Top 10 Fundraising Ideas for Schools to Engage Your Community and Raise Funds

Fundraising Ideas for Schools

The Best Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Effective and Creative Fundraising Ideas to Boost School Programs and Engage the Community

There are countless fundraising ideas for schools, but not all are equally effective. Choosing the best fundraiser depends on the time and effort you’re willing to invest. Some of the most profitable fundraisers require thorough planning and effective promotion. In contrast, others, like crowdfunding, require minimal effort and can raise more than traditional fundraisers when partnered with the right company and platform.

Below, we’ve listed the best fundraising ideas for schools. These ideas are guaranteed to engage students, parents, and the community while raising funds for your teams, programs, and activities.

Snap! Raise online fundraising

1. Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding is one of the best fundraising ideas for schools due to its broad reach and simplicity. Platforms like Snap! Raise allow schools to create online campaigns where supporters can donate directly. These campaigns are low-effort and time-saving and can generate more revenue than traditional fundraisers by attracting donations from extended networks of family and friends that aren’t local.

School carnival

2. School Carnivals

Hosting a school carnival can be both incredibly fun and highly profitable. To draw in a crowd, include various games, rides, food stalls, raffles, and entertainment. Sell tickets for admission and individual activities to maximize your earnings.

While this is the most time-intensive fundraiser on this list, a well-executed carnival can generate significant revenue and provide memorable experiences for everyone involved. For a successful event, check out these school carnival planning basics to ensure a smooth start.

Walk-a-thons and fun runs

3. Walk-a-thons and Fun Runs

Organizing a walk-a-thon or fun run is a fantastic way to get students active while raising money. Participants collect pledges from sponsors, typically family members or friends, for each mile they complete, making it a healthy and engaging event for all ages.

These events can be promoted manually by encouraging participants and their parents and families to promote the event, get sponsors, and collect donations. Alternatively, you can streamline the process using a platform like Snap! Raise, which automates outreach and facilitates online donations. Check out how easy it is to set up and manage a campaign for younger participants with Snap! Raise’s guardian-led experience.

School auction

4. Silent Auctions

Silent auctions are an excellent way to involve the local community and businesses. Gather donated items and services from local vendors and auction them off at a school event. This not only raises funds but can also strengthen community ties.

School talent show

5. Talent Shows

A talent show can showcase the diverse skills of your students and staff and give everyone involved a sense of accomplishment. To generate revenue, you can sell tickets for the event. Additionally, consider adding a concession stand or selling school or event merchandise.

Snap! Store spirit wear

6. Spirit Wear Sales

Selling school-branded apparel and merchandise is a surefire way to boost school spirit and raise money. Partner with local printers to offer custom t-shirts, hoodies, and other items featuring your school’s logo and colors, or set up an online spirit wear store that takes on the bulk of the work associated with managing and promoting a spirit wear store, like Snap! Store.

Bake sale

7. Bake Sales

Bake sales are the classic fundraising idea that brings a sense of nostalgia and community. Encourage parents, students, and staff to contribute baked goods like pies, cookies, and banana bread. Set up booths at school events, sports games, and local community gatherings to maximize visibility and sales. Promote the event through flyers, social media, and school newsletters to boost participation.

Digital discount card fundraiser

8. Discount Card Fundraisers

Discount card fundraisers are a convenient and profitable way to raise funds for your school. By partnering with popular national or local retailers, your school can sell discount cards that provide significant savings to supporters. This win-win scenario allows your school to generate funds while offering valuable discounts to your community.

Platforms like Snap! Raise have digitized these fundraisers, making them more streamlined and entirely online. They offer a wide range of discounts available from from well-known retailers like Disney or Pizza Hut and make those available to your supporters.

Restaurant night

9. Restaurant Nights

Partner with local restaurants to host fundraising nights on select days and times where a percentage of the sales are donated to the school. This is an easy and delicious way for families to support their school while dining out.

Seasonal gift options
10. Seasonal Sales

Capitalize on holidays and seasons with themed sales. Selling holiday wreaths, Valentine’s Day chocolates, or spring flowers can attract more buyers. Seasonal items often have a higher perceived value and are only available for a minimal time, which can lead to increased sales.

Car wash

11. Car Washes

Car washes are a fun, hands-on way to raise money, particularly during warm-weather months. Students and parents can volunteer their time to wash cars, and all proceeds support school initiatives. To maximize your fundraiser’s success, it’s crucial to promote your fundraiser effectively and encourage volunteers to do the same.

Create large, eye-catching signs to attract attention on the day of the event. Place these signs at busy intersections and near your car wash location to drive additional traffic. Selecting a high-traffic location, such as a school parking lot, a popular shopping center, or a busy street corner, can significantly increase your visibility and attract more customers.


Choosing the best fundraiser for schools can significantly improve the success of your efforts. By engaging the entire school community and thinking creatively, you can raise the funds needed to support invaluable programs and activities. Whether you opt for a traditional bake sale or a modern crowdfunding campaign, planning and promoting your events effectively is key. With these ideas, your school will be well on its way to reaching its fundraising goals.

For more tips and resources on school fundraising, visit Snap! Raise. Happy fundraising!


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