Fundraising Ideas For Schools

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Do you need help raising funds for classroom iPads, school clubs and extracurriculars, or your next class field trip? 

Whether you’re looking to fundraise for an elementary, middle, or high school or even a college or university, crowdfunding on Fundly can be a big help.

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Crowdfunding is certainly our first suggestion for any of your school’s fundraising needs, but if you’re looking to hold a fundraiser in conjunction with your crowdfunding efforts to maximize donations, try one of the following fundraising ideas.

To best organize the list of fundraising ideas, it has been broken into two groups:

  • K-12 Schools

  • Higher Education

There is definitely overlap amongst the various schools, but the age differences of their respective student bodies make it so that some fundraising methods are more suited to certain groups than others.

Group One: K-12 Schools

You’ve probably heard the expression“It’s like herding cats.” Well, coordinating a fundraiser among 200 opinionated third graders is like herding cats with your hands tied behind your back.

Luckily, with online crowdfunding platforms, you can streamline your efforts. Although, if you’re looking for ways to supplement what your crowdfunding page brings in, try out some of these fundraising ideas to get the kids engaged and excited about the possibilities.

Bingo Night

Host a night when parents, students, and faculty can all get together at the school to play bingo. Charge to play and sell concessions to those in attendance.

Make sure you have an awesome emcee. You need someone there to enthusiastically announce B17!

Bingo is a great option for schools with younger kids as it is easy to play and fun for all ages.

Dog Show

Have you ever heard about the phenomenon when people look just like their pets? Well, put it to the test with a school dog show!

Organize an amateur dog show with the contestants all coming from the homes of students, faculty, and staff.

Charge a competitor’s fee and an admittance fee for spectators.

Let a judging panel pick a winner. Award side prizes like “Best Bark,” “Most Disobedient,” and “Most Likely to Eat Your Homework.”

Host it outside and keep plenty of hydration supplies around. Something like this can get chaotic quickly, so make sure that you have it well organized and everyone has control of their dogs.

Lip Sync Contest

Just because you can’t sing, that doesn’t mean you can’t put on a great show. Lip syncing contests take singing out of the equation and make the moment all about the performance. 

They’re perfect because anyone can participate, instead of just the gifted singers at your school. And the kids will be thrilled to see their favorite teachers take to the stage to do silly renditions of goofy pop songs.

To make this event a fundraiser, charge for admission and participation. Have the audience vote on a winner at the end of the contest.

Miniature Golf

Who doesn’t love mini golf?

This option will take some effort to set up, but it will be a huge hit with all the kids. For one night only, the school is your putting green. Have each class design a hole and have those who play that night vote on the best one.

Ask local mini golf courses to donate clubs and balls and act as sponsors for the affair. Get the word out about the event and invite the whole community.

Movie Night

A markedly calmer option, and a great choice for a summer is hosting a movie night on your school’s field. Project the film and let everyone picnic on the grass during the movie. Throw in some popcorn sales and you’ll have too many donations to know what to do with them.

Principal or Faculty Challenge

This fundraiser doesn’t need to supplement your crowdfunding campaign; it can actually be a reward within it.

Get the school principal or a beloved teacher to agree to complete a specified challenge when your fundraising reaches a certain level.

For example, the challenge could be:

  • Shaving off a long beard

  • Running in a 5K

  • Performing a cheer at halftime

  • Singing the announcements

  • and so on

There’s nothing quite like potentially embarrassing a teacher to incentivize students to donate.

Rubber Duck Race

People love competing when is involved — just ask any casino owner in Vegas. A rubber duck race is solely out of the competitors’ controls, but it doesn’t stop people from getting invested in the outcome and excited by the winner.

In order to hold a rubber duck race, buy some rubber ducks, paint them all different colors, and find a body of water with somewhat of a current, like a local river.

Set up a start point and a finish line (downstream) and let the games begin. Hold the race in heats, where the top two competitors advance to the next round, keep going that way until you have .

Group Two: Higher Education

With fundraisers for higher education institutions, they have to be a little less silly, but equally as fun.

Higher education fundraisers can range from business ventures students need backing for to fundraisers for the schools themselves to fundraisers for nonprofits that students are interested in. College and university crowdfunding campaigns are organized for a true hodgepodge of reasons.


Although the fundraisers will attract faculty, staff, and members of the community, many of the participants will be the students, usually aged 18-22, so that age group’s interests need to inform how you choose to fundraise.

When brainstorming events, ask yourself:

Would a want to attend this on a Saturday night?

If the answer to that question is no, keep thinking. Or, just try one of the options listed below.

Comedy Show

Did you know that we’re in a modern comedy boom? If you didn’t, now you do!

Colleges are teeming with performers, improv troupes, and aspiring comedians. Tap into that well of talent and host a comedy show. It can be a competition or an exhibition, and your fundraising will come from ticket sales.

Battle of the Bands

If comedy isn’t your forte, maybe music is. The same suggestions apply here as they did for the comedy show.

Talent Show

Maybe you want a jack of all trades type fundraiser, and we can’t fault you for that. Invite your musicians, comedians, actors, dancers, contortionists, magicians, clowns, mimes, back flippers, mind readers. If a student has a talent to share — within reason — let that student shine.

Carnival or Carnival Games

Carnivals, though massive undertakings, can be awesome fundraisers. If you want to be adventurous, you might as well go for it.

If you don’t want that much work, have students run a few carnival style booths on the quad that passerbys can pay to play.

The booth options are endless.

  • Feeling a little risky…kissing booth.
  • Feeling a little nostalgic...milk bottle toss.
  • Feeling a little shoes.

You get the idea now.


Get your gym dwellers working out for the greater good. Host a bench-a-thon, just like you would a walk-a-thon. Participants can collect pledges per set amount of pounds lifted.

Safety should be the first concern, of course. Ensure that your lifters are bench pressing in the proper manner and with attentive spotters.


Dance-a-thons fall right into college students’ wheelhouses. Dancing, check. All-nighters, check. Hanging out with friends, check. What more can they want?

Have your dancers gather pledges before competing, either in lump sums or for donations per hour.

Beyond pledges, you can bring in funds from audience ticket sales, raffle entries, participation fees, and concessions. Get creative with it. Have interested parties enter a best costume contest. Let audience members pay 50 cents to have the DJ make a shout out to one of the contestants.

Make the dance-a-thon the social event of the season.

Whether you are fundraising for a K-12 school or higher education institution, you’ll need to be innovative with your planning and driven with your execution.

If you have a school-based fundraising goal, like sending your fifth grade students on a weekend field trip or buying new computers for your university’s library, start with a crowdfunding campaign. Reach out to the large network of supporters your school has between students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty.

Once your campaign is started, consider hosting one of the events listed above to help close the gap between your goal and your funds raised so far. You can even honor major campaign contributors at the various fundraising events you host. Keep things fun and keep the funds coming in.

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