Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to plan a school fundraiser since many young people embrace the fun, scary activities that come with Halloween. Yet, Halloween seems to sneak up on us every year, with all of the other back-to-school activities and year-end giving campaigns.
Here are some fun Halloween-themed fundraisers to raise money for your school while making Halloween planning easier and less expensive for families.
The Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser
Plan a Pumpkin Patch fundraiser where school community members can select their Halloween pumpkins and participate in other scary activities. Purchase bales of hay and pumpkins from a local farm, then decorate your school parking lot or recreation area. Include a pumpkin carving or Halloween coloring contest and a maze with bales of hay as part of the event. Transform a trailer into a fun ride by adding bales of hay and raise additional revenue by offering hay rides. You can also sell hot chocolate, apple cider, caramel apples, popcorn, trick-or-treat bags, pumpkin-carving kits, and more.
A Pumpkin Patch is a great Halloween fundraising idea for an elementary school, as young children will enjoy the pumpkin patch and hay rides.
The Spooky Fun Run
As parents and educators, we are interested in teaching children about how physical activity and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall self-esteem, productivity, and enjoyment of life. In our society, there is a tendency for children to make unhealthy choices, and Halloween is certainly no exception. Why not get the kids out running with this Halloween fundraising idea instead of sitting around eating candy?
A school fun run is made even more fun with the addition of Halloween costumes. You could add an obstacle course with zombies and ghosts hiding out. Some schools also take the opportunity to make it a Dog Walk with contests for the best dog costumes. Now that sounds fun.
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Halloween Party Fundraiser
Plan a Halloween party at your school. Invite students, parents, and members of the community. Raise money by selling tickets in advance or at the door. Arrange for your school’s food service to supply dinner or work with a local pizzeria to donate pizzas. Offer a “witches’ brew” punch using dry ice to make it look like it’s smoking (or use the dry ice for scary fog effects).
Decorate with festive Halloween decorations and hire a DJ to provide spooky music. Encourage attendees to dress up and host a costume contest as part of this Halloween fundraiser. Get prizes donated from local businesses and reward attendees with the best Halloween costumes. Host a silent auction and fundraising raffle to raise more. This is a great way for students and families to celebrate together in a fun, safe environment while raising funds for your school.
Harvest Dinner Fundraiser
Fall is also the time of the harvest. Why not organize a farm-to-table fundraiser for your school? Invite a local chef or restaurant focusing on local produce to prepare a special harvest meal for parents and families. Provide a child care center for the little ones so that the parents can enjoy themselves. This fundraiser is a great way to get parents to know each other and will help build your PTO and school spirit, in addition to having the potential to raise a lot of money for your school. Add a Halloween theme with costumes and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Halloween Costume Sales
Turn your school into a pop-up costume shop! Weeks before Halloween, send out an announcement requesting people to donate old Halloween costumes. You may even want to do this immediately following Halloween the previous year when people have costumes easily accessible and then store these for your costume sale during the upcoming year. Plan a day or weekend where community members can come to your costume sale and browse and purchase Halloween costumes. This makes costume shopping easy and affordable for all.
You can also offer pumpkins and carving kits for sale, sell hot apple cider, trick-or-treat bags, bags of candy, Halloween decorations, and more.
Haunted House at the School
Turn your school gymnasium into a haunted house the weekend preceding Halloween. Charge an admission fee and promote the Haunted House throughout the community. Decorate the school with spider webs, ghosts, strobe lights, and other creepy creations. Have students volunteer to help create scary scenes like a ghost in a graveyard, a vampire cave with creepy coffins, and a witch stirring her pot.
Include a fundraising raffle as part of the event. Reach out to local businesses to donate raffle prizes (such as gift certificates, sporting event tickets, and a kid’s bike or scooter). Display the prizes at the ticket counter and invite people to purchase raffle tickets as they buy their admission to the haunted house. Announce raffle winners at the close of the event.
Fall Carnival or Festival
Halloween offers an excellent opportunity for school carnivals. Many schools offer free admission to their carnivals so everyone can attend, with game tickets being sold to earn money. Include all kinds of games for elementary kids and their families, including a bouncy house, win-a-fish, lucky duck, and soda toss ring games, to name a few. Cotton candy, pizza, popcorn, and beverages bring in extra funds. Raffle donated goods at the event, and add a silent auction for extra allure. By the end, everyone will have had a chance to meet a new friend.