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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG
Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Using the right tools to run your fundraisers is vital for their success. Here’s a list of the best fundraising tools for schools and PTAs, including FutureFund and several others that we consider valuable.

The Ultimate List of School Fundraisers

150+ Fundraising Ideas for Every Season!

Fundraising never stops for PTAs who want to create an enriching environment for students and their families. Still, coming up with creative ways to meet your school group’s financial goals all year long can be a lot of work—so our team at FutureFund has put this master list of fundraising ideas together to help you get inspired!

Below, you’ll find over 150 fundraisers, organized by season and campaign type—along with tips on how to run your fundraisers with FutureFund. With our help, you’ll never be short on ideas to keep your community engaged and your fundraising efforts on track.

150+ Fundraisers Table of Contents

1

FutureFund’s Campaign Types At a Glance

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns

2

Year-Round Fundraisers

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns
  • Other

3

Fall Fundraisers

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns
  • Other

4

Winter Fundraisers

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns
  • Other

5

Spring Fundraisers

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns
  • Other

6

Summer Fundraisers

  • Donation Campaigns
  • Purchase Campaigns
  • A-Thon Campaigns
  • Other

FutureFund’s Campaign Types At a Glance

FutureFund makes it easy to run any kind of fundraiser you can think of—but most of the ideas on this list fall under one of three main campaign types:

Jar of coins on top of textbook to represent donation campaigns

Donation Campaigns

Use these to raise money for a specific event or cause—like a class field trip, a special guest speaker, or to purchase new classroom equipment. Setting up this type of campaign in FutureFund gives your school community an easy way to donate online, although donation campaigns can also be tied to an in-person event.

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.

Bake sale as part of purchase campaign

Purchase Campaigns

These are any kind of fundraiser where physical items or event tickets are sold. To make these in FutureFund, just add each type of item you’re selling to your school group’s online store by creating a specific Purchase campaign for it.

Learn how to run a purchase campaign with FutureFund here.

Tip: For best results, always run a Purchase campaign online in addition to any event where you’re selling things in person (like school spirit wear). This allows you to make sales 24/7 and lets people purchase even if they can’t attend the event.

School children competing in run-a-thon style pledge campaign

A-Thons (Pledge Campaigns)

These are 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. The greatest thing about A-Thons is that you can create them for all kinds of students. Athletic kids will love fun runs or baseball-hit-a-thons, while academic students will be eager to participate in math-a-thons and creative types will enjoy sing-a-thons or dance-a-thons.

Learn how to run a pledge campaign with FutureFund 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.

Other Fundraising Ideas

These campaigns don’t necessarily fall easily into the categories above—but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to raise money or engage your school community in creative ways. From seasonal events like Christmas tree disposals to year-round ideas like Birthday Boards, you’re sure to find effective and original ways to supplement your fundraising with these.

Year-Round Fundraisers

Class with teacher on field trip paid for by school fundraiser

Donation Campaigns

Field Trip Fundraisers

Collect funds to pay for educational trips, ensuring that all students can enjoy the full experience without facing financial challenges.

See also: 20 Fun Field Trip Ideas

School Band Fundraisers

Collect donations for musical instruments, uniforms, or other essential equipment that helps the school band keep making beautiful music!

Learn more about fundraising ideas for school bands

Athletic Club Fundraisers

Raise money for sporting equipment and apparel, traveling expenses, or anything else your school teams need to stay focused and competitive.

Booster Club Fundraisers

Booster clubs provide essential money for academic or extracurricular initiatives that don’t get enough funding from regular school budgets, so it’s a good idea to run regular donation campaigns to fill up their coffers.

Can & Bottle Drive

Reduce waste and raise funds by collecting recyclable cans and bottles; it’s eco-friendly and aids school projects. Run a campaign alongside the event in FutureFund so community members can donate money in lieu of containers.

Letter Writing Campaigns

Students reach out to family, friends, or businesses detailing school needs, personalizing the donation request and engaging the community. Make sure they include a link to the donation campaign you’re running in FutureFund as well!

School Treasure Hunt

Collect donations online and use a portion of the proceeds to purchase a prize, then hide it somewhere on the school grounds and host a fun-filled hunt around school! You can also sell tickets to participate in the event in your online store—and the winner keeps the prize, obviously!

