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School Fundraising Ideas that Work for Any Grade

If your school needs to raise money for an upcoming project or event, it’s important that you pick fundraising ideas that are right for your school’s financial needs and goals. But with so many different fundraising ideas to choose from, it can be difficult to know which will work the best for your school and its community!

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 20 fundraising ideas that are perfect for every grade. We’ve broken them down into a few key categories to address all grades, plus a few extras that don’t require any selling:

An ideal fundraising idea for schools should be flexible and adaptable to all sorts of budgets and goals. Let’s get started with our favorite fundraising idea, which is one of the most creative and flexible out there!

Our Favorite Fundraising Idea for Schools

T-Shirt Fundraisers

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍👍👍
  • Cost: Free
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒🆒

Launching a t-shirt fundraiser for your school is an easy way to raise money and offer a tangible item in return for your supporter’s donation.

School shirts are a flexible idea for any budget, group, or event. Look for a platform that offers flexible, low-risk options for designing, printing, and offering custom shirts to supporters. For example, Bonfire prints and ships all of the shirts directly to your supporters. The platform also offers a free design tool and a library of free editable school t-shirt design templates that you can use to create your t-shirts.

Use Our Free T-Shirt Templates for Schools to Get Started

Top Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

Family Fun Day
Host a family fun day as your next school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

Family fun events are great school fundraising ideas that bring families together to help raise money for your school. This family fun event can be a school-wide picnic or field day where you can offer games and mini competitions.

Set up the event in your school’s gymnasium or outside, and sell tickets that students and parents can use to play the games and purchase concessions.

Before the event, sell custom t-shirts that guests can wear during the festivities to further show their support.

Guessing Games
Guessing games are simple and inexpensive school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

Guessing games are a fun elementary school fundraising idea and inexpensive to run.

All you need is a jar full of candy (e.g., jelly beans, M&Ms, or Skittles) and have students and teachers pay a small amount to guess the number of candies in the jar.

Place your jar of candy in a prominent location, and encourage everyone to make a guess. Don’t forget to award the person with the closest guess a prize at the end of your fundraiser.

Tie-Dye Event
Tie-dye events are awesome school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒

A tie-dye event is a great school fundraising idea that brings your supporters together for a fun time creating a unique t-shirt. Instead of just selling white t-shirts at your event, you can design and order bulk orders of custom shirts. Design white shirts with your organization’s logo or use a slogan that represents your school.

Straw Draw Fundraiser
The straw draw fundraiser is a simple school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

The straw draw fundraising idea is both inexpensive for schools to run and fun for students.

All you need for this fundraiser is a pack of straws and a few small prizes. Write different prizes on a piece of paper and attach them to the straws.

Your prizes don’t have to be extravagant. Offer simple things like extra recess time, candy, or free lunch. Charge students (and teachers!) $1 to draw a straw.

Event-a-
Try an event-a-thon as a fun school fundraising idea.
thon

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

One of the best elementary school fundraising ideas is an event-a-thon. Plan a fundraising event, like a bowl-a-thon or a walk-a-thon, where the students and teachers can raise money to put toward the school. Friends and family can pledge to donate a certain amount per bowling pins hit, or per mile, and this helps motivate the participants to do their best.

Charge a small admission fee to the event to raise additional funds. The students will have fun socializing and being active, and everyone will enjoy being together for the good of the school!

Top Middle School Fundraising Ideas

Pie the Principal
The principal punishment is a school fundraising idea that encourages students to give.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

Getting middle school students to participate in fundraising efforts can sometimes be a challenge. Luckily, the pie the principal fundraiser encourages students to raise money while having a good laugh in the process.

Students can donate funds, and if they reach the fundraising goal, one lucky student will get to pie their principal in the face.

Keep your fundraiser running for a couple weeks, and give every student the opportunity to get involved. At the end of the fundraiser, hold a school-wide event where the principal gets pied.

Hula Hoop Contest
Plan a hula hoop contest as a fun and competitive school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

Another exciting school fundraising idea is a hula hoop contest. Ask families and the community to pledge a small amount for each minute that a student can keep their hula hoop going.

This is a great way to encourage friendly competition among the students, and a fantastic and inexpensive way to raise money!

Shoe Drive
School fundraising ideas like the shoe drive are easy to plan and cost-effective.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

Hosting a shoe drive is an inexpensive and unique school fundraising idea that can be added to any other campaigns or events. Students can bring in their used and unwanted shoes to help support the school.

You can even get the whole community involved by setting up shoe donation drop-off centers around the neighborhood.

Work with a shoe drive organization that will come collect your donated shoes, and give you a check based on the number of pounds of shoes you provide.

Talent Show
Talent shows are fun and great middle school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

Middle schoolers are all about expressing their individuality, making talent shows an ideal middle school fundraising idea! They allow students to pursue their interests and display their talents. Hosting a talent show is an easy way for your school to raise money while giving your students an exciting and classic school experience.

The key to a successful talent show is to start promoting it in advance, giving students enough time to register and practice their act.

