10 Top School Fundraising Ideas for Maximum Impact

From charity bake sales to sponsored egg and spoon races, there’s no shortage of fun ways for staff, kids and parents to raise money for their school! Searching for a few more ways to get kids involved in fundraising? Read on…

The Importance of Creative Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising in schools is a wonderful way to teach kids the importance of charitable giving from a young age. What’s more, the money raised can be used to support all kinds of brilliant causes – both locally and on a national level. 

Schools have the potential to reach a lot of people, which can help maximise donations and increase awareness of specific organisations. Before you go planning a fun run or another activity in aid of your favourite charity though, there a few important things worth considering. 

For starters, you’ll want to make sure your idea has mass appeal – both to kids, their friends, and their families. The more people you can get to attend your event, the more donations you’ll receive. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box!

The Top 10 School Fundraising Ideas

When it comes to school fundraising ideas, there are many fantastic options. Here we’ve put together 10 terrific ideas to help inspire your next school fundraising event:

1. Fun Run or Sponsored Walk 

One of the simplest ways to get the school community involved in fundraising is with a sponsored walk or a fun run. Typically, these kinds of events see kids taking part in a walk or non-competitive run while being sponsored by their family, friends and teachers.

How much money someone chooses to sponsor is entirely up to them – no amount is too small or too big! The money raised can then be added together and donated to a good cause. A sponsored run/walk is very easy to organise as schools can usually host on their own grounds or at a nearby local park. What’s more, you can promote it by mentioning it in school newsletters, putting up posters around the school grounds or during PTA meetings.

When it comes to collecting sponsorship money, this could be done by each class teacher. Alternatively, why not take things into the digital age by using an online platform? You can also boost your donations by registering your cause at easyfundraising and inviting donors to join. Then, every time they shop with one of 7,500+ different stores online, a small commission will be donated to your chosen cause. 

2. Bake Sale or Cooking Competition

Bake sales are one of the best ways to quickly raise money. After all, who doesn’t love tucking into some homemade treats? All you’ll need are a few tables in your school hall or reception and some parents willing to bake up a storm in their kitchens.

There are several things to bear in mind with a charity bake sale, though:

  • Make sure you have a good number of parents and staff willing to bake. It’s not uncommon for people to get too busy to help and drop out last minute.
  • People will most likely pay for their baked goods in cash, so you’ll want a small kitty of change in case you’re given larger notes.
  • Be cautious of food allergies/dietary requirements. Tell bakers to avoid cooking with nuts and ensure there’s at least one vegan/gluten-free option.

A cooking competition is another way to combine culinary skill with charitable giving. This could be incorporated into a school fair or be a separate event all on its own. Keep it simple by organising a homemade jam or chutney contest at your next summer fete that’s open to both kids, parents and members of the public.

Or if you want to get the kids involved, why not go all-out with a ready, steady, cook-style competition or a bake-off-inspired event? You could charge an entry fee and then organise a small prize for the winner, with the remainder of the money going to charity.

3. Talent Show

Kids have so many hidden talents, so why not allow them to shine with a school talent show? It could easily be turned into a fundraising event by donating all ticket sales, however minimal they might be, to a charity of your choice. 

Sell tickets on the door or in advance, either by asking parents to send cash in with their kids or by using an online donation/ticketing system. Don’t forget to register the event on easyfundraising too, to help boost your donations.

4. Charity Auction

If you want to raise a bigger chunk of money for charity, an auction is a fantastic option. It could be organised as its own individual event or be added onto an existing school occasion such as a fair or parent-teacher evening.

From spa days to delicious hampers, there are so many prizes you could offer up to entice people to bid. Wondering how you’ll secure these prizes for free? As well as appealing to parents who might work for specific businesses and be willing to donate items, you could approach a few local companies. Restaurants and cafes are great places to start as they’ll usually be happy to donate a meal or two. You could also ask a hotel if they’d offer up a night’s stay or approach an independent shop for a voucher.

Every item or experience you collect will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the money raised all going to your school’s charity of choice. Again, you’ll be able to maximise your donations by registering your cause on the easyfundraising site.

5. School Fair/Fête or Carnival

School fairs and carnivals are a wonderful way to bring the wider community together, plus there are plenty of ways to use them to raise additional funds for a good cause. 

