Featured Idea of the week:
- Bottle/Can Drives
- Works well in places where those items can be refunded
- A local hockey team does this on a rolling basis; thus far, they have used the funds to cover a new skate sharpening machine, as well as the down payment on a new Zamboni (which was then paid off by the local car dealership).
A Couple Tips to Start:
The main ideas for your fundraisers are two-fold: you want a high return on any investment you make, but you also want to make sure it is something that is fun and that kids and families will want to be involved with. Motivation is always important, but without a fun element, the motivation wanes quickly.
Another point to consider is that setting clear goals is crucial. Just setting out a jar to get money donated into does not do much unless you state your purpose, set your goal, and what the funds are going directly toward.
- For example: raising money for a new buzzer system? Design fun posters showing them!
- Demonstrations go a long way, too!
- Set up a booth at lunch where kids can try out the older buzzer system (if you have one), and ask them questions. This might also help you find more players!
- Trying to raise money for plane/train tickets to Nationals? Say that! Say where you are going, why it’s a great trip and what it could mean for the school if you win. Bragging rights go a long way, especially with both High School and EMS Nationals being held in Washington DC in 2023.
- For example: With all the historical significance of the area, next to Arlington Cemetery and two Metro stops away from the National Mall, the trip can be seen as both fun and educational, which for raising funds from the community can be seen as a bonus. If one were to write to VFWs or American Legion posts and say “hey, we have this great competition coming up in DC, right near these places and we will go pay our respects to your fallen comrades in your honor,” they may be willing to host fundraising events for your school.
These are ideas can work anywhere in the country, whether in a major city or in a rural school district.
- Rotary Clubs
- Reach out to local Rotary Clubs about helping with fundraising.
- Letter writing to local businesses and companies that would normally sponsor sports teams
- Law offices are a great target. Sports teams don’t target them but they like to do philanthropic work with school
- Car dealerships
- Appreciation grams
- can help you raise funds and build camaraderie between your community. Plus, it’s a fundraising idea that’s relatively inexpensive to host and will work great all year round.
- You can charge people at work, school, or even in the neighborhood a small fee ($0.50 or $1) to send out a customized note that acknowledges someone in the community.
- You can get as creative with the notes as you like. For example, you could charge extra for different designs or include a piece of candy with each note.
- Alice’s Kids – Recently Featured on Celebrity Jeopardy with 3rd place finisher Patton Oswalt!
- Alice’s Kids (aliceskids.org) is an organization that helps kids who need help with covering fees and other school related items that other non-profit organizations won’t pay for
- IE: sneakers, competitions fees, field trips, yearbooks
- “Working with a network of hundreds of teachers and social workers, Alice’s Kids pays for such items because we believe…A little help…goes a long way.”
For More Nationwide ideas that work, as well as links to corporations that do sponsorships for student programs, visit: Fundraising Ideas
Some of these ideas work better in smaller towns, and some work better in larger municipalities, but are worth considering if you have these options available!
- Write to locally owned credit unions.
- People forget to think about them for donations, and usually target banks.
- Trivia nights at the school, teachers versus students or parents versus kids!
- Put them on the stage for people to watch and charge admission (Teachers V Students, because who wouldn’t want to see the kids beat the teachers???), –From Peter Schmidt, Eastern Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator
- or hold a weekend event where locally formed teams pay a small fee to compete.
- Raffle baskets with donations from local businesses, MLMs and such.
- MLMs (Pampered Chef, Herbalife, etc) Love donating to these sorts of things. It’s how they get people on their mailing lists for catalogs and stuff. They teach you about it in the Pampered Chef training.
- For those looking to put together a cookware raffle. BIG Name items you can request from the company for a raffle.
- Movie nights held in the gym
- Can sell tickets and concessions.
- If there is a surplus of big boxes people have, sell the chance for little kids to decorate them and use them like mini cars and create a “drive in” feeling for them.
- These are proving popular in the times of social distancing to help with maintaining spacing.
- School wide garage/yard sale
- Gives families a chance to clear out things they don’t need, but helps the team learn how to run sales, etc.
- For more regional themed ideas, check out our fundraising ideas document!
Outside the Box Ideas
So sometimes people want to do something outside the normal selling of chocolate bars or coin drives. These ideas will have your schools and communities talking and helping you get to your goals!
- Amusing/Annoying Music between classes fundraiser
- Find a song found universally annoying by both students and teachers
- Justin Bieber, Baby Shark, Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, What Does the Fox Say etc.
- Play it during all class breaks with the idea that any money donated would go to a fund to get it turned off. Set a clear goal for the fund, and let the bad song play!
- Paint a ceiling tile/cinder block brick in the school
- “Sell a tile to be painted, and all funds go to the team. If schools have those drop ceilings, this can be a BIG money maker. But they need to set guidelines as to what is acceptable/not acceptable in accordance with local laws.” A school which hosted a regional tournament in Chariton, Iowa did this a few years ago for a different cause with their cinder block walls, but it could be used for funding clubs!
- Battle of the Bands
- Music is a hobby for many Middle/high school students. Organize a battle of the bands at your school. Charge the bands, as well as friends and family who come to see the show.
- Can sell concessions to increase funds
- Set up an Escape room (or two or three) at the school on a Saturday
- Each room a different theme, but still school related
- Have the team kids put together the clues and themes as a team building exercise
- Families or groups pay to do a room, the teams would do a wipedown with lysol wipes during re-sets of the rooms.
- It’s family friendly, and has proven to be popular world-wide and is easy to adapt for regions, as well as difficulty. Also, rather cost effective, as writing the clues only uses printer paper and maybe use props on loan from school theater departments.
- For more Out of the Box Ideas, check out our Fundraising Ideas Document!