25+ Quick & EASY School Fundraising Ideas!
Raising money for your school? We’ve put together more than 25 effective school fundraising ideas to help you reach your fundraising goals this school year.
Did you know that ABC Fundraising® now provides fundraising web stores so you can run your school fundraiser completely online?
Of course you can also use our FREE order-taker brochures to run your fundraiser offline as well!
After all, a strategically planned fundraiser gets students, parents, and staff excited to help make a positive impact on your school or community.
Here at ABC Fundraising®, we know that recycling ideas can get monotonous. You’ll be sure to hit your goals when you host campaigns that involve everyone and get them excited to participate. This guide outlines ideas for unique fundraisers for your team to consider this year.
We also included a few essential tips to set your school up for success.
Specifically, we’ll cover:
- Our Favorite School Fundraising Ideas
- Tips for Successful School Fundraising Ideas
This list of fundraising ideas will take your school spirit and fundraising to a whole new level. With these creative ideas and best practices, you’ll be running a successful school fundraiser to help fund your endeavors.
Product Fundraising Ideas
Pick from various products below for an effective and fun school fundraiser. Decide which will resonate with your school and quickly reach your selling goals.
Cookie Dough Fundraiser (With A Custom Web Store)
A Cookie Dough Fundraiser is a popular and delicious idea among families at schools. Everyone loves a good cookie! With ABC Fundraising’s cookie dough provider, Crazy About Cookies, you’ll be able to offer a wide array of flavors to your buyers. These include:
- Chunky chocolate chip
- Triple Chocolate
- And more!
Be sure to have volunteers sell to their friends and family and track their orders on a form to determine how much dough to order. Or, you can even get an ONLINE WEB STORE to sell your cookie dough completely online.
Scratch Card Fundraiser
The Scratch & Help® card fundraiser is an effective, interactive way to raise funds. In essence, a scratch card is a fun donation game your students and staff can play with friends and family. Here’s how it works:
- Your volunteers will ask individuals to play.
- Donors scratch off two or more circles to reveal a donation amount under each. Circles run from 50 cents to $3.
- The player contributes the amount shown.
This creative fundraiser is popular because it brings in high profits and has a very low initial cost! Plus, it’s a fun experience for everyone involved.
Discount Card Fundraiser
Connect with other local entities to plan a community discount card fundraiser. This handy card will provide buyers with cost savings and discounts on goods and services in your local area. It’s recommended that your school establishes discounts with about 20 local merchants. In return, your card provides them with free advertising. Once you’ve made your cards, have students and parents sell them in your area.
Fundraising spinners are another effective and exciting fundraising game. To raise money, your students will contact a number of donors, and have them spin a wheel to determine the amount. This is a simple way to take out the awkwardness of donors not knowing how much to contribute.
A snack concession stand will do well at your school’s sports games or after-school programs. You’re able to purchase snacks in bulk and sell them for a profit. Consider investing in these popular treats:
You’ll raise money in no time; kids are always hungry for a yummy snack!
Everyone knows about the famous soft baked pretzels from Auntie Anne’s, along with Cinnabon’s gooey pastries. That’s why ABC Fundraising has partnered with both providers to bring your school the most coveted mall treats.
For both efforts, all you need to do is collect money for each item and place your order for wholesale price. Then, get to snacking!
A gourmet popcorn sale is an easy way to raise money for your school. It’s as simple as collecting orders and turning them in after your fundraising period. ABC Fundraising offers a variety of flavors including cheddar cheese, caramel, and more.
With this popcorn fundraiser, your school benefits from only paying the wholesale price of the popcorn and keeping the rest of the money you raised. After they’re delivered for free, distribute them to everyone who ordered.
Flower Bulb Fundraiser
The flower bulb fundraiser is popular during warmer seasons when donors are planning their gardens. This is a wonderful product for bringing your school’s community together; they’ll be talking about how their bulbs are doing for the rest of the year!
All you have to do is collect orders and send them off for your bulbs. Encourage your growers to send in photos so that you can post them on your school’s social media.
Entertainment Card Fundraiser
The Entertainment® Card Fundraiser is a digital savings card that will work for donors across North America in getting them incredible discounts.
For example, if Grandma wanted the coupon book for Tampa, FL and your group was selling a local coupon book for New York, you’d lose out on that sale. Not anymore!
This is the perfect fundraising idea for schools and Alumni groups that have members spread out throughout the country because you can sell the memberships to anyone.
School Face Masks
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, take advantage of mask-wearing and create a branded face mask with your school’s logo. Your team can easily design a mask and collect orders with ease .
Be sure to get as many people as possible to order your mask so that your cost per mask is discounted!
Once your masks are passed out to donors, your school will be represented across the world! You’ll be spreading school spirit and popularizing your school’s fundraising efforts.
