School Fundraising Ideas
Stuck for school fundraising ideas for younger children? There are lots of commercial fundraising products available but if you'd prefer a free and fun way of raising money for your school we've put some ideas together to help you.
Most schools have very set routines and by charging students a small fee to participate in event days you've got a ready-made fundraising activity. If your students wear a uniform have a no-uniform day when students pay a small donation to wear their own clothes. Organise a pajama day and let pupils pay to wear their pajamas to class. Or organise a funny hat day, face-painting day or theme day. For younger children these group events are often more fun and less competitive than individual activities. Other options include sponsored school skip-athons, dance-athons or swim-athons or sponsored walks or cycles.
Family events such as an afternoon barbecue or fancy-dress tea-party can be great fun and motivate parents and local supporters to get involved. You can ask parents to make goodies, charge a small entrance fee and give a prize for best costume. You could also try an alternative sports day where students, parents and teachers compete. Automatically enter everyone in each race for which they pay a small fee. Unwilling adults can make a larger donation to opt out of races.
Another fun and easy school fundraising idea is to organise is a duck race. Buy a large number of rubber ducks, number them with waterproof markers and sell one to each student and parent. On the day of the event empty them over a bridge into a local river and award a prize to the owner of the first duck to arrive at an agreed destination. Be sure to place a net downstream to collect all the ducks and have a few volunteers to pick up any stragglers from the river banks.
Treasure hunts are also a good idea and can be tailored to the age of the students taking part. They can also be linked to classroom activities such as history, geography and road-safety lessons. Have a few volunteers draw up a sheet of clues and a map of the school or local neighborhood. Encourage parents to go out with their children and ask local businesses to sponsor a prize for the fastest time and most correct answers.
Or you could focus on students' interests and organise something like a school pet show with prizes in different categories and small entrance fees. Not only will this teach children good grooming and care skills but give them a real interest in the event. Find a local personality to judge the competitions and ask a local pet shop to sponsor prizes.
Publicity-stunt fundraisers can also work well. Try out imaginative ideas such as attempting to surround the school or sports track with coins, have a pie-throwing contest or get a male teacher to shave his beard. If it'll make a good picture don't be afraid to call the local newspaper and let them know what you're doing.
Raffles and Sales
Raffles and sales are the more traditional ways or school fundraising and will be improved by making contact with local businesses who can be invaluable in supplying prestige products or services to raffle. Well proven events include bring-and-buy or car boot sales which are a useful way of making money from unwanted toys, books, household items and clothing. Anything left over at the end of the sale can be donated to a charity shop. Other popular ideas include cake sales, car washes and raffles to guess how many sweets or coins are in a jar. Art classes with older students could be set aside to make crafts for sale. Printed t-shirts, handmade jewelery and candles are all good sellers and great ways to raise funds for the school.
For a long-term approach you could open a school shop. Get a cash and carry card (wholesalers card) and offer healthy snacks, stationery supplies, pens, markers and pencils for sale at a reasonable mark-up. You'll probably be able to offer everything at rates lower than the shops and still raise money for the school. Get teachers to volunteer one recess a week to help out and have older students look after the displays. Also consider the more expensive items that are often sold as commercial fundraising products: candles, handmade chocolates and luxury cookies. Why let the middle man pocket the profit?
Planning your Fundraising Calendar
Early in the year map out seasonal events and how you might organise fundraisers around them. Offer roses for sale for Valentine's Day; flowers, cards and mini gifts for Mother's Day; raffle off chocolate eggs for Easter; make masks and decorations for Halloween; and sell cards, gift wrap and hand-made gifts for Christmas. Above all, think laterally and try to come up with new school fundraising ideas that people will enjoy. Think about how you can reach more people, make more sales or get more people involved and school fundraising should become fun rather than a chore.