School Fundraising Ideas: 17 Ideas to Support Your Students

Check out these school fundraising ideas that will help support your students!

The kids and teens in your schools deserve to have additional opportunities for enrichment and excitement outside of the classroom. This is a simple fact that all educators agree on. But the reality of implementing extracurricular programs and activities in which students can become involved is not so simple.

Every program, activity, or event that your school organizes and executes requires additional time and resources that can be very costly for your school. But don’t get discouraged!

There are plenty of easy, fun, and unique school fundraising ideas that you can implement to help support the programs that your students love and look forward to. Your school is sure to raise enough money to create an excellent extracurricular calendar for all students when you choose a fundraising idea from one of the following categories:

When you execute one of the following fundraising ideas for schools you will be one step closer to providing your students with the opportunities they need to thrive. Let’s dive in!

Crowdfunding is the most rewarding school fundraising idea!

Our #1 Idea: Crowdfunding Sites for Schools

The best fundraising idea for schools is crowdfunding, hands down. This is an easy way to raise money and awareness for your school online. The process is simple:

  • Step 1: Your school picks its preferred crowdfunding platform.
  • Step 2: Set up your campaign and set your goals.
  • Step 3: Promote your campaign on your website and social media.
  • Step 4: Keep an eye on your campaign’s progress and adjust your strategy as needed.
  • Step 5: Thank each supporter for their donations and encourage them to share your campaign with their social networks.

If you are new to the idea of crowdfunding and don’t know which crowdfunding site for schools is best for you, here are some of the best options:

Fundly supports your school fundraising ideas with its powerful social sharing capabilities!Fundly. Fundly is a favorite among schools for its social sharing capabilities.  This platform stresses the importance of storytelling, both visually and through frequently posted updates, in a successful crowdfunding campaign. With a blog-like feel, you can easily keep your friends and family informed and rake in more donations in no time!

 

This school fundraising idea allows you to offer your supporters an incentive in the form of branded merch. Bonfire. Bonfire is a popular crowdfunding platform because it allows you to provide something to your supporters in return for their donation. Bonfire is a t-shirt design platform that allows you to create custom t-shirts for your school and sell them to your students and community members. This will not only raise money for your school, but everyone wearing your shirts will also be promoting your school’s programs and activities!

This school fundraising idea will help your school raise money online. Donate Kindly. Donate Kindly is a free year-round giving tool specifically designed with schools in mind. You can easily set up a crowdfunding campaign that can be seamlessly incorporated into your website or promoted on social media. This platform is effective because the crowdfunding campaign links will then take individuals to the donation tools hosted on your own website rather than to a third-party site.

This school fundraising idea provides supplies directly to your school!DonorsChoose. DonorsChoose allows teachers and public schools to create crowdfunding campaigns to money for school necessities, such as educational supplies, equipment, and any other materials needed to run their classrooms. Individuals can donate toward the purchase of a specific item that DonorsChoose will then purchase and send directly to the school.

Let your community support your school with this school fundraising idea!Deposit a Gift. Deposit a Gift boasts its ability to be personalized for your specific school. With plenty of fonts, colors, and backgrounds, you can design your webpage to be unique and exciting—increasing the likelihood that your campaign catches someone’s eye and inspires them to donate!

 

These crowdfunding sites for schools will help you seamlessly integrate crowdfunding into your school’s fundraising strategy without adding a ton of extra stress or work for your administrative team. However, no matter which fundraising idea you choose, find out if your school is eligible for matching gifts and promote it to your supporters. Matching gift programs tap into corporate philanthropy and can effectively double any donation made by an eligible individual to your school. This will enhance your school's ability to engage its students and continue offering the programs and activities they love. 

Check out these other favorite school fundraising ideas!

Other Favorite Fundraising Ideas for Schools

A running shoe drive fundraiser is the best school fundraising idea for schools with popular sporting events.

