30 Cheap Fundraising Ideas For Schools

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Fundraising Ideas, School Fundraisers | 0 comments

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Spirit Day

Event organizers don’t have to do much to hold this event. Collect a set amount per student for them to dress up in school colors, face paint, ribbons, and whatever else they can to show just how much school spirit they have.

See also: 15 School Fundraising Ideas Without Selling

rugby game

50/50 Raffle

The only real cost for this event is however much it costs to purchase a roll of raffle tickets, which is usually around $20 for 2,000 tickets. For this event, patrons purchase raffle tickets and the winner of the raffle gets half of the money that was raised during the ticket sales. The more people that know about the event, the more successful the event will be.

Movie Day

Collect a flat fee from the students for them to watch a movie during one of their classes.

Post It Note

For this event, sell the students a stack of post it notes for a few bucks per stack. Then have them go head to head against one another to see who can stick the notes on the wall the fastest. The winner of the event gets a prize that can be something as simple as 15 minutes of extra reading time, or 5 bonus points on a quiz.

Draw A Straw

Charge students $1-$2 to pick a straw from the bunch with a prize written on the slip of paper inside. The prize can be something as simple as extra reading time or extra recess with a few friends.

Give It Up

With this event, your patrons give up something that they buy or use regularly, like that 2nd Starbucks stop, and donate the money that they would typically use on that thing to your school/club.

pizza party

Fishbowl Fundraiser

Have your classes go head to head against one another in a fundraising competition! Give each class an empty fishbowl and then hand out a group prize to the class who fills the bowl up first and/or who fills it up with the most money.

Personalized Poems

Arm a few of your creative upperclassmen with old school typewriters and have to hang out in parks or places where there are a lot of people walking by. They can either make signs or announce to passers by that they’re writing short poems on the spot in exchange for donations towards their school!

Smash the Glass

Accept donations of old ceramic and glass dishes that people no longer want or can use and charge a fee for patrons to smash them! Make sure to arm everyone with the proper safety equipment, like gloves and goggles, before letting them in to participate in the event.

Dog Walking

Charge a flat fee per dog for a few school volunteers to walk your patrons dogs. Include a sign up sheet and a schedule if it looks like there will be a lot of people wanting to participate and feel free to hold this event a few times a month if its a big hit!

dog in field

Restaurant Partners

Reach out to a few local restaurants and see if they would be willing to share the proceeds if your club/school decided to hold an event there.

Buck a Pound

This is a great way for your adult club/school members who want to get healthy and make money for the school at the same time! With this event, challenge anyone who’s interested to go on a weight loss journey. On weigh in days, the participant pays a dollar for every pound that they lose and two dollars for every pound that they gain. This event can be a one or two week event or one that goes on for a few months at a time. 

Letter Writing

All you’ll need for this event is a few volunteers who don’t mind writing letters/emails and the paper/space for them to do it! Have your volunteers write letters to local businesses and ask for donations to support your school/club. Don’t forget to mention what the support would mean for the group that you’re raising money for!


Charity Auction

The price tag for this event depends on how big you want to make it. The key component, though, is that all of the goods and services that will be auctioned off for this event have been donated. Pair this event with a letter writing campaign and sell tickets to your patrons ahead of time for a little extra cash to pull the event together.

Penny War

The students do all the work for this event. All you’ll need is a few of those gallon water jugs that they use for water coolers and assign one to each class. The students then bring in pennies for their own jug and silver coins for their competition. The pennies contribute a positive point to whichever jug its inside of and the silver coins count as negative points towards whichever jug they’re inside based on the value of the coin: a nickel is negative five points and so on. At the end of the competition, whichever class has the most points in their jug wins a class prize.

Gift Matching

For this event, have your families pledge a certain dollar amount to the PTO/PTA and then go around to their friends and family and ask them to match the gift that they’re giving. 

eager kids


For this event, have your students set aside all of the bottles and cans that their families use over a certain amount of time. At the end of the event, have them bring their bottles and cans in and then the school turns them into the recycling plant in exchange for cash.

Casual Day

If your students wear uniforms, charge them a flat fee to wear normal clothes for a day!

Meme Day

Charge a flat fee for your students to dress as their favorite meme for the day.

Twin Day

Charge a flat fee for your students to twin it out with their friends for the day.

Popcorn and Pj Party

Charge your students a flat fee to host a pajama and popcorn party during class! The only real expense here, aside from the time away from their studies, is the cost of the popcorn and other small goodies that the PTO/PTA decides to have for them.

pizza party

Envelope Fundraiser

This event is a great supplement to an event that’s already put together and all you’ll really need for this event is 100 envelopes and a sharpie! For this event, number each envelope from 1-100 and pin the envelopes to a board for your patrons to see. As your event progresses, ask your patrons to come over and put the dollar amount written on the envelope into each of the envelopes. 

If all of the envelopes are filled over the course of the event, that will add an additional $5,100 to your event’s total earnings for the evening! Feel free to offer an additional incentive, like an extra ticket into their raffle of choice, for their participation in the envelope fundraiser as well.

Ultimate Lemons

For this event, all you’ll need is a few whole lemons from your local market, a bucket or container that’s deeper than it is wide, and enough water to fill the bucket. This is another event that’s a great supplement activity to a larger event.

Let the lemons float unassisted on top of the water and when patrons come over to play, challenge them to balance a coin on the lemon. Whoever can balance the coin on the lemon for at least a few seconds wins a prize and the coins that fall into the bucket are counted as donations to the club.

Apple Picking

Partner with an apple orchard and see if they’ll give your club special rates or share the proceeds with your club for having the event there! In most cases, they’ll charge the patrons for parking but allow the patrons from your group to pay you for the apples that they pick and take home.


Bowling Night

Talk with a local bowling alley and see if they would be willing to share the proceeds with your club for holding your event there!

Costume Contest

Give your students a theme and allow the ones with the best interpretations of the theme put on a costume contest. Your club can either charge students to participate in the costume contest, charge the students $1 per vote to select their favorites, or both.

Pass The Pail

During a school sporting event where points are hard to score, pass a collection bucket around the parents section every time your club scores!

Spelling Bee

Have the teachers start a spelling bee in each of their classes and narrow the spelling pool down to the top 5 spellers. Then have a traditional spelling bee where the students’ families make a donation to come watch them compete against the rest of their grade. if you need inspiration check out our spell-a-thon guide!

microphone on stand

Karaoke Night

All you’ll need for this event is a karaoke machine and a microphone. Charge the families to come and participate!

Food Truck Breakdown

Talk to some food trucks to see if they’d be willing to share the proceeds with your club if you invite them to the school for an event. Feel free to pair this event with something like the spelling bee or another low cost event to both feed your patrons and add an additional stream of income.

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