Need to raise funds your school but don’t quite know how? Don’t worry; you are in the same boat as many other people out there. Fundraising for schools is difficult (i.e. just going out and asking for the cash), simply because most parents are not willing to give money to a school. They feel as though they have already done their part through taxes and the like. In addition to this; finding the actual time to put together a fundraising idea whilst you have to teach is incredibly difficult. It is no wonder that so many schools end up turning to those fundraising companies who in most cases can’t be trusted. Thankfully; earning money for your school is not all that difficult. On this page I want to run you through a few of my favourite school fundraising ideas:
Our Top 12 School Fundraising Ideas That Simply WORK!
1. Clothes Recycling
This method for generating cash for a school is one of the ‘newest’ methods around, but it is already proven to be rather good at generating vast sums of cash with little to no hassle.
This method involves setting up a ‘clothing collection point’ on a certain day at the school (or over multiple days if you wish). Parents and children will then bring in any clothes that they have no use for anymore. The school will then be able to get in touch with a recycling company who will come to the school and collect all of the clothes that have been donated. The recycling company will then ‘weigh’ the clothes and make a pay-out based the weight of the clothes that were collected. The payment will then be sent directly to the school.
This is, for the most part at least, a completely hassle-free form of fundraising for the school. You could have a clothing collection point set up throughout the year and you would have to put very little effort into maintaining it. This is because the majority of the work involved will be carried out by the clothing collection company. All the school needs to do is collect the clothes and inform parents what they need to do. This should be easy as all you would need to do is send out a letter.
One of the brilliant things about this particular method is the fact that it teaches the children about recycling and the importance of it. As you may well know; recycling in this day and age is more important than ever with landfills being packed to the brim. Clothes recycling will teach children that they do not have to keep clothes that they are no longer using or throw them away. It will teach them that there are people out there who are in far more need of their unwanted clothes. In short; not only is this method going to hopefully generate a ton of cash for the school, but it is also likely to be a pretty decent educational exercise for everybody involved.
Find out more about unwanted clothes collection process
2. Bake Sales
Bake Sales are a staple of many fundraising efforts nowadays. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost; absolutely everybody loves a good cake every now and then. This means that the cakes sell pretty quickly too. If you have ever been to a bake sale then you will notice that most of the best cakes are gone in a very short amount of time. That is brilliant. After all; every cake sold is a bit of extra money in your school’s pocket.
Bake sales are drastically simple to put together too. All your school needs to do is get out the word that it is having a bake sale on a set date. You will be surprised at how many parents will be willing to turn up with cakes then. I absolutely love bake sales simply for the fact that tons of people can get involved. You can of course sell coffee and the like on the day. This will boost the amount of money that you make even further! Read more about how to organise a bake sale
3. Candy Bar Fundraising
This is a type of fundraising effort which has been especially popular in the United States but it has not really taken off in most other locations. That being said; it is something which does generate a whole lot of profit. I am sure most of you know what candy bar fundraising is all about.
The idea is that children get out there and sell candy bars to people. They will either sell the candy directly or they will send out brochures and the like which people can order from. As I mentioned already; this is a method which can generate a rather healthy amount of profit without too much hassle. There is also a sort of ‘competitive’ element to it. Children will always be trying to outclass other children in their class to see who sells the most candy bars (parents will probably get involved too!).
The competitive nature of Candy Bar Fundraising means that it is dreadfully easy to push sales through the roof. People will always want to try and sell as many candy bars as possible. This means more cash for your school! For more information please visit candy bar fundraiser explained
4. Charity Cards
Charity cards are an absolutely brilliant way in which to fundraise for a school. As you may know; there are plenty of companies out there nowadays who are more than willing to put together some absolutely fantastic charity cards with the intention of them being resold. It is actually rather easy to sell them at a school too. You will be surprised at how many parents will find it convenient that they can pick up Christmas cards without hopping on over to the shop. Many parents will also feel great knowing that they are doing some to help out their school.
