Here’s some popular school fundraising ideas for fundraisers for schools.
Gain the inspiration you need to start a successful fund raising campaign!
Schools always seem to be raising money – whether it’s just to help top up funds in the annual budget, or for a bigger project like a new building, a school rugby tour or to refurbish classrooms.
Whether you’re an elementary middle or high school – getting the assistance of the local PTA will help you get started quickly.
One of the quickest and easiest school fundraising ideas to raise money is with a single event – such as a dinner dance, disco or sponsored event – all typical school fundraiser staples.
However, for ongoing, regular fundraising – using the school community (teachers, parents, students, families) can create a successful environment for fundraising through catalogs, annual events such as fairs and so on.
The sums of money raised by regular giving can help to pay for items which may be considered additional to the curriculum, such as school outings and trips, music lessons and dance and drama productions.
The school PTA or board of governors will have to decide how any money raised is distributed – unless it is aimed at a single project.
Easy School Fundraising Ideas that Work
The most important rule in school fund raising is to gather a good and enthusiastic team of people together.
Once you’ve got the support of a team, you can share ideas and creativity and work together to raise funds towards a specified goal.
Now, you and your team need to meet and brainstorm…!
- consider your aims
- decide what you are raising money for
- agree on a target amount
- consider your unique selling points – what makes you different (or what you do well)
- do a skills audit for your team – everybody will have some skill or talent to offer
- consider the contacts that already have – via the school or local community
There are several ways which you can fundraise for schools:-
- local fundraising
- get support from companies (local and national)
- apply for grants from government agencies
- apply for grants from trusts, foundations and national charities
- get support from individuals
- publicise what you have already done – a press release to the local newspaper can be remarkably profitable in raising your profile and getting people to know about you
Establish a Plan of Action
Once again, working together as a team, develop a plan of action that you can all support.
Be clear about what you aim to achieve, who is responsible for each step and the proposed time scales. Get someone to write this down and circulate it to everybody!
Always establish the date of your next meeting (and preferably the one after) at each meeting – this enables you to review and report on progress and give support where necessary.
By using these simple steps, you are already ahead of 95% of other schools who have a vague wish to raise funds, but no team or strategy to do so.
I know of one science department that gives itself a significant financial boost each year by selling bulbs and plants at the local village sale.
The bulbs are sold from a catalog circulated to all staff and students at the school and orders are collated, money is paid, and one large order is placed. Items are then packaged and distributed for distribution to their customers and the additional funds go to buy additional items of much-needed equipments.
There’s a vast range of printed school fundraisers catalogues available – some even allow online ordering for goods, (for example, everyclick.com allows users to donate to their chosen charity). Making use of your existing contacts in this way is any easy way to make money for your school without the need for recruiting volunteer fundraisers.
Do take advice, read or get training on the best way to make giving tax effective – for larger sums, you may need to set up separate accounts or consider setting up as a charity or non-profit organisation.
School Fundraising Event Ideas
Here’s a few ideas of ways that educational establishments can raise funds for their cause:-
- 100 club – each members pays in a regular donation (say $5 each month) and the “winners” names are drawn from a hat each month and cash prizes are given. It’s a bit like the lottery, but you’re far more likely to win, and the money raised goes to a local, worthwhile cause
- Candy, Candlle or Cookie Fundraisers – simply selling these via children, staff and parents can raise a surprising amount of money – especially in the run up to Christmas, when people are actively looking for presents
- Disco – this could be for students or parents. Some schools may prefer to have a dinner / dance or jazz event, depending on the preferences of your parents. With fixed costs, this can be quite a good fundraiser, especially if you can get volunteers to man the drinks and refreshments stands for the evening.
- Mufti or Non Uniform Days – kids love the opportunity to come in their own clothes and be free of their uniform for a day. Charging from £1 or $2 each, students and staff can raise a large sum in a secondary or high school – in a small school of just 500 students, that’s over £500 or $1000 in just one day.
- Sponsored Events – this can be a great annual event for older students. In one school, this was both an enjoyable end-of-term event for parents and students, an opportunity to see a different side of each other, and also raise several thousand pounds for the school each year. Adding the incentive of prizes for those raising the largest sums of money can work, depending on how well your students are motivated already. One motivator can be to promise your students that a percentage of the money raised goes to a project that they are interested in – such as refurbishing their common room, putting in a new vending machine, replacing the dining room seating with something they’ve chosen, new lockers, just ask the students for their ideas as to how they spend the money and stand back to listen!
Types of School – from Elementary to High
The ages of children or students in your schools will to some extent dictate the types of events or fundraisers that are appropriate.
For example, in an elementary school a book club or book sale could be quite successful, whereas in a high school context some of the school spirit ideas or students events may be more appropriate.
It’s helpful to have members of the PTA involved as they’ll be able to relate to the needs and interests of the students – possible more ably than some of the governors – and to ask them for feedback as to what their children would enjoy and attend.
After the Event
After any fund raising campaign, it’s helpful to have a brief meeting to review what worked and went well, together with what didn’t work or could have been improved upon.
Making notes on this can help to hone and improve each campaign, and provide a resource for people joining the team to work from and learn.
Best wishes with raising money for your students!