top of page

5 Fun Fundraisers to Raise Money for Your School

Two smiling young girls at school with two young boys behind them.

Picture this scenario: You’re setting up for your PTA’s monthly meeting as members of the group start to file into the meeting room. As you greet members, you ask them if they brought any fundraising ideas. There’s a quiet sigh, and a few members exchange exasperated glances. You think you even hear one of them groan.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Often, school groups struggle to find the “fun” in fundraising. That’s where this guide comes in. We’ll introduce you to five fun fundraising ideas to raise more money for your school:

  1. Online Product Fundraiser

  2. Run, Walk, or Roll 5K

  3. Car Wash

  4. Talent Show

  5. Family Movie Night

These fun and easy ideas are perfect for school groups that need a fresh take on fundraising. Plus, they’ll engage teachers, parents, and students alike in your fundraising efforts. 

As ABC Fundraising’s guide to fundraising ideas for kids explains, over 80% of parents who model philanthropic behavior see it reflected in their children. Help teach your students the power of giving back with these innovative fundraising ideas.

1. Online Product Fundraiser

Traditional product fundraisers involve students knocking on their neighbors’ doors or parents passing order forms around the breakroom at work. While effective, this in-person selling process can be time-consuming for participants.

So, how can you tap into the incredible power of a product fundraiser without having to take on the in-person selling process? Enter the online product fundraiser! Follow these steps to make it easy for teachers, parents, and students to participate:

  1. Partner with a dedicated product fundraising company. Find a company to partner with that can take the stress out of the fundraising process by sourcing the products you need and setting up your online store for you. That way, all you have to worry about is effectively promoting your fundraiser.

  2. Choose a product your community members will love. Use what you know about your school community to select your fundraising product, which could be anything from snacks to t-shirts to candles. You may even survey your supporters to see which products they’d be most interested in.

  3. Promote your fundraiser. Promote your campaign by asking students and parents to send the link to your online store to their friends and families. Share the details of your fundraiser on social media, your email newsletter, and your school’s blog to inspire your community to get involved.

Since this fundraiser relies on your school’s website, make sure it’s mobile-friendly and accessible for all users. According to 360MatchPro, only 22% of nonprofit and school websites are accessible for those with visual and hearing disabilities, so be sure to include alt text for images and captions for any videos so everyone can join in on the fundraising fun.

2. Run, Walk, or Roll 5K

Fundraising events are excellent opportunities to get your community excited about giving. To host a Run, Walk, or Roll 5K, all you need is a large outdoor space, such as a community park, walking trail, or track.

Encourage families in your school community to sign up to run, walk, or roll with bikes, strollers, or wheelchairs for the event. Then, charge a small entrance fee for each participant. Make your event more fun and encourage participation by trying out the following tips:

  • Offer a special group discount for parents who want to get the entire family involved.

  • Sell branded merchandise like t-shirts, water bottles, hats, or backpacks with your school’s logo.

  • Provide water and first aid stations at a few different points along the course and, of course, trophies or medals for the winners!

To pull off this fundraiser successfully, ensure you have a dedicated team of volunteers to help you set up and facilitate your race.

While this event allows participants to get active, it’s also a great opportunity for members of your community to meet and spend quality time together. Consider hosting your Run, Walk, or Roll 5K as a back-to-school event to start the year off strong and build relationships among teachers, students, and parents.

3. Car Wash

A car wash fundraiser is not only fun and simple to set up but also provides a useful service for the families in your school community. After all, parents often have their hands full, so saving them a trip to the car wash can be extremely helpful.

To set up your car wash, recruit some enthusiastic student volunteers, and assign them to different stations, such as washing, rinsing, and drying. Divvying up each part of the wash will make it easier for you to get cars in and out of the line on the big day. Next, spread the word about your car wash, and encourage families to stop by on your designated car wash day to get their cars clean and sparkling.

Make this fundraiser extra fun by adding a theme to your car wash. Here are a few examples you can try:

Once you’ve picked a theme, have your students dress up in costumes, play music, and encourage your volunteers to dance and interact with the drivers and passengers who come through the car wash. This will turn a regular car wash fundraiser into an event entire families can enjoy.

4. Talent Show

Your school is full of talented students, teachers, administrators, and staff members, whether they’re great singers, jugglers, dancers, or magicians. Why not put that talent to use for a good cause?

Hosting a talent show is a great way to encourage your entire community to get involved in supporting your school and its students. Follow these steps to get started: 

  1. Host auditions. Find the best family-friendly acts that your school community has to offer with an audition day. See what kinds of talent you have at your disposal, and determine how many “types” of acts your show will have. For example, a talent show with an endless lineup of unicyclists might get old after a while. Hosting auditions allows you to find a variety of talents to showcase on the big day.

  2. Spread the word about your show. Tap into multiple channels for marketing your talent show, such as your email newsletter, posters taped up around the school and other community centers, and your morning announcements. Then, sell tickets to those who are interested.

  3. Do a practice run. The best way to ensure your performers are ready for your show is to host a run-through the day before. Have each performer practice their act on stage in order. Use your run-through to perfect your tech, such as audio and lighting, to make sure everything runs smoothly.

On the big day, leverage additional fundraising opportunities to raise even more for your school. For example, you might sell concessions or have audience members vote for their favorite acts in exchange for a small donation.

5. Family Movie Night

Family movie night fundraisers are a win-win opportunity. The families in your school community will love giving back to their school and spending time together to do so!

For a family movie night fundraiser, all you’ll need is a family-friendly movie and a place to show it, making this fundraising idea extremely budget-friendly. To decide on a movie, consider your student body’s age range and interests, and pay careful attention to the ratings and reviews of your top choices.

Once you’ve selected a movie, pick a place to host your event. You can set up your family movie night in your school’s auditorium or gymnasium, or take it outside to the school lawn or football field if you have access to a large screen, projector, and speakers. Charge a small ticket fee for each attendee, and make extra money by selling concessions like chocolate bars and popcorn.

When it comes to school fundraising, it’s important to find ideas that not only help you raise money for your school but also engage your broader community. With these five fun fundraising ideas, your school can maximize its fundraising results and create lasting memories with teachers, students, and parents.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page