There are lots of ways for students to raise money. We believe that selling products is one of the best ways but we certainly do not believe that it is the only way. So let’s cover some different school fundraising ideas you might consider:
1. Selling Cookie Dough – This is one of the most tried and proven items sold by students these days. If every student brought their brochures and order forms home and showed them to their immediate family and close friends and neighbors schools would make tons of money. But if you are looking for an easy to sell item that most everyone would purchase this is a great starting point.
2. Carnivals – When our kids were young their school held an annual carnival that raised a lot of money. The kids had a great time and it gave families a night to enjoy. Carnivals are great for schools with very active parent organizations because they require a lot of volunteer hours virtually year round. There are lots of resources for great games and events for your carnival. Be sure to include things like a dunking booth with the principal, get out of class passes and other things students will really want.
3. Bake Sales – There’s nothing like a good old bake sale to raise some money. The problem these days, though, are food restrictions within school districts. But if your district and principal allow them then consider a bake sale. Send notices home and have parents bake their best recipes to be sold at an event like a PTA meeting.
4. Book Sales – There are a few different companies that offer books sales. You can do it one of two ways. You can have books physically delivered to your campus and set up an actual book selling event or you can get catalogs that offer a lot of different children’s books for sale. Either way the school makes a certain profit percentage on all the books purchased and you are actually promoting reading which can’t be a bad way to raise funds for a school.
5. Candy Sales – Again some schools have food restrictions but just about every kid would buy a candy bar now and then so if allowed you might consider a candy fundraiser. We’ve seen schools set up lollipop sales every Friday so the kids knew there would a table offering lollipops for sale on their way home at the end of every school week. You may not raise a lot of money every week but when you add up a year’s worth of sales you’d be surprised how much cash can be raised.
6. Car Washes – These are so common – especially with older grade levels. The problem is whether your students want to do the work or not. Find a local business with a hose connection and good busy street frontage and set up your car wash. Lot’s of groups advertise their events as free car washes and depend on tips as their revenue source. Others charge a nominal fee to make sure they are at least paid.
7. Chili Cook Offs – Chili cook offs are always popular events. Your school can sell tickets to the event to raise money. Chili is easy to cook and the cook off part makes the events fun and interesting.
8. Hot Dog Stands – These work well in high schools where kids purchase their lunches. Instead of the same old cafeteria food and as an option other than driving off for a rushed lunch you might consider setting up a hot dog stand where kids can purchase great tasting hot dogs for a good price and a good cause.
9. Pizza Night – Pizza nights can be held a couple of ways. The easy way is to partner with a local pizzeria. Most stores will gladly give a percentage of sales to the school if you can send customers their way. The better you are at advertising the better your results will be. The other option is to purchase pizzas – hopefully at a discounted price – and have them delivered to the school where you sell the pizza by the slice at a profit. You can also sell pizza at carnivals and other parent events to make even more money those nights.
10. Restaurant Partners – Lots of restaurants have realized that they can get a lot of traffic by partnering with schools and school organizations. Lots of restaurants even let students and teachers act as waiters or hostesses. The restaurant shares a portion of the night’s sales as way for you to make money. Depending on the size of your group and the popularity of the restaurant, these events can be held with some regularity and raise quite a bit of money.
11. Golf Tournaments – Lots of charities use gold tournaments to raise money and there is no reason a school couldn’t do the same. In fact lots of booster clubs have begun to recognize the attractiveness of golf. You raise money from entry fees, sponsorships and possibly even food sales.
12. Spaghetti Dinners – This could be one of the most popular fundraisers for schools because they are easy to run and the food is relatively inexpensive. You can hold the event in your gym and get either students, teachers or administrators to be wait staff. A couple of parent volunteers can make enough spaghetti to feed a ton of people. You can even ask local grocery stores to donate some of the food in return for recognition as a sponsor. People will pay $5 or $10 to eat and support your group.