From raffles to bake sales and walkathons, there are so many easy fundraising ideas to generate extra money for school supplies, programs, and more.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of unique ideas to support your local school while fostering collaboration among students, parents, and the school administration. The best part is many of these fundraising efforts involve fun activities that can help students of all ages and their families feel engaged with the school community.
Here is our Guide to the Best Fundraising Ideas to Raise Money this School Year
School-based nonprofit organizations like Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), booster clubs, school clubs, student councils, sports teams, and education foundations have many options for raising funds.
Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraiser
Even a great fundraising idea can fail if you don’t have a plan to meet your fundraising goals. The good news is with some planning and organization, you have an excellent opportunity to raise money for your cause.
1. Create a strategic plan with realistic goals and a marketing plan.
2. Build a strong team of local community members.
3. Partner with local businesses and local restaurants to support your good cause.
4. Make information easy to find by adding the information to your school website and social media platforms.
5. Encourage students to get involved by offering reward incentives through friendly competition.
6. Always check with the school administration to confirm district rules about hosting fundraisers.
Fundraising Event Ideas for Schools & Nonprofits
Hosting a great fundraiser event can get more people engaged with your cause while also having fun and raising money at the same time.
- Organize a Restaurant Night: Reach out to a local restaurant and ask them to donate a percentage of their profits from one night to your fundraiser.
- Trivia Night: Host a fun-filled night of trivia questions and charge an admission fee, then let the great time begin.
- Walkathon or Runathon: Get community members to sponsor walkers/runners in a fun-filled event that gets kids exercising.
- Pancake Breakfast: Always a favorite! Charge a fee for pancakes and other breakfast items.
- Raffle: Collect donations of items from local businesses or community members and raffle them off.
- Silent Auction: A silent auction is an excellent way to get people to bid on items they find interesting while raising money for your cause. Create unique packages (travel, dinners, experiences) to auction off. This is a great fundraiser to pair with a school community event, like a movie night.
- Garage Sale or Yard Sale: Ask family members and friends to donate unwanted items for the sale.
- Car Wash: Adult volunteers, staff members, and high school students can help raise funds by washing cars.
- Spelling Bee: This can be a fun competition for parents or students. Ask community members or local businesses to sponsor your event.
- Dance-a-thon: Gather dancers who pledge to dance for a set number of hours and collect pledges for each hour they stay on the dance floor.
- Gala Dinner: Put together a festive evening and charge an admission fee to cover the cost of food and entertainment, with proceeds going to your cause.
- 5K Run/Walk: Organize a 5K run or walk with registration fees for participants.
- Flower Truck LA Fundraiser: Turn your school parking lot into a flower truck fundraiser.
- Field Day: Organize a field day with fun activities like an obstacle course, relay races, and more. You can collect entry fees for participants or sell food at the event to raise funds.
- Bake Sale: Families, students, and staff can showcase their baking skills by contributing delicious treats for a one-day sale. These delectable goodies can be sold at an event like Back to School Night.
- Movie Night: Set up a movie screening in the school auditorium with ticket sales proceeds going towards your fundraising goals.
- Talent Show: Showcase students and parents in your community. Charge a small participation fee, with proceeds going back to your cause.
- Spring Carnival: Set up rides, games, and activities with food, entertainment, and prizes.
- Haunted House/ Halloween Carnival: Set up a not-too-spooky Haunted House and charge admission to enter. You can build a Halloween-themed event with games, food, and a costume contest.
- School Dance: A school dance fundraiser is a great way to raise money while hosting a fun social event for students. It is a great fundraising platform for fostering community spirit and raising funds for various school projects.
- Casino Night: Play Blackjack, Roulette, or Poker for charity money.
- Food Truck Night: Invite food trucks to your event, with a percentage of sales going back to your cause.
- Used-Book Sale: Host a used-book sale with books donated by families and community members.
- Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt fundraiser is an exciting event that combines adventure, teamwork, and community support. Participants search for hidden treasures, solve clues, and complete challenges. This engaging activity not only raises funds for a worthy cause but also brings people together in a fun and memorable way.
Collect Items for Fundraising for Schools & Nonprofits
Recycling is an excellent way to support environmental responsibility while generating funds for your cause.
- Sneaker Drive Fundraiser: A sneaker drive fundraiser is not only an easy way to raise money but also keeps sneakers out of landfills and reduces toxic chemicals from being released into our air and soil.
- Host a clothing drive fundraiser: Collecting clothing and household items from your community can turn your fundraising goals for your nonprofit organization into a reality.
- Box Tops app: Turn your supporters’ everyday purchases into cash for your school or organization.
- Recycling of Cell Phones and Electronics: Set up a collection drive for e-waste and send it in for a cash reward.
Online Fundraisers for Schools & Nonprofits
Take advantage of the digital age by creating an online fundraiser to help get the word out about your cause while reaching a wider audience through an online fundraising platform and social media.
- Crowdfunding Campaign: Start a crowdfunding campaign to help spread awareness of your cause and to raise money.
- Online Donation Page: Create a web page that accepts donations from friends and family worldwide. This could also be created on a school fundraising page.
- Online Auction: Ask local businesses to donate items and then host an online auction for people to bid on the items and donate money.
- Create an Online Store: Create an online store to sell merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, and hats with the school logo.
- Acts of Kindness: Raise Craze is an innovative online fundraising platform driven by acts of kindness. The platform helps students set up secure, custom websites where they request donations via email. Students pay it forward during the fundraiser by completing Acts of Kindness for others.
Sales Fundraising Ideas for Schools & Nonprofits
Fundraising sales are a valuable opportunity for kids to develop essential interpersonal skills. Encourage them to take charge and handle the legwork themselves rather than relying on their parents. Here are a few renowned school fundraiser companies worth exploring.
- Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough
- Double Good Popcorn Virtual Pop-Up
- ABC Fundraising
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
- Krispy Kreme Fundraiser
- See’s Candy Fundraiser
- World’s Finest Chocolate
- Popcornopolis Popcorn
- Community Discount Cards: Sell discount cards and use proceeds towards your fundraiser’s goal.
- Gift Cards: Supporters can purchase gift cards from well-known retailers like Target, Starbucks, or Panera. Rest assured, buyers incur no additional costs, and schools receive the benefits.
- School t-shirt fundraiser: Show your school spirit with custom t-shirts or other merchandise.
- Raffle tickets: Sell raffle tickets to supporters who can win donated prizes like gift cards, amusement park tickets, gift baskets, and more.
Holiday Season Fundraisers for Schools & Nonprofits
Fundraisers during the holiday season can be a great way to support your cause while providing a service during the busiest shopping season.
- Wrapping Paper and Gift Tags: Sell brightly colored and festive wrapping paper and gift tags for the holiday season.
- Tree Trimming Fundraiser: Ask local businesses to donate holiday decorations that can be sold during the season.
- Fundraising Calendars: Create a school calendar with images from your students, staff, or supporters.
- Christmas Tree Sales: Ask local nurseries and greenhouses if they will donate trees for your school to sell.
- Holiday House Tour: Invite supporters to visit decorated homes in your community. Charge a small admission fee and use proceeds towards your fundraiser’s goal.
- Gift-Wrapping Service: Wrap presents for a suggested donation.
We hope you find these tips helpful to having a successful school fundraiser. If you are in the South Bay and you would like to share your event with our local community, you can add your event to our community calendar!