Interested in raising money for your high school or school group? Need some new ideas for high school fundraising? We’re here to help!
Fundraising is a way of life for many high school students. Be it the Freshman or Senior class, Booster Club or individual sports teams, the school marching band, arts or civic clubs or other group, it seems like everyone needs to raise money to support their school efforts. Sometimes finding the best fundraisers for high school groups can be tough. Yet getting creative when it comes to fundraisers for your school group is key. Set your group apart and create a signature event that will help you raise more money.
High school fundraising initiatives tend to be very successful; 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.
30+ 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 over 30 of the best fundraisers for high schools to get you started.
- School Walk-a-thons – Hosting a School Walk-a-thon or Fun Run is a healthy alternative to selling cookie dough or chocolate bars and encourages teamwork, health and wellness. Make it work with great crowdfunding software. Students create personal fundraising pages and solicit donations online. Some schools add in an obstacle course fundraiser or endurance event for high school students.
- 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 colored 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 themed 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 can be lucrative events, 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 families can participate.
- Dress Down Days – Dress down days are fun events where students, teachers and staff 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 school 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 school students go hand in hand. Why not include some sandwiches, snacks 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 auction 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. Learn how to run a yard sale fundraiser.
- 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 Drives (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 a Unique Peer-to-peer Event – Bike-a-thons, Walks and Fun Runs, read-a-thons, or service projects can all be great high school fundraising ideas. But what about a hit-a-thon for the baseball team or a dance-a-thon for the cheerleading squad? School crowdfunding linked to any sort of a-thon is always a great way to raise funds. Here’s how it works: students register online and create a personal fundraising page. They then ask their family and friends to make pledges and donations for their participation in the crowdfunding event – via social media or email. With our crowdfunding software, participation and financial support can be tracked and monitored for success and top fundraisers are rewarded with prizes.
- Haunted Houses – let’s get spooky! Turn the happy halls into hallowed halls this Halloween. Create a haunted house within your 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 with a gourmet pancake breakfast fundraiser. 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 Sales – Setup an eCommerce store to 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.
- Fill the Bucket at Friday Night Lights – Friday night football games, and even Saturday afternoon games, are a great opportunity to raise school spirit and bring some game into the realm of school fundraising. During timeouts and half-time at football games, or really any games, pass a bucket around the stands and ask for donations of any size to support the school. Have some fun with it and play music or create a matching gift challenge. The more fun and interactive you make it, the more money you will raise.
- Flower Grams – For fundraising around Valentine’s Day, have Student Council or other leaders deliver flowers and ‘love grams’ to other students. Have a secret crush? Pay a small fee to have a note and flower delivered to your crush in their homeroom on the morning of Valentine’s Day. It’s a great way to raise funds and heart rates.
- Talent Shows – Holding your school’s version of “America’s Got Talent” is a great high school fundraiser. Put on a talent show that charges for guests to catch the action in the audience. Award prizes to the top performing participants. It’s a great way to highlight the talents of the students and raise money for the arts in your school.
- Homecoming Float Fee – Turn the high school homecoming parade into a force for good. Charge a nominal fee for each float to participate in the homecoming parade. Even $5 per car can go a long way on your fundraising barometer.
- Tape a Teacher to the Wall – Many times popular teachers or principals are willing to be duct taped to a wall (feet off the ground and all) if a certain amount of money is raised. Collect donations for the campaign and watch your donation thermometer rise with this entertaining activity. Make it a competition between grades or groups to see who can raise the most money.
Important Factors to Consider with High School Fundraising Campaigns
- 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.