And what about those out-of-the-box fundraising ideas that don’t fit neatly into any of the above categories? We’ve thought of those as well—and here are our favorites:
A penny war fundraiser is great for schools whose students come with a competitive edge. To get started, you’ll first need to decide how teams will be broken up. You might divide students by grade level, subject, or individual class, each of which is provided with a coin jar. When the competition begins, students are encouraged to bring pennies and dollar bills to contribute to their own team’s coin jar, which will add up in points (i.e., pennies are each worth 1 point, $1 bills are worth 100 points, $10 bills are worth 10,000 points, etc.). The twist is that placing nickels, dimes, and quarters in another team’s jar will count negatively toward their total. At the end of a set time period (perhaps a week), the jars are collected and points counted to determine a winner. school fundraiser ideas
Day Off Challenge
As a middle or high school student, who wouldn’t enjoy a nice, relaxing day off from school? It’s an exciting prize for the typical student body and something they’d be willing to earn with successful fundraising efforts. That’s why the “day off challenge” fundraiser is a favorite for students, teachers, and faculty alike. All you need to do is set a lofty (yet realistic) fundraising goal and empower your students to collect donations in order to reach it. If they meet or surpass the objective, they’re rewarded with an extra day off school!
Looking for a classic fundraising idea that tends to pay off particularly well? Good ol’ letter writing might be right for you and your school! A letter-writing campaign involves writing and sending tons of fundraising request letters to donors and prospective supporters. In the end, the goal is that the recipient reads the letter, decides to support the school, and sends in their corresponding donation.
Top tip! Get your students involved in the letter-writing aspect of a fundraising letter campaign. Not only can they help speed up the process, but it can also add significant value by incorporating a personal touch.
An envelope wall offers an easy and fairly passive form of fundraising. All you need to do is set up a display of empty envelopes marked 1-100. Each marked envelope corresponds with a donation amount. For example, Envelope #1 will be filled with $1. Envelope #10 will be filled with $10. And, of course, Envelope #100 will be filled with $100. In the end, if each envelope is filled by a donor, you’ll end up with $5,050!
This is another great fundraising opportunity to host leading up to the holiday season. After all, you know students’ parents and other community members are likely making a ton of gift purchases. And perhaps they don’t have the time to wrap them all (or the skill to do so neatly). The solution? Purchase some fun holiday-themed wrapping paper, tape, and scissors, gather a group of volunteers (teachers, faculty members, parents, or even older students), and organize a gift-wrapping party! Gift-givers will be happy to have their presents nicely wrapped, all while supporting your school fundraising efforts.
Just about every parent would like professional-looking photos of their children and families. But the typical price tag on those types of photo shoots can be too much to justify sometimes. That’s why schools should consider hosting photo shoot fundraisers. Just get a professional—or otherwise, an experienced amateur—photographer on board, choose a picturesque location, and encourage families to join you at a set date and time for a miniature (and affordable) photo session. You can even sell the prints afterward for additional revenue!
You’ve probably heard the saying that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. That’s exactly what a shoe drive fundraiser is all about—while also empowering your school to raise much-needed funding. All you need to do is encourage families (and others in your community) to clear out their closets of new and gently used shoes that will, in turn, turn a profit for your school. When you work with a shoe drive fundraising facilitator, the organization of such an idea is as easy as possible. The company may even provide collection materials, help promote the idea to your school, handle the pickup, and exchange the shoes for a check at the end of the fundraiser.
Top tip! Plan this fundraiser in the spring semester to coincide with annual spring cleaning.
We’ve gone through a long list of fundraising ideas for schools—but maybe what you’re looking for is an anti-fundraiser. And what is that exactly? Various institutions have made use of this unique and interesting non-fundraiser, including a Texas middle school that went viral for the campaign in 2015. One mom shared the creative fundraising letter, which read: “This fundraiser is in lieu of sending students home with the task of selling door-to-door, collecting money, and delivering goods. Please help us avoid that by supporting our PTA with your donation and helping us achieve our goals to support our students and faculty.” Following the introduction, the recipient is encouraged to mark one of several donation levels corresponding to their “appreciation for having nothing to buy, sell, or do except fill out this form.”