Learn-At-Lunch Events

Collect donations and use a portion of the proceeds to bring in guest speakers for special lunchtime learning sessions on various topics. This enriches students while supporting your school group’s needs.

Monthly Mystery Donations

Run these campaigns every month—anyone who donates gets a chance to win a mystery prize at the end of the month, encouraging regular contributions and maintaining donor excitement.

Parents and students creating baked goods for bake sale purchase campaign

Purchase Campaigns

Sell School Spirit Wear

Boost school pride by selling branded attire; it’s a wearable way for students and parents to support the school while helping you meet your fundraising targets.

Learn more about school spirit merchandise ideas

Personalized Yearbook Sales

Sell yearbooks online and include a pricing option that lets parents pay extra for customized messages. This adds a personal touch while generating funds.

School Dances

We’ll list specific dances for different times of the year in the following sections—but any school dance or other ticketed event is a great way to sell tickets through a Purchase Campaign in FutureFund.

If you are using FutureFund, you can accept payments online. Donors are given a donation link and can pay by credit or debit card. Any cash donations can also be noted in the system to be collected later.

See also: How To Run a Dance-a-Thon Fundraiser

Parent Appreciation Nights

Sell tickets to parents for adults-only events that give them a chance to unwind and socialize with each other. There are lots of different ways to make these fun at any time of year (see our St. Patrick’s Day Crawl under Spring Fundraisers below).

School Plays

Sell tickets to productions by the drama classes! Plays are great during the winter months when people are less inclined to be outside, but they make great fundraisers for every season.

If you are using FutureFund, you can accept payments online. Donors are given a donation link and can pay by credit or debit card. Any cash donations can also be noted in the system to be collected later.

Movie Nights

Like school plays, but without the costs or time commitment of putting together a live show! Just make sure you get the rights to screen the movies you want to show beforehand—movies usually have to be licensed before you can sell tickets to screen them for a group.

Parent-Child Celebrations

Selling tickets to special meals, dances, or other events to commemorate the special bonds between parents and their children is a great way to build parent engagement and raise money for important educational causes.

Parent Gift Baskets

Baskets with items that appeal to parents (think everything from bath bombs to golf balls) are always an easy sell.

Bake Sales

Selling homemade treats offers a delicious way for community members to contribute to school goals.

See also: 15 Elementary School Bake Sale Ideas

Lip Sync Battle

Sell tickets online to a musical showdown that blends entertainment with fundraising.

Battle of the Bands

Have local bands participate and showcase their talent while audiences pay for entry. Sell tickets ahead of time with FutureFund to make sure there’s an audience on the big day!

Trivia Night

An entrance fee lets participants test their knowledge in a fun setting, with proceeds benefiting school initiatives. Sell tickets online beforehand to get a head count.

If you are using FutureFund, you can accept payments online. Donors are given a donation link and can pay by credit or debit card. Any cash donations can also be noted in the system to be collected later.

PTA Coffee Shop

Open a morning coffee stand for parents, who can pay in person or buy coupons online throughout the year. Proceeds go straight to school needs while parents enjoy their daily brew.

Students in chess-a-thon school fundraiser

A-Thon Campaigns

Fun Run (Run-A-Thon)

Also called run-a-thons, these are some of the most popular and successful school fundraisers you can run. They’re also super easy to run with our help—students can sign up in just a few clicks through FutureFund to get a link they share with friends and family to collect pledges before the event.

See also: Guide: How To Run a School Fun Run

Swim-A-Thon

Swimmers secure pledges for laps completed, promoting fitness while pooling funds for the school.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Swim-a-Thon Fundraiser

Move-A-Thon

Students gather pledges to keep moving throughout a given period of time, promoting health and school fundraising concurrently.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Move-a-Thon Fundraiser

Lift-A-Thon

Students acquire pledges to support them during a weightlifting challenge at the school—another excellent fundraiser for athletically inclined students.

Basketball Shoot-A-Thon

Students get a certain number of shots based on the pledges they collect, and the winner gets a prize at the end of the event.

Math-A-Thon

Have students sign up to participate in a math challenge and collect pledges from the school community to support them.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Math-a-Thon Fundraiser

Read-A-Thon

Students pledge to read a certain number of books, pages, or chapters based on the amount of money they can raise from family and friends.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Read-a-Thon Fundraiser

Spell-A-Thon

Students collect pledges from family and friends to participate in a spelling bee—for best results provide students with a “lifeline” for every fundraising milestone they hit to keep them motivated when collecting pledges.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Spell-a-Thon Fundraiser

Chess-A-Thon

Strategy enthusiasts gather pledges for marathon chess sessions, sharpening minds while raising money for the school.

