Food, glorious food! Everyone loves to eat—and a food-based fundraiser can whet your school community’s appetite to make donations that support important educational initiatives.
Our team at FutureFund has come up with 24 awesome ideas for food fundraisers. Consider this your recipe for success.
Run Your Food Fundraiser with FutureFund
Our platform is full of tools your school group can use to fundraise more effectively. 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.
These campaigns encourage parents and volunteers to donate directly to your school group for a specific cause or event. FutureFund makes it easy to collect money online during the campaign, but you can also include an in-person event if you want to make your fundraiser more meaningful.
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.
Home Economics Supply Drive
Collect proceeds for extra ingredients or special cooking equipment for the home economics class. To incentivize donors, have the class cook something special for the school if they reach their fundraising goal—like a pancake breakfast!
School Lunch Fund
Run a donation campaign to have parents and community members kick in money for a school lunch fund that supports students in financial need.
Is there a popular dish or style of food in your community? Raise money from your school community to bring in an expert chef who can host a special class on how to make it!
Healthy Eating/Exercise Class
Accept donations to bring in an expert trainer or dietician for a healthy eating and exercise class! This is a great way to promote healthy eating habits and routines for students that will benefit them throughout the year.
Lunch & Learn
Find out what your high schoolers are passionate about and raise money to have an expert come in and teach them about it for an hour during their lunch break!
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.
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.
Challenge your school bakers to come up with beautiful yet delicious cupcakes for the chance to take home the top prize. Each student baker will collect donations from friends and family members—in exchange for donating, they can each get a voucher that can be redeemed for a treat at the end of the event!
BBQ Grill Off
Allow your teen chefs to show the school their skills with a teen cooking challenge! Feel free to have each teen pair with either a parent or an adult in general just to make sure everyone is staying safe. Have your parent/teen pairs register and collect pledges to support their team.
Spicy Chili Contest
Hold a contest where registered participants eat peppers/chilis that increase in spiciness as the contest goes on. Provide the contestants with milk, which they’re allowed to drink at any time if the heat gets too intense. If they do drink their milk, though, they’re out. The last person standing wins!
Pie Eating Contest
Students register and collect pledges to participate in a pie-eating contest! You can either get the pies by seeking out a local bakery to sponsor the event or have the home economics classes make them before the event. Of course, the winner gets a pie of their choice (assuming they aren’t sick of pie by then!).
Hot Dog Eating Contest
Just like the pie-eating contest, but with hot dogs!
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.
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.
Have the students or their parents submit their favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes around the beginning of the school year. Leading up to each holiday, have the books copied and bound to sell through your school’s online store before each holiday break.
Everyone loves a good bake sale! Have your PTA or home economics classes gather the night before to make the treats that will be sold the next day. You can also sell specific baked goods or vouchers through your online store in FutureFund.
Sell tickets to be traded for a turkey dinner plate near Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner plate near the holiday. You can hold the event as a drive-thru style event where people can take their plates to go or provide space to sit where people can enjoy their plates on site.
This one’s easy to combine with the spicy chili contest (above). Test your community’s cooking ability with a chili cook-off! You can either sell tickets for the event ahead of time that give attendees the ability to taste as much as they want, or sell one ticket per vote and let attendees buy as many as they want—in this case, the winner of the cook-off is the chef who collects the most tickets by the end.
Use FutureFund to sell tickets for an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner experience. Include breadsticks, salad, dessert, and drinks with the price of admission!
Just like the spaghetti dinner, but with tacos instead! Set up an all-you-can-eat taco bar and sell tickets online ahead of time.
Food Truck Breakdown
Check with a few local food trucks to see if they would share the proceeds and host a few food trucks in the parking lot of the school. Provide a few tables and chairs and even a few games and turn the Breakdown into a full fundraising event that you can sell tickets to in advance!
Partner with an orchard in the fall and allow your students to pick all the fresh apples they can carry. Many orchards will allow special rates for the event and allow the school to sell tickets ahead of time—just reach out and ask ahead of time!
Ice Cream Social
There’s nothing like enjoying some cool, sweet ice cream on a hot summer day! Sell tickets online before the event that can be redeemed for access to an ice cream bar with all the fixings, and allow people a cool space inside or a sunny spot outside to enjoy their treat with all their friends.
School Dinner Theater
If your students love to perform, produce a dinner theater performance for them to act out. Sell tickets online through FutureFund so that you can cover the costs of the food and the production.
Dinner & A Movie
Have a dinner option already picked and sell tickets per person for families to enjoy while watching a movie!
Snow Cone Social
Host an event where the students come and sit and enjoy snow cones! You can sell vouchers ahead of time online that can be redeemed for one snow cone each during the event.
Other Fundraising Ideas
Cash Bar Golf Cart
Check with your local golf courses and see if they would allow the school to offer golfers snacks and drinks while on the course. Keep in mind that the students might have to do some training on golf cart and golf course safety, but if they’re allowed the opportunity, the event should be a big hit.
Partner with a Local Restaurant
Partner with a local restaurant to see if they would be willing to give the school a portion of the proceeds from having your students and their families all have dinner there.
Toss some burgers and hotdogs on the grill, stock up on some candy and other treats, and open the concession stand during a school sporting event! Customers will gravitate towards the stand during the game without thinking twice, making it an easy way to earn extra cash during the season.
Put the Cherry on Top of Your Food Fundraiser with FutureFund
The fundraisers above don’t require any special tools, but you can save time and raise more money by using FutureFund to support them. Get started today with a brief discovery call where you can learn more about how our platform works and what it can do for your PTA.
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 food fundraiser be a Purchase or a Donation campaign?
Use Purchase campaigns to sell event tickets or physical items (like baked goods or pies). You can also create purchase campaigns for vouchers that are redeemable for specific items at in-person events.
Use Donation campaigns to collect money from community members in support of a specific goal or cause (like a cooking class or a lunch & learn event).
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.