Developing a high school fundraising program is a great way to earn extra money for your high school or to further fund various school activities or sports teams. However, developing a fundraising idea is challenging because there is no one size fits all approach; everyone’s needs differ.
Money makes the world go around — and back to the school for activities! That is why fundraising is vital. It can help fund sports, bands, clubs, and activities that all students deserve to take part in. This may seem like a Herculean task for most volunteers; creating a full-fledged fundraising plan involves not just one, but a multitude of steps and actions to accomplish.
There are dozens of exciting fundraising ideas out there that will appeal to the students — or anyone, in fact!
Fundraising is an important part of high school life. Whether it’s for sports programs, band trips, senior parties, or the latest class trip, fundraising is a big deal. In this post, we’ll give you some great ideas for high school fundraising ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Kick-Off Your Fundraiser with a Bang
Before we begin talking about fundraising ideas, let’s talk about fundraising motivation.
For a fundraiser to be successful, you want to have a high-energy team who is ready to work together and work hard, to raise some cash. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to run a successful fundraiser. So how do you do it?
When it comes to fundraising motivation, it all begins with a good game plan. Having a fundraiser strategy will help you to be able to clearly explain to your team what they need to do, when they need to do it, and most importantly, why they are doing it.
If you can’t give your team a good reason why they need to work hard on their fundraiser, you may not get the results that you want. Motivation is vital for your team to reach its goals.
So why is a good game plan so important? First, it’s important to get your team excited about your fundraiser. If you can show them how much fun it is, and what a good cause they are helping, you can get them motivated to do their best.
A game plan will also help to keep you on track so that you don’t get so carried away with all the planning that you forget to take care of what is really important–your fundraiser!
So let’s talk about some fundraising ideas!
1. Have an Auction
Auctions are a great way to raise money for your school. An auction is a type of fundraiser where people donate items, and you sell them. People bid on the items, and the winning bidder gets the item!
Many schools have auctions where students make themed baskets, and the baskets are then auctioned off at an event. Auctions are fun, and they get students to work together on a common theme. They also are known to make pretty decent money.
2. Sell Cookie Dough
Want to make some serious dough? Sell some dough! Cookie dough generates funds quickly, and it’s a win-win for everyone involved. You can quickly generate some cash for your school by selling some delicious cookie dough!
3. Have a Car Wash
This one is easy, all you really need is a parking lot, a couple of hoses, some soap, and a great team. Family, friends, and school staff will love bringing their car through and helping the cause. While you have people coming through, why don’t you also consider selling food to the driver while they wait?
4. Host a Talent Show
Make some extra money for your school by having a fun event, like a talent show. People will come out to support their friends, and the entertainment will draw people in. Have a donation jar ready, and offer tickets to the show. You can even do a raffle to raise money!
5. Run a Bingo Night
This one is a classic. Get some volunteers together and sell tickets for a chance at winning prizes. All you really need is a room, some supplies, and a great way to draw people in. Everyone loves bingo, and this fun but also competitive event will make people want to play again and again. More money for your school!
6. Have a Coffee House
Using the talents of your school’s students, put on a coffee house sale. You can have a band, singers, or a poetry reading! Have a donation jar, and offer some fancy coffee drinks to your customers. People pay way more for fancy coffee drinks.
7. Have a Bake Sale
This is a classic idea that always works. Have a bake sale, and offer a wide variety of sweets. People are always willing to pay a little extra for a yummy treat, especially when it is for a good cause. Bake sales are fun ways to raise money, and your customers will appreciate it!
Students will love the opportunity to create tasty treats and will get to learn about baking along the way.
8. Host a Carnival
This is a super fun idea. You can either have a carnival at your home or at the school. Get together with your friends and have a fun day! Some fun things you can have at your carnival are games (like a dunking booth, ring toss, or ball toss), cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. Don’t forget the bouncy house!
A carnival can be hard to organize, so be sure to have a team ready to help get it all together. Aside from the organizational details, carnival games make a lot of cash, fast.