See also: Guide: How to Run a Chess-a-Thon Fundraiser

Science Experiment Learn-A-Thon

Students secure pledges to participate in a science fair—let each one use a percentage of the pledges they raise to pay for materials, and judge the event to award prizes at the end.

Sing-A-Thon

Vocalists gather pledges for marathon singing. Give each student a certain amount of songs to sing based on the number of pledges they collect.

See also: How To Run a Sing-a-Thon Fundraiser

Dance-A-Thon

Participants gather pledges to dance for a certain number of hours. This is a great way to combine fun and fitness with fundraising.

See also: How To Run a Dance-a-Thon Fundraiser

Head-Shave-A-Thon for a Good Cause

Brave volunteers raise pledges to shave their heads in support of a cause—for example, the hair collected might be donated to make wigs for cancer patients who have recently undergone chemotherapy. This one’s great because it’s a highly visual event that will make your fundraiser top of mind for the whole school community.

Laugh-A-Thon

The more pledges students collect, the longer their standup set is. This is a lighthearted event that helps put the “fun” in fundraising.

Learn more about funny fundraising ideas for schools

Tickets for school scratcher raffle fundraiser

Other Fundraising Ideas

Restaurant Nights

Arrange an event with a local restaurant where students and their parents come in to eat and the venue donates a portion of their proceeds to your PTA. For good measure, you can include the restaurant in your sponsorship list via FutureFund to help drum up business for the big event.

Birthday Boards

Parents make a small donation ($10 or so) to have their children’s names displayed on the class bulletin board during their birthday week!

Birthday Club

Encourage parents to donate on their child’s birthday, celebrating their child while contributing to their school’s growth.

Principal for a Day

Run an auction where the winning donor gets to stand in and act as Principal for a Day (just make sure to have some ground rules so that the winner uses their temporary power for good!).

Fall Fundraisers

Parent volunteer at Thanksgiving Food Bank Donation Drive fundraiser

Donation Campaigns

Back to School Supply Drive

Run a donation campaign to ease into the academic year by supporting students with essential supplies they might lack.

See also: Back To School Tasks for Your PTA

Thanksgiving Food Bank Donation Drive

Embrace the spirit of giving by gathering food items for those in need during the festive season. Let parents donate money online as well to supplement their food items (or in case they want to help but don’t have goods to donate in person).

See also: 15 Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Classroom Improvement Fund

Collect donations for classroom decorations, furniture, and other features that will help refresh each room in time for students to come back to school.

Fall candles sold during purchase campaign for autumn

Purchase Campaigns

Halloween Costume Swap

Students and their families buy tickets for admission to an event where they can buy, sell, and trade old halloween costumes—this one’s easy to run in FutureFund and great for sustainability!

See also: 15 Halloween Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Fall Craft Sale

Celebrate the beauty of autumn with crafts made by students. Make sure to sell them online as well as at any in-person events you’re holding.

Autumn Candle Sale

Offer seasonally-scented candles in your online store to provide a cozy atmosphere in homes while supporting school activities.

Handmade Scarf Sale

Help students and their families keep warm in the autumn chill by selling scarves crafted by the school community.

Pie Sale

Indulge in fall flavors with delicious pies, sweetening the deal for school support.

Halloween Costume Dance

Charge entry and sell tickets online ahead of time for a night of dancing in spook-tacular costumes.

Halloween Decoration Sale

Set the Halloween mood by having students create unique decorations and selling them—either in person or online.

Fall Festival

Sell tickets to a carnival with games, rides, and stalls—capturing the essence of fall while promoting community bonding.

See also: 20 Fall Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Corn Maze

Partner with a local corn maze and sell tickets to a school-only event that offers adventure in exchange for support.

Haunted House

Set up the gym, library, or another school space as a spooktacular haunted house and sell tickets online in the days leading up to Halloween.

Creepy Cupcake Sale

Sell Halloween-themed cupcakes and offer vouchers online, delighting taste buds while filling school coffers.

Autumn Hayride

Partner with a local farm and sell tickets online for scenic rides through fall foliage.

