Interested in raising money for your high school or school group? Need some new ideas for high school fundraising? We’re here to help!
High school fundraising initiatives tend to be very successful and here’s why. When it comes to high school fundraising, students have a new awakening. Elementary school kids can be introduced to fundraising ideas and they embrace it with their energy and eagerness to try anything new, but it is their parents’ enthusiasm to get involved that really makes fundraising happen. Not so with high school fundraising. When students reach high school, fundraising is a whole new game. Students have passions for sports or arts programs they are involved in, they join clubs with people sharing common interests, and they also begin to develop a strong belief system. They are eager to make a difference, support a cause, and therefore are more likely to embrace a fundraising initiative that supports their passions and beliefs. High school students also find benefit in the organizational and social skills they learn through fundraising efforts. Young adults no longer need their parents to actively help with the fundraiser, although parental encouragement is certainly important to keep them positive and working hard to accomplish their goals.
25 High School Fundraising Ideas
There are endless fundraising options for high school students and groups. Be creative and remember to ask students for their input and ideas when planning a high school fundraiser. They may provide some out-of-the-box, creative thinking, and possibly suggest fundraisers more relevant for the target audience. Besides, they like it when you ask for their input. Here are 25 great High School Fundraising Ideas to get you started.
Our Top 25 High School Fundraising Ideas
- School Walk-a-thons – Hosting a School Walkathon or Fun Run is a healthy alternative to selling cookie dough or chocolate and encourages teamwork, health and wellness. Students create personal fundraising pages and solicit donations online. Some schools add in an obstacle course fundraiser or endurance event for high schoolers.
- Color Run Fundraisers – Similar to a Fun Run, Color Run fundraisers have really taken off for high school students and groups. The planning is very similar to a Fun Run, but you add in color paint to increase the fun.
- Service Projects – Hosting a School Serve-a-thon is a peer-to-peer variation where students give back to the community by selecting a community service project to complete. Donations are made via your peer-to-peer website in support of the project and student efforts. Make the service theme relevant to the sports team, music/art group, or special-interest club that is completing the project (if relevant) and consider teaming up with a local non-profit organization on the project.
- Polar Plunges – Polar Plunges are popular winter events where fundraisers jump into a freezing lake or even the ocean to raise money for your school. Be sure that each fundraiser personalizes their fundraising page, to ensure fundraising success.
- Farm to Table Dinners – Farm to Table dinners teach students and guests alike about environmental practices while raising money for your school. These are best hosted at a local farm or ranch – taking the diners right to the source.
- Dancing with the Stars – Have the dance or cheerleading team host a “Dancing with the Stars” event that includes teachers, school administrators and coaches as the Stars.
- Student Cooked Gala – Invite students to help a local chef cook a dinner and host a gala event by selling tickets online. Along with the gourmet dinner, include entertainment such as student poetry and student bands. Don’t forget to add a fundraising raffle and/or silent auction to raise more money.
- Sales Contests – Sales Contests have been around school fundraising forever. Have students sell fundraising discount cards or other useful products and provide incentives for top sellers, to motivate and encourage competition. Sales around the holidays are always more lucrative, as everyone is looking for gifts and feeling the holiday spirit. Yes, you can do chocolate bars or cookie dough sales at this time, but healthy alternatives are also available now. The difference now is that students can sell products online and you can track the sales on their personal fundraising pages.
- Golf Tournaments – Fundraising Golf tournaments are a great fundraising event, especially for the golf team. But even students who don’t golf can get involved by being caddies. As an alternative, consider a miniature golf tournament where the whole family can participate.
- Dress Down Days – Dress down days are fun events where students pay a small fee to dress as they wish and/or loose the uniform for a day. Teachers will love this fundraising event, too!
- Auctions or Raffles – Encourage art students to showcase their work through a silent auction or fundraising raffle. You’ll likely want to include big-ticket items – such as our Travel Packages – along with the students’ work for a nice combination of offerings.
- Car Washes – Car washes and high schoolers go hand in hand. Why not include some sandwiches and drinks for sale to boost revenues? Ask a local business to let your school use their parking lot and hose, get those signs on corners and reel in the passing cars.