Running shoe drive fundraiser

Cost: Free to 💲A running shoe drive fundraiser is the perfect school fundraising idea to add to any sporting event!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

A running shoe drive fundraiser is the perfect addition to any of your school’s athletic events. Sneakers4Funds, a running shoe drive fundraising company, can help you easily accomplish this fundraiser The process is simple:

  • Step 1: Collect gently worn, used, and new running shoes from students, parents, faculty, and community members.
  • Step 2: Fill a pre-paid shipping bag provided by Sneakers4Funds with 10-15 pairs of sneakers.
  • Step 3: Ship the shoes from your nearest UPS location to the Sneakers4Funds warehouse.
  • Step 4: Enjoy your check!

This fundraising idea can easily be included in any fundraising event. Consider hosting a running shoe drive at one of your football or basketball games. But, make sure to promote the event in your wider community—a running shoe drive will not only raise money for your school, but it will also bring more people to your school’s important events.

This school fundraising idea wThis school fundraising idea will get everyone involved!

Walk-a-thonThis school fundraising idea will get people active and involved!

Cost: Free to 💲

Level of difficulty: ⚫⚫

Potential: +++

A walk-a-thon is perhaps the most popular fundraising event idea for schools because it is so easy and fun for all involved. Walk-a-thons are a great way to get all members of your school to participate in raising funds for your school.

Host a walk-a-thon as your next school fundraising idea with the Host a walk-a-thon as your next school fundraising idea with the help of 99Pledges. When you use a tool like 99Pledges, students, teachers, faculty, and any other interested community member can create and share their customized fundraising page asking for pledges or donations for their part in your walk-a-thon. Friends and family members can contribute to their campaign no matter where they are located. The social aspect of this fundraiser will increase your school’s fundraising capacity and help you hit your fundraising goals.

This school fundraising idea will appeal to people of all ages!

Charity Auction

Cost: 💲💲

Level of difficulty: ⚫⚫⚫

Potential: +++

Host a charity auction as your next school fundraising idea with the help of OneCause.If your school wants to host an event that both parents and kids will love, consider hosting an auction with items that everyone will enjoy. While this fundraising idea takes a little more effort to execute, with the help of the OneCause school auction guide you will easily be able to facilitate an excellent auction and reap the rewards for your school.

To appeal to your students, consider auctioning items like:

  • A get out of homework free pass.
  • A casual dress pass.
  • An extra 30 minutes of recess.

While students will clamor over those ideas, you should also offer options for parents and teachers that will likely bring in the majority of your profit. These may include:

  • A spa package.
  • A meal in a nice restaurant.
  • A weekend trip.

With this fundraising idea, your school can host a fun event for all ages while raking in more funds for all your favorite programs.

This school fundraising idea will showcase your students' creativity and knowledge!

Diorama Contest

Cost: FreeThis school fundraising idea allows you to get creative!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: ++

Let your students get creative with this fundraising idea for schools! Each class in your school can create a diorama depicting a topic they have learned about over the course of the year. You can then host an event where parents, friends, and community members can come and vote for their favorites.

This is a great way to show people what your students have learned while also encouraging them to be creative in their interpretations. You can raise money at this event by:

  • Charging an admission fee.
  • Selling concessions.
  • Allowing people to cast votes by donating a dollar to their favorite diorama.

Parents will love seeing the hard work of their kids, and the students will be excited to root for their own diorama—which may, in turn, wind up encouraging more donations!

This fundraising idea will provide your students and their parents with a fun keepsake.

School Calendar

Cost: 💲Provide a keepsake for your students and their parents with this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫⚫

Potential: +++

A fun twist on a school yearbook, try creating and selling a school calendar that depicts the highlights of your school year! Each month can be a collage of pictures that depicts as many students as possible. Students will love seeing their pictures included on the calendar and parents will definitely want to purchase it as a keepsake.

Depending on your school’s grade level, the events you choose to include may differ but some examples include:

  • The school dance (e.g. Homecoming, Prom, Sadie Hawkins, Decade Dance, etc.).
  • Field day.
  • School plays.
  • Choral and band concerts.
  • Sporting events.  