It is worth noting that if you are going to go down this route then you absolutely must purchase Christmas cards which are both religious themed and non-religious themed (unless your school is a fully religious school of course. In that case the first option should be more than fine). This is because some parents out there will be a little bit picky about the type of card they purchase, particularly if they are an atheist.
There are a number of different ways in which you can sell Christmas cards. There are a few companies out there who will allow you to sell generic Christmas cards and take a commission on them (probably the easiest way to go), and there are a few companies out there which will allow you to completely design Christmas cards for your school. These tend to sell a little bit better but they are of course going to be a whole lot more expensive! Read more about charity cards idea
5. Children’s Art Exhibition
Children produce some absolutely brilliant art work from time to time. Why not hold a Children’s Art Exhibition? You could get the children in your school to produce some artwork over a few weeks. You can then display it! Parents will be more than happy to come in and pay to have a look at it (or you could potentially ask for donations). I know that there are a few schools out there that have opted for slightly more prestigious locations than the school hall, but you really do not need to go overboard…I promise you!
Remember; you do not just have to have pictures up there on the walls. You could also look into adding a few arts and crafts that the children in your school make. These will go a long way towards getting people through the door. On top of this; having a children’s art exhibition will sort of ‘showcase’ your school in a positive light. This is brilliant! People love schools which seem to be proud of the work that their students product.
Like many of the other options on this list; you can bring in a few extra funds by selling drinks, cakes, and the like on the day. You may want to combine the Art Exhibition with a parent’s evening or something similar. They will really appreciate it! Read more about children’s art exhibition
6. Fundraising Car Wash
I am sure most of us have heard of this idea before as many places out there seem to have it as a charity drive. This is obviously not going to be ideal for schools with younger students, but high school and above should be fine! Obviously the idea here is to wash as many cars as possible and to take money for it! You can generate a rather significant amount of cash this way. In terms of ‘pricing’, my suggestion is to have a fundraising car wash which has a ‘fixed’ price (to stop people getting away with not paying anything for the car wash), but having an additional donation on top of this if people wish. This will generate a good amount of money.
Planning a fundraising carwash is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. You are going to need to have quite a bit of gear handy…particularly when it will be difficult to predict the amount of cars that will be coming through the car wash. In addition to this you are also going to want to start to advertise well in advance. The only way in which you can be successful with a fundraising car wash is to try and get as many people turning up as possible. After all; the more people that turn up to the car wash fundraiser, the more money you will end up making, and the more money your school will end up enjoying! Do make sure you choose a suitable location for the car wash though. Find out how to organise a successful car wash
7. Colouring Wall
Unless you are really daring, this should not be your sole way of making income through fundraising efforts. You won’t make a ton of cash from it. It is instead something which is going to work a whole lot better when it is combined with a different activity (i.e. a fete or something)
The idea with the colouring wall is that you have a ton of blank paper, crayons, and various other pieces of arts and crafts materials. You also have a wall (obviously). The idea is that the people are allowed to pay for a piece of paper. They can decorate it how they want (you may wish to have a theme in place so people do not get too crazy with their designs!). Once they have come up with something it can be placed right up there on the wall.
As I said previously; it is unlikely that you will end up generating too much cash from this method. It is going to be at least partially fun for the people involved too. At the end of the day you are also going to have a fantastic work of art that can be placed up on the walls of your school which will demonstrate your student’s artistic ability. This means that you get a number of different benefits! Remember; don’t forget those arts and crafts materials (ribbons, foil etc.) as they will really help to take the look of the colouring wall to a whole new level! Find out more about the colouring wall method
8. Metre of Money
This is a method which I do not see practised in all that many schools nowadays. I find that to be quite a great shame as it does have the potential to generate a rather substantial amount of cash…sort of. Well; the children are going to have a ton of fun practising it at least.
The idea is that you have a strip of card which is about a metre in length. You could also opt for a picture or something, it doesn’t really matter what you opt for. The idea is that the children will ‘stick’ money onto this metre of card (or picture). When it is completely filled up they will be able to hand it in. Obviously an individual child will not be completely responsible for filling up the whole card. This is more of a team effort.
