Guide to School Fundraising, Ideas & Tips for Success

School fundraisers ideas are of great importance in the smooth running of schools. School fundraising ideas can be of help in offering scholarships to bright and needy students as well as completion of the school’s main projects. Fundraising also helps the management provide daycare services, educational programs, club activities, and other extra-curricular activities. A school can introduce new projects after a successful implementation of school fundraising ideas and comfortably run them. Planning for a successful event involves the efforts of students, parents, and teachers through team-work. School fundraising ideas can be at the elementary, middle school, high school, or college levels.

Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

The elementary school involves children aged between 6 years and 11 years on average. Therefore, activities involving this age group have to be different from those of middle school, high school, or college students. Below are some of the school fundraising ideas an elementary school can consider implementing:

Disney Day

On this day, elementary students show up in school dressed according to their favorite characters in Disney movies. They, in turn, receive small donations from the public as appreciation for their efforts in dressing. The teachers and the school management need to promote this activity early enough to allow parents to purchase or make their kids’ costumes.

Pajama Day

This venture is a school fundraising idea involving both students and their teachers. It is one of the most exciting ideas for students and even some teachers. In exchange for coming to school in pajamas for a day, students give little contributions to the school. For every student who comes to school in a pajama, they have to contribute. The pajama day is a fun way of raising funds for school programs.

School Sleepovers

Having a sleepover in school is always fun, especially for the students. One of the unique school fundraising ideas can be to organize a school sleepover for elementary students. Parents get communications on what every student needs to bring for the sleepover. It should involve some fun activities, like watching movies or playing games for children. Every parent pays a specific amount of money for his or her kid to get involved. Profits accrued go to the school’s account.

Popcorn Fundraiser

Unlike a candy bar fundraiser, hosting a popcorn fundraising event is relatively healthier for kids of this age. Popcorn does not have too many health risks as compared to candies. You can partner with popcorn companies to provide gourmet popcorns as you sell them to the students. You can sell the popcorn at a set price then split the profit with the company.

School Picnics

This line of school fundraising ideas is best for warmer days. Besides helping the school build its community through outdoor activities, school picnics also generate the necessary funds for projects. A school picnic can happen in the schoolyard or a park outside school. Every parent has to pay a participation fee determined by the school. Foods and drinks for the picnic are either provided by the school or can be donated. The school can even organize a raffle to generate more funds.

Middle School Fundraising Ideas

Middle school students are a bit older than elementary school students; hence they can engage in better school fundraising ideas. The middle school covers grade 5 to grade 8, depending on various states. Some of the school fundraising ideas in a middle school can be:

Obstacle Course Event

The teachers can organize a race involving obstacles such as wall and rope climbing, jumping through tires, walking on a beam, jumping over muddy pits, dodging balloons filled paint, running through sprinklers, etc. You can then charge a participation fee for the event and have parents donate materials for building projects. This event generates a lot of funds as it excites the participants.

Spelling Bee Competition

The spelling bee is a creative competition whereby students compete in spelling. Every participant participates in spelling out a random word. He or she is allowed to either spell the verb directly or write it down on the board. A student has to spell the random word correctly on the first instance or pay up to get a second chance. Parents who come to watch pay some charges. An alternative event to the spelling bee can be the readathon competition.

Family Fun Day

Your school could organize family fun days once per month or numerous times a year, depending on the school’s capacity. Weekends are best for holding fun family days as they allow both parents and students to attend. You can make the event both fun and educational by having some staff members or alumni around. Engage participants in various activities like gardening, face painting, or even clay-making. You can charge a participation fee, which will generate funds for the school.

Organize Community Cleanups

Students can do something good for the environment alongside raising some money for school projects. Community cleanups are among the school fundraising ideas that are not hard to plan. Parents, staff members, alumni, and community members pledge funds and support to students engaging in the cleanup process. When you are planning a community cleanup, be sure to tie pledges to specific attainment of goals like the quantity of trash collected, etc.

Sports Day

This activity is best for warm weather conditions. It gives children, teachers, as well as some parents the chance to spend time outdoors. As school management, you can create a field day for the students and set up various sports activities and games. These games may involve parent teams or staff teams versus student teams. Parents and other spectators participating in the venture have to pay an admission fee. It is advisable to sell snacks, drinks, and other merchandise to maximize funds acquired.

High School Fundraising Ideas

High school students are much older than middle school ones. The approximate age group of students in high schools lies between 14 years to 18 years. They can engage in more involving school fundraising ideas like:

Setting up a Car Wash

Your school management could set up a car washing station within the school premises. The idea is to have students and even staff volunteer to wash the cars owned by parents and other visitors for a small charity. The donations are for the completion of set out projects in the school.

Organizing a Recycling Drive

Several companies would love to buy and reuse old clothes, shoes, electronics like mobile phones and laptops, and old cartridges. The idea is to get students to bring their old stuff to school with them—partner with a company that buys such goods for an agreed price and benefits from the money raised.

Movie Night

This idea applies to elementary schools, middle schools, and colleges. In collaboration with the local cinema firm, organize a newly released movie for students to watch. Set up a hall for the movie session and invite students with their families to watch a film overnight. The charges set for attending should be standard for all families.