Creepy Movie Marathon

Host a series of spine-chilling movies and sell tickets to the school community, giving attendees a thrill for their contribution.

Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Sell tickets to an immersive dining experience that blends intrigue, entertainment, and fundraising. Have the students from the drama class play various characters in a whodunit that will keep parents entertained and engaged all evening.

Pumpkin Sale

Sell pumpkins for carving or cooking, turning these seasonal staples into a source of school support.

Turkey Dinner

Organize a pre-Thanksgiving feast and sell tickets ahead of time—then provide a portion of turkey, mashed potatoes, and other sides for each guest.

Spooky Bingo Night

Put a Halloween spin on bingo. Sell tickets online and offer prizes for the winners.

Pumpkin-paint-a-thon fundraiser campaign

A-Thon Campaigns

All Hallows Fun Run

Like a standard run-a-thon, but in costume! Students sign up and collect pledges to participate, and there’s a spooky prize at the end for the winners.

Turkey Trot

Another type of fun run or run-a-thon to help students get some healthy exercise before their Thanksgiving dinners.

Fall Leaf Tour Walk-A-Thon

It’s easy to turn a standard walk-a-thon into a fall leaf tour—just have the participants walk through a forest or park in your area where the leaves on the trees are changing and have a teacher accompany them to offer a lesson on the different kinds of plants present!

See also: How to Run a Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser

Halloween Costume Contest

Students sign up to participate in a costume contest near the end of October, and attendees vote by pledging a donation to the student they think has the best costume.

Pumpkin Paint-A-Thon

Students sign up and collect pledges to paint a certain number of pumpkins. The PTA provides art supplies and prizes for winners.

Scarecrow Build-A-Thon

Participants collect pledges to build scarecrows, and a panel of judges awards prizes to the winners at the end of the event.

Fall gift basket for basket raffle fundraiser

Other Fundraising Ideas

Leaves For Change

Collect funds for students 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.

Fall Basket Auction

Auction off baskets filled with autumn goods—parents make donations, and the one who makes the largest contribution gets to take the basket home!

Halloween Photo Booth

For a small fee, kids get to take their picture with teachers in spooky costumes—ghosts and ghouls and witches, oh my!

Winter Fundraisers

Box of toys for holiday toy drive donation fundraiser

Donation Campaigns

Winter Wish Foundation

Collect money to help grant winter wishes for students who demonstrate financial need.

Sleigh Rides

Raise money to take classes on a spectacular sleigh ride through your local winter wonderland! Many cities and towns have a service that offers these experiences in December, and sometimes you can even get a discount for school groups.

Handmade knit sweaters for winter purchase campaign fundraisers

Purchase Campaigns

Holiday Gift Baskets

Sell curated baskets filled with festive delights. You can do this at an in-person event like a winter carnival (see below) but it’s also a good idea to make them available in your online store.

Poinsettia Sales

Sell poinsettias as holiday corsages and other festive decorations.

Holiday Cookbook Sales

Have the home economics classes create holiday recipes or send out a call for submissions to the school community—then print them, bind them, and make them available for purchase in your school store.

Coffee & Cocoa Sale

Set up a stand at the school and sell vouchers online so that students can skip the line for warm and tasty winter treats on those chilly winter mornings before classes start.

Ornament Sales

Sell school-branded tree decorations or other holiday decorations (in person and online for best results).

Breakfast with Santa

Have one of the teachers dress as Santa Claus and sell tickets to a pancake breakfast or other event where students can meet Mr. Claus!

Pictures with Santa

This one’s easy to combine with the idea above—just sell vouchers in your online store that are good for photo sessions with Santa on the big day!

Winter Wonderland Photo Booth

If you can’t find a Santa Claus, no problem—it’s still easy to set up a holiday-themed photo booth and sell tickets for students to take pictures in it. Backgrounds with snowflakes, candy canes, and other seasonal staples will go over well here.

Handmade Sweaters, Mittens & Hats Sale

Combat the cold by selling hand-crafted winter wear.

Winter Storybook Sale

Have English or creative writing classes pen holiday-themed stories, then print them in booklets and sell them.

Calendar Sales

Create calendars for the upcoming new year and sell them online through the school store so that parents and students can get organized in advance!

Winter Craft Fair

This is the perfect place to sell some of the goods listed above in person—but you can also sell tickets to the event online and provide some incentives for families to show up, like special food items or decorations.