- School Dances – Friday night school dances are always popular with high school students. Charging an entry fee and selling refreshments is a great way to raise money for your high school. Students get to dance the night away and you raise vital funds in the process
- Breakfast Pizza – School fundraising ideas can get delicious with pizza for breakfast. Yup. You heard us right. Sell pizza for breakfast and have a blast doing the rebellious thing that Mom always told you not to do – eat pizza for breakfast.
- Parking Spot Auctions – Getting a great parking spot at school is really important, but doesn’t always coincide with sleeping in. Auction off a parking spot close to school in the student parking lot….and the teachers parking lot! Highest bidder gets the spot for a month and a sign to let everyone know who’s parking spot it is. The best way to track the bidding is through donation software that tracks the gift amounts, donors and items that they are bidding on.
- Yard Sales – Gather up all of your unwanted goods and have a school wide yard sale. Utilize the school parking lot or the gymnasium to turn someone’s unwanted goods into treasure for someone else. All proceeds go towards the school or sponsoring club.
- Teacher Dunk Tank – There’s always that one teacher who you wish you could dunk for giving you that D. Now’s your chance. Ask a local carnival vendor to donate a dunk tank for an afternoon and have students step up and pay for the chance to dunk a teacher into a dunk tank.
- Bottle and Can drive in states that have deposits – This is a great high school fundraiser, as it serves the community while raising money for your school. If your state has a deposit on cans and bottles, collect them over a weekend and return them to claim the money. All of those nickels and dimes add up fast.
- School Carnivals – Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, a carnival is always a fun opportunity for school fundraising. Make it as simple or elaborate as you want, but have fun! Be sure to include games for all ages, so that younger siblings can join the fun.
- Create Any Kind of ‘a-thon’ – Bike, read, ride or relay a-thon. Crowdfunding linked to any sort of a-thon is always a great way to raise funds for high schools. Students ask their family and friends to pledge them for their participation in the ‘a-thon’. With our online crowdfunding software, participation and financial support can be easily tracked and monitored for success.
- Haunted Houses – let’s get spooky! Turn the happy halls into hallowed halls this Halloween. Create a haunted house within school and charge admission to gain a fright. Those admission fees add up devilishly fast.
- Pancake Breakfasts – Get cooking to raise money for your school. Put the students to work in the kitchen and serve Moms and Dads at a pancake breakfast. Include a pancake bar with berries and fruit, chocolate chips, granola, nuts, whipped cream, maple syrup and any other toppings you can think of.
- Dine Out Nights – Many restaurants will partner with a school and donate a percentage of one evening of sales to the school, especially if you agree on a special menu and advertise the restaurant on your school’s website. Gather up your friends and family and head out to dinner all for a good cause.
- School Spirit Gear – Sell the latest gear that supports the school while increasing high school spirit. Ensure that a portion of each sale above the cost of the items can be donated to support the work of the team or the school itself.
- Teachers vs. Students Game – Can the teachers beat students at a game of pickup basketball? Can the students beat the teachers at a game of volleyball? Host a teachers vs. students game with any and all sports and charge a small fee at the door for spectators to take in the action. May the best team win.
Important Factors to Consider with High School Fundraising
- Time is of the essence
High school students are busy with homework, sports, social engagement with friends, or all of the above. Making your high school fundraising activity easy for high school students to participate, without consuming too much time will make it much more appealing to students. This is one reason online fundraising has become so popular.
- High school students love technology
When kids aren’t at practice or running around with friends, chances are they are checking email, downloading iTunes, or updating their Facebook page. This is often when they are most attentive and happy. DoJiggy peer-to-peer fundraising software tools allow students to personalize their own page, upload photos or videos, set goals, and track their success against other students, making it a fun, interactive and competitive environment. Cool!
- There are valuable skills and lessons to be learned
A great benefit of high school fundraising is the age of the students; you are no longer dealing with children. You are dealing with young adults, who have ideas, who are creative, who have the ability to lead and inspire their peers, and are looking for an opportunity to test their abilities. Put the planning in their hands! What a great way for students to work together as a team, to help them learn organizational and management skills, manage budgets and logistics, establish goals and plans to accomplish them. These are all valuable lessons that they can take with them on to college and in their professional lives. Support and encourage their abilities to take the reins, and make organizing the fundraiser part of the fun.