Custom Travel Mug Fundraiser
This is a great fundraising idea for high school teams who have a logo that they want to showcase on their Travel Mugs. In areas that have a lot of school spirit, these mugs are a great seller!
School Fundraising Event Ideas
These school fundraising events will be great for students to get involved and support their school.
Battle of the Bands
This is best for middle and high schoolers. Host a battle of the bands show to help student musicians get the spotlight to showcase their skills. Your school auditorium is the perfect venue to help them share their passion for music and play with others in a healthy competition.
Be sure to charge a small fee to play in the show, as well as sell tickets to the event. Have judges or the audience vote on their favorite, and crown a winner at the end of the night.
Auction Night Fundraiser
Schools are the perfect match for auction fundraisers because they bring your community together in an exciting event. To plan an auction, ask around your parents and community to see if anyone has something to offer for your auction. Consider items and experiences such as:
- Season tickets
- A vacation home for a weekend
- Gift cards to local places
With these prizes, you’ll be able to attract a large audience of excited bidders and earn a ton of revenue for your school.
Teen Night Fundraiser
For middle or high schoolers, a dance is an opportunity to dress up, spend time with friends, and have a night to remember. Host a late-night hangout in your school’s rec room. For admission, charge a few dollars per ticket to make a profit and secure a DJ for the night. Be sure to pick a creative theme to encourage everyone to have a great time!
Teen Art Exhibit
Students have a ton of talent when it comes to creating art. Ask your art department for student artists who would be willing to donate their time and talents to support their school. They’ll produce incredible pieces, and you’ll be able to attract community supporters who will buy beautiful artwork that goes to a good cause.
Trivia night fundraisers are an educational way to bring your school community together. Better yet, this is perfect for schools in a hybrid or virtual setting, too.
This trivia game could be general knowledge and hosted by grade level. All you need to do is pick a trivia platform and come up with a list of questions and categories. Announce the event well in advance to attract attendees, and raise money by charging a small participation fee.
When the weather warms up, students want to be outside in the fresh air with their friends. Field days are awesome for elementary and middle schoolers. Consider charging a small admission fee for kids to play games all day long! Some activities can include:
- Bounce houses
- Water games
- Carnival game booths.
Invite parents to volunteer and run concession stands and games, as well as a general donation booth for additional giving.
Easy School Fundraising Ideas
These school fundraisers are simple, straightforward, and don’t require arduous planning.
Simple to plan, cheap to organize, and easy to participate in, read-a-thons are an effortless online school fundraising program that work exceptionally well for young students who are actively developing their reading skills.
With the right read-a-thon platform, you can sign up for free, set up your fundraiser, and launch a multichannel marketing campaign in one sitting. Students will simply read (just like they’re already doing in class!), log their hours, and share their online donation pages to collect support from loved ones who are excited to see them read, learn, and grow.
A text-to-donate campaign is perfect for middle and high schoolers who are typically frequent phone users. It’s a low-effort way to get your students to contribute with a simple text. Just pick a keyword they can send to a dedicated mobile giving number, and you’ll be raising funds in no time.
Online Giving Challenge
These days, your students and staff are online for school and most meetings. Create a simple donation form that can be easily filled out and submitted on your site. Be sure to provide suggested donation amounts so everyone has an idea of what to contribute to your cause.
Toy Boat Race
This race is a creative, interactive, and exciting fundraising experience. First, form teams of students and supply them with materials to make boats. Make a competition out of which design can cross a body of water the fastest or hold the most weight.
Be sure to include the parents, too! A parents’ day is a fun event that brings your community’s parents together to support your school. All you have to do is offer childcare at your school after-hours, and give parents the option to join a parent-only dinner, or take the night themselves. Busy parents are willing to donate for a night out alone!
Unique School Fundraising Ideas
These school fundraising ideas are one-of-a-kind.
Date Night Fundraiser
Aside from after-school care, parents of younger students want time to go out to dinner together or spend a day child-free on the weekend. Choose an afternoon or night where teachers volunteer to supervise students to let the parents have time for themselves. Consider charging a flat fee or per hour to raise funding for your school.
Scavenger hunts are fairly simple to organize and are an exciting event for students of all ages. This is perfect for the first few weeks of class to help new students learn about your campus and make new friends.
Students can pay a registration fee per team and spend a few hours on their adventure around campus. Award a prize to the first team to find every item on the list or the team with the most clues found at the end of your event.
Pajama days were always the best days in school. Additionally, it’s the simplest for your planning team, too! There are no startup costs, and it’s super quick and easy to organize.
All you have to do is charge students $1 or $2 to wear pajamas to school for a full day. Make it an event by serving breakfast for lunch in the cafeteria, or hosting a movie day in class. Consider offering a prize to the class with the highest participation rate to boost engagement.