Food stalls (including bake sales), fun games like coconut shies and hook the duck, and raffles can all be on the agenda. You could also see if any local businesses would like to get involved. They could set up a stall to sell their wares in exchange for donating a fee to your chosen charity. 

If you’re organising a bigger event complete with rides or performances, selling tickets is another sensible way to raise money.

6. Dress Down or Theme Day

Another easy-peasy way to fundraise during term time is with a dress-up (or down) day. Let kids ditch their school uniform in favour of their own clothes. In exchange, simply get them to pay £1 on the day to their teacher which will then be donated to a good cause.

You could also opt for a themed day. Many schools choose to do this on World Book Day by inviting kids to dress up as a character from their favourite stories. Alternatively, try organising a themed dress-up day around a certain holiday or a topic the kids have recently learnt about. Think Egyptian mummies, Victorian chimney sweeps or Tudor monarchs!

7. Read-a-thon or Spell-a-thon

Keen to merge fundraising with an educational activity? Say hello to a read-a-thon and spell-a-thon! These activities see kids taking part in set challenges related to reading or spelling, including:

  • Reading as many books as possible in a set amount of time;
  • Finish a whole series of books by one author;
  • Allowing others to choose books for them to read;
  • Being given a list of words to learn and then spelling them out/using them in sentences.

Typically, spell-a-thons and read-a-thons are sponsored events where every child receives monetary pledges from family, friends or peers. These could be collected the old-fashioned way in cash or by using an online system such as Just Giving. 

Spell-a-thons and read-a-thons allow kids to practice essential skills they’ve learnt in class while also raising money for a fantastic cause. Why not host one in aid of a charity that supports children’s literacy? They’re also great if you’re raising money to buy new books for your school library or a local community centre.

8. Raffle or Lottery

Raffles and lotteries always go down well. You could incorporate a raffle into a bigger school event, whether that’s a summer fair or a Christmas carol concert, or organise an ongoing charity lottery which gives parents the chance to win a prize every week/every month.

The latter is a great way to continuously raise money for a good cause, although it’ll require a lot more organisation and a steady flow of potential prizes. A raffle is an easier pick as all you’ll need is a book of raffle tickets, a small kitty of change and just a handful of prizes.

9. Crowdfunding Campaign

Want to take your school’s fundraising into the digital age? Crowdfunding – raising a set amount of money using an online donations platform – is becoming increasingly popular and a great way to raise funds for specific projects.

There are several platforms which can be used for crowdfunding too, from GoFundMe to Crowdfunder. All you need to do is set up a page, add an engaging description of what the campaign is all about, and start collecting. You’ll want to promote the page too, whether that’s through a school newsletter, the school website, social media or a local news outlet.

10. Recycling Drive

If you’re keen to give your fundraising efforts an environmental edge, consider a recycling drive. While most things can be recycled directly from people’s homes, there are some initiatives in the UK that can see you getting paid for recycling certain items. These include:

  • Aluminium cans through the Cans for Cash scheme;
  • Old CDs, DVDs and electrical through sites like Music Magpie;
  • Preloved books via WeBuyBooks;
  • Used ink cartridges from printers through Cartridge Recycling UK;
  • Second-hand clothes with Cash for Clothes.

To incorporate one of these schemes into your school fundraising, simply ask parents and staff to bring in their old items. These can then be gathered together and recycled, with the cash made going straight to your school’s chosen charity.

If you’re looking for a long-term fundraising initiative, a recycling drive is ideal. You could organise it through individual classes or have a central drop-off point in the school reception area. 

Maximising the Impact of Your Fundraising Event

The key to any successful fundraising initiative is planning. Make sure you choose an event or activity that’s achievable and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. It’s also a good idea to use a few digital tools, whether that’s crowdfunding platforms, online payment systems or easyfundraising.

Don’t forget to promote your event as much as you can, too. Putting up posters, sending out emails and advertising via your school’s website or social media pages are all fantastic ways to raise awareness and make sure you get as many people taking part as possible. Share how successful your event has been afterwards too, so parents, teachers and other participants can see that it was worthwhile.

Bringing Your School Fundraising Idea to Life

A seasoned pro at organising school fundraisers? Or maybe you’ve never planned one in your life? Regardless of your experience, you should have gained plenty of inspiration from our ten ideas above.

For even more tips on maximising your school’s fundraising efforts, check out our Ultimate Guide to School Fundraising. And don’t forget, you can also use easyfundraising to boost your donations and make the process of raising money a little bit easier.