43 School Fundraising Ideas – The Step By Step Guide Every School Needs


School fundraising ideas propel teachers and kids toward a more enriched educational opportunity. School fundraisers can be loads of fun not only for the children but also for the teachers. A fundraising event provides students with a large opportunity to bond with other students and learn to work together effectively.

Schools need funds for various reasons, such as to buy laboratory equipment, gym equipment, or supplies for the classroom and extracurricular activities. Schools have been organizing fundraisers for many years now, and they do it more often now that they have seen the results.

Proper planning is crucial for a successful fundraiser. You and your volunteers can lay down a detailed and structured plan to help you organize the event. Begin by planning the venue, date, time and promotion.

Choose the products you want to sell wisely and price them even more wisely. Consider if you need other resources or any decorations to attract the crowd. Promoting your event properly is very important. You need to make sure a lot of people, including the parents of the students, know what and when it is. Proper planning and then carrying out the plan diligently are crucial for a successful fundraiser.

Keeping that in mind, let us now check out a few ideas for fun fundraisers.

School Fundraising Ideas to Inspire You & Your Team into Action

Dress up

Dressing up as your favorite superhero or a movie character is always entertaining. Now you can use this to raise funds. Create a few groups of students, each with one participant. Now the group will dress up their participants as ‘Batman’ or ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ with the help of makeup. Let the participants stand in a line while the parents and visitors judge their costumes. They get to vote for their favorites by donating a few dollars in a jar kept in front of each participant. Reward the winning group for added motivation.

Dress Up the Teacher

This is a more fun alternative than the previous one. Organize a raffle with a specific goal. Get students and parents to participate. If the school reaches the set goal then the students get to vote to dress up the teachers or even the principal as their favorite characters.

Candy Bar Sale

You can get candy bars from companies that sell fundraising products for a reasonable price. Then let the students go from door to door with an adult, preferably to people they know, in an attempt to sell the most candy. Offer rewards to the top three sellers to keep the students motivated. At the end of the event calculate your earnings.

Balloon Games

There are several ways you can have fun with balloons. Place many (tons) balloons in your school gym or auditorium and have the visitors guess the number of balloons in the room. They will have to donate $1 or so to participate, and the closest guess gets to take home a prize.

Another fun idea is to fill some balloons with cash and others with candies or a slip of paper reading “good luck next time.” Now each participant will have to donate $1 to pop a balloon. If they are lucky, they get cash or candies. Otherwise, they can try again.

Catalog Sales

This is one of the most popular ways to raise funds. For this event, you can have groups of high school students go from door to door (in groups, preferably to homes of people they know) with catalogs and brochures. Potential supporters will complete the order form which the student will submit back at school.

Once the product arrives, the student delivers it to the respective customer and collects the payment. This is a very easy and reliable way to gather funds, but use safety tips.

Game Auctions

Do you have board games lying around in your house? Do you have computer games that you don’t play anymore? If you do, the best way to use them is to set up an auction to sell the games at low, affordable prices. The auction can be held in your school or even online.

Spread the word quickly so that more people get to know about the auction. Inform the buyers that their donations will go to the school to encourage them to donate more or often.

T-shirt Painting

The idea is to get many students to each paint a T-shirt to be put in the fundraiser auction.

For this, you will have to buy a lot of plain white tees and also plenty of non-toxic fabric paint. You’ll be able to find heavily discounted T-shirts with an online search.

Now you’ll have a T-shirt painting event where you’ll need to set up a stall where the participants can buy their T-shirt and paint items at affordable prices.

After they are done painting,  put the best T-shirts up for auction to collect more funds.

Another way to make this work is to have a blindfold paint-off where the participants donate a few dollars and can paint on a student’s shirt while being blindfolded.

You can also arrange a canvas shoe paint-off where the students decorate shoes with paints and markers. Then auction the best-looking shoes at affordable prices to the visitors.

Sack Hop

Gathers sacks from anywhere you can and then have the students decorate them as they wish. Hold a sack hop race in your school playground.

Participants will have to donate a dollar or two to participate in the race. The winner of the race gets attractive prizes like a painted shoe or T-shirt.

Dessert Day

Everybody loves desserts! What better way to collect funds than by selling desserts. There are many ways you can go about this. A simple way is to take the desserts for a trip around the school on a cart. Students will pay a small amount to enjoy the treats of their choice.

Another great way is to let small groups of students make their own desserts at home. You will provide the recipes and allot one dessert to each group.

They can go from door to door to sell the deserts they made or you can set up a yard sale for the treats on the school playground.

Easter Raffle

Bring a little more fun into Easter by having the students participate in a raffle contest. The students will have to sell as many raffle booklets as they can.

