Fundraising can be time-consuming and stressful, but when done the right way, it can actually be great fun.
Fundraising as a school is even more beneficial, as it allows students to learn invaluable skills such as teamwork, planning, creativity, communication and maybe even a little entrepreneurial thinking. Though students can certainly raise funds individually, fundraising as a class or a whole school enables them to socialise and bond with others, and they can even get their families involved too!
Here we have a whole bunch of the best fundraising ideas to do at school, suited to various scenarios and age groups. Whether you’re looking for quick and simple fundraising ideas for schools or something big that’ll really get people’s attention, this list aims to cover all angles.
We hope you enjoy this list of school fundraising ideas for kids, and if you happen to know of others that have worked for you, please share them with us on social media! @TrueEducation_P.
Primary School Fundraising Ideas
This list of primary school fundraising ideas is packed with fun, easy activities, perfect for younger fundraisers.
Cakes and biscuits are always a crowd-pleaser and almost guarantee your fundraiser will be a success! Children can get creative and bake the goods themselves (with help from grown-ups), and you could also ask that parents and families get involved too.
The sale could take place after school or at break times, or could even become a regular event where a different class supply the cakes each week/month.
Bring & Buy Sale
Not only is a Bring & Buy sale a great way to raise funds, it also teaches children about letting go of items and donating unwanted toys and clothes to a good cause.
Ask all the children (and parents!) to bring unwanted items from their homes to the school. The sale can be held in the school hall or in the playground – anywhere there is plenty of space to set up stalls.
Invite families and friends too, as this will encourage more promotion of the event and help more items to be sold.
Walking is an easy activity that almost everyone can enjoy. It also educates children about the importance of fresh air and getting out and about together.
Ask the children to get sponsored for every lap or mile they do of a planned route, either within school grounds or around their local town/village.
Most children love to read, and holding a sponsored read is a great way to get those not so keen into reading for pleasure.
Children can either choose their own books or have teachers choose a list of books which increase in difficulty. Children can get sponsored for every book they finish or for every chapter of a longer book. Consider creating a tracking chart so children can see their progress visually and be inspired to keep on reading.
Almost every school has a sports day, so why not use one to raise money for your cause or event?
Families and audiences can purchase tickets to watch the event, and the school could even have food stalls like a BBQ selling hotdogs and burgers, to make extra money.
An art exhibition is a fantastic way to showcase children’s artwork and raise money at the same time.
The exhibition could be held in the school hall or even in a marquee in the playing field. Parents and families can come and purchase the children’s work, with all proceeds going to the fund. The art can be from different categories and use lots of different mediums, such as paintings, chalkings, pencil drawings, poetry, pottery, model-making, construction and other crafts.
A quiz night can be set up either for the students within the school, or opened up for parents and families to take part too.
Allow older students to part-take in writing the questions, which can be based around school subjects (if the quiz is for students) or general knowledge. The winners could earn rewards such as tokens, vouchers or goody bags. A raffle or tombola can also be added to the evenings’s proceedings, to raise even more money.
Children can learn to knit as well as getting sponsored for every line of knitting they finish. If one of the students has a parent or relative who can knit, they could come in and teach the children as part of a lunchtime or after-school club.
Any finished products can also be sold or exhibited within the school to help raise more money. This idea can also be applied to sewing and needlework too.
If there is a special holiday approaching, such as Christmas or Easter, children can have fun creating their own greetings cards, which can then be sold to parents, teachers or other students ahead of the occasion.
This is another opportunity for children to practise their creativity while also thinking about the messages they’d like to give in their cards.
Teddy Bear Picnic
One for the younger pupils of the school, a teddy bear picnic is a fun way to spend a lunchtime. Ask each child to bring in their favourite teddy bear from home, as well as asking parents/carers to provide a dish for the picnic, like sandwiches or cakes. The picnic can either take place outside on the school field or in the school hall, if the weather is a problem.
Ask each child to bring a ‘fixed’ donation to attend and don’t forget to include lots of teddy bear games, such as Pass the Teddy, Toss the Teddy (with a large blanket or parachute) and the Teddy Hokey Cokey!
Fundraising Ideas for Secondary Schools
These fundraising ideas for older students will bring plenty of entertainment and rack up the pennies, fast!
Year 11 students can offer babysitting services in their neighbourhood if they’d like to help raise funds for their school event or trip. Alternatively, the school could host a babysitting evening at the school, where older students read and do activities with the younger ones while the parents receive a well-earned break.