Things to include at your carnival:
Ring toss games
Water Balloon Fights
9. Have a Dance
This could be a lot of fun! You can have a dance at your school, or you can have a fundraiser dance at a local hall. Invite a local band, and people will come and dance. You could have a “dance-a-thon,” where people just dance all day long.
Dances are fun for both students and adults. Just don’t forget the punch! It’s a good idea to have an event during your school’s dance, such as a raffle, bake sale, auction, or a special appearance by a celebrity.
10. Sell Cards and Key Tags
Who doesn’t love a good discount? Selling cards and key tags with promotional offers from local businesses will surely generate funds. Some companies make cards and key tags with your school’s logo, and tags can even be attached to your keychains.
11. Have a Direct Mailing Campaign
You can send out a mailing to the parents of your students. This could ask for donations, or it could simply be educational.
For example, you can send out a mailing that explains your trip, and you could include a picture of the trip, a description of the trip, and a description of the different ways that people can donate. You can include a donation form that lists all the different ways that parents can donate.
You can also ask for donations by email. If most of your students’ parents have email, you can send out a mass email asking for donations.
12. Have a Bottle and Can Drive
Bottle drives are a common way to raise money. Parents and staff can bring their bottles, cans, and other recyclables to your drive. Then, you can find a local recycling company that will recycle the bottles and cans for you. You can then use that money to fund your trip.
13. Gift-Wrapping Fundraiser
If you have a lot of wrapping paper and gift bags lying around, or if you have access to a lot of wrapping paper and gift bags, you could have a gift-wrapping fundraiser.
You can have a table set up in a local public space, such as a mall, where people can buy gift-wrapping services. You can sell it by the piece, or you could have a flat rate for different types of packages.
You could also sell boxes of gift wrapping supplies. You could include a nice box, some paper, candy canes, bows, and ribbons.
This is a great idea if you’re fundraising close to the holidays!
14. Have a Relay or Race
You can arrange for the students to have a relay race or a race in which the students run for the money. The race could be from one end of the school to the other, or it could be from one end of the track to the other, the distance isn’t important.
Relays are fun ways to get money and exercise! They are also fun events, where you can sell snacks and drinks to get even more money for your fundraiser.
15. Have a Lottery
A lottery is a great way to raise money for your event. You can sell tickets for a few dollars each, and then give away a prize. You could sell a lot of tickets and make a large amount of money.
For example, you could sell a single ticket for $5, which will give the winner a chance to win a new iPad. If you sell 1,000 tickets, you will make $5,000.
You could make it a little more fun by selling a single ticket for $1, and then giving away a $100 gift certificate to a restaurant. If you sell 1,000 tickets, you will make $1,000.
You could sell a single ticket for $10, and have a big prize that everyone wants, like a piece of tech, or a new bike.
The key to a lottery is to sell a lot of tickets so that you make a lot of money. The more tickets you sell, the more you can give away for your event!
16. It’s Cakewalk Time
Cakewalks are another great fundraising idea, they are also easy as a piece of cake! A cakewalk is a game that you can play at your event. The basic premise is that everyone pays a ticket to play. Then, all the participants walk around a circle. A caller yells out a number. If you have that number on your ticket, you stop. The winner gets a cake! Who doesn’t enjoy cake?
17. Have a Used Book Sale
Have a used book sale to help fund your event. People love books, and people love a good deal. So, if you’re trying to raise money, get your community together and hold a book sale. People will love to attend a used book sale, and they will love paying a low price for used books.
This idea is both educational, and fun. And you can use it to raise money for your event. So, choose a theme, and then collect books that fit that theme. For example, if you’re having a used book sale to help fund a school trip, you could collect books about travel. Or, if you’re promoting literacy, you could collect books about reading.
18. Movie Night
A movie night is a fun way to raise money for your event, and there are many ways you can do it.
Movies under the stars are super popular, all you need is a good projector and a location. Charge people for tickets to come to sit and watch a movie with the community. You can also serve snacks and drinks, which will help make some extra cash!
Another way is to rent out a theater, sell tickets, and then have snacks to sell as well!
However you do it, a movie night is a fun way to raise money for your event.