This fundraiser will capture important moments and allow parents and students a chance to cherish those moments for the next calendar year!

Check out these unique school fundraising ideas.

Unique School Fundraisers

Get creative with this school fundraising idea!

Viral Video Challenge

Cost: FreeEnlist your film students for this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

Many people don’t realize how that schools rely on supplemental funds from fundraising campaigns to produce the programs and activities that students enjoy. This fundraising idea aims at correcting this problem. Recruit interested students and teachers to help you brainstorm some fun ideas for a school promotional video.

The participants can write a script, film and edit the piece, and promote it in your community. If your school has a film club, this might be the perfect chance to include them in your fundraising. Share the video as much as possible on your social media pages and encourage students, parents, and teachers to do the same.

Don’t forget to include in the video any important information about how they can donate to your school or become involved in your upcoming fundraising events.

Change it up from the norm with this school fundraising idea!

Character Day

Cost: FreeLet your students dress up as their favorite characters with this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: ++

If you are like most schools, you have a dress code policy that forbids distracting clothing. However, this fundraising idea for schools gives your students the chance to break this rule for one day only. Allow your students to purchase a dress code pass for a school-wide character day.

Your students can dress up as their favorite characters from books, movies, tv shows, comics, etc. Students will love the chance to dress up as their favorite character and as an extra incentive, you can allow students to enter into a costume contest where people can vote for the best/most accurate character costume.

Showcase your students' trivia knowledge with this school fundraising idea!

Trivia CompetitionShowcase your students' trivia knowledge with this school fundraising idea!

Cost: Free

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: ++

Everyone loves showing off the random, obscure knowledge they have learned over the years. This idea allows students to enter into a trivia competition that can put their knowledge to the test. This school fundraising idea is best for middle and high school students.

Organize participants into teams and have a staff member prompting them with questions. Allow the team to ring in with buzzers, perhaps borrowed from your school’s quiz bowl team. Your staff can sell tickets to view the competition as well as require an entrance fee from all competing teams to boost your funds!

Worm charming is just strange enough to be an appealing school fundraising idea!

Worm Charming

Cost: FreeEmbrace the oddity of this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫⚫

Potential: ++

This idea may sound strange, but that's exactly why students will love it! How many people can say they have been worm charming, or worm grunting, in their lives? All you need is a little plot of land and some garden forks.

Divide up the plot of land into equal segments and sell these squares to students, families, classes, etc. The participants will strike the ground with the garden forks, the vibrations from which will cause worms to come to the surface. The goal is to see who can collect the most works in a specific amount of time. The absurd nature of this challenge is sure to bring curious individuals to the forefront to see who will become the worm charming champion.

Encourage your principal to embrace this daring school fundraising idea!

Principal Challenge

Cost: FreeDare your principal to participate in this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

What student hasn’t wanted to dare their principal to do something wacky and funny? This school fundraising idea will allow your school’s principal to engage better with the students while completing their challenge. The principal and school staff should come up with some fun challenges that the principal can complete—all ideas should be approved by the principal, of course! These challenges can include:

  • Shaving your head.
  • Coloring your hair.
  • Getting pied in the face.

The student body can then donate money to vote for the challenge they want the principal to actually do and the idea with the most money must be completed within a week. This fundraising idea is a great opportunity for the principal to demonstrate how much they care for their school by helping your fundraising campaign!

Entertain your school with this school fundraising idea!

Clown Show

Cost: FreeEmbrace your fears with this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

For years, clowns have attended children’s birthday parties and entertained young children, but now it is time for the kids to take the reigns. Host a clown show at your school that allows students to perform as clowns for an audience and panel of judges which will decide who was the best clown.

Encourage your students to embrace the various types of clowns (i.e. happy clown, angry clown, sad clown) and entertain their fellow classmates, parents, and teachers. You can sell admission tickets for this and open it up to the wider community because this is something people are going to want to see!

