School Fundraising Ideas: Easy Ways to Raise Money for a Cause

School Fundraising Ideas: Easy Ways to Raise Money for a Cause

Are you looking for fundraising ideas for schools? You’re in the right place. Whether you’re a teacher, a member of the PTA or just a concerned citizen who wants to support their community’s school, you’ll get plenty of inspiration from our list of school fundraising ideas.

Why You Need Fundraiser Ideas for School

students in a classroom
Schools across the U.S. are struggling, with many dealing with budget cuts caused by low enrollment rates, the pandemic-induced recession and other challenges. This is worrisome because lack of funding is linked to student performance. 
Research by the Learning Policy Institute shows that school resources that cost money, such as higher teacher salaries and smaller class sizes, are associated with improved student outcomes. It also showed that schools with students from low-income households do better at school and graduate at a higher rate when they have access to equitable educational resources.
Many states are fighting back against school budget cuts. However, students need access to quality educational resources and tools now.
While fundraising won’t solve these problems, it can help bridge the gap and pay for students’ urgent needs, such as:
  • Classroom supplies
  • Computers and audiovisual equipment
  • Educational field trips
  • Arts and music programs
  • Athletic equipment  
Fundraising can also help schools cover additional training costs for teachers and travel expenses to educational conferences.
Apart from helping schools raise money for student and teacher resources, fundraisers help strengthen communities and provide opportunities for socialization for students and their families. In addition, it teaches students the importance of goal setting, resourcefulness and accountability. Also, brainstorming unique and creative school fundraising ideas is a lot of fun!

School Fundraising Ideas: Getting Started

volunteers for fundraiser
Before you get to the exciting part – coming up with fundraising ideas for students — you’ll first have to do a bit of planning. Fundraisers can be stressful and chaotic if not properly organized, and it will be hard to find volunteers for your next event if the current one ends up a disaster.
To get started on your fundraising ideas for schools, follow these tips:

Set a Goal

set goals
When setting a goal for your school fundraiser ideas, make sure it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Time-Bound). It’s hard to measure success if you have a vague goal, such as “earn enough money to buy new computers” or “attract new donors.” On the other hand, SMART goals give everyone involved a sense of purpose and allow them to check on their progress along the way.
Set a specific dollar amount or number of new donors to make your fundraiser goals SMART. You should also make your goals time-bound, for example, “collect $1000 from donors by November 2023.”

Create a Budget

man making promotional materials for fundraiser

When considering fundraiser ideas for schools, don’t forget to factor the costs into your decision. For example, most fundraisers require you to spend on venue rentals, printing flyers and renting a sound system. Before paying for any of these, ensure your budget can stand it. Otherwise, you might end up spending more than you make.

Fun, Family-Friendly Fundraising Ideas for High School and Elementary School

Color Run

marathon as a fundraising idea
A color run is one of the most low-cost, low-effort fundraisers for schools. Race participants are typically asked to wear white t-shirts. While running down the track or venue, they will be pelted with color powder by volunteers and the event crew.
Color runs are meant to be fun, so they are usually not timed, and there are no awards to compete for. However, booking a DJ to play at the start and finish lines can keep the excitement levels up.
If race participants include children, be careful when purchasing color powder. Make sure the ones you get are FDA-approved. As an added precaution, advise all participants to wear goggles or sunglasses.
You can raise funds from a color run in several ways, such as:
  • Charging a registration fee.
  • Promoting local businesses at water and powder stations in exchange for sponsorship or donations.
  • Selling race merchandise and concessions.

Shoe Drive

Shoe drive
Many people have shoes they rarely use, just stored in the backs of their closets or gathering dust on shoe racks. What’s more, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, about 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away every year, many of them ending up in landfills.
Instead of letting unwanted shoes take up space, why not ask your community to donate shoes to your shoe donation drive?
While nonprofits like Goodwill don’t pay for shoe donations, organizations like The Fundraising Company do. How it works: you gather shoe donations from students, their families and members of your community at a fundraising event, then reach out to the coordinator to arrange packaging, shipping and payment.
The great thing about shoe drives is that they help both the school that’s doing the fundraising and the environment. What’s more, shoes sent to The Fundraising Company are given to micro-entrepreneurs in South America and Africa for them to sell. This means you also get to help these micro-entrepreneurs support their families and gain financial independence.
Also, among the other fundraisers for schools ideas discussed in this article, a shoe donation drive is the most low-cost. There is nothing to sell, buy or rent, and The Fundraising Company takes care of marketing your event, so you don’t have to.

Karaoke Night

karaoke night as a fundraiser
If you’re looking for fundraising ideas for high school, this one’s for you. Karaoke is fun for older kids but still family-friendly and appropriate for a school fundraiser. It also doesn’t have to cost a lot to host — if you don’t have a karaoke machine – a karaoke app, speakers and a large screen will do. However, you might need to pay for a venue, like an auditorium.
To ensure everyone — not just the vocally gifted — participates, consider inserting an “absolutely no talent required” disclaimer in your marketing materials. In addition, you can make the event more fun by having students, teachers, or even the principal take requests in return for a donation. 

Bring Your Fundraising Ideas for Students to Life

The Fundraising Company helps schools, sports teams, youth groups, nonprofits and community organizations raise funds through shoe donation drives. When you partner with us, you’ll have a dedicated guide to help you with goal setting, planning your fundraiser and marketing your event — all for free. To learn more, reach out to us at (213)-458-9896 or send us a message through our online form.

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