School fundraising events can be as fun and educational as they are lucrative. We put together our favorite school fundraising ideas in a variety of categories. Which one's right for your group?
Activities Involving Fun-Loving Teachers
Dunk Tank – Students pay for a chance to dunk their favorite (or least favorite) teacher.
Pie Toss – Fill pie tins with whipped cream. Students can buy a tin and “pie” a volunteering teacher in the face.
Teacher Truth or Dare – Students donate to choose a teacher to play truth or dare with. The chosen teacher must admit the truth or act out the dare in front of an audience — but set out guidelines to ensure that activities stay school appropriate.
Duct Taped Teacher – A teacher stands on a chair in a high traffic area. Students pay for a five-inch piece of duct tape, which they use to tape the teacher to the wall. The goal is to get enough duct tape so the teacher sticks to the wall when they chair is taken out from underneath.
Jail Break – Choose a popular teacher to “arrest,” and confine them in a highly visible area. Set a bail for their release and have students pay for it with donations.
Events for Parents
Second Chance Prom – Parents who had less-than-picture-perfect proms can relive the event. Set up the school auditorium like a 1980’s prom, and encourage parents to dress in formal styles that were popular during their high school days.
Adult Spelling Bee – Challenge parents with this throwback activity.
Night Out for Parents of Young Children – Set up a night in which parents can drop their young children off at the school auditorium before leaving for an evening out. Supervise children and keep them entertained with games, movies and food.
Silent Auction – Encourage local retail establishments to donate goods. Set these goods up with clearly-labeled sheets by their side, and have community members place their bids on these sheets.
Events for Students
Hula Hoop Tournament – During lunch hour, charge students a dollar or two to identify the school’s best hooper.
Drive-In Movie Theater – Rent a projector and play a classic movie on a building near your school’s parking lot. On a Friday or Saturday night, students can drive in, watch the movie from their car seats, and purchase popcorn and snacks.
Mini Olympics – Students create teams to compete in a variety of athletic events, from track races to table tennis. Charge a registration fee.
Battle of the Bands – Turn your auditorium or gymnasium into a concert venue where student bands compete.
Events for Everyone
Yoga Lesson – Get a certified yoga teacher to donate his or her expertise during an hour-long class in the school gym.
Destination-Themed Fundraising Event – If you’re saving for a student tour, throw an event based on your destination. Serve tapas for a student tour to Spain, have a Disney movie night for a trip to Disney World, or challenge community members with presidential trivia for your trip to Washington, D.C.
Paint Art Night – Adults and students can partake in an art class, hosted by your school’s art teacher.
Puppy Parade – Have students walk their beloved pooches in front of crowds. The audience can vote for categories such as best-behaved, cutest puppy, best hair and most impressive tricks.
Movie Premiere – If film or drama students have collaborated on a student-produced film, invite parents and community members to watch it during a premiere. A red carpet and popcorn are musts.
Carnival – For larger fundraisers with bigger budgets, transform your school’s fields into a carnival with moon bounces, face painting stands, games, fried-food stands and a dunk tank.
Fashion Show – Get local retailers to donate garments to a student-run fashion show.
"A" Grades – At the beginning of the semester, students get community and family members to pledge a specific amount of money for every “A” they receive on their report cards.
24 Hour Dance Marathon – Sponsors donate a given amount for every hour a student keeps dancing. Students can keep dance moves simple, but the second they stand still their marathon comes to an end.
Walk-a-thon – For every mile a student walks, sponsors will donate an amount of money.
Craft Fair – Student creations ranging from paintings to friendship bracelets can be donated to this craft fair.
Denim Sale – Students donate and purchase used denim.
Card Sale – Have students and community members donate old holiday and birthday cards. Cut off the original backs of these cards and attach new, blank backs. Sell recycled cards.
Fundraising T-Shirt – Choose a design that represents your fundraiser’s goal, and sell t-shirts to students.
Healthy Bake Sale – Schools with junk food bans can sell healthy desserts made with school-approved ingredients.
Pancake Breakfast – Sell pancakes in a high-traffic area of your school during a weekday, or during sporting events on the weekend.
Garage Sale – Read our post, 4 Ways to Get Your Garage Sale Off the Ground.
Used Book Sale
Smoothie Stand – Work with Jamba Juice to set up a smoothie stand at your school.
Mattress Sale – Work with All American Fundraising Solutions to transform your cafeteria or gymnasium into a showroom for discounted, store-brand mattresses. A percentage of these sales goes to your cause.
Personalized Kitchenware – That’s My Pan let’s donors personalize bakeware, cookie tins, coffee mugs and more.
Work With Restaurants – Many chain and local restaurants will agree to a night in which 10-20% of the proceeds are donated to your fundraiser. Find out more.
Services for Donations
Henna Hand Art – Artistically-inclined students can give henna tattoos. Learn how to create them.
In-School Salon – Set up a “salon” in your auditorium, with stylists providing simple trims for boys and manicures for girls.
Dog Walking – Advertise student dog walking services during a holiday weekend.
Costume Contest – Students dress up according to a goofy theme, and their peers vote for the best costume by placing donations in a jar.
Photo Booth – Set up a homemade photo booth at school events with these tips.
Dog Kissing Booth – Get the friendliest pooches to share their smooches.
Recycling – Have students collect used mobile phones, laserjets and inkjets. Give these to a recycling company that will pay per item.
Jelly Bean Guess Count – Fill a jar with jelly beans, and have students pay to guess the amount. Whoever comes closest to the actually amount of jelly beans wins the jar. Learn how to raise money with guessing jars here.
Treated Like a King – Create a raffle for a sideline spot at a school sporting event. The winner will enjoy comfortable seating and be served free food and drinks.