For better or worse, school fundraising is part of being a parent. It helps to raise necessary funds for various activities, programs, and projects that enhance the quality of education and provide students with the necessary resources to excel academically and socially.
Fundraising is also an excellent opportunity for students (and parents) to develop their leadership skills, teamwork, and entrepreneurial spirit.
However, coming up with school fundraising ideas can be seriously challenging.
But worry no more! This list of 101 school fundraising ideas will help you get started!
Our list includes a variety of fundraising ideas that are suitable for schools of all sizes and locations. Whether you’re looking for traditional fundraising ideas like bake sales and car washes, or more innovative ideas like crowdfunding and virtual auctions, we’ve got you covered.
We understand that every school has unique needs and challenges, which is why we have included a range of fundraising ideas that can be tailored to your school’s specific requirements.
From small-scale events that can be organized with minimal resources to large-scale initiatives that require significant planning and coordination, our list has something for everyone.
And this list may serve as simply inspiration: reading it may give you ideas for more fundraisers we haven’t even thought of! Either way, it’s a win.
School fundraising is a critical aspect of any educational institution, and with the right fundraising ideas and strategies, you can achieve your fundraising goals while providing your students with the resources they need to succeed.
We hope that our list of 101 school fundraising ideas will inspire you to get creative and plan successful fundraising campaigns that benefit your school community.
101 Awesome School Fundraising Ideas
All these awesome fundraising ideas are broken up into their relative categories, so you’ll be able to choose whether you want to look for Passive Fundraising ideas, In-Person Fundraisers, catalog fundraisers, etc.
In Person/Event Fundraisers
These are fundraisers where you need a team to help make them happen. Even though that means it’s more hands-on work setting up and executing these fundraisers, they have an extra added benefit: they’re fun and can build school spirit.
In fact, community-building events often are the biggest fundraisers a school will have. Maybe it’s the fact of being together that compels people to donate or spend more money, or it’s possibly the feeling of shared purpose that makes them so successful. Whatever the reason, if you can pull together a team of volunteers, you’ll end up with a terrific fundraiser.
Back To School Supply Sale
Book Fair & Sale
Christmas Card Sale
Christmas Tree Sale
Christmas Wreath Sale
Flower Sale (like for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day)
Free Throw Contest
Gift Wrapping Service
Graduation Leis and Gifts
Halloween Costume Contest
Home Run Derby
Ice Cream Social (or Make Your Own Sundae Bar)
Jog a Thon
Popcorn Sale (Fresh)
School Spirit Gear Sale
Student Artwork Sale
Yard Work Service
Virtual Event Fundraisers
Whether it happens during a pandemic or simply because your school wants to reach a wide audience, a virtual fundraiser can be a great option. In addition, another reason to consider this type of fundraiser is if you have a limited pool of volunteers to call upon, since in-person events require a team to make them happen.
These fundraisers can be some of the most profitable for your school as well, because they have lower costs than in-person events, and because they can still be fun. We’ve all learned that you can in fact connect with people via Zoom and other virtual platforms, so it makes sense to run a few virtual events for your school and raise some money that way.
Read a Thon
Virtual Bingo Night
Virtual Jog a Thon
Virtual Silent Auction
Product Sales Fundraisers
These fundraisers require some volunteer time, some more than others, including set up and execution. So they could be considered a hybrid In-Person Fundraiser. But they are far easier than running a School Carnival or Silent Auction.
Related: Read Silent Auction 101
Creating a Cookbook of recipes from your school community is a fantastic project that can build school spirit and really bring a community together. The main work will be up front, as you gather the recipes from people and get the book formatted and ready to print. As a bonus, you can host a potluck supper event to celebrate the publication, which is another great way to build community.
Companies like Krispy Kreme offer fundraisers, but you can also make an arrangement with a local, Mom-and-Pop donut shop by buying in bulk and selling at a profit.
These cards can be a terrific source of funds and a great way to strengthen the bonds between your school and some of the local businesses. You can do the whole project yourselves, from connecting with surrounding shops and restaurants to having the cards printed, or you can work with a company that will take care of the upfront work for you.
The gift card industry is huge, and whether you choose to sell/buy these as actual gifts, or as a way to do your weekly grocery shopping, you can order the cards ahead of time, set up a table once a week or once a month, and sell gift cards at school.
This is another one where you can choose to do the work yourselves (and make more profit) or let a company do it for you, saving your team time and energy for something else, like a School Carnival.
Scratch And Win Cards
Grocery Store Loyalty Cards
Office Depot Give Back to Schools Program
Catalog Sales Fundraisers
- Bundt Cakes
- Cake Rolls
- Chocolate Bars
- Chocolate Candy of all kinds, including Katydids
- Chocolate-Covered Fortune Cookies
- Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
- Cotton Candy
- Gummy Bears
- Name Brands, like See’s Candy
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Food Service Items
Holiday Wreaths and Christmas Trees
Personalized Gifts and Gear
Smencils and Smens
- Beef Jerky
- Bagged Popcorn
- Snack Sticks
- Gourmet Popcorn
- Cinnabon Rolls and Cookies
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Spirit Wear/Custom Apparel
Restaurant.com Discount Cards
Travel Mugs (Tumblers)/Custom Branded Swag
Direct Appeal Fundraisers
Direct Appeal Letters
Donations and Sponsorships from Local Realtors and Businesses
Sarah A. has been fundraising for her kids’ schools for years. She’s got the info you need and she’s ready to share it with you!