19. Have a Community Yard Sale
A community yard sale is a great way to raise money for your event. You can work with your neighbors to set up a day, where everyone hosts a yard sale. Then, you can all advertise it together, and people will come from all over. With many people donating the proceeds, you can make a lot of money for your event, and have fun while doing it!
20. Have a Fundraising Concert
Hire a band, and charge people to come and listen to them. You can charge $5 a person, and then donate the proceeds to your cause. You could also sell t-shirts, and donate the proceeds.
A fundraising concert is a good way to raise money for your event, and attract a lot of people.
21. Have a Pet Washing Event
A pet washing event is a great and fun way to raise money, plus, who wouldn’t want to come to see a bunch of happy dogs? All you need to do is set up a table, and have a place where students and staff can wash dogs for a fee or donation. You can make this more fun by giving out dog treats, or even sell dog treats!
Some people like to promote their pet washing event by putting posters up around campus, just let people know that you will be washing dogs, and ask them if they would like to sponsor you.
Just be sure to make sure that all dogs are healthy before you wash them! And be gentle.
22. Sell Some Awesome Products
Companies are popping up everywhere that will help you with your fundraiser by offering personalized products, like these stainless steel tumblers.
Putting your school or team’s logo on a tumbler will surely generate sales, and it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
23. Make a Splash with a Dunk Tank
Many people would jump at the chance to dunk their principal into some cold water. Dunk tanks are an easy way to raise money for your event, and they can be a lot of fun!
You can rent a tank, bring it to a location, and have people pay to dunk students, teachers, or staff members. They may also be willing to pay for a stuffed animal or baseball cap! Have some sellable snacks and drinks ready, too.
24. Have a Garden and Plant Sale
A garden and plant sale is a great way to raise money for your event. It is a little work, but it is very successful!
Many people have succulent plant clippings they’d be willing to part with, and students can paint and decorate pots. You could buy potted plants at a discount, and then sell them at a markup.
You could also ask people to donate plants, and give them a plaque in return. Furthermore, you can get creative with this, and it will be a lot of fun!
25. Have a Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? It can also be a great way to raise money for your fundraiser. You could have teams compete against each other, and then charge people to watch. You could also charge people to participate!
Not only that, but you could create clues, and then give the teams a map with a stamp for every clue they find. The team that finds the most clues and gets all their stamps on the map first wins!
26. Karaoke Night
Another fun way to raise money for your event is to have a karaoke night. Students, staff, family, and friends can all come, have a blast, and make money no matter their skill level. Just put a tip jar out!
You can also have prices for each singer. Ever wanted to embarrass a teacher by making them sing? Set monetary goals, like when your tip jar has $200 in it, the principal has to sing karaoke.
27. Trivia Night
A trivia night is a fun way to raise money for your event. You can charge people to play or you can donate the money. Either way, you can make a lot of money for your cause.
There are a few ways you can do this.
You can charge an entry fee, and then split the money between your cause and the prize pool.
You can have a bit of fun with the trivia night and have a theme! The possibilities are endless.
28. Have a Cooking Class
Have a cooking class to raise money for your event. Offer to teach people how to make delicious recipes, and charge a fee to come to watch!
Offer to teach people the secret to a great dish, or teach them about a new culture through the food.
You can make baked treats, and then sell them for even more dough. Or, you can have a makeshift restaurant and serve the food for a price.
This would be great for parents and students! Just charge a flat fee and get to cooking.
29. Social Distancing? Sell Bedsheets
Something everyone needs for a great night’s sleep, plus a good cause. Your school can partner up with a fundraising company to sell bedsheets to friends and family. This is a comfortable and COVID-19 friendly way to make money for your school.
30. Host a Fashion Show
A fashion show is a fun way to get people involved in your event. You could ask local businesses and companies to donate clothing, and then have a model walk the runway, wearing the clothes from each company.
At the end of the show, you could auction off the clothes that the model wore, to raise money for your event.
Make it extra fun by having students and school staff model the clothes!
There are hundreds of fun high school fundraising ideas for your school, all you need is a great team and dedication. These are the most popular ways to raise money for your school, due to how fun and lucrative they are. If you need help with your fundraising, some companies offer personalized products that your school or team can sell for great profit margins.