Diwali or Christmas Lights

Sell festive lights to illuminate homes and keep everyone merry and bright over the holidays.

Ugly Sweater Party

Sell tickets to a party where everyone wears their favorite ugly sweater—a night of tacky but festive fun.

Christmas Cake Walk

Sell tickets to participate in a cake walk, where participants walk in time to a holiday tune and stop on a number when the music ends. Numbers are drawn each time and the person on the corresponding square gets a holiday-themed baked item (cupcakes are great if you can’t do whole cakes).

Snow Tubing

Sell tickets to an all-day snow tubing event, where you set up a course on a local hill and students bring their own tubes or sleds.

Students building snowmen for snowman-build-a-thon fundraising event

A-Thon Campaigns

Indoor Fun Run

Fun runs and run-a-thons aren’t just for warm weather—have students collect pledges to run laps in the gym!

Cold Weather Gear Fun Run

Like a normal run-a-thon, but in cold weather gear! This is a great way to keep students active and give them some fresh air even during the year’s coldest months.

Christmas Carol Sing-A-Thon

Students sign up and collect pledges to sing carols around the neighborhood during the holidays.

Bowl-A-Thon

This is a great indoor A-Thon to keep students active and engaged in cold weather. Students get a certain number of throws based on how many pledges they collect.

Ice-Skate-A-Thon

In exchange for collecting pledges, students who sign up get a certain number of minutes or laps at the local skating rink.

Snowman-Build-A-Thon

Students sign up to build and decorate snowmen for pledges collected. This is easy to do in any wide open space you have at the school (like an athletic field) and it’s a great way to prepare the area if you’re planning a winter carnival fundraiser there later!

Gift-Wrap-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to wrap gifts before the holiday season. It’s a great idea to pair this one with the toy drive idea (see above in “Donation Campaigns”).

Wreath-A-Thon

Students sign up to decorate a number of wreaths based on pledges they collect from the community. You can also sell the finished wreaths in your school’s online store, or at your winter carnival event!

Polar Plunge-A-Thon

Have students pledge to spend a certain number of seconds in a chilly lake (or pool) based on the pledges they collect from the school community. Just make sure to have supervision on hand to keep everyone safe, and set a limit on the amount of time students can stay in the water so that nobody gets too cold!

Snow-Shovel-A-Thon

Participating students collect pledges in exchange for shoveling snow from a given number of driveways over the holidays.

Gingerbread-House-Build-A-Thon

Students collect pledges from the community to build and decorate gingerbread houses in time for the holidays.

Christmas tree disposal winter fundraiser event

Other Fundraising Ideas

Holiday Bottle & Can Collection

Have students and parent volunteers go door-to-door after the holidays and collect empty bottles, cans, or jars—then take the empties to a local recycling center and collect the finder’s fees.

Holiday Chores Auction

Hold an auction where student or parent volunteers make themselves available to help the winners with various holiday chores—this could be anything from helping clean up a kitchen after the big holiday feast or taking down Christmas lights.

Christmas Tree Disposal

Members of the community make a donation to the PTA in exchange for having their old trees and wreaths taken away and recycled. It’s easy to set this one up as a purchase campaign where you sell vouchers to take away certain items, or you can simply offer the service for any donation made.

See also: 24 Christmas Fundraising Ideas For Schools

Spring Fundraisers

Students using proceeds from school garden fund spring fundraiser campaign

Donation Campaigns

School Garden Fund

Run a donation campaign to raise money for plants, soil, fertilizer, and other essential school garden items.

Spring Wildlife Fund

Collect donations to support local wildlife as animals come out of hibernation for the warmer weather, with a portion of proceeds going to a nearby animal rehabilitation center or shelter.

Teachers vs. Team Tug-o-War

Have teams of students sign up to face schoolteachers in a tug-o-war and run separate donation campaigns for each team. The team that raises the most money gets to participate in the event!

Kite sale spring fundraising campaign

Purchase Campaigns

Prom Dress Swap

Like the Halloween Costume Swap idea under the Fall Fundraisers category, this one’s great for sustainability and easy to run with FutureFund. Just sell tickets to an event where students can bring in their old prom dresses to sell or trade to each other.

Kite Sale

Sell kites with the school logo or colors, just in time for spring breezes!

Spring Bracelets & Jewelry Sale

Help students and their families accessorize for warm weather with handmade bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry sold in your online store.