Yard Sale

The school can host a yard sale on the school premises. Some students, parents, and staff members can participate in this encounter. Get the interested parties to donate their gently used commodities for the yard sale. The idea of a yard sale can be successful once both students and staff promote the activity widely to others.

T-shirt Fundraiser

In conjunction with the students, the school can print several t-shirts of different colors and varying writings for sale. Other students can then purchase the t-shirts at a price agreed upon by the management. They may also sell these t-shirts to their friends and families to raise funds for the school.

College Fundraising Ideas

College is a tertiary institution that offers degree programs or other qualifications to students. In most cases, a college student has to be an adult of above 18 years of age. More sophisticated school fundraising ideas can hence be involved in this case:

Alumni Luncheon

Hosting an alumni luncheon is one of the best ideas for fundraising in college. The school can partner with a nearby restaurant to host an alumni luncheon as part of the alumni week or event on its own. You can then raise money through the sale of tickets to the participants. Attendees can give their donations, too, in support of the set-out projects. The event could even invite guest alumni to maximize contributions.

Community Service

In the case of community service, generate funds by selling the services and skills of your students and teachers to the highest bidder. The skills can either be professional like tutoring, web design or photography, or daily activities such as babysitting, running house chores, pet sitting, and driving. The other option is to have the public or some influential people sponsor your students and teachers as they perform 24 hours of community service. Community service may be a non-profit venture at times.

Multicultural Fair

Students come from varied cultural backgrounds. Hosting an event whereby your students will showcase and share their cultures with other students is a good idea. This activity may take some time to organize but has good returns. Students get the opportunity to share their traditional meals, dances, crafts, and beliefs. You may invite members of the local community, alumni, and parents to the fair and charge them entry fees.

Organizing a Stress Relief Event

College students often go through a lot of pressure, balancing their social lives and academic lives. Organizing an event where students are de-stressed and able to relax is an excellent opportunity to raise funds, especially before the exam. Have volunteers administer foot rubs, soft massages, and aromatherapy to the students. The room should have some soothing music and be well scented.

Care Packages

At the beginning of every semester or during an exam period, students love buying packages. These packages should be appealing to both male and female students. A package may include a candy bar, cookies, a fruit of any kind, a mug of hot coffee, plus a student magazine. Parents love the idea of sending their children some surprise packages while they are far away from home. In this scenario, you can mail order forms to parents who may buy the packs as surprise gifts to their children.

Tips For a Successful School Fundraiser

Hosting a successful school fundraising event requires efforts from all stakeholders. There should be a set target for the money raised and a well-set groundwork on which it will run. From the use of a fundraising thermometer, some of the good causes for successful school fundraising include:

Be Transparent and Proactive

Transparency is a valued virtue in society. The school management should keep all the stakeholders informed on the plans and layout of the fundraiser. Clear communication keeps planned activities moving and help involved parties to avoid unnecessary surprises. You need to notify parents early enough about the fundraiser, periodically remind students of their participation and allocate teachers specific duties on fund collection, among others. For a successful fundraiser, you have to start its planning early. Setting up clear goals on how the fundraiser is to run and how the funds will be of help to school projects is essential.

Set Up An Advertising Campaign

Parents and students are the two critical networks you need to focus on during the setup and execution of a funds drive. Parents form a more substantial part of the donor base. Through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), you should find it easy to reach out to this vast network. Reaching out to them can be advantageous for their item donations and also their social media network. The parents can share the fundraising page on their online social media platforms leading to an increase in the donor base. Students form a considerable part of the advertising team. With their love for social media, they can post details of the funds drive on their social media pages and attract massive donations. They can also enlighten their friends and families about the event or even do walks of advertisement with the school’s help.

Keep Everyone Motivated

Motivation is a vital issue that helps spearhead the achievement of set goals. You need to keep everyone’s spirits up to achieve a successful fundraiser. All the stakeholders involved need motivation in whichever sector they handle. First of all, you need to motivate students to develop items they enjoy creating to raise money. You may also encourage them to create stuff that their parents would like. They will do their work of item creation passionately in such circumstances. Motivate teachers and staff members in their quest.

Start Early

The earlier you start, the more funds you will raise. Begin planning for the fundraiser during summer holidays and lay a groundwork for smooth take-off once schools open. Starting at an early stage sets you up for an increased success rate. Create channels through which the community can begin giving donations as early as possible. The methods of payment should not be biased to a physical location to widen the scope of donors.

Be Persistent and Stay Positive

A school’s fundraising event may take time to plan and implement, but the result acquired is always fulfilling in most cases. To increase the success rate of the venture, you can expand your reach beyond the school community. Do not restrict it to a limited period or physical scope. You can create fundraising weeks or months instead of a single fundraising day to acquire more donations. Some fundraising outcomes may be non-profitable at the first go, but consistent attempts will give a desirable outcome.

School Fundraising FAQ

🙋‍♂️ How can kids help out with a fundraiser?

Kids can indulge in promoting fundraising ideas among their friends and families. They can also participate in small donations towards the school by buying commodities sold from the fundraisers.

✔️ Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes. Donations are tax-deductible. Both contributions in cash or kind, e.g., clothes, are subject to tax deductions.

🏫 Can schools be a good place for raising funds?

Yes. School fundraisers are among the largest and most successful fundraiser groups globally. People support fund drives held by schools more than any other group-based fundraiser.