Battle of the Bands
Lots of people learn to play instruments at secondary school and explore music as a hobby. Why not organise a Battle of The Bands competition at your school, to encourage students to collaborate and show off their musical talents!
Depending on interest, the BoTB could take place in one evening, or you could organise separate shows for different heats of the competition, finishing with an epic finale. Charge bands a small fee to compete and make it a ticketed event for parents, families and students to attend.
Similar to the Battle Of The Bands, a Karaoke contest involves all students, including those who may not be so musically gifted!
Have students form teams and compete in either singing or lip-syncing. You could go the whole way and have a full-on lip sync contest.
If your headteacher is willing, students could sponsor them to complete a challenge, such as dying their hair a dramatic colour or taking part in a tough obstacle course. Students can also donate to vote for their favourite idea, which will help drive up the funds even further.
Colour Runs make running and jogging more fun for high school students. Have students wear white t-shirts, and at specific checkpoints, volunteers will spray them with a water-based paint or even throw paint-filled water balloons at them!
Raise money by charging a participation fee or by getting sponsors to donate money for each lap completed.
This idea is not only great for raising money, but also encourages students to think about the environment, too.
Try to set up a partnership with a company that will buy old recycled items from you, such as mobile phones, ink cartridges, clothes, shoes, paper, cans and more. Then, set students the task of collecting as many of these items as possible, with the intent of raising as much money as they can.
A school or class car wash is a fun way to raise money, especially on a hot summer’s day! Set up a car washing station in the playground or school yard, and have staff and students volunteer to wash the cars of parents, teachers and other visitors for a small donation.
As mentioned earlier, walking is a great healthy activity and will make an accessible fundraising event for everyone. Lay out a dedicated route and ask students to get sponsorship based on laps completed or miles walked (depending on the length of the route).
Alternatively, students could also be sponsored for walking to school every morning for a week or two, instead of coming by car or public transport. Ask students to donate all the money that was saved by not using transport to the fund.
For a unique fundraising idea, give each student a small amount of ‘seed money’, such as £5 or £10, and use their creativity to turn it into a larger amount of money.
Though this fundraiser will most likely require some ground rules, it’s great for encouraging students’ entrepreneurial mindset and business skills.
Quick & Simple Fundraising Ideas
Sometimes there isn’t time to plan an elaborate event, and schools need to raise funds fast. If that’s the case, then take a look at our list of quick fundraising ideas for schools below. Each one of these can be used alone or in conjunction with other fundraising activities.
Asking students to come to school in their own clothes for a day isn’t going to be met with much resistance! By charging each student a mere £1 for the privilege, this is an easy way to grow major funds.
Power of Change
This idea is named as such because it literally utilises the small change students carry in their pockets!
Have every class place a large jar in the corridor outside of their classroom. As students walk by, they are encouraged to drop any spare change they have into the jar. Each class can create posters and artwork to attract attention towards their jar and encourage other people to donate. The first class that manages to fill their jar gets a reward.
Chocolate Bar Sale
If baking cakes is too much hassle, then consider hosting a chocolate bar sale instead. Students can team up in groups or sell them as a class to their fellow students to raise money.
This is a easy idea because few busy students will say no to chocolate. However, sellers can get creative by coming up with different pitches, including selling in costume or finding an interesting location to sell from (with staff supervision of course).
Similar to holding a sponsored read, students can be sponsored to read a certain number of books, pages or chapters by a given date. Teachers can choose the reading material or allow students to choose their own.
Though raising the funds won’t happen overnight, a read-a-thon or sponsored read is very low cost and doesn’t require a lot of time to set up.
A 50/50 draw requires minimum effort to set up, but can have a fantastic impact. Based on a simple lottery system, the draw requires students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community to make donations, with the winner of the draw getting half of the money.
This one works because people know that the more they donate, the money they might win back. It can be used as part of another fundraising event, like a quiz night.
Chess or Scrabble Tournament
Lots of kids love to play Scrabble, and for those that know how, Chess. Set up a tournament for either one of these games using a dedicated space in the school library or sports hall.
The players could compete with a timer to keep games short or, if you have the luxury of leaving the playing tables set up for a while, play against one another in stages. Not only can these games be a great way of challenging students’ logical thinking an literacy skills, they also enhance concentration.
Raise money by charging students a small fee to compete.
Online Giving Forms
Online giving forms like JustGiving are easy ways for students to gather donations. Not only does it offer an easy way for donators to pay online, it’s also a handy place to provide a full explanation of why you are raising funds in the first place, as well as any other documents that might support your cause.