Hand-Painted Umbrella Sale

Prepare for April showers! Have students sign up to paint umbrellas and sell them in your online store so that parents can stay dry until the wet weather’s over.

Plant Sale

Why not sell the flowers, vegetables, and other plants in your community garden? It’s easy to combine this one with the flower delivery idea below, or you can do it as a separate event.

Flower Delivery

Sell vouchers in your online store and deliver plants to each household that buys one! You can have different vouchers for different kinds of plants, and either grow them yourself in the school garden or find a local greenhouse to sponsor the event.

Petting Zoo

Partner with a local petting zoo for a school-exclusive event and sell tickets so that students and their families can make friends with the animals!

May the 4th Star Wars Festival

May the 4th is a popular date for any Star Wars fan, so why not turn it into a themed event for the school community? Sell tickets online and include activities like a costume contest or viewing party for movies from the franchise.

Playoff Party

Host a ticketed sports viewing event—and consider using a portion of funds raised for new sporting equipment!

Spring Dance

Sell tickets for a school dance that helps the community ring in the warm weather with plenty of fun and frolic.

Spring Cleaning Garage Sale

Spring cleaning can be profitable for your school group if you play your cards right! Send out a call for households to donate items they don’t need anymore, then sell them at an in-person event or online.

Spring Fashion Show

Sell tickets to an event where students sign up to design and model spring outfits.

Duct Tape the Principal to the Wall

This is a great fundraiser to run around April Fool’s Day. Sell strips of duct tape in your school’s online store—then pick a day where each student who bought one gets to use it to stick the principal to the wall during lunch hour! Just make sure your school principal has a sense of humor first.

Student participating in jump-a-thon spring fundraiser event

A-Thon Campaigns

Jump-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to jump rope for a specific number of minutes, with prizes for the winners.

See also: How to Run a Jump-a-Thon Fundraiser

Jog-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to run laps—either in the gym if it’s wet outside or at a nearby athletic field.

See also: How to Run a Jog-a-Thon Fundraiser

Track-And-Field-A-Thon

Set up a course with high-jumping, long-jumping, and other track events—then have participating students collect pledges to participate in different events.

Hike-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to hike a nearby trail—you can either offer prizes for the students who hike it fastest, or provide smaller prizes for anyone who finishes the trek.

Easter Egg Hunt-A-Thon

Hide easter eggs around the school and have participating students collect pledges to find them.

April Fools Prank-A-Thon

This one’s a lot of fun with a little supervision to keep things appropriate. Students sign up to carry out specific pranks and collect pledges to support them—the winners get their prank “funded” and get to carry it out on April Fool’s Day (as long as it’s safe)!

See also: 15 April Fools Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Pi Day Pie-in-the-Face-A-Thon

Also a great April Fool’s idea—students sign up and collect pledges in exchange for pies, which they get to throw at teacher volunteers on the 14th day of March.

Community Spring Clean-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to participate in community or yard spring clean up. Not only does this help fundraise, but it gets kids interested in their environment and beautifies the community from leftover leaves and litter.

See also: 20 Spring Fundraising Ideas for Your School

Library Scavenger Hunt-A-Thon

This is a great way to promote physical activity and reading during the springtime. Hide prizes around the library and have students collect pledges in exchange for time they can use to hunt for them. Make sure everyone checks out a book to get in as well!

See also: Your Guide to Building a Classroom Library

Earth Day Clean-A-Thon

Similar to the Spring Clean-A-Thon above, but with a specific eco-friendly focus. Have students sign up to recycle clothing or perform other green activities.

Umbrella Paint-A-Thon

Those hand-painted umbrellas we suggested selling earlier? This is the best way to make them! Students sign up and collect pledges to paint a certain number of umbrellas by hand.

Template for March Madness fundraiser event

Other Fundraising Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day Crawl (Parents Only)

Parent appreciation nights are great any time of year, but partnering with a few local pubs to hold a St. Patty’s Day crawl is a particularly good way to raise money while giving the adults a much-needed night out as the weather warms up. You can also set up donation jars at every stop along the way, or sell tickets ahead of time—there are lots of ways to make this work.

Summer Fundraisers

4th of July fireworks event funded by summer donation campaign

Donation Campaigns

Sun Safety Awareness Drive

Use a portion of the proceeds raised to collect sunblock, sunglasses, and other sun safety equipment for students so they can stay healthy when it gets bright out.

