Creative Fundraising Ideas

The following article is taken from ‘s article, 71 Fast Fundraising Ideas for Schools.

It may be the summertime, but many are already thinking ahead to the back-to-school season – and that includes school fundraisers! Whether it’s students raising money for a trip or parent-teacher committees fundraising to hold an event, there are a ton of ways that students, teachers and parents alike can raise money for a good cause. There’s no better way to instill a passion for charity than by giving students fundraising ideas – and that goes for students of all ages.

Here are just a few ideas!

  • Chess-a-thon: There’s no sweating required when it’s a tournament of strategy and skill! A chess-a-thon is a fun, retro way to introduce students to a classic game. And when it’s as easy to set up as booking space in a gym or a library, you won’t have to worry about the weather. Check out how Bateman Elementary used a tournament to raise money for their chess team!
  • Color run: You’ve seen the cool pictures on Instagram, so why not host your own at your school? Kids from kindergarten to college will love the idea of racing a distance wearing white t-shirts, getting splattered with colored powder at set intervals. A fun idea is to offer “upgrade” options for a small donation – for instance, goggles or white sweatbands! Color runs take a typical 5K to a trendier next level, and the low cost of chalk makes the transition effortless.
  • 50/50 draws: Low effort to set up with maximum impact! A 50/50 draw is a simple lottery system (the monetary prize is 50% of how much money is raised) that can work as a standalone fundraiser or as something supplementary to another event. The more people that participate, the more money that gets raised for charity – plus the jackpot becomes even higher.
  • Recycling for a cause: Raise money (and help the environment) based on how many pieces of recycling that students contribute. Not only does this help raise money for a worthy cause, but it also teaches kids about the value of recycling and environmental preservation. Teachers can use this as a learning experience to show students how to properly recycle items as well as what items can have a longer lifespan (recycling containers as flower pots to sell seedlings, maybe?).
  • Trivia competition: Think of the fun you’ll have coming up with challenging questions – they can even be related to your school and its history! For universities and colleges, get your alumni involved so they can show off their love for their school, faculty, and department. For elementary and high schools, separate your list of questions by grade and difficulty level. As teams fundraise, they can earn “phone a friend” privileges at certain incentive levels.
  • Bingo night: The best part of bingo is that everyone already knows how to play it. You can sneak bingo sessions in during lunch hour, before or after school – any time that you have space and willing participants. So much of the fun of bingo is listening to the bingo caller, so find your most outgoing and personable students and give them a shot at reading the numbers: Winner winner, chicken dinner!
  • Movie night: Who needs to go to the theatre when you can host a movie night on school property or on campus? Better yet, all the proceeds can go to a good cause. Pick a popular movie – make sure to keep it age-appropriate depending on your audience! – and sell tickets to students and staff. Set up a concessions stand (or maybe incorporate a bake sale?) and raise extra money by selling popcorn, drinks and delicious snacks.
  • School garage sale: Need to get rid of a few things around the house? Whether it’s spring cleaning or just an annual cleanup, having a garage sale – but at school or on campus – is a fun way to earn money while jettisoning various items. Have students (and especially teachers or parents) bring in unwanted goods to sell, with all the proceeds going to charity. Open the sale up to the community as well – you could raise even more money and make even stronger connections.
  • Restaurant proceeds night: Find a local restaurant that will give back a certain percentage of its proceeds on a particular date. Your school can help promote the night by deploying your students to spread the word with pictures and video on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter! The restaurants will appreciate the social boost, and others in your community will want to put together their own night to benefit your school.

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