Make announcements and post flyers around the hallways to generate excitement. Charge a small fee for tickets to the show so family, friends, and fellow students can watch.

Scavenger Hunt
Host a scavenger hunt as your next school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒

Middle school fundraising ideas need to be fun and engaging, and there’s no better way to raise money than with a scavenger hunt. Plus, it gives students the opportunity to work together with their peers and parents to win an awesome prize.

To get started, you’ll need to create your clues and hide your items around the school. Allow students to enter the scavenger hunt by themselves or with a group, and charge a small fee to participate.

Reward the students who complete the scavenger hunt with a small prize!

Popcorn Fundraiser
Your students can sell popcorn as a school fundraising idea that’s quick and easy.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Get your students involved in raising money for your school by selling popcorn. Organizing a popcorn fundraiser is a great middle school fundraising idea because students will get the chance to sell products to their friends and family.

Find a popcorn vendor that offers a high-profit margin and a variety of flavors to choose from. We recommend scheduling your fundraiser during the holidays or sporting seasons to raise the most money.

Excite your students by turning your popcorn fundraiser into a competition and offer prizes to the students that sell the most popcorn.

Top High School Fundraising Ideas

Best Seat in the House Fundraiser
Best seat in the house fundraisers are great high school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

The best seat in the house fundraiser is a very effective high school fundraising idea. At its core, the best seat in the house is a raffle that awards the winner two prime seats to a sporting event or theater performance. Just like with team fundraising ideas, more tangible fundraising products like this yield better results.

Spread the word about your fundraiser, and encourage people to purchase raffle tickets for $1 each.

Sweeten the pot by offering the winner merchandise related to the event, as well as food and drinks. Because this fundraiser is so simple to plan, your school can host several best seat in the house fundraisers throughout the year!

Book Drive
Host a book drive as one of your high school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

There’s no better way to raise money and promote reading than by hosting a book drive. Ask students and community members to donate old and gently used books to your school.

Set up shop in your school’s library, and sell books during the day to students, parents, and teachers.

Best of all, whatever you don’t sell can be added to your school library’s collection.

Buy-a-Brick Fundraiser
Buy-a-brick school fundraising ideas are very effective methods to raise money.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

If your high school is looking to make renovations or expand a building, why not host an engraved brick fundraiser?

Partner with an engraved brick manufacturer to sell bricks to students, alumni, and teachers. You can even charge extra to have the bricks engraved with the donor’s name or the name of someone they wish to honor.

Selling bricks is a symbolic way to represent your new structure, and your school can honor donors by creating a walkway or wall with the engraved bricks.

Karaoke Night
Karaoke nights are fun and entertaining high school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒

Who doesn’t love a night filled with friends and karaoke? Find a local restaurant that does karaoke and partner with them to organize a karaoke night.

Let the local restaurant know that you’re raising funds for a good cause, and ask them if they’d be willing to donate a percentage of the night’s proceeds to your school.

Encourage all of your friends and family to attend to reap the most rewards from your fundraising event.

Mud Run
Mud runs are exciting and competitive school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒🆒🆒

A great high school fundraising idea is putting on a mud run. Students can pay a small fee to take part in the race, which consists of multiple obstacles covered with mud.

Order custom t-shirts for the mud run so everyone can show their school spirit and go out in style. This is a great way to get your hands (and everything else) dirty while raising money for your school. Bring out the competitive nature in high school students and try out this race for yourself!

Top No-Selling School Fundraising Ideas

While fundraisers play an important role in bringing in funds to schools, having to sell items can be a challenging task to overcome. But don’t stress! Instead, you should consider some of the following fundraising ideas that don’t require you to sell anything.

Simple Solicitations
Try simple solicitations as a school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒

Looking for some low-key no-selling school fundraising ideas? Try simple solicitations. Send out letters to your students’ families and the surrounding community, and solicit donations for your particular project or event.

You might initially hesitate to simply ask for money. However, many parents and community members will not only be happy to contribute, but they’ll also appreciate the straightforward approach. Try sending out fundraising letters or setting up a simple donation page online.

Local Partnerships
Local partnerships with businesses can be very effective as school fundraising ideas.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒

One of the most effective no-selling school fundraising ideas is local partnerships. Collect donations from local businesses, ask them to sponsor events that your school is planning, or sell advertising space at your sporting events.

This is also a great way to get involved in the surrounding community and unite everyone around your school.

Clean-Up Challenge
Plan a clean-up challenge as an impactful school fundraising idea.

  • Fundraising Potential: 👍👍👍
  • Cost: 💵
  • Popularity: 🆒🆒

Host a clean-up challenge, where people can pledge money for the amount of trash the students and teachers pick up. This is a great way to incentivize a clean-up around the neighborhood and get your school’s campus looking spick and span.


The more excited you and your school are about your fundraiser, the more likely people will gravitate toward your campaign and want to donate. That’s why we always recommend choosing a school fundraising idea that you’re the most passionate about and really want to promote. Fundraising events can and should be fun, so gather your community and the rest will take care of itself.

Want to make sure all of the great memories from your fundraising event are properly captured? Check out our photography tips below!

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