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Fundraising for Student Activities

Looking for more great ideas?


The Bucks $tart Here: Fundraising for Student Activities by Lyn Fiscus and Earl Reum offers hundreds of ideas for fundraising projects and sales that will put the fun back in fundraising. Try activities like an airband contest, dancing with the staff show, duct-taping the principal to a wall, or teacher dares that will involve lots of students, create excitement and positive school spirit, and bring in much-needed money for your treasury.

This essential 64-page resource for anyone who conducts school fundraisers also features:

    • Project planning guides for organizing fundraisers
    • Tips for selecting and working with vendors
    •  Ideas for making money through group activities
    • Budgeting for events and organizations
    • Pitfalls to avoid
    • Fundraising resources
    • Reproducible forms
    • And much more!

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With bleak financial news coming at us from all fronts, it's not surprising that many student activity groups are wondering where the funds will come from to pay for their group's activities this year.  Check out the following fundraising ideas that have worked for other schools, and good luck with your fundraising!

  • Service Sale.  Get your members to compile a list of all the services they would be willing to do for a donation--raking leaves, washing windows, shoveling sidewalks, moving lawns, etc.  Set a minimum donation amount for each item and publicize the list to parents, teachers, and the community.

  • Coffee House.  Convert the cafeteria for an evening of entertainment with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and snacks. Create a stage with a black background and twinkle lights and bring in couches to create more comfortable seating. Feature a series of student-perfomed acts--musical, poetic, dance, and so forth. Charge admission and sell refreshments.

  • Cutest Pet Contest. Have people submit photos of their pets for a chance to win the title of Cutest Pet. Charge an entry fee and have prizes donated by local pet stores.

  • Custom Calendar. Create a calendar featuring individuals or groups from your school. For example, feature a different sports team each month, or a club, or members of the Homecoming Court, etc. Sell messages for a dollar to be printed on particular days, such as "Happy Birthday, Susie Jones." Get the calendars printed at an online print shop or by a local printer (ask for a discount on printing in exchange for advertising the printer's business on the calendar). Sell copies of the calendar to students, parents, and the community.

  • Highlight DVDs. Get some technology-oriented students to create highlight DVDs for the different performance groups (drama, choir, band, etc.) and sports teams on campus.  Sell copies to group/team members and other interested people.

  • Family Night.  Host an evening of entertainment for families.  Have a student or faculty member serve as DJ for a dance, complete with age-level dance contests; set up a games room and organize tournaments of popular games like Scrabble, Pictionary, and Monopoly;  open the gym for pick-up volleyball and basketball games, and so forth.  Charge admission and sell refreshments.

  • Mr. and Ms. ____ Contest.  This one can be tailored to whatever time of year it is.  Make it Mr. and Ms. Scrooge during December, Mr. and Ms. Sweetheart during February, and so forth. Take photos of couples dressed up in costume, put the photos on jars or buckets, and have students vote with money for the couple they want to see win the title.

  • Kidnap the Coach. Just prior to a big game, kidnap the coach of one of your popular sports teams. Tell the students that the coach will be returned if a certain amount of money is raised by a specified time. Give updates during the day about how much has been collected for the ransom. 

  • Teacher Dares.  During spirit week, ask teachers to do a dare for a price. Teachers set the amount for which they would be willing to do the dare.  For example, Mr. Smith will dress up as a clown for a day if $200 is raised, or Ms. Jones will die her hair purple if $500 is collected.  Collect money toward the dares for one week.  If the price is met, the teacher does the dare (or reveals it) at a spirit assembly.

Green Fundraising

People are becoming more and more aware that their actions affect the environment, so why not tie into this awareness by making your organization’s fundraising efforts go green?  You can raise funds, promote awareness, and make a difference in the world — all at the same time! What is a green fundraiser? It’s any sale or event that promotes earth-conscious choices —remember the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle— and makes money for your chapter. Try some of these ideas for Bringing in the Green While Going Green.

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