
  1. T-Shirt design competition: Hold a contest for students to design the next school t-shirt and have them collect pledges to determine the winner. 
  1. Raffle: Ask local businesses for items and packages to raffle off at the next school event. 
  1. Recycle tech: Students can bring in old electronics that can be sold for parts or recycled for cash. 
  1. Candy grams: Have groups of students collect money in exchange for sweet treats delivered with a message from the sender. 
  1. Parents night out: Offer babysitting services for a night and have parents pay per hour. 
  1. School play: Charge admission for a memorable school play put on by students. 
  1. Haunted house: Allow students to decorate and host a haunted house people can pay for entry to during the fall. 
  1. Holiday party: Host a festive party with activities, music, and holiday treats for an entry fee. 
  1. Board game night: Have families buy tickets to a fun game night that can be a winner for everyone. 
  1. Pi Day: Celebrate everyone’s favorite irrational number with a fundraiser where students can buy the chance to pi(e) a teacher. 
  1. Spelling bee: Students pay to participate in the spelling bee for the chance to win a grand prize. 
  1. Obstacle course: Have students pay for the chance to compete in an obstacle course.  
  1. Guessing jar: Fill a jar with candy and have students guess how many are inside per donation made. 
  1. Coupon fundraiser: Give students coupons to sell for discounts of local restaurants and businesses. 

High school fundraising ideas 

Most high schoolers are able to fundraise more independently than other school levels. Here are 25 high school fundraising ideas you can use: 

  1. Prom dress drive: Sell or rent used prom dresses and formal attire during prom season. 
  1. Minigolf: Host a school-themed mini-golf tournament where students can pay to compete. 
  1. Battle of the Bands: Invite local student bands to compete and charge an entry fee to watch the show. 
  1. Spirit Week: Students can ask for pledges based on how good supporters think their outfits match the different themes over the week. 
  1. Photo booth: Set up a photo booth where students can pay for fun pictures together. 
  1. 5K race: Have students register to ask for pledges for their race in a 5K. 
  1. Skit night: Allow your community to purchase tickets to your student’s skit night.  
  1. Auction: Gather donations from local businesses and auction off items during a school event. 
  1. Prank day: Have students donate to prank the staff with planned and approved pranks. 
  1. Parking spots: Auction off prime parking spaces to juniors and seniors for a year. 
  1. Dance-a-thon: Sponsors can pledge to donate to students for each hour danced during the dance-a-thon. 
  1. Sing-a-grams: Have student teams deliver personalized singing telegrams for donations. 
  1. Bingo night: Ask for donations for students to purchase bingo sheets for a chance to win prizes. 
  1. Picnic: Sell tickets to a family picnic event on the school’s sports field. 
  1. Pet walk: Allow students to register to bring their pets on a walkathon. 
  1. Bounce house: Bring in a bouncy house that students can purchase tickets to hang out in. 
  1. Beach day: Bring the beach to your school with sand and inflatable pools and charge an entry fee to the beach area. 
  1. Career day: Invite professionals to talk about their careers for students to attend for a small fee. 
  1. Parade: Ask for donations for community members to build floats for a parade. 
  1. Video game night: Students can show off their skills for a small fee to compete in a video game night. 
  1. Casino night: Recreate the thrill of Vegas for your seniors by having them donate for poker chips. 
  1. Senior day: Allow seniors to buy a ticket for a senior skip day. 
  1. Pageant: Spotlight students’ talents and creativity through a themed pageant that people can buy tickets to. 
  1. Zombie day: Charge a fee for students to play the part of zombies during an apocalypse-themed spirit day. 
  1. Dodgeball tournament: Students can register their dodgeball team for a fee and compete for a grand prize. 
teens participating in fun games for high school fundraising ideas

Club fundraisers 

Moving beyond school-wide initiatives, club fundraisers offer a unique opportunity for smaller groups within the school to promote their clubs. Here are 25 ideas that clubs can use to raise money for their specific needs. 

  1. Tree planting: Allow your garden or environment club to sell trees for the community to plant. 
  1. Musical: Have theater club students showcase their talents in a musical and sell tickets to the performance. 
  1. Debate: Host a debate night on current issues with entry fees for debate club participants and audience. 
  1. Powderpuff football: Teams can pay an entry fee to form powderpuff football teams to compete in front of a crowd.  
  1. Cheer competition: Organize a cheerleading competition, charging teams to enter and spectators to watch. 
  1. Teachers vs students sports: Offer students and teachers the chance to pay to register teams and compete in their favorite school sport. 
  1. Photo contest: Charge a small submission fee for entrants for the photo club to judge and sell the winning prints. 
  1. Writing competition: Encourage students to brush off those writing skills by paying to compete for the best prizes. 
  1. Pottery night: Host a creative evening making pottery, with a fee for participation. 
  1. Paint night: Organize a guided painting session with the art club, providing materials for a fee. 
  1. Cleanup day: Promote community service by having students collect pledges for every hour spent cleaning the community. 
  1. Robotics competition: Have robotics club members build robots to compete against each other and charge an entrance fee for the audience to watch. 
  1. Cook-off: Showcase your students’ culinary skills in a cooking competition with entrants and attendees paying a fee. 
  1. Carpool initiative: Offer carpool services to and from school for a modest fee. 
  1. Chess competition: Organize a chess tournament with an entry fee to compete for the prize. 
  1. Essay writing: Allow your honor society to offer help writing college essays for seniors to purchase. 
  1. Film competition: Host a short film competition where participants pay to submit their work. 
  1. Workshops: Conduct educational workshops led by local entrepreneurs with a small fee for attendance. 
  1. Catalog fundraiser: Have students sell items from a catalog to raise money for their club. 
  1. Tutoring services: Offer tutoring in various subjects led by the honor society with fees contributing to club funds. 
  1. Karaoke night: Host a fun night of karaoke that spectators can pay a small fee to watch. 
  1. Engraved brick campaign: Sell engraved bricks to be placed in a prominent location on campus to students. 
  1. Shoe drive: Collect gently used shoes to donate for the running club’s funds. 
  1. Wishlist fundraiser: Create a wish list of items each club needs and share the list for supporters to purchase from. 
  1. Garage sale: Collect and sell donated goods with proceeds going to the club. 