Younger students might see their principal as scary or strict, or they might view them as a superhero. Either way, this excellent fundraiser will help kids see the fun side of their principal and boost school spirit.
Collect donations from students to show your principal doing something silly like perform a dance or participate in a dunk tank. However, they’ll only complete the task after a lofty fundraising goal has been met!
Recipe Book Sale
Many PTA members have a dish they whip up for every event. Why not compile a collection of well-loved recipes in your school’s community? You might even ask the cafeteria staff about how to make some of the students’ favorites!
Sell the cookbook at school lunches, on your website, or in certain areas of your community to maximize fundraising efforts.
Tips for Successful School Fundraising Ideas
Put these essential best practices to use to maximize fundraising efforts for your school.
Gather parent input when selecting school fundraising ideas.
Consider forming an event committee of parents to help your school organize fundraisers throughout the year. This way, you’re able to have your finger on the pulse of what families will find effective and interesting when it comes to fundraisers.
To survey the parent committee, be sure to run multiple ideas by them, and implement a plan to receive feedback from attendees after the events. Having the opinions of your parents is crucial for any school fundraising event and will help the experience be more pleasant and profitable.
However, be specific when presenting to parents. You should narrow your potential school fundraising ideas down to two or three that you have researched and anticipate being a good fit for your school.
Plus, you’ll want to make sure to let the parents know why you are doing the school fundraiser. What do you need to raise money for? Your reasoning can look like this:
- Saving the parents money on a field trip
- Offsetting budget cuts
- Safer, newer equipment for students
Remember, your school fundraiser will be far more successful if you have the parents behind it, so ask for their input beforehand.
Get students excited about your school fundraising ideas.
Your students can be a great sales force for your school fundraiser. Students of any age can utilize their strengths so that they have more supporters donating more money.
Consider hosting a rally to get your students fired up about your school fundraiser. Make it fun and announce your event ideas to amp them up. Then, be sure to get their input on ways to make the school fundraiser even more exciting.
For example, if you are doing a discount card fundraiser, invite the students to share ideas for places they think they could sell a lot of discount cards. It’s also a great idea to create competition between different classrooms, grade levels, or individual fundraisers. Offering a small prize to the class or team that sells the most is always exciting for the students.
Choose easy-to-manage school fundraising ideas.
Although event fundraisers can be a lot of fun and raise funds, certain ideas can be a lot of work and require a lot of your involvement. This is especially true for elementary and middle school students. Be sure to consider their capabilities throughout. For example, an easy fundraiser for children could be a product sale done with their parents. A more challenging event can look like a gala for the older students and parents.
Track your progress with an online fundraising thermometer.
Fundraising thermometers are fantastic tools to help track the progress of nonprofit fundraising. They can help you by:
- Keeping track of your goals.
- Showing progress to donors.
- Encouraging donors to give.
ABC Fundraising offers a free fundraising thermometer that is programmed with the end goal and records the current funds that are raised. Your tool should include a catchy design and a clear fundraising goal, and display how much further your school has left to the goal.
Work with an established school fundraising company.
Here at ABC Fundraising®, we’ve worked with schools like yours to reach their goals and host exciting events. Since 1993, we’ve helped nonprofits raise over $50 million for their missions. Whether you’re looking for elementary school fundraisers, college group fundraisers, sports fundraisers, and everything in between, we can help your group raise money fast! We’re constantly developing new and unique fundraising products that can help our clients maximize their profits.
Market your fundraiser with direct mail.
Product-based fundraisers pair nicely with direct mail marketing. Reach out to supporters you can’t reach on foot with letters that explain your fundraiser and how each purchase helps. Then, include an order form, so supporters can contribute from the comfort of their homes.
Consider partnering with a direct mail service provider to get the best results. For example, direct mail service providers like GivingMail have decades of experience helping organizations like yours fundraise through direct mail. With their expertise, they’ll be able to answer any of your marketing questions, while also handling all of the administrative responsibilities of a direct mail campaign.
With the right ideas and tools, your school can host the most exciting and creative fundraisers possible. Make sure you’re picking the right plan for your students and parents and you’ll be good to go. Whichever you choose, be sure to advertise your fundraising efforts effectively to get everyone involved with your mission!
65+ Fundraising Ideas –Still not finding just the right idea for your fundraiser? Look no further than our guide of more than 100 ideas for your next event! No matter the mission, you’ll surely be able to find just the one for your school.
Prom Fundraisers –Hosting a prom can be extremely expensive for schools. Think of the cost of the DJ, food, venue, and more. Raise a good chunk of money beforehand to provide the most memorable and affordable night yet for your students!
Band Fundraisers – Chances are, your band will require funds to travel to a competition or show or purchase uniforms and equipment. Be sure your group is well-funded with these ideas.