14 Creative School Fundraising Ideas

Looking for the perfect fundraising idea for your school? Here's a list of 14 school fundraising ideas you could consider for your next fundraising need!
School Fundraising Ideas

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Does your school have a well-planned fundraising strategy? Fundraising is not just beneficial to your school for revenue purposes - it is much bigger than that.

Yes, you are able to raise more money for your school through fundraising, but fundraising is also a significant way your school can get involved with local communities, create a sense of unity, allow your parents to play a more active role in their children’s lives, and instill important values of generosity and teamwork in your students.

And the best part? Fundraising can allow you to do all that while having fun!

In this blog post, I have come up with a list of 14 effective and fun school fundraising ideas that you can implement in your fundraising strategy.

Let’s get started!

1. Host a school festival fundraiser

School fundraising ideas - host a school festival fundraiser

Get your community involved by hosting a festival fundraiser!

For example, your school can throw a fall festival. You can set up stations where people can enjoy fall-inspired activities by purchasing carnival tickets.

Here are several fun fall festival ideas you can consider:

  • Candy corn spoon race
  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Pie-eating contest
  • Sack race
  • Tug of war
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Mummy wrap
  • Trail mix, caramel apple, and s’mores stations
  • Pumpkin patch
  • Hayrides
  • Trunk or treat

These festival fundraisers are great for fundraising purposes, but also for giving back to the community.

If your school is located in an area where events like these do not happen very often, this is a perfect opportunity to serve your community!

2. Partner with a local chef to host a virtual cooking class

School fundraising ideas - host a cooking class

Reach out to a local restaurant, cooking school, or someone in your staff that is an excellent cook, and ask them if they would like to donate an hour of their time.

During this event, the designated chef would provide step-by-step instructions on how to create an amazing dish.

Once the chef is picked, sell the tickets for this event, and set up a way for people to pick up the necessary ingredients (or create a list of ingredients people should purchase from the grocery store before the event).

This fundraising idea can be targeted towards parents (with more complex recipes), students (with easier recipes), or both parents and students (with recipes that involve teamwork).

3. Hold a bake sale fundraiser

School fundraising ideas - bake sale fundraiser

You can’t have a complete school fundraising list without including the widely enjoyed staple of school fundraising: bake sales!

You can hold bake sale fundraisers in a couple different ways.

The first way, and probably the least-time consuming way, is to partner with a local bakery and share the proceeds from a designed time window.

The second way is to come up with a team of volunteers, create a menu of baked goods, bake the delicious treats, and then sell those treats at a designated time and location.

Another way to do this is to do a virtual bake sale. Create an online form where people can order their preferred baked goods. Then, on a particular day and time window, your supporters can pick up their baked goods at your school.

→ Learn 8 strategies on how to raise awareness for your nonprofit!

4. Run a text to give campaign

School fundraising ideas - run a text to give campaign

Text to give is one of the easiest ways for your donors to give to your school because your donors can support your school from anywhere and anytime.

All they have to do is text a keyword to a specific number and then start the donation process!

This is how you can set up a text to give campaign at your school. First, find a text to give platform, or an online giving platform that includes this feature. P.S. Anedot includes text to give for free!

Then, create a customized keyword that is unique to your school. For example, you can use the name of your school mascot (i.e. WILDCATS) as your keyword.

Then, display the keyword and phone number on all your social media channels, staff email signatures, and on your school website.

Remember, the easier you make the giving process, the more likely people will donate to your school.

5. Throw an in-person or virtual fundraiser concert

School fundraising ideas - throw a concert

Ask local musicians to see if they would be interested in donating their time to support your school. Or, you can ask your school’s music department to see if anyone would like to get involved.

You can set up a fundraising concert in two ways: in-person or online.

If you choose to go the online route, set a ticket price and send a private video link to those who purchased a ticket.

Or, you can make it purely donation based. You can go live on social media with your virtual fundraising concert and set up an online donation link where people can donate to your school at any time during the concert.

Pro-tip: This would be the perfect time to whip out your text to give keyword and phone number. You can include the keyword and phone number at the bottom of the livestream video during the entire duration of the concert!

6. Host a virtual arts and crafts class led by a local artist

School fundraising ideas - virtual arts and crafts class

Ask your school art department or a local artist to host a virtual arts and crafts class.

Just like the virtual cooking class, you can set up pickup time windows at your school so that people can come and pick up the necessary supplies to participate in this event!

This event can be targeted towards parents (a “painting with a twist” type of event, crocheting, etc.) or towards students (an easy and fun craft activity).

