While winter does mean colder weather, it doesn’t mean you can’t fundraise. Winter brings tons of fundraising opportunities, both inside and outside.
With holidays, snow sports, and more, your school will have endless ways to raise money this winter. Here are just some of the school fundraisers you can try.
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A polar plunge is a classic winter fundraiser. If there’s a body of water near you, you basically have everything you need! In this fundraiser, participants run into a frigid lake or pond and see how long they can last in the cold water.
Similar to a 5K fundraiser, participants pay a registration fee and then engage in peer-to-peer fundraising, seeking donations from their friends, family, and coworkers. You can also add this fundraiser onto a 5K walk or run, and participants can cool off afterward!
An indoor run-a-thon, 5K, or race is another way to transition your classic fundraisers indoors. You can host the race at an indoor track, where participants can lap the track until they reach the final distance. For an added winter twist, you can make this event a “Santa Race” and encourage runners to dress up in their best Santa outfits!
Alternatively, you can do an indoor run-a-thon with very little overhead. Over the course of a month, participants can log their miles on a treadmill, so they can still participate without having to brave the cold.
If you live in an area where it snows, you know how much of a pain shoveling can be. This pain point can be a great fundraising opportunity. You can round up volunteers for a day of shoveling after a big storm.
You can also get continuous donations by offering snow shoveling all winter long. Split up your volunteers by neighborhood so they can shovel sidewalks and driveways in their area.
Ice skating is a great winter activity, and it can be a great fundraiser. Depending on your area, you can either host the event at an indoor or outdoor ice rink. Then, simply charge entry per person.
You can make the event even more engaging with organized games, activities, and music too. For added fundraising potential, you can also add skate rentals to your event, especially if you’re at an indoor arena that offers this service.
Snow tubing is a fun and easy way to get families outside during the winter since it doesn’t involve equipment or experience. All you need is a tube and a slope!
To make this fundraiser easier to plan, you can partner with a business that offers snow tubing. Many ski hills have tubing as one of their winter activities. If you don’t live near a ski hill, you can also do a DIY version with a few plastic sleds and a hill.
Hot Chocolate Station
A hot chocolate station is a great add-on to almost any winter fundraiser. Whether you’re hosting an ice skating, snow tubing, or other event, hot chocolate is a great way to keep everyone warm when the event is outside.
Hot chocolate is easy to make and typically low cost. For even more fundraising potential, ask a local supplier, grocery store, or coffee shop if they would be willing to donate the hot chocolate supplies.
Snowman Building Contest
There’s no better way to embrace a dump of snow than with a snowman building contest! This fundraiser a fun add-on to another event, like ice skating or tubing.
It’s also equally fun on its own. You can go all out and charge entry fees and have various prizes and categories. Give awards for things like most realistic, funniest, and more! You can also have a snow fort contest too.
A game night is a great fundraiser to do virtually or in person. All you need is a few board games. In-person, you can have a different game at each table. Online, you can have break-out rooms for each game.
Either way, charge each participant for entry, which will be the main source of revenue at the fundraiser. You can also have add-ons like snacks and drinks, which increase the fundraising potential of the event.
Basketball Fantasy League
Just like a regular fantasy basketball league, participants will pay a fee to join the league and choose their players. At the end, you can split the money between the school and whoever wins for the season.
The best thing about this fundraiser is that it’s all done online, as there are tons of websites and apps designed for fantasy leagues. Just make sure you double-check the rules in your state about sports betting beforehand.
Winter Craft Fair
A winter craft fair is a holiday staple. November or early December is the best time to host this type of event, as many people will use this event to buy Christmas gifts.
A craft fair allows you to fundraise two ways: charging vendors for a table/booth and charging shoppers for entry. You can also add game stations, craft-making stations, and food for extra fundraising opportunities.
Diwali or Christmas Lights
There’s nothing prettier than lights on a snowy evening. A holiday lights event is perfect for both Diwali (5 days in October or November) and Christmas (December 25). Schedule the event a few weeks before the actual holiday, so your event doesn’t interfere with people’s holiday plans.
You can do a lights tour, where families can explore different lights on foot or in their cars. Or you can have a block party-style event with games and hot chocolate.
Ugly Sweater Party
An ugly sweater party is a fun twist on a more traditional Christmas party. It’s a lot more relaxed and really just gives you an excuse to host an event. Try and schedule this part for early December so it doesn’t conflict with Christmas plans.
You can rent out an event space and bring food and drinks. Or you can rent out space at a local bar, so you don’t have to worry about food and drinks. Either way, your main source of revenue will be selling tickets for the event.
Gingerbread House Competition
This event is similar to a cook-off or bake-off fundraiser, minus the eating! Charge participants an entry fee and provide all the supplies. Then, give everyone a set amount of time to create their masterpiece.
Once the time is up, judge the finished gingerbread houses and award prizes. Depending on how many participants you have, you can have multiple categories like funniest, most realistic, and the grand prize.
Christmas caroling is a holiday classic. For this fundraiser, all you need is a few singers to go door-to-door and sing Christmas carols. If your school has a children’s choir, you can split them up into groups of 5, plus an adult chaperone/driver.
At each house, the carolers can ask for donations. Be ready to explain what the donations are going towards. For extra points, you can refer donors to a website where they can learn more.
Christmas Movie Night
Christmas movies are the perfect way to spend a December night, especially if it’s cold outside. You can partner with a local movie theater to host the event, or you can set up a projector in your school’s gym or at an event venue.
Then, all you need are some Christmas movies! You can choose the films based on your student’s age. You can also send out a survey beforehand and see what movies people want to see the most.
Gift wrapping is many people’s least favorite part about Christmas. For a few dollar donation, you can take the stress away.
Ask your local mall if you’d be able to set up a gift wrapping station. Or you can include one in another fundraiser you’re doing, like a craft fair.
Christmas Tree Disposal
When Christmas is over, getting rid of natural Christmas trees is a huge hassle. You can help families dispose of their trees easily and properly with a disposal fundraiser.
For a donation, you’ll pick up and dispose of the Christmas trees (just make sure you factor in the cost of disposal in your area, if applicable). Otherwise, all you need is a few volunteers with trucks to pick up and transport the trees.
Lunar New Year
The date changes based on the lunar calendar, but Lunar New Year falls sometime between January 21st and February 20th every year.
Lunar New Year is celebrated by billions of people around the world, so it’s a great way to include families from all backgrounds in your fundraisers. Work with a local restaurant to plan a Lunar New Year dinner and celebration.
Superbowl Viewing Party
The Superbowl happens in February every year, which makes it a great way to fundraise in the winter. The entertainment is already built into this event, so all you need is a place to view it, seating, food, and drinks.
You can host the event yourself and project the game onto a screen somewhere like your school’s gymnasium. Or you can partner with a local sports bar to host the event. You’ll have to split the ticket sales, but you’ll also be able to charge more per ticket.
Valentine’s Day Grams
Valentine’s Day grams are a great fundraiser that helps spread the love. It’s also an easy one to do at school.
Start the fundraiser a few weeks before Valentine’s day. Students, teachers, and parents can sign up and pay a fee to have a valentine gram delivered to their valentine on Valentine’s Day. You can include chocolates, candy, flowers, and more for different fees.