School fundraising best practices 

Successful fundraisers don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of careful planning and strategic execution. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when organizing your next school fundraiser: 

Take advantage of fundraising tools 

The best way to boost fundraising for your school? Create intuitive, user-friendly online giving forms! Online giving forms make donating to your school easy for all your supporters. Individuals can choose to give wherever they are, whenever is most convenient for them. 

Incorporate some of these key features in your online giving form: 

  • Mobile optimization 
  • Gift suggestion buttons 
  • Fundraising thermometers 
  • Your school’s logo and colors 
  • Recurring gift opt-in suggestions 

When your school has online giving forms ready, you’ll never have to worry about losing out on gifts. Because giving online takes just a few minutes, your school’s community will love making online donations to your fundraising campaigns. 

Send out email campaigns 

Regular, informative emails can keep your fundraiser in the forefront of potential donors’ minds. Share success stories, event highlights, and the broader impact of their contributions. Take advantage of donor management platforms, like Bloomerang, to easily keep track and reach out to your supporters about your fundraising campaigns.  

Look for features such as: 

  • Engagement metrics 
  • Data segmentation 
  • Email templates  
  • Communication auditing tools 

With the right software, reaching out to your school’s supporters is an easy way to boost your fundraising.  

Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising 

Peer-to-peer fundraising is another fundraising strategy that’s perfect for your school’s fundraising goals. In a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you call on community members or students to set up fundraising pages on your behalf. These individuals then reach out to their online networks and solicit donations for your school. 

When using peer-to-peer software, look for these features: 

  • Fundraising team options 
  • Gamification tools 
  • Online store options 
  • Personalized registration pages 

Since peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are spread by your community members, these campaigns will reach more eyes when they’re shared on social media sites and emailed to friends and family. This way, your school’s donors don’t have to live in your community or even have a child at your school to give! 

Qgiv text-to-give fundraising mockup featuring $50 donation to Lakeland Food Pantry

Host text-to-donate campaigns 

Text messaging is an easy and convenient way for donors to give. Promote a simple donation code across your communications and at events. With everyone on their phones, text-to-donate campaigns are a great way to reach donors no matter where they are.  

Find text-to-donate with these features: 

  • Outbound texts 
  • Pledge options 
  • Reminder texts 
  • Donor segment lists 
  • FundHub Live 

Use social media 

Don’t rely on in-person or direct marketing efforts to spread the word about your fundraising campaigns! Create buzz and encourage community participation through your school’s social media.  

Share stories, event highlights, and interactive content to attract supporters and keep them engaged. You can also include challenges that students can compete in for engaging video content to share.  

Collect in-kind donations 

You can also ask fundraisers for different types of in-kind donations! Consider creating an Amazon wish list or posting a list to social media consisting of all the items your school may need. This can include: 

  • School supplies like pencils, markers, and paper 
  • Cleaning supplies like paper towels, hand sanitizer, and cleaning sprays 
  • Textbooks 
  • Technology like iPads and projectors 
  • By telling your supporters what you need, you provide them with a way to support your school without needing to directly give money.  

Seek sponsorships  

Corporate sponsorships can provide significant financial and in-kind support for your school fundraising efforts. Local businesses looking to build relationships in the community may be eager to partner with your school, especially if they have children who have or will attend classes there! Sponsors can either provide a financial partnership or in-kind donations in return for advertising at different school events. 

Use matching gifts 

Did you know that there’s a way to double (or even triple) the impact of your school’s supporters without asking them to give again? Matching gifts programs are a form of corporate giving program in which an employer agrees to match their employees’ charitable donations.  

Luckily, there’s an easy way for your school to boost matching gift revenue for your next fundraising campaign. Simply invest in matching gift tools, like Double the Donation, and add a branded matching gifts database to your school’s website. 

Then, you can promote matching gifts to your school’s community in newsletters, email blasts, and at fundraising events. Your supporters will appreciate that there’s a way to get more from their gifts, and that might even be the push they need to give more often! 

Consider hybrid events 

With virtual and hybrid events increasing in popularity, consider the types of experiences your school can host. Then, sell tickets for an online portion of the event to raise money! 

For instance, many schools have had success planning the following hybrid events: 

  • Livestream talent show 
  • Virtual concert 
  • Online cooking class 
  • Hybrid fitness challenge  

Consider what online tools you’ll need for your hybrid event. For instance, will you need a livestreaming tool? A video conferencing platform? What are the tools or tracking apps that your participants will need? These are all questions you must consider beforehand. 

Final thoughts 

School fundraising is not just about the money—it’s about building a community and shaping future leaders in your students. It can be a fun, collaborative experience for everyone involved, and with the right fundraiser, you can successfully meet your financial goals and leave a lasting impact on the participants.  

Remember, school fundraisers are not one-size-fits-all, and you should personalize these ideas and tips to your specific school and community. Bring your community together with a school fundraiser that they’ll never forget! 

Additional resources 

If you’re looking for more guidance on school fundraising, take a look at these resources: 

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