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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

What do successful fundraisers have in common? Find out here as FutureFund breaks down the anatomy of a fundraising campaign that works. Learn what elements to include in your campaign so that you can meet your school group’s goals.

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

Published on February 12, 2022

15 Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Looking for ideas to do a Thanksgiving fundraiser? Here are 15 of the best ideas for PTAs that will help you achieve your goals during the holidays.
15 Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Next to the winter holidays, Thanksgiving is one of the best times for school groups to raise money. And to help you get inspired, our team at FutureFund has created this list of fall-friendly Thanksgiving fundraiser ideas for PTAs!

Run Your Thanksgiving Fundraiser with FutureFund

Our platform comes with powerful tools that can help you fundraise more effectively this Thanksgiving. These include:

  • Ready-to-go campaign templates so you can sell tickets or items for different events.
  • A built-in messaging system you can use to announce your fundraisers and provide details.
  • Powerful financial reporting tools to help you track your earnings, stay compliant, and plan future fundraisers more effectively.

Get started with FutureFund today!

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

Now, let’s move on to the list! Use these suggestions to guarantee a fantastic fall for your whole school community.

Donation Campaigns

These campaigns encourage parents and volunteers to donate directly to your school group. FutureFund makes it easy to collect money online during the campaign, but you can also include an in-person event with a Thanksgiving theme if you want to make your fundraiser more meaningful.

Learn how to run a donation campaign with FutureFund here.

Tip: Use FutureFund’s messaging system to announce the fundraiser and include a link to the online campaign so that people can still donate even if they can’t attend the event.

Thanksgiving Volunteer Groups

The best way to show your thanks is to give back to the community! Organize a community volunteer group and help out at a soup kitchen or a similar nonprofit that beautifies and enriches the community.

When announcing these tasks, don’t forget to mention that you’re collecting donations for your school group and specify where the money you’ll raise will be going.

Food Drive

Partner with a shelter or food bank in your community and collect canned and dried goods to deliver to them during the holiday.

When collecting the donations from the community, mention to them that you’re also collecting monetary donations to share with the food bank or the shelter and to support your school group.

Toiletries Drive

Partner with a shelter to figure out what items they need for their residents, then hold a toiletry drive. While collecting supplies from the students and the community, make sure to announce that you’re also collecting monetary donations to help support the shelter and the school.

These fundraisers can be potential opportunities for sponsorship as well—so make the rounds to local businesses and see if they would be willing to donate.

A-Thons (Pledge Campaigns)

An “A-Thon” fundraiser is a special kind of pledge campaign you can run in FutureFund. Once you create the campaign for the event, students who sign up to participate each get a link they can use to collect donations from family and friends.

Find step-by-step instructions for successful pledge campaigns here.

Tip: The link you’ll share when you create the campaign is what you’ll use to sign up student participants. When they register for the event, they’ll each get their own unique link that they can use to raise money.

Turkey Trot

Set up a turkey trot event for your donors, either at your school or around the community. The turkey trot can be any length—but make sure to include some prizes like school merch or a goody bag for the winners!

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

Fall Leaf Tour

Nothing is more beautiful than the leaves in the fall. Set up a guided tour of a park or nearby forest as a Walk-A-Thon event, and use FutureFund to manage the accompanying pledge campaign. 

Purchase Campaigns

Any kind of fundraiser where you sell physical items or event tickets is a Purchase campaign. Add each item type to your online store in FutureFund by creating a specific Purchase campaign for it.

Learn how to run a purchase campaign here.

Tip: Always run Purchase campaigns alongside physical events like bake sales, since this allows you to make sales 24/7 and lets people make purchases even if they can’t attend the event.

Fall Craft Sale

Showcase the creativity of your students by organizing a community craft sale and selling all things fall! Handmade crafts are a big hit with these events—kids can even sell Halloween decorations since that’s coming up next!

Thanksgiving Bake Sale

Everyone loves a bake sale—and Thanksgiving is the time to pull out all of those pumpkin spice flavors and other holiday goodies for a seasonal smorgasbord! Your PTA can either make the goods you’ll sell, or seek out sponsorship from a local bakery.

