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 a Free Peer-to-Peer School Campaign Today!

Elementary School Fundraising with color runsElementary school fundraising raises money to support educational and extracurricular programs, such as STEM programs, sports, music, and the arts. 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 elementary school.

Let’s review the BEST elementary school fundraising ideas, including ideas for virtual fundraising.

10+ Traditional Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

Creative Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

Many schools seek healthy elementary fundraising campaigns that create community, and 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 are fun events for children that can be quite lucrative for your school.

Here are the top elementary school fundraising campaigns:

  • Color Run Fundraisers – A Color Run is a non-competitive Fun Run in which teachers and parents throw colored paint on the runners. All participants wear white to make the most of the colorful splashes. Similar to a walkathon fundraiser, participants collect donations in advance to raise money for your fundraising campaign. Kids love color-run fundraisers, and all age groups can participate.

  • Student Serve-a-thons – A serve-a-thon is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that raises money for your school and positively impacts the community. In a serve-a-thon, students and classrooms raise funds by committing to a service project in the local community. Schools sometimes partner with a local nonprofit organization for ideas and assistance.

  • Obstacle Course Fundraisers – These events can be used in conjunction with a Fun Run or Field Day. 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 can 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 ticketing 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 can be easily combined with fundraising raffles and silent auctions to raise more money.

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

  • Sales Campaigns – Merchandise sales are always popular elementary school fundraisers. While cookie dough and candy sales fundraisers can be successful fundraising campaigns, alternatives exist. Consider a coffee fundraiser or other utilitarian item to sell. Many schools sell trash bags and cleaning necessities that are high-profit items and not 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 supplies and 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 Online Elementary School Fundraising Ideas?

Our virtual fundraising platform has the tools you need – for free! Whether you plan a virtual Fun Run, fundraising raffle, online product sales, charity 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

START FUNDRAISING

Best Virtual Elementary School Fundraising Ideas 

Canceled fundraising events have financially hit many elementary schools due to COVID-19, but online and virtual fundraising options exist. We’ve compiled this list of the best virtual fundraising ideas for schools during COVID and beyond.

 

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 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 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 more fun, engaging, and successful if you offer prizes. Parents and teachers know that children are motivated by prizes or incentives for doing a good job. A well-planned and enthusiastic fundraiser kick-off and attainable goals and prizes 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 awards 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 popular blog on fun run and jog-a-thon prize ideas.

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

Parental involvement makes for the most successful elementary school fundraisers. Often, elementary school fundraising is managed by Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fundraising groups. These fundraisers are the most successful since parental involvement is key at this age. If your school has a PTO or booster club, approach them with your fundraising ideas and initiatives. 

Parents are usually most enthusiastic about fundraising during the elementary years. They are not 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 are much more involved and willing to volunteer with elementary-aged children.

DoJiggy Fundraising Websites and Resources for Schools

DoJiggy Software and Resources for Elementary School Fundraising

We have helped thousands 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 team to learn more about our fundraising software and how we can help with your events – without taking a percentage of your fundraising profits.

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