4th of July Fireworks

Raise money and use a portion of the proceeds to buy fireworks, then set up a display for the 4th of July. Just make sure you do this legally—follow all local laws and regulations, and make sure the display is set up at a safe distance from the audience during the event.

See also: 15 4th of July Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Father and daughter smiling during father's day BBQ purchase campaign as summer fundraiser

Purchase Campaigns

Sports Equipment Swap Meet

Sell tickets to an event where students can bring in old sports equipment to sell or trade it with each other. This one’s sure to be popular, since new gear is expensive—and it promotes sustainability too!

Summer Hat Sale

Sell school-branded baseball caps, sun visors, and more in your online store to promote sun safety while raising money.

Food Truck Breakdown

Easy to incorporate into the tailgating idea above if you have some local food trucks willing to sponsor the event. Invite them to any ticketed event in exchange for donating a portion of their proceeds to your PTA, or create a specific event centered around food trucks and sell wristbands or vouchers to get in to the event through your online store.

Fresh Fruit Popsicle Stand

All you need for this one is a little frozen concentrate and a few coolers. You can sell popsicles in person, but it’s also a good idea to include vouchers online so people can skip the lineup on the big day.

Summer BBQ Dinner

Sell tickets to a summer grill-off with meat and vegetables cooked under the open skies.

Dive-In Movie Day

Screen a movie at the school pool so that viewers can stay cool while they watch! Make sure to sell tickets online before the event so you can get a head count.

Summer Yoga Night

Help make summer nights relaxing for parents and children alike by partnering with a local yoga studio and selling tickets for a school-only event. You can also do this one in the gym if you can find a teacher to lead the class.

Balloon Guess

Fill up a teacher’s car with balloons and sell vouchers that let every participant guess how many are inside! Have a prize ready for the guess that’s closest to the actual number.

Summer Community Art Gallery

Have the art students display their work in the library or gymnasium and sell tickets for attendance! You can also sell the artwork through your online store, or run a silent auction for parents who want to buy it.

Summer Movie Marathon

Sell tickets for students to gather during an assembly and watch summer blockbusters (just make sure they’re age-appropriate and send home permission slips first if needed).

4th of July Bake Sale

Sell stars-and-stripes cupcakes and other baked goods to raise funds around July 4th.

July 4th Pool Party

Decorate the school pool (or a community pool if they’re willing to help out) with 4th of July decorations and sell tickets for an exclusive school event!

Summer Tailgate

Turn the school parking lot into a potluck event and sell tickets for students and their families to enjoy dinner under the stars after an athletic match or other event.

Summer Garden Sale

Sell seeds, flowers, and other flora to help students and their families cultivate green thumbs throughout the summer. Differentiate this from your spring gardening events by focusing on plants that thrive in warmer temperatures like hydrangeas and marigolds.

Outdoor Concert

Sell tickets to an outdoor concert with a local band or artist to generate funds while providing an unforgettable summer night for attendees. You can also have the school band do renditions of pop hits or well-known movie themes.

Summer Camp Out in the Athletic Field

Keep the party going all night long by setting up tents in the school athletic field! Sell tickets and provide activities for attendees like roasting s’mores or holding campfire sing-a-longs.

Students hitting baseballs for baseball-hit-a-thon summer fundraising campaign

A-Thon Campaigns

4th of July Fun Run

A run-a-thon to celebrate the 4th of July! Celebrate with special decorations for runners’ uniforms, and maybe even have teachers set off a firecracker or two along the way at strategic points (just make sure they’re qualified and it’s all safe).

No-Run Fun Run

This one’s quirky but creative—it’s like a fun run, but instead of running, the students have to spend a given amount of time continuously moving slowly. These are fun to watch and more accessible for students who may not feel up to running long distances or exercising intensely.

See also: Guide: How To Run a School Fun Run

Water Balloon Toss-A-Thon

Students collect pledges in exchange for water balloons they can use in team-based games during the event like capture the flag—or have an all-out elimination challenge!

Sand Castle Build-A-Thon

Students collect pledges to build sand castles at a local beach, with prizes for the largest or most unique creations!

Volleyball Serve-A-Thon

Students sign up to hit a certain number of volleyballs based on pledges collected—a great way to promote healthy warm-weather activities!