Many schools make the idea of a ‘metre of money’ work by making it as a sort of competition. The class which manages to fill up the most pieces of card will get a prize or something. You could also have a sort of ‘totalizer’ which highlights how many metres or pieces of card were collected by the school. Much of the money that will collected from the metre of money will be small amounts, but obviously every little is going to help when it comes to raising funds for the school!
9. Lollipop Fundraising
This idea is pretty much in the same vein as selling the candy bars and the like. The main difference here is that you will be selling lollipops. There are plenty of companies out there that you can purchase these lollipops from at an incredibly cheap price.
It is however worth noting that unless you go down the gourmet lollipop route then you are probably going to have to sell tons of these lollipops to make any chance of a decent amount of profit. It should therefore not be your sole way of making money. I find that this is a method which tends to work best during fetes and other fundraising events that you may be organizing. In fact; you may also wish to sell the lollipops to pupils of the school. Do however bear in mind that not all parents will be happy about that! Obviously you do not want the children to have access to lollipops at all hours of the day. Perhaps only during their breaks?
I find lollipop fundraising to be particularly fun simply down to the fact that the profit margins on the lollipops tend to be rather high. You can probably easily double the price of the lollipop. This means a good amount of cash in your pocket. As I mentioned before though; lollipops are cheap and you will have to sell quite a few of them if you want to make a good amount of cash! More about lollipop fundraising.
10. Sponsored Silence
Every teacher’s dream is to have a completely silent classroom, right? Well; why not actually obtain that with a sponsored silence!
A sponsored silence will involve the pupils being handed cash to be silent throughout the whole school day (and if you can trust them, when they get home too). This method is pretty simple. All you need to do is print off some sponsorship forms and send them home with the children. They will then collect sponsorship money. They will then have to be silent throughout the whole day that you have planned the sponsored silence for. The only time in which they will be able to open up their mouth is if the teacher asks them a question. They will not be able to say anything at any other time! Teachers are going to absolutely love this method as the classroom is going to be completely silent. The sponsored silence tends to work best when you have multiple classrooms doing it at the same time. If you do not then you will probably run into the trap of other classrooms trying to talk to the people who are doing the sponsored silence and that can potentially end up ruining everything…which is obviously not something you want to be dealing with!
You should be able to generate a rather decent amount of cash using this method. You should be able to find the forms that you need to collect the sponsorships online. There are plenty of sites out there which will offer them for free.
11. Sweet Raffle
Children love sweets, right? Well; why not encourage every child to bring in sweets to school. They will not be for eating purposes, not quite yet though at least. They will instead be thrown into a large hamper. Throughout the week the children will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets. At the end of the week a drawing will be made. The winner of the raffle ends up with the huge hamper of sweets (or you could have multiple hampers and thus multiple prizes!)
As I said; children absolutely love sweets and you should be able to generate a rather decent amount of sponsorships by utilising this method. Don’t forget to have a few prizes for the ‘runners up’ though. They do not have to be big, but it would be awesome if every child won at least something small…even if it is just a small chocolate bar (a miniature one!). Read more about sweet raffle fundraiser.
12. Non-Uniform Day
My final suggestion is ‘non-uniform day’. This is obviously something which is only going to work if you have a school that wears uniform.
The idea is that students will come in wearing any clothes that they want. All they need to do is pay a small fee for the privilege. Obviously you will want to have some rules in place on the non-uniform day to make sure that students do not abuse the fact that they do not have to wear a uniform that day.
Obviously you do not want to be running this type of event too often. The majority of schools out there will do it once or twice a year at the most. This makes it that little bit extra special for the pupils when they get a chance.
The brilliant thing about non-uniform day is the fact that the majority of students pout there will actually pay not to wear a uniform. This means that you will be taking in a rather sizeable amount of cash. Many schools combine non-uniform day with other events. For example; my old school used to make sure non-uniform day coincided with fetes and the like. This was so that they could earn a little bit of extra cash. Read here how to organise a no uniform day