The Best Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Any successful fundraiser relies on community – and your school is in a fortunate position to have a network of parents within easy reach. That’s not to say it’s an easy task however and there are plenty of things to consider before you decide on which fundraising activities to go with. The good news is there is plenty of choice, and if you’re savvy, our list of school fundraising ideas is low cost and therefore highly profitable!

Register your school with easyfundraising

Before you start: Things to consider for any school fundraiser

Two women working

How will you promote your fundraiser?

As a school you will have a host of ways you communicate with parents, using platforms such as:

📢 Online messaging portals

📢 WhatsApp

📢 Social media

📢 Letters home / Email

📢 School gate banners

The important thing is that you use the appropriate channel. If holding an online fundraiser, keeping all the information online is a good idea – you can directly link parents to where they need to go and do. For events, consider local door drops and gate banners to reach those outside of your parent community.

Engaging parents

How will you engage your parent community?

There are a few vital things you should do to motivate parents to contribute – be that help on the day, or more importantly, donating the funds.

🪙 Explain what the fundraiser is raising funds towards

🪙 What will the benefit be to their children in having the funds raised

🪙 State when you need to reach your target by

🪙 Give plenty of notice and occasional reminders

🪙 Say thank you afterwards

Make the ask simple – parents are busy, so it needs to be clear – what do they need to do, when is it happening and how much would you like them to give.

school planning schedule

The fundraiser schedule and frequency

The parent community may have children at other schools, their children may be involved with extracurricular clubs – they probably receive notice of fundraising events quite frequently at certain times of the year so be sure to stagger yours. Use a selection from the options below, plenty of variety and some ‘always on’ raisers alongside events.

Online Fundraising Ideas for Schools

example of easyfundraising on screen

Fundraise through online shopping, for free!

Here’s a cost-effective and easy fundraising idea for a school. Parents can collect a free donation for your school when they shop online. You can register your school as a cause on easyfundraising, then encourage parents/staff/PTA committee to sign up in support. There is no cost to sign up for either your school or your supporters.

Then each time they shop with any of the 8,000 retailers we partner with, they’ll get a cashback donation courtesy of the retailer, which could be as much as 15% of the total they spend. They just have to visit the retailers website via the easyfundraising app, website or donation reminder and their donation will be raised. Easy, free and something that can run all year round – especially effective during the festive period! From groceries to insurance, fashion to toys, every online buy raises funds.

More than £15m has been raised by schools and PTAs through easyfundraising to date.

Top Tip:

auction online

Host an online auction

A fundraising event without the costs of refreshments, the planning of a room layout or the need for many volunteers – perfect! An online auction, held across a free video call software such as Zoom is a handy little fundraiser. Auction off donated items live over video call – you can choose to charge for admission to the auction or allow free entry. Then watchers bid via the chat function within a set time limit. Highest bid wins and the winner is sent a paypal request straight after with the amount owed.

All you need to offer an online auction is a Zoom and PayPal account, a host and donated items from your community.

Fundraising Events for Schools

School children in non-uniform

Non-uniform / theme days

A classic, but so simple and effective. Give the children the chance to come into school in non-uniform or dressed in a theme, and charge them for doing so. There is the opportunity to run a few of these through the year, it doesn’t have to just be during certain term times or national events, be creative with it.

🎒 Denim day

🎒 Pyjama day

🎒 Superhero day

🎒 Favourite movie character day

🎒 Favorite colour day

There are plenty of options to take the day up a notch too – there could be a prize for best dressed for example to add some extra excitement.

Cake sale

Cake sale

Help parents hone their child’s baking skills with a cake sale. Available to purchase at school home time or during a parents evening. Maybe combine it with sports day when parents are on site. You could even host a bake off style competition, giving parents the chance to pay to sample and cast a vote for the winner.

school talent show

Talent show

Who is a pro on the piano? A dream of a dancer? Or a master magician? Hold a talent show at school and charge an admission fee to parents to come along. This a great night of fun and a chance for children to show off their skills and parents to burst with pride! Your main hall is perfect as a host venue and you could also sell refreshments on the night too.

summer fair at school

Summer fair

This is probably the school fundraiser which demands the most time and volunteers, but it is also one of the highest raising! A selection of simple stalls, donated prizes and games, raffle, inflatable hire and some challenges such as score a penalty, throw a wet sponge at a teacher and more.

Top Tip:

sweets in a jar competition

Guess how many sweets

Fill a large jar with sweets, ask parents to pay to guess how many is in there. Best run during a parents evening week, parents can see the jar in person and enter on the night. This could have gone in the online section too as an image of the jar could also be shared online through the channels listed above with guesses submitted and paypal requests sent for entry fee. The prize could be the jar of sweets itself – a simple but effective way of raising.

Young girl reading a book on way home

Book sale

Book sales are a great earner for schools and can be held at various times throughout the year, a handy addition to some of the ideas above – summer fair, on sale at the talent show, or being available on parents evening too. A book sale is not only a great way to raise money, but it also has the advantage of encouraging reading amongst the children at your school. Asking teachers, parents and local community members or businesses to donate books for sale at the school will help increase donations too. Any books that aren’t sold could then be used in the school library or classrooms.

School sponsored walk

Sponsored walking challenge / litter pick

Ask parents to sponsor their child to take part in a walking challenge or litter pick in the local area. Best organised per year group at a time so there isn’t the need for too many volunteers per challenge, you will need to invest in some high-vis vests along with bags, gloves and grabbers if litter picking. Plan a challenging but not too taxing a route and encourage children to get that sponsorship money in.

School quiz night

Quiz night / bingo

Again, these could be hosted online, but by hosting in person, you can integrate some of the other fundraising options above too – half time refreshment sales etc. – a fee to enter with donated prizes. There are a host of free to use resources online for creating ‘pub quiz’ rounds as well as bingo card templates which can be made for free using software such as Canva. You can also find free bingo number generators like the one linked below – you’ll need to brush up on your number nicknames though!

school on easyfundraising

Start fundraising for your school with easyfundraising

So there you have our list of fundraising ideas for schools. Our number one recommendation is to register your school as a cause with easyfundraising. Whichever fundraising options you choose above, easyfundraising can run alongside, a constant source of income throughout the year, including the holiday periods. With just one extra step, parents can raise money for your school as they do their every day online shopping, without any additional cost.