The Best Elementary School Fundraising Ideas for Kids

Readathons, Fun Runs, Online Sales Contests, Community Service Projects and More
Elementary School Children Get Excited by Prizes and Themed Fundraising Campaigns
Get Started with No Hassle School Crowdfunding and Peer to Peer Campaigns Today!

Elementary School Fundraising with color runsElementary school fundraising is a great way to raise extra funds to support the development of educational and extracurricular programs, sports, music, arts, and more. It can also be a great way to teach children about teamwork, school spirit, and working to accomplish a goal. With hard work and cooperation, anything is possible for your school.

Let’s review the BEST elementary school fundraising ideas, including tons of ideas for fundraising during COVID.

10+ Traditional Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

Creative Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

While cookie dough and candy sales fundraisers are still proven to be successful methods for school fundraising, other alternatives are gaining in popularity. Many schools are looking to add an element of environmental awareness and health consciousness to their fundraisers; therefore, activity-based fundraisers have become increasingly popular. Doesn’t this sound like a good idea for your little ones? They can benefit from fundraising ideas that don’t involve sugary treats around the house. These creative elementary school fundraisers should be positioned as fun events rather than tasks and as something children can enjoy working on with their friends and family.

We recommend the following elementary school fundraising campaigns:

  • Color Run Fundraisers – A color run fundraiser is similar to a walkathon fundraiser in which crowdfunding participants collect donations to raise money for your fundraising campaign. A Color Run is a non-competitive Fun Run or running event where volunteers and observers throw brightly colored paint on the runners. All participants should wear white to make the most of the colorful splashes. Kids love color run fundraisers and by using paint that is non-toxic, all age groups can participate.

  • Student Serve-a-thons – A serve-a-thon is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that not only provides fundraising money for your school, but also makes a positive impact on the community. In a serve-a-thon, students and classrooms raise funds by committing to a service project in the local community. Schools may partner with a local non-profit organization for ideas and assistance.

  • Obstacle Course Fundraisers – These can be used in conjunction with our instead of a Fun Run. Students run, jump in the mud, and play for your cause. Some obstacle course fundraisers have parents and siblings joining in the fun and separate courses may be designed for these participants.

  • Fire Fighters Picnics – Hold a picnic on your school grounds or a beautiful city park and team up with your local fire department. Virtually all elementary-aged kids love firefighters and look forward to this day well in advance. Add a firetruck and firefighters for them to experience and ask questions, and the day is sure to be a big success! Sell tickets in advance online via our event management software.

  • Read-a-thons – Readathons and reading fundraisers are great for elementary school fundraising as they promote children’s literacy and a love of reading. It’s easy to get parents and teachers excited about a readathon, as it’s a healthy fundraiser with an academic challenge that kids will enjoy. With readathons, kids aren’t spending time fundraising instead of studying or learning. Instead, learning is key to this fundraising event.

  • School Carnivals – School carnivals are always popular for elementary kids and their families. Create or rent games and have at least one bouncy house. These events are easily combined with fundraising raffles and a silent auction to raise more money.

  • Student Car Washes – Car washes are great fundraisers for student councils or older elementary school kids. Add student-made sandwiches, a bake sale, and cold drinks or coffee for sale as part of the car wash to increase funds.

  • Sales CampaignsMerchandise sales are always popular elementary school fundraisers. Consider a coffee fundraiser or other utilitarian item to sell if you decide on a sales campaign. Many schools now sell trash bags and necessities that are still high-profit items and aren’t just junk food sales. Year-round school spirit sales can also be done via our free online spirit wear store.

  • Pancake Breakfast Fundraisers – Hosting a Saturday breakfast at the school is an elementary school fundraising idea that always works. Just be sure you have enough parents on board to ensure success.

  • Just Ask Campaigns – Finally, easy donation campaigns are great for elementary schools where many parents work and feel that fundraising is not a priority. Use our free donation websites to take donations for specific classrooms or initiatives.

Looking for Elementary School Fundraising Ideas During COVID?