Fresh pies for Thanksgiving fundraiser event

Pie Sale

Hold a pie sale, either at school or online by using FutureFund to create different Purchase campaigns for each flavor. Accepting pie orders online can save you time and money planning a physical event—you’ll just need to deliver the pies by Thanksgiving so families can enjoy them after their big dinner!

Student picking out pumpkin as part of pumpkin sale event

Pumpkin Sale

Have a pumpkin sale around Thanksgiving so that community members can decorate their homes with beautiful pumpkins before Halloween arrives at the end of the month. Adding pumpkins to your online store in FutureFund is as simple as adding school merch or any other item you’re selling.

Young students and families at PTA Turkey Dinner fundraiser

Turkey Dinner

Sell tickets to a Turkey Dinner event! Your PTA can either make the turkey dinner yourselves or buy it from a local restaurant and portion it out for each of the ticket holders.

Selling tickets for fundraising events is easy with FutureFund. Just create a Purchase campaign in the Admin, write your event description (with important information like the date and location), and set your ticket price.

Students on their way to Fall Festival fundraiser

Fall Festival

This is a great way to combine several events together in one big money-making event! Throw a fall festival and charge admission to enjoy games, the fall atmosphere, and spending time with friends and family during the holiday season.

Like the turkey dinner suggestion above, selling tickets for this kind of event is easier when you use FutureFund—instead of dealing with long lines at the door, students and their families can simply purchase online ahead of time.

Father and son in Corn Maze for fundraiser event

Corn Maze

Partner with a local corn maze in your area and sell tickets via FutureFund for a special PTA event! Ticket holders will arrive on the day to find their way through the maze and enjoy a treat at the end like hot chocolate or seasonal baked goods.

Pumpkin Painting Contest

Let your patrons show their creative side with pumpkin painting! Sell tickets for the event ahead of time with FutureFund, which each attendee can redeem for a pumpkin and art supplies when they arrive at the event.

Other Fundraising Ideas

Leaves For Change

Collect donations to rake and haul away leaves in your community! If you have a community garden, the leaves will be especially useful in making compost, which should be ready right around spring if started around your leaf collection time. If you don’t have a community garden but still want to compost the leaves, you can sell prepared compost by the bag at a spring flower and bulb sale.

Thanksgiving basket for raffle fundraiser event

Basket Raffle

Use a weekend to put together some themed baskets and then hold either a raffle or a silent auction! Themes can include: a smores night basket, a cooking basket, a Netflix-and-night-in basket, self-care baskets (both his and hers), or anything else you can think of!

Power Your Thanksgiving Fundraisers with FutureFund

You don’t need anything special to run most of the fundraisers above, but the right tools can help you raise more money while spending less time and effort. Learn more about how FutureFund can help you promote, launch, and manage successful fundraisers this Thanksgiving—get started today with a quick discovery call.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use FutureFund’s messaging system to promote my fundraiser?

FutureFund’s messaging system lets you:

  • Send messages to every parent in your school community or filter your audience to reach specific groups.
  • Create unique sender profiles to make sure the message is always coming from the appropriate party.
  • Use customizable message templates to save time when broadcasting updates or announcements.

Should my Thanksgiving fundraiser be a Purchase or a Donation campaign?

Use Purchase campaigns to sell event tickets or physical items (like baked goods, merchandise, or arts and crafts).

Use Donation campaigns to collect money from community members in support of a specific goal or cause (like a food drive).

How do I sell sponsorships with FutureFund?

FutureFund displays sponsors on your school group’s online directory once they have agreed to make a contribution. You’ll be able to set the price for sponsorships on your own—but our team can provide guidance and support if you’re not sure what to charge.

How can I use FutureFund to track my fundraiser’s success?

FutureFund gives you the ability to generate financial reports for your fundraising campaigns in just a few clicks. To do this, navigate to Store and click the Reports tab near the top of your screen. Then choose Campaign Summary from the drop-down menu and click Generate Report.

thanksgiving fundraising pinterest

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