You do not have to limit yourself to just arts and crafts classes! Feel free to get creative with the types of classes you can offer (i.e. yoga, photography, gardening, woodworking, knitting, etc.)

→ Check out our list on our favorite online university fundraising experiences!

7. Raise money with custom apparel

School fundraising ideas - sell custom apparel

Sell t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, hats, and other apparel to raise money for your school!

You can take this to the next level by holding a design contest where your students can submit their own designs for this fundraiser.

But don’t just limit it to just the students! You can also hold a design contest for your staff members as well.

This type of fundraiser works school-wide, but it also works within school clubs as well. For example, your school dance team can raise money by selling their own t-shirts with their own design.

They can even personalize the t-shirt even further by including the names of the students in the dance team on the back of the shirt.

8. Sell raffle tickets for prizes

School fundraising ideas - sell raffle tickets

Host an event where people can come and purchase raffle tickets to win big items like gift cards, TVs, and other cool prizes.

You can even ask members of your community to donate lightly used big items like laptops, guitars, and other desired items.

Or, you can ask surrounding local companies if they would like to donate good raffle prizes.

If this fundraising idea is done correctly, it has the potential to raise a lot of money for your school in a very short span of time.

9. Use faculty “punishments” as motivation to raise money

School fundraising ideas - faculty punishments

When I was in school, this was one of my favorite types of fundraisers. For many students, seeing their beloved principal or teacher getting publicly humiliated is a huge source of motivation to meet fundraising goals.

Offering this type of fundraising incentive makes your fundraiser exciting, increases participation, keeps the overall operating costs low, and teaches your students about goal setting and teamwork.

You can set up this fun fundraiser in a tiered fashion. The more your school raises, the crazier the punishment becomes for certain staff members.

The incentives can be pieing your principal, dyeing a staff member’s hair to a funky color, kissing a pig, getting dunked in a dunk tank, and more. The possibilities are endless!

→ Learn the best practices on how to ask for donations!

10. Give mom and dad a break with a parent’s night out fundraiser

School fundraising ideas - parents night out fundraiser

Host a date night fundraiser to give parents some time away from their kids.

One idea would be to invite families to your school during the evening. Then, escort parents to the school cafeteria for a movie and popcorn night, and escort students to grade level classrooms for fun activities.

You can charge money for a pair of tickets, plus popcorn. And if families want to bring more family members, you can charge a couple dollars more for each additional family member.

11. Partner with a local restaurant to raise money

School fundraising ideas - local restaurant partnership

Support your favorite local restaurants and food trucks, all in the while raising money for your school.

Many restaurants offer various fundraising programs such as allowing teachers to work as servers or giving back a large percent of total restaurant sales for a given time frame.

12. Raise money while watching a movie

School fundraising ideas - movie night

Pick a popular movie and bring the movie theater to your school! To complete the movie theater experience, you can include popcorn or some other snacks to the price of the admission ticket.

Going off of that idea, you can even add extra fundraising opportunities to this event by adding a bake sale, ice cream social, or a snack bar to this event.

You can also host a movie night fundraiser virtually. You can set up a virtual movie night by using a platform like Teleparty!

→ Learn about the five ways schools and universities can use QR codes in higher education marketing!

13. Host a video game tournament fundraiser

School fundraising ideas - video game tournament

You can set up a video game tournament fundraiser where it’s individual-based, like playing games like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart, or team-based, like playing games like Fortnite and League of Legends.

Supporters can enter the tournament by paying an admission fee and then they can have a fun time competing against each other, all the while supporting your school! Remember to bring prizes for the winners!

14. Have students perform at a talent show

School fundraising ideas - talent show

Even though this fundraising idea may involve a lot of planning, it is a type of fundraiser that can get a variety of students, parents, and community members more involved with your school.

You can set up this talent show fundraiser in two ways: competition or showcase.

With a competition talent show, you will need a panel of judges, a criteria for judging, and prizes for the winners.

With a showcase talent show, your students can perform for fun!

This fundraiser will give your students a chance to highlight their skills and build their confidence.

Closing thoughts

School fundraising ideas

I hope this list of school fundraising ideas have helped you come up with some good ideas for your school fundraising strategy.

One of the best ways to fundraise for your school and to have an effective fundraising strategy is to implement an online giving solution.

Online donation pages allow anyone to donate from anywhere. With just a couple minutes and a couple clicks of buttons, someone can make a quick and easy donation to your school.

If you’re thinking about switching your online giving platform, or if you do not currently utilize an online giving platform, consider Anedot!

On our platform, you can build beautiful landing pages that can be customized to your school’s branding, set up multiple funds on your donation forms, and so much more!

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80 Community Service Ideas for Nonprofits

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