Cheeky Fundraising Challenges for Schools

First things first: what is a challenge? Basically, you’re talking dares and defiance! Anything from a sponsored parachute jump (we bet you can all think of a teacher you’d like to nominate for that one!) to a class silence-a-thon. Think the unthinkable, and do it for money! It’s huge fun, gets people talking, and can raise lots for your school.

But wait. Before you get excited about choosing a challenge, here are three essential strategies you must get right:

Step 1 – Plan

Think about who you’ll ask to donate, and how you’ll tell them what you’re doing. Will you use a sponsorship form, an online pledge, or traditional methods like flyers? Who is likely to respond to the call? Make sure you’re targeted and you’ve a much better chance of success.

Step 2 – A USP

What’s your main attraction? Give people a reason to show up, and a reason to stay, and you’ll raise more. Can you get a celebrity involved, or will the head teacher put himself in the spotlight? Use whoever, and whatever it takes to increase the donations.

Step 3 - Fundraising maths

Be as creative as you like, but always keep in mind that any extra costs need to be offset by extra ticket sales or other income. Having one eye always on the profits will motivate you to ask for prize donations or free services, to sell tickets, and to shop for supplies on easyfundraising to make some free money to add to the target!

Ready. Challenge. Go! Read on for brilliant ways to have a laugh and make friends with other parents, while raising money for the school’s next big project.

Fundraising Challenges for the kids:

Pride in a child at school is one of the most compelling reasons to donate money. Plus, kids make the most fantastically enthusiastic fundraisers. Here are some easy fundraising ideas for kids:

Give something up:

  • Noise! Do a sponsored class silence
  • Sweets
  • iPads or TV

Activity challenges:

  • Run or walk laps of the field
  • Walk/cycle/scoot to school week
  • Virtual swimathon: accrue lengths of a pool over a month to see how far you can swim
  • Sponsored skipping
  • How many starjumps? (kids seem to love starjumps!)
  • Speed stacking challenges
  • Toddler triathlon
  • Longest tennis rally for older kids
  • Keep a football match going for an entire weekend!

Academic challenges:

  • Spelling bee
  • Times tables challenge
  • Paper aeroplane challenge

Fun and games:

  • Snail race; duck race
  • Battle of the Bands ticketed event
  • Treasure hunt - ask local businesses to donate prizes, and charge for entry


  • Danceathon
  • Sponsored choir practice sing
  • Board game marathon
  • Sleepover at school

Go the extra mile:

Think about how to squeeze every bit of potential out of an activity. Will people donate more, for an extra special effort? 50p for a day without sweets, £10 for a week, etc. A tech ban is a great way to reduce screen time, but could kids swap the time to make friendship bracelets to sell at school? If you’re planning a group event, why not invite parents and sell refreshments for an extra boost to your fundraising?

Parent/Teacher Fundraising Challenges:

Here’s where you can really have some fun. People will pay good money to see teachers their heads, or sit in a tub of beans. Where parent/teacher challenges are concerned, the sillier, or the more extreme, the better!

  • Headshave
  • Teacher versus parent spelling bee
  • Times tables contest
  • Yes/No game
  • It’s a Knockout silly obstacle courses
  • Sponge or slime throw – kids pay to throw wet sponges, or slime at their teacher
  • Teacher uniform day
  • Parents go to school day
  • Longest netball/football match

Go the extra mile: If you can run a marathon, will people donate more for you to run it in a shorter time? Can you play football in a relay for 12 hours overnight?

How to raise more!

Advertising: Make sure people know what you’re doing. There’s no such thing as talking too much about your fundraising event, so be bold, and spread the word wherever you can – online, in print, and word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to ask for money face to face either. Often people just need the reminder, and it’s all for a great cause! Sign up as a cause to easyfundraising for downloadable materials to help you get the message out.

Create a local legend! Imagine if your challenge became an annual event in the community – something that gets everyone talking every summer. Who won last year? How can we beat that? Create a buzz of expectation around your challenge, and you’ve achieved something most professional fundraisers dream of. And you’ll have secured a regular income for your school at the same time!

Good luck with your next school challenge. Do let us know how it went. And if you have any genius ideas for easy charity events for kids, pop it in the comments below and share with other readers!

Looking for more ideas? Why not have a look at The Beginners Guide to Fundraising and 41 Tried and Tested Fundraising Ideas for Charity. 

Fundraising Expert

Fundraising Expert is a driving force for effective fundraising and increasing donations. Helping you raise more!
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