Fundraising requires volunteers, organization, and perseverance. Schools fundraise for a variety of reasons: field trips, a new playground, library books, scholarships, events such as: graduations and celebrations. A school may also want to fundraise to raise money for an outside cause such as a family who has lost their home, or a crisis. I recently attended a school fundraiser and they were raising money for the Canadian Red Cross to help the families who were displaced because of the Fort McMurray Fires.
Schools fundraise in a variety of different ways. Here are some ideas for school fundraisers:
Fun Fairs have the potential to make quite a bit of money. They do require a lot of organization and volunteers. It works well to have a ticket booth at the entrance of the event and have Fun Fair guests purchase tickets to participate in the events. Each event will have a ticket cost to participate. Games such as fishing with magnets, shooting hoops, hockey shooting, balloon pop, lollypop tree… A Fun Fair is not complete without a silent auction where local businesses donate items that guests at the Fun Fair bid on. The person who bids the highest wins the item. The cake walk is another big hit. Have a cake decorating contest among the students and use those cakes for the cake walk. The cake walk is similar to musical chairs where you tape 20 numbers to the floor and have 18 participants (2 numbers free are needed to ensure everyone can walk) when the music starts everyone walks around the circle and when the music stops everyone stops on the number they land on. The leader of the game pulls a number from a bucket and the player who is standing on that number gets to pick out a cake. bouncy castles, laser tag, climbing walls, and carnival rides can be rented through local party rental organizations, but they are costly. Last, but not least the concession needs to be filled with BBQ, drinks, and desserts.
Loonie Toonie Events:
In Canada we have loonies ($1 coins) and toonies ($2 coins) and a Loonie Toonie is similar to a silent auction in terms of local organizations and businesses donate items to the Loonie Toonie and participants purchase either $1 tickets or $2 tickets. In front of each item is a sign that says whether the item is a $1 or a $2 item, and each item also has a paper bag where participants and put their ticket into. At the end of the event one ticket is drawn from each item’s bag and the winner is announced. 50/50 draws could be happening throughout the day and tables can be purchased by local artists who want to sell their arts, crafts, and goods. A bake sale and concession would do well at an event like this!
Arts and Crafts Sale or Community Garage Sale:
These events are always fun and part of the proceeds from each table go to the school. This event could also have 50/50 draws, raffles for donated items, and a concession with proceeds going to the school.
Sell Student Made Items:
Have students draw, paint, or photograph images for Christmas cards or calendars and then have a local company print them or print them yourself and sell the Christmas cards in bundles of 10 to families or have them for sale in the school office and in local stores with the proceeds going to the school. A cook book with student’s families recipes might also be a good seller.
Set up a pop up art gallery and auction off student art. You could also have live entertainment and sell tickets for juice and cheese.
Have students collect pledges for a spell-a-thon or a school marathon with the money raised going to the school.
Bottle Drive or Recycling Round up:
Collect cans and bottles door to door, or have students bring their exchangeable recycling to the school on the event day.
Older students can spend a day washing cars. This is a good fundraiser to ask a local mall or gas station to allow the school to use a portion of their parking lot for the car wash. Advertise in the newspaper, or on your local radio station, and make sure to have lots of big colourful signs advertising your car wash!
Raffle off a basket or a donated item:
At a school I used to work at, they had a local artisan donate a piece of artwork and the school sold raffle tickets out of the office for months and also had a table set up to purchase tickets from at the annual Christmas concert. The school finally did the draw at the end of the Loonie Toonie fundraiser. Another raffle idea is before a special event have each classroom be responsible for creating a themed basket. The class can fundraise to purchase items, ask local businesses to donate items, or have students each bring in a item that fits the theme. The baskets can be raffled at a school wide function.
Have a special school wide hot lunch:
Students each pay a small amount to get a hotdog, juice box, and cookie for lunch. This is a good fundraiser to do regularly and it is a good fundraiser to have parent volunteers or an older class in the school help with.