Top 22 Fundraising Ideas For Schools

Fact: school budgets are tight. Even more so with this worldwide pandemic underway, most schools, especially public institutions, are now facing drastic budget cuts and are struggling more than ever.  

This has undermined their capacity to develop creativity and skills for future generations. Because of this, schools, teachers, and PTAs, in particular, are forced to raise their own revenue in order to cover the gap. But there’s another way to do this: school fundraising! 


School fundraising activities help pay for additional classroom supplies, extracurricular activities, school equipment, and so much more. Plus, it also helps schools offer new programs and scholarships, completing major projects, and maintaining academic excellence.  

Having a well-executed and well-planned fundraising activity can make all the difference between the thriving schools and the simply surviving learning institutions.   

With that said, here are some of the best and most iconic fundraising ideas for schools— from elementary to college! 

For Elementary School 

1. Treasure Hunt 

Who doesn’t like the good ‘ol treasure hunting game? It is fun for students of all ages, but it is especially exciting for the younger students. Think of a theme, potentially one that is related to your curriculum. Then, organize the treasure hunt. 

Students can pay to participate— either on their own or in teams. Make sure that you look for an award for the winning time and add some bonus points for the explorer outfits.  

2. Pajama Party 

This is a simple school fundraising idea that’s sure to get the little ones excited and maybe even some teachers. Collect donations from students in exchange for them coming to school in their favorite pajamas for a day. You can also hold competitions such as pillow fight or smores making.  

3. Disney Day 

If the school can’t afford a field trip to Disneyland, bring Disneyland to the school with Disney Day. Students can dress up as their favorite Disney characters for a small donation. Include a competition for the best costumes. Make sure to promote this event in advance to allow the parents to buy or make the costumes.  

4. Arts and Crafts Day 

Encourage students to enhance their creative skills by hosting an arts and crafts day. You can group kids or ask their parents to come that doubles as a bonding time with their little ones. Then, give the public the chance to purchase the crafts. Ask your local art supplies stores to get the crafting and art supplies donated.  

5. Theatre Play 

Every parent dreams of their child performing in a theatre play. You can work with your students to prepare and stage an age-appropriate play. Then ask them to promote it to their friends and families, offering tickets for the play for a small fee.  

6. School Sleepovers 

Who doesn’t love sleepovers? It’s fun and memorable. And you can also raise funds from it.  

Host a school sleepover in the gym or in each grade schoolroom. Tell the parents what the students need to bring. Plan fun activities such as night games, bedtime reading, or movie night for the kids to enjoy. You can charge a specific amount for the school’s needs.  

For Middle School  

7. The Big Cleanup 

For the middle-schoolers, this activity not only helps in raising funds for the school but also teaches and encourages the young generations to do something good for the environment.   

When organizing a cleanup project for the community, have specific attainment of goals such as the number of road miles cleaned of debris or the amount of trash collected. Alumni, parents, and members of the local community pledge to support the activity.  

8. Parents’ Night Out 

For this activity, you can charge parents for a small amount and have their kids organize a fun night of drinks and food for the family. Students will be the waiters and ensuring that their parents will have a good night.   

9. Obstacle Course Event 

Keep your student’s fit and the funds coming by organizing an obstacle course event. Think wall climbing, bag races, climbing stairs, running through sprinklers, dodging mud pits or water balloons filled with paint, jumping through tires, and more. 

Get the materials donated and charge for participation. Plus, you can also have some students set up a cooling station or food stands for the hungry and tired participants.  

10. Pool Party 

When the warm weather comes, there is nothing more fun than spending some time outside, preferably dipping in cool waters. And if you’re school has a pool for PE activities, then transform it for a pool party for the day.  

Charge an entrance fee and have organized BBQ and drink stands around the pool area. You can also include renting fees for floating devices and pool toys.   

For High School 

11. Sports Day 

For the competitive and energetic high-schoolers, organize a sport’s day. You can set up a variety of sports and games that will give an opportunity for your students to join the fun and enhance their competitive spirit.  

Charge admission for spectators and parents. You can sell merchandise, drinks, and snacks to maximize donations and funds.  

12. Family Fun Day 

Depending on your capacity, you can organize a family fun day so parents can de-stress from their hectic schedule and bond with their kids—all while raising funds for the school by charging a participation fee.  

Make it a Saturday so that parents can attend. You can ask alumni and staff members to volunteer their time. Organize various activities from face painting and clay sculpting to gardening or cooking festivals and picnics.  

13. Babysitting 

Give parents a break and have your students babysit their little ones for one evening or afternoon while treating the parents to a wonderful night. You can charge for the service.  

14. Yard Sale 

By hosting a school-wide yard sale, you can help students, faculty, and even parents to de-clutter their homes, rooms, and office. Ask them to donate their gently used items for sale and make sure to promote the activity like there’s no tomorrow for success.  

15. Battle of the Bands 

For most high school students, music is a hobby and past time. By organizing a battle of the bands show at school, you can encourage the musical talents of students while relieving stress from school works.  

Charge the bands a small participation fee as well as the family and friends who come to see their show. You can also organize food and drink stands as well as merchandise around the event.  

16. Color Run 

This is a more colorful and fun way to run for a cause. Require students to wear white shirts. At checkpoints, teachers and volunteers will throw water balloons containing paints or spraying water-based paints at the runners.  

You can raise money by getting a sponsor to donate money for each lap completed or charging a participation fee.  

17. Recycling Drive  

Teach students the benefit of recycling by hosting a recycling drive. Ask them to bring any recyclable materials and set up a partnership with local companies that will buy these off.  

You can also host a recycling competition where students can enhance their creativity skills. Students will have to create something unique from the collected materials and selling them to family, friends, and spectators of the event.    

For College 

18. Dorm Decorating Contest 

College dorms tend to be messy. So, why not encourage your college students to spruce up their space and enhancing teamwork while raising funds for the school. Charge students to pay a small fee to enter their room in the contest. Make sure to think of an appropriate prize to award for the best-decorated space.  

19. Selfie-Themed Run 

A little different than the color run event, a selfie-themed run makes the perfect choice for college students. Here, students will take selfies or groupies at specific checkpoints, which will be posted on social media later on. Participants will have to pay the entry fee. And since selfies will be shared, it can also be an excellent marketing tool to attract even more donations.  

20. Care Packages 

This can be very popular during major exam periods or at the start of every semester. You can organize packages that include hot chocos, chips, candies, cookies, and more, wrapping them in beautifully decorated plastics or boxes.  

You can sell it directly to students or promote these to parents who wish to send surprise gifts that can relieve student’s stress.  

21. Multicultural Fair 

Host a school-wide event where students can share the goods and richness of their cultures. You can organize food and drinks stands showcasing different cultural delicacies and cuisine. Have students showcase their cultural arts or host competition events showcasing local and traditional dances and music of various cultures. 

Although it can take longer to organize, this event has a lot of fundraising potential. Students can also invite members of their local community. You can charge everyone for entering the fair.   

22. Pampering Day 

As mentioned before, college can be pretty intense and stressful. So, dedicate one day for relaxation and host a stress-relief event.  

Ask volunteers to offer gentle massages, foot rubs, and aromatherapy. You can also host yoga or Zumba sessions. Students will pay for the service, but all proceeds will be given to school needs.  


Covering the school budget gaps is difficult. However, with these school fundraising activities, you can help your school achieve its goals and serving its students in the best possible way.  

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.