See also: How to Run a Volleyball Serve-a-Thon Fundraiser

Baseball Hit-A-Thon

Students sign up to hit baseballs based on the number of pledges they collect. This one draws a great crowd and is an excellent way to help students enjoy an all-American summer pastime!

See also: How to Run a Baseball Hit-a-Thon Fundraiser

Bike-A-Thon

Students sign up to cycle a specific number of miles based on pledges collected from the community. Encourage students to decorate their bikes to boost the fun.

See also: How to Run a Bike-a-Thon Fundraiser

Flower Plant-A-Thon

Students plant flowers (or trees, if you want to put a more eco-friendly spin on things) based on the number of pledges they collect.

Swim-A-Thon

Students swim laps around the school or community pool in exchange for pledges from friends and family members.

See also: How to Run a Swim-a-Thon Fundraiser

Spin-A-Thon

Students sign up to spin a specific number of minutes based on pledges collected from the community. Use the school gym for this one or try to partner with a local fitness center if your school doesn’t have enough spin classes.

24-Hour Relay

Unlike many other A-Thons, this one’s not a contest—students just collect pledges to participate in the event, which runs all day and promotes healthy outdoor fitness. Keep plenty of water on hand and make sure participants are well rested before and afterward!

Summer Sports Day

Turn the athletic field into an outdoor extravaganza with all kinds of outdoor activities and games. Parents and community members can sponsor individual students to participate in different events by making pledges—like a mini-Olympics for the school!

Smiling teacher in front of classroom during fundraising activities

Other Fundraising Ideas

Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day happens on September 19th—just at the end of summer. Why not give the students one last chance to get their giggles out before the school year gets serious? Set up donation jars around the school and have participants put a coin in any time they lapse out of “pirate speak” (just make sure you know who’s playing the game and who isn’t).

Trunk War

Find anything cleaning that you don’t want or need anymore? Throw it into the trunk of your car and bring it to the Trunk War! Organizers can lay everything out yard sale style, or patrons can shop directly from people’s trunks! Have any really good stuff all in one or two trunks? Pull those aside and auction them separately!

Bonus Section: Parent Engagement Ideas

These aren’t exactly fundraisers per se, but they’re a great way to get parents involved in your PTA and school community at large. This also ensures that parents will be more likely to hear about (and participate in) your future fundraising events.

Holiday Toy Drive

Run a campaign where parents donate toys for families in need. Toys can be purchased brand new, or they can be old toys the kids don’t play with anymore (as long as they’re still in good condition).

Winter Coat Drive

Send out a call for parents to donate winter coats and other cold-weather clothing for students and families who need a little extra help around the holidays.

Pet Blankets

Pets get cold during the holidays too—so why not hold an event where families can donate blankets to shelters? You can either have donors purchase the blankets, or partner with the school knitting club to have students make them (in which case, it’s actually easy to turn this into an A-Thon where they collect pledges from the community to support their efforts).

Library Book Birthday Donations

Encourage students to donate a book to the school library on their birthday—and have it inscribed with their name to commemorate their contribution! Parents will often help their students choose a book and buy it for them to support school literacy.

Running Your Fundraisers with FutureFund

Smiling student during fun run school fundraiser organized with FutureFund

We handpicked fundraisers for the list above that most school groups should be able to run without any special equipment—but it’s easy to use our free platform to make them even more effective and reach your fundraising goals with less time and effort. FutureFund provides numerous tools to help you sell more effectively and engage your parent volunteers for events, including:

  • Powerful messaging tools that let you create custom messages for different audiences when you want to announce events, broadcast updates, or request support.
  • Custom online stores where you can sell anything from event tickets to school merchandise in just a few simple clicks.
  • Ready-to-go fundraising campaigns that make running the events on this list smooth and seamless, with shareable links to promote them and automatic receipts issued to donors.
  • Financial reporting tools that help your school group stay compliant and assist you with your budgeting and forecasting.

Learn more about using FutureFund to supercharge your fundraising activities by reaching out to get started with our platform. We’re ready to help your school group raise more money all year long.

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S. Bucceri

Board Clerk for Salisbury Central School

"FutureFund has been a game changer for our school. We love it because it keeps track of all the purchases for fundraisers and field trips and eliminates the need to handle cash and checks."

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Heather Wright

PTA Member

"The biggest thing we love about FutureFund is how easy it is to keep our group organized! I love the parents directory and volunteer tools because its so easy to get everyone organized and informed!"