These school fundraising ideas are both cheap and easy!

Easy and Cheap School Fundraising Ideas

Allow your students to dress down with this school fundraising idea!

Casual Friday

Cost: FreeLet students break the dress code with this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

Most students who have to wear uniforms wind up resenting them at some point—those of us who went to private schools can attest to this—so you should give your students an opportunity to dress casually for a day. All you need to do is sell a pass, wristband, or sticker that people can have on themselves to indicate they are able to dress down!

Clothes and jewelry are how we express ourselves and are an important aspect of how we view ourselves in relation to the world. Students and teachers will jump at the chance to get out of their uniforms and formal dress for a day and show off their fashionable selves!

Try this tried-and-true school fundraising idea!

Jellybean Jar

Cost: Free to 💲This school fundraising idea is a classic!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: ++

A tried-and-true fundraising method, a jellybean jar guessing game is guaranteed to bring in extra funds to your school! The premise is simple—all you need to do is fill a jar with jelly beans and allow people to pay to guess the number of candies in the jar.

While this may seem like an uninspiring fundraiser, competition can get heated as people attempt to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar. To create additional excitement, host an event to reveal the count, but make sure to accept last minute guesses to ensure everyone has had the opportunity to participate in your fundraiser! Don’t forget to have a small prize for the winner!

Try out a movie night for your next school fundraising idea!

Movie Night

Cost: Free to 💲Movie night is a great school fundraising idea for any grade!

Level of difficulty: ⚫⚫

Potential: ++

Give your students a chance to see a fun movie with their friends, all while raising money for their school! Most people adore going to the movies. From eating popcorn to drinking slushies out of giant cups to seeing a new movie, kids and teens are always eager to participate in a movie-going experience.

Host a movie night in your gym or theater where students can purchase movie tickets and concessions. As an extra fundraising bonus, you can allow your students to cast votes for which movie they would like to see by donating a dollar to their favorite choice!

This school fundraising idea can easily raise money in no time!

Penny War

Cost: FreePennies can really add up in this school fundraising idea!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

In the true spirit of friendly competition, this school fundraising idea pits classes against each other to see who can collect the most pennies. However, there is a twist. Students can put dollar bills into the penny buckets of other classes to subtract from their total. This means the class has to donate a hundred pennies just to catch up to their previous total!

Pennies may not seem like much, but trust me when I tell you that they can really add up! Students—and teachers—have the tendency to get quite invested in the outcome, especially if you offer a prize to the winning class! Consider offering a pizza party or extra recess for students if they raise the most money.

Get sporty with this school fundraising idea!

Free Throw Challenge

Cost: Free to 💲This school fundraising idea is great for your athletic students and staff!

Level of difficulty: ⚫

Potential: +++

Despite the name, this fundraising idea is not limited to basketball players and sports enthusiasts. Everyone can have a chance to participate in this competition and be crowned the free throw champion.

Each student, teacher, and faculty member at your school should have to opportunity to enter your free throw competition, for a small fee. Participants can then take turns to see how many free throws they are able to make in a row. The individual who can complete the most consecutive, successful free throws wins! No matter who wins, your school will have raised a considerable amount of money!


Sometimes it can seem as though you will never be able to raise the proper amount of funds you need to support the programs, events, and activities that your students deserve. However, with these amazing fundraising ideas for schools, you will surely be able to raise more funds and keep providing your students with the additional enrichment that they need.


Additional Resources for School Fundraising Ideas

Custom School Shirts: Design School Spirit Tees in 5 Easy Steps with Bonfire. Want a fun, easy way to raise money, and awareness for your school? Click here to see how you can make school shirts with Bonfire!

School Software: Essential Tools Your School Program Needs. Need a school software that will help you fundraise? Read this post about school software to see if its right for you!

Penny Socials: 10 Steps for Success.  Learn how to successfully organize and execute a penny social with this comprehensive guide!

 

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