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The Best School Fundraiser Events: 15 Great Ideas

Raise funds for your next school trip or extracurricular program with these fantastic options.

Holding a school fundraiser can give you the resources you need for a school trip, sports program, or other extracurricular activities. Does your cheerleading or dance team need new uniforms? Do you want to take the class on an educational trip, host an event with guest speakers, or start a drama club program? School fundraisers can help. Here, we present some of the best school fundraising ideas for raising money in a fun, community-centric way! If working with CardFunder, simply collect unwanted gift cards as the price of admission or purchase.

Book Fair

We love this idea because it shows kids how fun reading can be. First, conduct a used book drive, asking kids, parents, and teachers to bring in unwanted books. Then, organize them by subject and age and invite families and friends to your book sale.

School Play

Kids can get some theater experience while contributing to the cause. (If it’s a high school, get your drama club involved.) Families and friends will get a kick out of watching them take the stage. You could add cameo appearances by well-known adults in the community to increase the hype!

Community Clean Up

Group families into teams and have them compete to see who can collect the most trash from a particular area. Each family can try to get pledges beforehand! Give prizes to teams based on how much trash they collect.

Talent Night

Invite families, friends, and teachers to show off their talent (or lack thereof) in a community talent night. Hold the event at your school, or consider an off-site location to reach a new crowd!

School Sleepover

Provide childcare for the night, inviting kids for a big slumber party in the school gym. Play a movie and set up game and snack stations! Parents will love having a night off, and kids will have a blast.

Community BBQ

Invite the community to join you in the park one weekend for a barbeque. Grill up summertime favorites and bring sides prepared in advance! You’ll be sure to draw in new people who smell what you’re cooking up.


Invite families and friends to come in and dance nonstop, collecting pledged funds for the time they spend dancing! Share updates and highlights on social media as the night goes on.

Storytelling Night

At this event, people take the stage to tell entertaining true stories on a particular topic. Choose a theme for the night, like “Misadventures,” “Lost and Found,” or “Food Fiascos,” and set a time limit (like 10 minutes). You can make this event “G-rated” and hold it in your school auditorium, inviting people of all ages to participate. Or, you can make it an adults-only event and have it at another local venue!

School Concert

Have your school chorus and band learn some favorite (age-appropriate) songs and perform them for the community. Offer refreshments as well. Spice up the event by asking teachers to practice and perform a song, or have teachers compete against parents for the most votes!

Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt in a local park and invite families to attend. Reach out to other schools as well! Kids and parents can form teams and hunt for hidden treasures placed around the park.

Shoe Drive

Ask kids to bring in their gently-used shoes. Then, you can send them to an organization that will provide them to families in need. But first, have kids take guesses at how many shoes you’ve brought in. (They can contribute a gift card to make a guess for a chance at a prize). You can also have classes or clubs compete against each other to bring in the most shoes!

Parent/Teacher Cafe

Set up a coffee and muffin stand for parents dropping off their kids at school, asking a local coffee shop to donate goods. Have adult volunteers serve them. You could even set up a seating area where parents and teachers can sip coffee together for a few moments before school starts!

This is easier than a bake sale since you don’t have to worry about baking. While some organizations partner with schools to provide cookie dough, you can make it yourself as well. Get parents and teachers to whip up their favorite recipes and sell batches of dough to family, friends, and neighbors! You can also host a “bake and taste” event to let people sample the finished products before making purchases.

Picnic Basket Sales

In this fundraiser, students can ask neighbors and family friends to buy a picnic basket filled with yummy foods prepared especially for them. They can gather at the school on a Saturday morning to prepare sandwiches and other goodies like fruits, cheeses, sparkling water, and cookies before delivering them around town.


Reach out to local businesses for prizes people will love:

  • Dog grooming services
  • Personal fitness training
  • Prints of a local artist’s work
  • Yoga sessions
  • Dinner and drinks for two at a restaurant

Or, see if you can purchase something like sought-after sports tickets, an AirBnB retreat, or a 6-month museum pass at a steep discount!

When you partner with CardFunder, you can accept unwanted gift cards instead of cash for any of these fundraisers. The sky is the limit as far as creativity is concerned! Additionally, you could ask a local company to contribute matching gifts totaling the amount you raise.

The best school fundraisers help donors feel connected to your school by informing them about the difference their donation will make. Share information about what you’re working to accomplish, providing relevant stats and stories. Did your school experience budget cuts? Or have parents been asking for an after-school program? That may prompt empathy from potential donors. Share testimonials from parents, teachers, or students about what you’re working to achieve!


99Pledges, “35+ Best School Fundraising Ideas to Raise More in 2022”

Double the Donation, “Shoe Drive Fundraiser”

DonorBox, “53 Proven School Fundraising Ideas”

The Guardian, “How to Start Your Own Storytelling Night”

QGiv, “14 Smart School Fundraising Ideas to Raise Money Fast”

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