41 Tried and Tested Fundraising Activities for Schools

We know the school PTA has a tough job! From safe, modern play and sports equipment, to the latest techniques for engaging lessons, the money you raise through fundraising activities is essential to a great learning environment. We’re here to help you every step of the way, with ideas, top tips, and activities that are fantastic fun, and reinforce on-going support between teachers, parents and students.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your activity goes down a storm:

Step 1 – Plan: Think about who you’ll invite, and how you’ll tell them what you’re doing. Does the school have a Facebook page to share the details, or will you use newsletters and traditional fliers? How will you make money on your activity? Will you ask for donations on the day, or use an online payment mechanism. Make sure you’re organised and the funds will mount up quicker.

Step 2 – Use what you already have: Chances are your school is already running lots of great activities that the kids and parents love. Turn athletics club into a pre-register adrenaline start for parents, or hold a sponsored exercise-a-thon!

Step 3 – Match your activity to a target: It always helps to have a focus. If you need £100 to plant seeds for a herb garden, run a small activity, like an after-school lolly sale; if you need £5000 for new laptops, hold a bigger event – something families don’t normally get to do, so you’re guaranteed their attention.

Read on for 41 great fundraising activities guaranteed to take your school to the next level.

Small effort. Great return:

A really simple and cost-effective strategy is to turn your existing activities into fundraisers. Ask organisers of after-school clubs and evening classes if they will donate their time, and charge participants to bring a friend. Or organise sponsorship for challenges like an all night yogathon. Just £2.50 per person donation adds up to £75 if a whole class of 30 brings a friend. Run 10 of these a year and you’ve already raised £750, for no extra effort! Try these ideas:

  • After school dance class – dads versus kids in a dance-off
  • Turn breakfast club into a dads and daughters/mums and sons pastry treat
  • Get the cookery club to hold a bake sale
  • Sports clubs – try mums versus kids
  • Yogathon
  • Zumbathon
  • Parents come to acting class
  • Parents pay if the kids beat them at chess club
  • Sell lemonade, tea and coffee, or hot dogs at the next sports fixture.

Fun for kids. Funds for school:

  • Bake sale – always popular!
  • School disco
  • Ice lolly Fridays
  • Kids colour run
  • Duck race
  • Family Trivial Pursuit challenge
  • Family car wash
  • Children’s art exhibition and sale
  • Toddler triathlon
  • Kids fashion show
  • Make your own pizza night
  • School sleepover
  • Movie and popcorn evening
  • Family camp out
  • Snail racing
  • Worm charming
  • Picnic auction – get everyone to bring a picnic basket, then auction each basket off to the highest bidder
  • Easter egg hunt
  • Treasure hung
  • Non-uniform day – Disney, Halloween, pyjamas, anything the kids fancy!
  • Wear a wig to school day

Social activities:

These take a bit more effort, but the rewards are often bigger, both in money raised, and in building a community around the school:

  • Quiz night
  • Black Tie Ball
  • 80’s disco
  • Race night
  • Sausage Sizzle
  • Beetle drive
  • Bingo night
  • Charity auction – get local businesses to donate the prizes
  • Wine tasting event
  • Halloween fancy dress competition party
  • Restaurant night – ask a restaurant to give a percentage of the takings if you fill it with guests on a quiet night

Quick wins:

  • Use your space: Lots of schools have halls or fields that could be hired out to local groups for meetings, classes or parties. How can your space raise money for your school for minimum effort?
  • Slave auction: Auction, or charge a fee for an older student or parent to provide a service – mow the lawn, wash a car, make some deliveries, do some ironing.
  • Teacher raffle: Similar to above, but with teachers as the prize!

Raise more

Don’t miss a trick! Make sure you cover all these angles on your fundraising activity, to maximise your donations:

  • Get to know your audience really well so you can plan an activity that will resonate with them. Do you have an abundance of crafters in your school, or a really sporty element? Are the parents keen on academic success - will they love the challenge of a spelling bee? Leverage competitive spirit and you’ll usually find donations increase with it!
  • Always think about what else you could do to make money once the activity is up and running. Can you sell refreshments or raffle tickets? Could you mount a challenge for a bigger donation if the kids exceed original targets?
  • Celebrate the successes. Use social media and email newsletters to let people know how much was raised, and how the school will use it. Post photos to show how much fun the activity was (make sure you have necessary permissions). It will encourage people to get involved next time. Keep a fundraising ‘thermometer’ where all the parents will see it. There’s nothing like a visual reminder of how close you are to a particular goal to make people want to reach it.
  • Make note of what has worked well, and do it again!

Don’t forget!

Advertising: Make sure people know what you’re doing. There’s no such thing as talking too much about your fundraising event, so don’t be afraid to ask for money. Remember, your school is a worthy cause, and the kids deserve the best. If it’s going to improve the learning environment for their kids, most parents won’t mind. Plus parents are busy people and will probably appreciate the reminder! Sign up as a cause to easyfundraising for downloadable advertising templates.

Get free donations on shopping: Don’t forget to sign up as an individual too, so you can collect free donations on any supplies you buy through easyfundraising. Whether you need chess sets, sports equipment, or party decorations you’ll find them all via our retailers. Be sure to share the link with parents too – every time they shop online they could be raising free donations for their school.

Have fun with your next fundraising activity! Let us know how it went, or tell us about activities your school runs in the comments.

You may also enjoy reading:

Eight Steps to Primary School Fundraising Success

Show-stopping musical fundraising events for schools. 

Fundraising Expert

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