Everyone knows about the time-tested school fundraisers, like Read-A-Thons and Silent Auctions, so here are a few ideas that you may not have considered before that can help your school raise money:
In a clothing swap, people bring their used clothes (usually a minimum of 20 or 25 pieces) and in exchange, they take home as many pieces of clothing as they like. Schools charge a small entrance fee and collect the clothes before the event and organize them into size and type. Any unclaimed clothes can be donated to the nearest shelter. This fundraiser is a win for school, win for the parents, and a big win for the environment.
In Math-A-Thons, students answer as many math problems as they can over a period of time and ask their friends and family to support them by making a donation to their school. ForOurSchool.org can help you manage the fundraiser and collect donations. They automatically create unique, grade-appropriate math problems and offer school and class leaderboards that help motivate the students. Donations go directly to your Paypal account, so not only do you keep 100% of the money donated, but if your school PTA is registered as a 501c3 (it should!) then Paypal takes a reduced processing fee, so you’ll earn even more.
Peer tutoring is when students help other students with their homework. The school or PTA would be responsible for selecting and potentially paying the tutors, making a meeting place available, and setting a schedule. They can then charge students a small fee to be tutored. Many students respond better to tutoring done by older students in their school and peer tutoring can really benefit the tutors as well, by giving them an opportunity to earn money, and teach the material in simple and understandable ways. This fundraiser can take a little more oversight and organization than others, but the value to the students and tutors is significant.
Empty can drive
Students bring in bags of empty bottles and cans which can then be recycled for a refund. The classrooms that bring in the most cans can be rewarded with a pizza or ice cream party. The average per pound of aluminum cans in the United States is $0.56, so it would take a lot of cans for this to be a big windfall for your school. However, this fundraiser can help clean your community and the environment and teach students the benefits of recycling.
Stand-up comedy night
Most Kids cannot tell a joke without laughing uncontrollably midway through, but thankfully most kids also love to laugh, so a stand-up comedy night is sure to put the FUN in FUNdraiser… Schools would be responsible for collecting sign-ups, setting a time and place, organizing the audio equipment, and collecting entrance fees. You also may want to provide some coaching and feedback for the comics so that they are adequately prepared. The fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, is believed to affect up to 75% of the population, so fun events that can expose people to public speaking early in their life can providing lasting benefits.
THAT’S INTERESTING! ForOurSchool.org offers students and schools personalized donation pages where donors can leave messages of encouragement
Grilled cheese competition
In a grilled cheese competition, parents and students make their own unique 10 or 20 grilled cheese sandwiches and cut each one up into 4 or 6 pieces. Everyone that attends is a judge, and depending on the number of submissions and attendees, each attendee gets to try a handful of pieces and they rank which ones they like best. This can either be a kid focused event, that can expose kids to new types of foods, or an adult focused event, that can incorporate alcohol.
In sell-a-square fundraisers, parents purchase a small section of a wall in the school that either faces the street or the classrooms. They can then put messages of encouragement, fun drawing, or anything they want (except advertising) and the messages will stay up for the entire school year. Importantly, these squares are not permanent and can be resold each school year.
REALLY? YES, REALLY! 15 ways to know if your fundraiser was a success
Break a world (or school) record
World (or school) record fundraisers involve soliciting donations in support of the students effort to break the record. If you are ambitious, you can apply to set or break a Guinness World Record or it can be as simple as a record for your school. These records can be anything from largest gathering of ABBA impersonators (369!) to most jumping jacks performed by a group of people in 5 minutes. Anything you think of can be a record and the more outlandish, the better. This fundraiser can take some work to organize and pull off, but if you are able to succeed, it is something that the students will remember forever.
SEE ALSO: Free tools for your school fundraiser
School sleepovers require a lot of support from parent helpers, but students love the opportunity to stay overnight in classrooms and wake up with their friends, and parents love the night off. You can charge a fee per student, put on a movie, play some games, and then call it a night!
Used book swap
Similar to a clothing swap, families bring in a bag of books they no longer want and exchange them for other books. Unclaimed books can be kept by the library or donated and the school can ask for an entrance fee for organizing the event.