Our virtual fundraising platform has the tools you need – for free! Whether you plan a Fun Run, fundraising raffle, online product sales, charity fundraising auction, or a virtual movie watch party, we can do it with you. There are lots of innovative features included for school fundraising when social distancing is necessary:

  • A fundraising home page that links to all your school fundraising campaigns and events
  • A Live Stream platform for virtual or hybrid fundraising events
  • Text to Donate (US organizations and phones only)
  • Ability to incorporate peer to peer fundraising with personal and team fundraising pages into many campaign types, such as online sales campaigns and raffles
  • Donor perks can be given to crowdfunding donors at pre-defined levels (ie donate $100 and get a free t-shirt)
  • Mobile giving features, like secure payments via digital wallets (ApplePay and GooglePay)
  • Gamification fundraising tools that school kids love


Best Elementary School Fundraising Ideas for COVID and Social Distancing

Many schools have been hit hard financially by canceled fundraising events due to COVID-19. There is a way forward. Your school can continue fundraising during this global pandemic by reworking your fundraising strategies. To do this, you’ll need safe and effective virtual fundraising campaigns. We’ve put together this list of the best virtual fundraising ideas for schools during COVID.


Virtual Walkathons and Fun Runs

Virtual Walkathons and Fun Runs

Virtual walkathons are great fundraisers for schools that can raise a lot of money with few upfront costs. With parental involvement, these are fun and easy to organize.

Virtual Happy Hours and Performances

Virtual Happy Hours and Performances

Get your livestream ready! Virtual performances work great and can be used to highlight school music groups, marching bands, and choirs.

Online Product Sales with P2P Pages

Online Product Sales with P2P Pages

Virtual merchandise sales are a no-brainer for no/low contact fundraising. Our simple stores make it so easy, you can get set up and start selling in no time.

Fundraising Raffles

Fundraising Raffles

Online raffles are the perfect way to raise money for schools. We offer the ability to incorporate peer to peer fundraising in raffles, where students sell tickets via a personal fundraising page. Our raffle software can even randomly select and notify winners. Just find a prize and go!

Virtual Bikeathons

Virtual Bikeathons

Like virtual walkathons, bikeathon fundraisers can be run virtually with just a few tweaks. Biking is a great socially distant sport, so some kids may even bike together. Students create a fundraising page and commit to biking in support of the school.

Virtual Reading Challenges

Virtual Reading Challenges

Readathons are a great way to keep kids busy during COVID and raise money for school programs at the same time. All you need to do is set up the Athon website where students can track the number of books or pages read. Donors make contributions based on the reading results and top fundraisers are highlighted.

Charity Auctions

Charity Auctions

All you need are some great auction items and our software. Simply create your fundraising auction website and add unlimited auction categories and items. Set the time for online bidding to start and begin advertising your auction. Bids are made online and via text to bid.

Food Delivery Campaigns

Food Delivery Campaigns

Since many people are staying in to promote social distancing, why not sell groceries or other items online and deliver them right to your supporters? Create and sell online food packages with a theme – for example, Italian Night or Mexican Night. Get PTO members and supporters to volunteer and deliver the packages.

Virtual Watch Parties

Virtual Watch Parties

Select an educational movie or documentary to share with students. Supporters can register on your website to watch the movie and buy popcorn or other movie treats. Launch the watch party with a live stream presentation, letting students know what to look for and discuss after the film. Generally, users watch the movie on their own streaming device.

Elementary School Fundraising
with Crowdfunding & P2P Websites

Elementary School FundraisingTo make your Elementary school fundraising ideas a success, you need to engage your students and parents in the effort. This can best be done by awarding prizes, sharing progress on your fundraising website, and making the event easy and fun for your families. The best elementary fundraisers we see are active, fun events such as Fun Runs, Color Run Fundraisers, and readathons; these events encourage the activities you want to see in your Elementary school children.

With the implementation of a peer-to-peer crowdfunding website, these events are easy for volunteers to run and more successful.