Sites like JustGiving also allow you to establish a fundraising target and then watch as you get closer to your goal.
Paper Aeroplane Challenge
What’s easier than a paper aeroplane challenge? Most students will know how to fold a plane and all you need is paper!
The paper aeroplane challenge could take place within the class or across the whole school, with a little forward planning of how the competition will be structured. Whoever flies their plane the furthest wins each round, and you can use either the school hall or sports hall at lunchtimes or after school.
If you can get hold of them, scratchcard fundraising is another quick, easy and fun way for schools to raise money.
Each student has a scratchcard and asks others to scratch off a circle on their card. Each circle or box contains a low donation amount, such a £1 or £5, which signifies how much the player has to donate. Each card will usually add up to a set amount, such as £100, but it doesn’t matter if the student doesn’t meet it.
Some fundraising scratchcards also have variations on this basic idea, such as match the symbols or find the winning team. Students can of course take more than one scratchcard if they wish. Most companies offer different cards for different types of fundraising, such as school fundraising and team sports fundraising.
School Council Fundraising Ideas
Sometimes it may be up to the school’s Student Council body to raise funds for new school equipment, or a school event. If that’s the case, then here are a few school council fundraising ideas that will help students use their political power to raise some dough.
Contact Local Businesses
One first port of call when raising money for your school can be to reach out to local businesses. As the Student Council, students can explain what they are raising money for and ask whether they can help.
It may be a benefit to choose businesses that are related to your cause; for example, a computing or digital company if what you’re raising money for is new computers.
Contact a Local Celebrity
Local celebrities and famous alumni members are also keen to help out schools. Students can ask them for a donation or to spread awareness of your fundraising cause using their social media channels. They could also invite them down for a tour of the school and a photo opportunity, which they can then share with local news outlets (see below).
Contact the Local Newspaper
If you’re a school that’s fundraising for a good cause, your local newspaper will definitely want to hear about it. Write them a letter politely explaining your goal and if they would be happy to spread the message. Don’t forget to let them know how people can donate!
Go on Local Radio
What better way to spread the word of your fundraiser than by students talking about it themselves, on local radio? Students can reach out to a few local radio stations and see if they’d be willing to offer any airtime. Nominate a couple of students who’d be willing to go along and who can talk about the fundraiser confidently.
Ask school suppliers
Student Council members can also look to school suppliers for a bit of additional financial help. With the help of a teacher, they can write letters to those who the school has a positive, trusting relationship with.
A debate competition will really get students talking and can be a useful way for the Student Council to decide what they will focus on next! Ask students to group themselves into teams and come up with topics they’d like to discuss. They can also choose from a list of prepared topics if that’s easier.
Participants can either pay a small donation to debate, or get sponsored by friends and family. Teams that raise the most money can enjoy interesting perks, such as choosing who gets to debate first.
School Movie Night Fundraiser Ideas
A school movie night is a fantastic way to bring the whole school together, whilst enjoying something every student loves – films! Attendees can be charged for entry, as well making donations to buy snacks for the evening from student-run stalls.
There are lots of different ways to host a school movie night, mostly depending on your budget and the ages of the children that will be taking part. Here are some of our favourite themes and ideas below.
Spooky Movie Night
Perfect for Halloween, invite all of the students within the year or class to huddle up in the school hall and watch spooky movies! Organisers can decorate the school in creepy decor to make it feel more haunted, and serve Halloween-themed snacks such as jelly worms, pumpkin pasties and mummy hot dogs!
Of course, if you’re hosting younger children, you won’t want to show anything too scary. Instead, movies like Hocus Pocus, Coraline and Hotel Transylvania will be good options.
For older students, you’ll still want to keep movies to around a 12-15 rating (depending on age).
Red Carpet Movie Night
By showing films that are pretty recent, you can turn your school movie night into a red carpet premier! Encourage students to dress up in formal attire for the occasion, and arrange themed snacks such as fancy canapes and flutes of lemonade with fruit.
Rather than host it at the school, you could even go the next level and see if a local theatre or museum would let you host it there for free.
Outdoor Cinema Movie Night
If you’re fundraising during the warmer months, then an outdoor cinema movie night can be an exciting way to soak up the longer evenings.
Though it will require hiring of certain equipment, such as a large projector screen or pop-up cinema screen, and a film rental license, this event has the potential to become huge, especially if students’ families are invited too.
For seating, everybody could sit on picnic blankets, old sofas or even deckchairs! Snacks could be sold from a hired food truck or a teacher and student-led BBQ.
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