Whatever they earn by selling the booklets goes to the school donation box, and the top three students who can sell the most raffles will win attractive prizes.

You can also make plastic eggs and decorate them. Place either gifts or a piece of paper saying “nice try!” inside the eggs. Participants can buy as many eggs as they want for a dollar each to win prizes. The prize winners can pick up their prizes from the principal’s office.


Books are truly your best friends. Some students have many books at home. Ask the students to gather books that they no longer want.

Gather as many books as you can and clean or sew them up so that they look good. Then put a book sale behind your school and sell the books for low affordable prices. Advertise your book sale on social media or distribute flyers around your neighborhood to spread the word. You can also set up an online store to sell your books.

Flower Power

Get the best flowers from the gardens of students or anywhere you can manage. Make beautiful bouquets and have students go from door to door to sell the bouquets to willing supporters.

Each time someone wants to buy a bouquet, they will have to pay a small donation of their choice. Senior citizens should be your target customers as they are more than willing to spend a few dollars on a bouquet of beautiful flowers made by a school student.

A Day Off

Get permission from the school authorities first before you go ahead with this plan. Once you have the required permissions, organize a raffle contest. The student who collects the most donations by selling the raffle tickets will get one day off from school.

Or the student with the highest collection can be allowed to wear costumes to school for a day. Be imaginative and create fun rewards for the students to act as incentives.

The Special One

Another raffle contest where the students try to sell the most booklets they can. Price the booklets at $1 or $2. The student who sells the most booklets will be treated specially for a day at school.

He or she may get to sit on a couch in class instead of a chair. Or enjoy a free lunch or unlimited books from the library for a week. No homework for a week is great motivation for students to sell more raffle booklets.

Surprise Gifts

Who doesn’t love a surprise gift? On a special day like friendship day or Valentine’s Day, have the students pay to send flowers to their friends or loved ones as a special surprise. Make a spreadsheet where students will put their names and the recipient of the flowers. 

Then have them pay for each flower they want to send. Using the money collected, go and buy the flowers from a wholesaler at wholesale prices. Once you have the flowers, get someone to dress up and deliver them to the right people. This idea not only raises funds but also brings joy to the recipients.

Fun in the Sun

Organize a pool party for your friends and teenagers who will enjoy a host of fun activities like volleyball, water games, and many more such interesting games that young boys and girls can participate in. Your collections will come from the nominal entry fee that you will charge those who want to take part in your party.

You can also set up low-cost drinks and snack areas to earn a few more dollars for your cause. Keep a special place for the parents to relax and chat with a beverage in hand. Keep it fun for everyone, and you are sure to be successful in collecting funds.

Good Grades

A great way to get the students to score good grades and raise funds along the way is one of the best ideas.

For this, all you need is to create a pledge sheet. Students will approach donors who will pledge to donate a particular sum of money for each ‘A’ or ‘B.’ The higher the grade, the higher the donation. This ensures that students put extra effort into their studies to get good grades, as good grades mean more funds. The donors will also be encouraged to donate as they are doing so based on the student’s performance.

Bumper Stickers

Make your own bumper stickers with the name of your school, school mascot, sports logo or funny sayings. Visit websites such as CafePress where you can try their print-on-demand service to design and purchase stickers in bulk at low prices. Then go from door to door trying to sell the stickers.

If you can’t find buyers for your stickers, then opt for badges, caps, or fridge magnets. Use logos of popular football teams, Hogwarts house or Game of Thrones as designs for your merchandise. Popular pop culture icons are a great draw as well as bands or album cover art.

Consider holding a contest for the best bumper sticker saying. This is a great way to get something super clever that will give your school much brand awareness.

Jail and Bail

Set up a fun game for the students to participate in and collect funds in the process. All you have to do is set up a fake jail cell. Students will donate to have a friend put in a jail cell.

Then another student will have to pay bail for the jailed student. This is a great setup to have fun with friends while collecting a good amount from the event.

Online Fundraisers

The Internet is full of opportunities. Organizing a fundraiser online is one of its many uses. Online fundraisers are easy to organize and promote. Create a link to your school’s website or the website of the company hosting your fundraiser.

Donors can directly visit the site to learn about the cause and decide whether they’ll donate money. Once they are aware of the cause, they can donate directly to the school website or to the hosting company. This ensures the smooth collection of funds and also saves a lot of time and effort.

The Internet can also be used to set up online auctions where donors can bid on products that they can purchase. You can also use social media platforms for advertising your fundraising campaign. CharityAuctionsToday offers an easy-to-use auction platform.

The secure payment option is also an added bonus so that donors feel safe making fraud-free donations.