  • Students have their own fundraising page where friends and family make secure donations, view progress, and more
  • Classrooms have fundraising pages that include all students’ combined fundraising progress
  • Gamification elements such as leaderboards, fundraising thermometers, and top fundraisers are tracked and displayed on your website (if desired)
  • Student privacy features can be enabled so that last names do not show on your website and student pages are not indexed in Google
  • Students (or parents) can add images, videos, and text to their personal pages
  • Off-line funds and check donations are easily tracked and entered at no cost

Get Started Today with Free,
Easy-to-Use Fundraising Websites

school fundraising sales contests

Awarding Prizes for Your Elementary School Fundraising Initiatives

Awarding Prizes for Your Elementary School Fundraising Initiatives

Let’s face it, your elementary school fundraising campaign will be much more fun, engaging, and successful if you offer prizes. As parents and teachers know, children are motivated by prizes or incentives for doing a good job. Having a well-planned and enthusiastic fundraiser kick-off and establishing attainable goals and prizes or rewards can effectively motivate students and parents to raise more money for your school.

Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even small prizes. We recommend that prizes for elementary school fundraising are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participate and not leave anyone behind:

  • Participation – Students receive a small prize (ie pencil, sticker, or choice from a treasure box of small items) for registering on your crowdfunding website.
  • $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a t-shirt, hat, or other memorabilia or school spirit award when they reach this level of fundraising. Some schools also include a raffle option here; anyone reaching the goal is entered into a raffle for prizes.
  • Top Student Fundraisers – The top three school fundraisers receive large prizes, like $50 and $100 gift cards.
  • Classroom with 100% Participation – When everyone in the classroom has registered or collected at least one donation, students receive extra recess or dress-down day. These are free prizes that do not cost your school any money but are very popular with kids.
  • Top Fundraising Classrooms – Students receive a pizza party or similar luncheon event for the top one or two fundraising classrooms.

See more on our blog on fun run and jog-a-thon prize ideas and how to encourage your peer-to-peer participants to fundraise.

Why Is Elementary School Fundraising Important?

Not only can elementary school fundraising efforts bring in financial support for school programs, but these initiatives can also teach children how good it feels to give back. Children are wonderful fundraising participants when given the right direction and incentive. They are enthusiastic about almost everything they do, after all. They learn so many new things every day and are genuinely interested in the activities offered through their school, including fundraising and being active.

Parents are Key to Success for Elementary School Fundraisers

Parents are Key to Success for Elementary School Fundraisers

One factor to consider with elementary school fundraising is that parents must be heavily relied upon for much of the workload, so gaining the support of the parents is key. If you are a parent, you already know this! It is also important to note that parents are usually most enthusiastic about fundraising during the elementary years. They are not yet burned out on school fundraising programs as they may be once their children reach high school (but here are some tips for high school fundraising to avoid this). Their children are new to school and parents tend to be much more involved and willing to volunteer when kids are at this age.

It’s parent involvement that makes for the most successful elementary school fundraisers. So, encourage parents to be proactive and engaged by volunteering for a committee or event. Not only should students talk to friends, family, and neighbors, but parents can help by reaching out to co-workers, church groups, and other social networks. Our social media integration makes this easy for busy parents.

Often elementary school fundraising is managed by Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) groups. We find that these fundraisers are the most successful since parental involvement is so key at this age. If your school has a PTO/PTA or booster club, be sure to approach them with your fundraising ideas and initiatives. Read more on PTO fundraising and how to motivate parents for PTO fundraising campaigns.

DoJiggy Fundraising Websites and Resources for Schools

DoJiggy Software and Resources for Elementary School Fundraising

We have helped hundreds of schools raise money online with healthy, active fundraisers. We are dedicated to your school’s success! See more details on hosting a school walk-a-thon, the best fundraisers for schools, and more creative school fundraising ideas. Or contact our dedicated Sales team to learn more about our fundraising software and how we can help with your events – without taking a percentage of your fundraising profits.