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Back To School Carnival

Welcome your students back from the summer break with a big carnival style party! You can offer the opportunity to purchase the tickets beforehand, at the door, or both! You can also set up a ticket system for the actual booths at the carnival, making things a lot safer and easier for the carnival goers and the volunteers running the booths. You can include a certain number of tickets with the price of admission or you can charge $1 per ticket apart from the entry fee. The specifics are up to you!

See also: 20 Summer Fundraising Ideas for Your School

sunflowers in a sunflower field

Snow Cone Social

Invite your students to catch up with one another after the break at a snow cone event! Charge a flat fee for access to the snow cone bar and either include a few other activities for the price of admission or have those booths set up as pay to play. 

Drop Tile Painting

Upgrading any areas of your school, or have any spaces that could use a little color and creativity? Allow your students to add a little life to your community spaces by selling drop tiles to be decorated and reinstalled! 

You can include this as part of a family craft night or hold it as a separate event altogether. For $30 each (or whichever fee works best for your budget), the school provides the paint, the brushes, and a few guidelines for the students and their families to make the most out of their art project. 

Donuts With Dad

Allow the students to socialize with their dads (or a male relative/friend) one morning before school starts! For a participation fee, the school provides breakfast items that your community loves and the opportunity for a special occasion breakfast with a loved one.

two kids eating a donut

Back To School Supply Drive

Ask your student body to bring in extra school supplies for the PTO/PTA to then sell between classes or before or after school. Not only is this an ongoing fundraiser that can be held year round, but its also an opportunity to supply the students with the tools they need to be successful during their school day. 

Back To School Bbq

This is another opportunity to socialize with your students and possibly showcase some of the amazing cooks within your community. You can ask for volunteers to sign up and work the grills or you can partner with a bbq joint in your community that wouldn’t mind catering an event at a discount. 

If barbeques aren’t especially popular in your community, feel free to substitute the brisket and sausage with whatever will raise participation. Feel free to sell by the plate or collect a flat fee for all you can eat and include a few games or other events to entertain your crowd and whip up their appetites.

Box Top Fundraiser

Announce a boxtop fundraiser that will be going throughout the course of the year. Certain companies include specially marked box tops on their items that are sold in grocery stores. 

If the students notice that their family has purchased an item with one of these specially marked box tops, they can clip it and turn it in to the school. Once the school has enough box tops, they can then mail them back to the company in exchange for different items to be used in school or given away as prizes for the students. 

In order to keep participation up, the PTO/PTA can offer a competition where the students who turn in the most box tops get a pizza party at the end of the month, or any other prize you can think of to keep the students motivated.

Start A Fantasy Football League

Feel free to use whichever sport is the most popular in your area, but for those unfamiliar with fantasy football: groups of friends divvy up pro football players into teams of their own creation. All the positions have to be filled and the organizer runs the event as the commissioner. 

The main way this event makes money is by entry fee and the winner gets a portion of the pool. You can also have an option where the winner can donate part or all of their winnings back to the event. 

Bowling Night

Again, feel free to swap out this activity with whichever one will bring in the crowd! Have tonight be adult only or make it a family bowling night! 

Partner with your local bowling alley and see if they’ll allow you to sell your own tickets or if the ticket sales for entry have to go through them. If they do have to go directly through the bowling alley itself, see if they would be willing to share some of the proceeds from the night with you. Businesses usually don’t mind, especially because you’re bring a bunch of people in to enjoy their establishment.

bowling ball getting a strike

Parents Night Out

Give parents a break with parents night out! Offer to watch the kids between the hours of 6pm and 10pm to allow parents to have a romantic night out, a romantic night in, or a few hours to catch up on things around the house and have a nice, uninterrupted nap.

Set up registration where parents can sign up and pay their fee, and allow the kids to either bring their own dinner or provide dinner for them. Throw in a few fun activities and a movie to finish off the night and you’ll have an activity that the parents and kids are excited for!

Flowerpot Fiasco

This is an activity that would work really well as a smaller game at a bigger event! Grab a few flowerpots of varying sizes and set them up on the far half of a pingpong-type table. Put either a little soil or sand in the bottom of the pot to keep it stable and to keep the ball from bouncing out of it. Then give the patrons a ping pong ball to bounce into the flowerpot. 

Each flowerpot can represent a certain number of points (and a certain number of points are needed to win a prize) or a certain prize category that the bouncer can pick from. Make things more difficult by getting a smaller pot and placing it further away from the table, or include a rule that the ball can have a maximum number of bounces before making it into the pot in order for the shot to count.

Ultimate Lemons

This is another game to be added to a larger carnival-style event. This game is pretty simple: all you’ll need are some lemons from the grocery store and a big bucket filled with water. The lemons will float on the water and the patrons provide the coins needed to play the game. 

The object of the game is to balance the coins on the lemons. The game can require perfect balance or balancing for a certain amount of seconds before victory can be declared. Either way, the coins that fall into the water stay there as a donation to be collected at the end of the carnival.

lemon in a pool

Tailgate

Host a PTO/PTA sponsored tailgate to kick off the start to your favorite sports season! The Booster Club can provide the hotdogs, hamburgers, and the space (like an empty parking lot) in exchange for a donation. 

The PTO/PTA can set the price to something appropriate for this type of event in your area, while the patrons bring their own drinks (include alcohol at your own discretion) and enjoy the camaraderie while celebrating your favorite team.

Bingo Night

Everyone loves a bingo night! Set a theme and include some big prizes for a few black out rounds at the end of the night and you’ll have a hit!

Renaissance Festival

Check Around Your Community For A Renaissance Club Or Festival Performers And Hire Them To Put On A Kid-Friendly Ren Fest For The School. The Students Will Love The Costumes And The Way They Talk So The Festival Should Draw A Huge Crowd. 

Make Sure You Check With Them Ahead Of Time To See If They Would Be Willing To Split The Proceeds From The Event Or If The Pto/Pta Needs To Purchase Entry Tickets To Resell To The Students To Secure Donations. 

people LARPing

Are you looking for more fundraising ideas? Check out our seasonal fundraising idea articles for ideas no matter the time of year!

15 August Fundraiser Ideas