Kid’s Cookbook

Get the students to gather their favorite recipes with the help of their parents. Gather all the recipes in one place and take them to a publishing company to have them printed. Alternatively, you can visit a print-on-demand website such as CafePress (which requires no payment upfront), and you can order as many copies as you need.

Determine the price you want to set for the recipe book and start taking orders ahead of time. Make plenty of copies and keep a few of them stored away for those last-minute demands and prosperity.

This is yet another project where you can have a student contest for the book’s cover design.

Karaoke Contest

Hold a karaoke contest in the school auditorium where students, teachers, and parents can perform. Offer prizes to the best and also the worst competitor.

Participants will pay a small participation fee, and visitors will have to pay a small entry charge. Add a beverage and snack stand for the visitors, charging a nominal amount for the refreshments.

Tree of Gifts

Pass around envelopes to students and ask them to put anything in the envelope, like candy, money, a poem, a drawing, or anything that comes to mind, as long as it embraces the grace and gratitude of Christmas.

Decorate a Christmas tree with all the envelopes. Once they are on the tree, have teachers, students or even parents pay a donation to select an envelope. They will receive the thoughtful ‘gift’ tucked inside the envelope they select.

Musical Instrument Sale

This is a win-win for everyone. Many parents can’t afford to buy instruments for their kids. And students struggle coming up with the money to by instruments for their band classes or practice.

You can auction musical instruments starting at affordable prices, keeping in mind the interest of the parents. This auction helps to raise funds while generating a good case of  donor feel-goods for donating their no longer needed instruments that could change a student’s life path. 

Passing Notes

Passing notes in class is a very appealing yet dangerous business for the untrained. Getting caught by the teacher while passing a note is something we all dealt with some time in our school career. What if you could pass notes without the teacher being able to confiscate it, read it to the class, or punish you?

Create stationery with a watermark, special seal, or logo on it to indicate any note written on it has immunity from teachers. Or have a special stamp made that can’t be replicated by the class artists and stamp a stack of note paper. Students will pay for the immunity stamp so that they can pass notes to their classmates without having to fear the teacher.

This is great way to add funds to your campaign AND keep it fun for the students.


Going on a spouse date with your spouse these days can be costly. Add the $10 to $20 per hour for a baby sitter (depending on how many kids they have) and the couple may need to dip into their savings!

Here’s a great idea that will make parents with babysitting-age children elated!  Get a handful of experienced and recommended senior babysitters available to care for young kids at a reduced hourly rate so parents can have a date night without breaking the bank.

Consider making the babysitters available on Friday night during the fundraising month—call them the Friday Night Sitters Club!

This way, parents can go out and enjoy some alone time without worrying about the kids and the pricey babysitting rates they are used to paying.  The cherry on top is that the babysitting money collected goes to a charitable cause. 

Parents vs. Kids

Isn’t every day parents vs kids? Ha ha.

Nothing can be more fun for kids than competing against their parents or other adults and winning! 

Hold a picnic in your school, replete with competitive events such as races, mini-golf, sack hops, corn hole, horseshoes, a good game of HORSE or any competition you’d like. 

Participants will pay a fee for each event. Have the kids go up against their parents for a day of fun and frolic.

Supplement the fundraising with a beverage and snack table, too.

Pet Beauty Pageant

OMG, do people ever love their pets! In North America, we love our pets so much that in 2021. Emergen Research stated pet owners spent just over 2 billion dollars on pet apparel!

Time to have a pet beauty pageant! People will pay big money to see a room full of perfectly dressed cats, dogs, ferrets, and whatever, right?
All you have to do is organize the Pretty Pet Pageant for the pets of students, teachers, or other participants you’d care to include. You might even try to get a local pet store to sponsor the pageant.

Make several competitive categories such as best dressed, worst dressed, best fur style, funniest dress, best shoes, most athletic, and so on. Keep prizes for each category. Students,  teachers and even neighbors can register their pets for the pageant by paying an entrance fee.

Be sure to select prizes to honor the winners, and consider inviting the media to the event so they can cover the pets accept their prizes. If you have a school newspaper, invite them!

Recycling Drive

This is an effective way to  collect funds while teaching young kids the importance of recycling and a clean environment.

Identify the recyclables that your city does not pick up. Have students visit residents near the school or in their neighborhood to collect recyclable materials that your city does not recycle.

Turn the collected recyclables over to the nearest recycling center for cash.

Talent Show

Organize a talent show in your school for students and teachers alike. Invite the parents and other visitors. Charge an entrance fee and let the attendees know these fees will be going to the school fund. Donations accepted!


Questions? Contact us now!
📞 844-234-2335 Mon-Fri 8am – 9pm CST
✉️ support@charityauctionstoday.com