School fundraising ideas need to be creative and interesting for both students and parents. Parents are often looking for activities that allow them to still take care of their kids but also want to be able to help out the school at the same time. This is why finding the right type of fundraiser can really boost your school’s income. If you think about it, parents will be much more likely to buy into a fundraiser where they can still do something with their children and help out the school.

What Makes a Good Fundraising Idea for Schools?

There are several key components that could make or break your entire fundraising process:

  • A clear call to action
  • A platform where your fundraising ideas are easy to access
  • The ability for parents to easily purchase items
  • An opportunity for kids to get involved with the fundraising process

If you plan on having a parent-involved fundraiser, make sure that it is something that will benefit the entire community. Fundraisers that allow kids to work on their own individual projects are a great way for them to stay involved in the process.

Common Ways Schools Fundraised in The Past

In the past, schools used to fundraise by hosting dinners or carnivals and offering special school fundraiser prizes. While some of these ideas are still used today, it is important for schools to branch out and try new fundraising activities as well.

Here are some of the most popular types of fundraisers used by schools:

  • Car washes
  • Dances
  • Movie nights
  • Vendor fairs
  • Apple picking/pumpkin sales
  • T-shirt sales/designing
  • Craft sales
  • Book sales
  • Candy sales/wrapping papers/gift wrap options (Christmas time)       
  • Bagel mornings
  • Soup sales

Student-run booths let students sell items such as chocolates, baked goods, holiday decorations, etc.  Some schools will even have students make handmade cards or other types of crafts that they will then sell.

Organizing Fundraising Activities for Kids

If you are organizing an activity where the kids will be selling items, there are several steps you need to take when planning out the fundraiser:

Determine how much time is available for each student: make sure that students have enough time to work on the project without having too much time on their hands.  It is important for students to have some type of deadline to keep them on track with the fundraiser.  Write up an agreement that requires parents to sign off on if children are allowed to participate in the fundraiser outside of school hours.

Choose a location where students can work on their projects  – depending on the type of fundraiser you choose, students may need to meet at your school or in a designated location.  Having an open space where kids can work together is important, especially if they are working on making crafts.

Create a grading system that will determine how much each child is paid  – make sure that students receive points for their work.  Some schools will reward kids with a certain amount of jobs because they show up to class regularly, do their homework and participate in fundraisers/clubs during the school year.

Determine how much money each child will be able to earn  – you can base this number off their points or have a flat rate if students are working on individual projects.  It is important to reward the kids who work harder, so consider giving them bonuses for going above and beyond with their fundraising activities.

New Creative Fundraising Approaches

Recently, many schools have turned to creative fundraising ideas in order to raise funds for their extracurricular activities.  Creative fundraising approaches are great because they allow students to become engaged in the process of raising money. Virtual and social distance fundraising for schools has become popular in times of COVID, in order to help children get the support they need while also raising money for their school.

Virtual Fundraising

One of the most popular virtual school fundraiser tactics is an online blog. There are many different ways that you can run a blog fundraiser, but one idea is to ask parents if their kids can keep a journal about what they are learning at school.  Before the fundraiser starts, have each child write down three things that they would like to learn at school before they finish elementary school.  Once this list has been completed, ask them to write about their experiences during the fundraiser and how it is helping their school.

Another creative idea for running a blog fundraiser is to have parents create an online wish list about what they’d like to buy for their child’s classroom or what they’d like to use the funds towards.  Similar to an online registry, you can provide parents with ideas of what they could purchase using the money raised from the fundraiser.

Social Distance Fundraising Ideas

Many schools are now turning social distance fundraising ideas into an engaging activity that allows students to work together in order to raise money.

One fun social distance fundraising idea is by hosting a contest where students design t-shirts for your school’s athletic team or club members.  This can be a fun way to engage students in creative thinking and help them set specific goals they want to accomplish using the money raised from the fundraiser.

Another great creative idea is to host a trivia night with parents or other community members as team leaders.  The winning team could receive a prize such as extra credit, but each student will have an opportunity to raise money towards their school which can be used for extra supplies or special events.

Organizing a Class Auction

Did you know that you can also run an auction for your class? While this may seem like it would only work well if you had 30 or more students, that is not necessarily true. With tools like eBay Classifieds, teachers all over the world are able to organize online auctions where parents bid on items for their children’s classroom. Not only is this a great way to get parents involved in their children’s education, but it also teaches children about how auctions work and how you can use them to earn money.


Organizing a fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your school. Not only do fundraisers teach students how to earn and save money, but it also gives them the chance to take on leadership roles that may help prepare them for when they get older.

The success of a fundraiser will depend on how well you plan out the activity and how good of an example you set for your students. Remember to have fun while you are running the fundraiser and to give kids a chance to take on leadership roles that will help them develop into responsible young adults.

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