With budgets increasingly squeezed, most schools are actively engaging in fundraising initiatives to help swell the coffers and produce additional funding for everything from equipment to outings.
Here are a few fundraising ideas for schools on raising money, how to ring the changes with school events, and make it fun along the way!
Create a Just Giving account
It’s quick and easy, and Just Giving is a great avenue for all different types of school fundraising ideas. 22 million users in more than 160 countries, almost 26,000 charities benefiting and £5.5 billion of funds raised to date can’t be wrong!
Sell school-branded merchandise to raise funds
From the more traditional branded products like pens and notebooks to branded clothing, drinking bottles, and even novelty items, it’s a great way to create awareness and raise money for the school.
Host a fundraising raffle
Either as a stand-alone event or as part of another fundraiser. Contact local businesses and organisations to source prizes. Don’t be afraid to use your contacts. Make sure you abide by the gambling commission rules!
Ask parents to shop via an affiliate link
We were all probably aware of AmazonSmile – did you know you can set up your own affiliate links or ask parents to join an existing program like EasyFundraising when they shop online? It might sound complex but in fact, it’s quite a straightforward marketing arrangement where you can receive a commission on product sales, raising money. A school fundraising idea that doesn’t call on teacher time!
Put on a summer fayre or carnival
Fun in the sun (hopefully!) Appoint a committee and get everyone involved in your summer fair. Remember to check your insurance policies to make sure you’re covered, and if you have activities like bouncy castles make sure they have their own insurance!
Lots of volunteers are required, think about food and drink and the weather – you may need some shelter! Organise a main attraction then fill in the spaces – from ‘score a goal’ competitions through to tombolas and rides. Involve the whole school!
A bake sale, a cook-off, cake competitions, other foodie school events, and opportunities like barbecues and cheese and wine evenings – they’re always popular as a school fundraiser.
Get the teachers involved
Make sure the teachers share your fundraising goals and have a say in how the money raised will be used, set up a managing committee of school fundraisers, set a fundraising target and make sure everyone who wants to gets a say. Don’t expect too much from individuals and always remember to say thank you!
Entertain the parents
Organise fundraising events you think the parents will enjoy and invite parents – they’ll be far more likely to get involved and take the time and effort to attend, making it easier to sell tickets. Offer a good range of activities, from karaoke nights to quizzes and even comedy nights. It will pay dividends to encourage parents.
Primary school car wash
Fun for all the family! A charity car wash is an inclusive event that serves a useful purpose and will generate funds and interest. Choose the right location, advertise your event, and make sure you have plenty of equipment and volunteers!
Many supermarkets organise their charitable bag pack days at a local level – contact your local stores and find out what the opportunities are. Make sure you have enough adult supervisors, brand up your collection buckets and off you go!
On foot or by car – it’s a great fun event! Choose a theme and a format, there are lots of different options, and make sure you plan well in advance – if your clues are outdoors they may need protection from the elements! Make sure the trail is straightforward to follow – you can even use an online treasure hunt app if you’re technologically minded!
School Yard Sale
You could run it like a car boot sale and sell spaces/tables plus ask for a percentage of the funds raised, or you can ask for donations for sale. Make sure you have space to store them before the event! Add in refreshments for more fundraising opportunities – maybe source donations from local retail stores. Make sure you advertise your event as widely as possible!
Duck the Teacher/Leader
Maybe more suitable as a stall at your Summer Fayre, Gala, or another school fundraiser – wet sponges aplenty and a teacher with a sense of humour absolutely necessary!
Maybe not a Calendar Girls theme for your calendar or wall planners – the teachers may not agree! – but school events, images, or even a competition to provide the images for use in the calendar or wall planner. Talk to a friendly local printer for the best end results. It’s a great way of raising money.
Always a popular fundraising event – maybe the children’s own creations, or simply use a professional organisation that will supply catalogues of popular designs for parents, families, and friends to buy from and provide a commission.
Educational too, so a popular choice and a great way to promote the school library. Get the whole school involved, give it a competitive element if that suits your philosophy, and use it as a learning experience for all concerned.
Hire out the school hall or playing fields for events
You’ve got the facilities – make the most of them! It can prove a whole new income stream, particularly for evenings when places like the school gym, many school buildings, and playing fields aren’t in use. There are professional organisations that can manage this for you without the organisational element impacting teaching time and resources.
Car Boot Sale
Another great use for your school playing fields! Take a look at some good advice from other PTAs.
Make the most of your pupils’ and teachers’ talents – stage a concert and sell the tickets.
Experiences’ auction donated by local business
Your school is an important part of your local community and community spirit. Contact local businesses and sports venues and even a local restaurant to request their support with the donation of auction lots – from golf lessons to travel days and signed memorabilia, there are many different options that don’t need to cost a fortune for the business providing the lot.
Kids and teachers love a non-uniform day – raise money by encouraging them to pay a small amount for the privilege of wearing their ‘civvies’ to school! It’s a fundraising idea where the entire school can take part.
Spelling Bee Fundraiser
Set your rules, use your timer and always remember it’s supposed to be fun!
Great for promoting reading and literacy skills in the school community, and requiring minimal effort to generate funds. Encourage students to read as many books and possible and get sponsored for their efforts.
Colour Run Fundraising event
Popular with many of the major charities because of its visual impact, it can work for you too. It’s a fun run with a difference!
Movie Night in School
Indoors or outdoors – although our more variable climate suggests indoors is a more reliable choice, and probably involves less upfront cost. Invest in the hire of an appropriately sized screen, sell tickets, choose your movie(s) wisely, and make sure you’ve followed the legal guidelines. Adding refreshments will maximise your takings and raise extra funds! How about incorporating a bake sale? Let the local community know what’s happening.
Smarties tube challenge
A free tube of Smarties (have an alternative for those who can’t eat chocolate!) then encourage children to carry out small jobs around the home for family members, friends, and neighbours to earn 20p coins to refill the Smarties tube once the sweet treats are gone! A collaborative way of raising funds.
Great for fitness too! Involve parents and teachers, and consider other school fundraising initiatives to run alongside the school event on the day.
Who’s the baby competition?
Adorable baby pictures of celebrities or even teachers and pupils printed onto sheets for sale, guess who the babies are and make sure you have an appealing donated prize for the winner!
No list of school fundraising ideas is complete without the mention of a sponsored silence! It’s an easy win on a school’s fundraising calendar.
Ideas for Promoting Your Event
Remember the more people who know about your event, the more likely your school fundraising ideas and fundraising efforts are to be a success, so consider every available avenue to get the message out there.
For fundraising events with a broader appeal outside the immediate school community, with the added attraction of raising more money from a school event, it might be appropriate to consider direct mail.
Use all available channels to get your charity event message out there, and don’t forget the socials! Use your school’s social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter accounts to spread the word. Don’t forget the school website – why not have a dedicated fundraising page?
If you have a school newsletter, be sure to include an events section or a school calendar so everyone knows exactly what’s happening when raising funds during the school year!
An effective and inexpensive means of communication for your fundraiser ideas. Why not set up a Mailchimp account or ask Smart Printing Company to help you with this?
If you’re an educational establishment of any kind and you’d like some help with marketing for your school fundraisers – ideas, production of materials, advice on how to get your message across – then please feel free to contact the Smart Printing Company team.