Top Ten School Support Fundraisers

Silent Auctions

Schools can host auctions of donated items. James Braund/Lonely Planet Images via Getty Images

 Get a variety of items donated from local businesses and host a silent auction.  It helps to have items in different price ranges and value.  Place the items on a table where people can list their bids, and the highest bid at the end of the event gets the item.  Bids can go up fast as the closing time approaches!

Passive Fundraisers

Mom handing over passive rewards card to cashier. Hybrid images/Cultura Collection via Getty images

 These fundraisers can be very easy to run.  Passive fundraisers are coordinated through different companies who offer a small percentage of sales back to your school group.  These usually provide a small stream of ongoing funding.  Your group signs up with a company offering a passive fundraising program.  Then when your supporters sign up with the company to support you, a small percent of theirpurchase dollars is given to your group.  

School Carnivals

Have Lots of Carnival Fun When You know What You Want to Do. Doug Menuez via Getty Images

School Carnivals can be a fun way to pull in money as well as build community support.   Think about seasonal themes that you can use, and look for times when kids or teens do not have an event locally that would be fun.

Plant and Garden Sales

Local plants are often great plants. Mint images/ Mint Images RF via Getty images

Have school students grow plants and then sell them.  School children can grow plants from seeds or cuttings, in science class or an after school club. This is a good spring fundraiser that can bring in all of the local community.  Try to time your sale close to the last day of frost in your region, when gardeners are shopping for plants for their yards.

Direct Sales Fundraisers

Door to door sales do still exist, but coil media has taken over. Picturenet/Blend Image via Getty Images

For years these were the door to door fundraisers.  The ones where school kids went to their families and neighbors selling chocolate bars, popcorn, magazines or gift wrap.   Many of these companies have gone modern, and have a sale model that uses social media instead of having children go to door to door.  

Some catalogue and party plan companies also work with school groups for fundraisers.  Avon Products and Thirty One Gifts are two such companies.  

Athletic Participation Event

Adult runs can be good fundraisers. Steve Debenport/E+ via Getty images

Think fun runs, walks, hikes, bicycle races,  swims and more.  You can organize your event ina few different ways to make money on this event.  One way is to have the participants collect pledges and donations.  You could charge an entry fee to the participants, and you may be able to sell a commemorative t-shirt for the event.  

The most unique spin  I have seen on this is called a Rock-A-Thon.  School students meet in an open location (think school gym or cafeteria) and rock in rocking chairs.  The money comes from pledges and donations.  The kids who participate enjoy a fund evening together. Students brought in TV's, blankets and snacks to share with one another over the course of the event, making it a fun evening for the kids who participated.

Sell Spirit Support Custom Merchandise

Spirit gear can be worn for more than jut sports events. Chris Whitehead/Cultura via Getty Images

 This is an oldie but goodie.  I remember buying shirts with my schools mascot through school fundraisers.  Now groups can get all kinds of customized clothing or other fun items.  Order and sell school t-shirts, hoodies, scarves, hats, pencils, mugs or pretty much anything else than can be customized.

Craft and Maker Class Workshop

Make this is a fun evening class for adults or kids. Hero Images via Getty Images

 Host a special workshop event where attendees make something truly special.  Think of painting classes or a workshop to build a simple piece of wooden furniture.  The ticket price would include supplies and teaching.  You can have people make on large speical item, or have stations where people make a variety of small items.

Garage and Second Hand Sales

Thrifty shoppers love coming to garage sales. Hero Images via Getty Images

 Have people donate their gently used items for resale.  Donors are often happy to clean out their unused items while thrifty shoppers find what they need.  These sales work best in the spring and the fall.  These sales are organized in a very similar way to swaps, only all of the proceeds go to the group seeking money.

Spaghetti or Taco Dinners

Dinner fundraisers can be a fun evening out for the whole family. Sofie Delauw/Cultura via Getty Images

Food like spaghetti, tacos, stews and chili can all be prepared in large batches.  For this fundraiser you sell a dinner plate or bowl of the food. This fundraiser combines well with other events.  You could host a dinner and silent auction together, or you could time your dinner to be available right before the biggest school football or hockey game of the year. 

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