6 Unique School Fundraisers – No Selling Required!

Looking for some fresh ideas to raise funds for your school?  Something a little different from selling wrapping paper or cookie dough? With a little planning and help from the local business community, you can plan a truly unique and lucrative fundraising event.  Check out these ideas:


  • Parents’ Night Out: Finding a good, reliable babysitter can be hard. Hosting a parents’ night out is a low-cost fundraiser that’s easy to plan.  You’ll need a place to keep the children, volunteer sitters, entertainment for the kids (movies, games), and snacks. Charge $5-$20 per child (be sure to cover your costs), with a family cap. As an extra bonus, persuade a local restaurant or two to donate a percentage of sales for all parents who patronize the restaurant that evening. This event can be repeated throughout the year, and is especially popular around the holidays or Valentine’s Day.

  • Chili Cook-Off: Who doesn’t enjoy a good bowl of chili and a healthy dose of competition? Enlist volunteers to cook up their best chili. Charge admission ($5-$10) for attendees to sample the fare, and vote on their favorites. Present the winning chefs with a trophy or prize.

  • School Carnival: Provide families in your community with a low-cost fun evening out.  For a flat admission price or using a ticket system, provide games, prizes, and fair food. Minimize costs through sponsorships from local businesses. Incorporating a bake sale, cake walk, or auction can add to your bottom line.

  • Fun Run: Promote health and fitness in your school community by hosting a fun run.  Distances can vary from 1K – 5K.  Charge an entry fee and provide t-shirts to all participants. Give prizes for the top finishers in each age group. Local businesses may help provide the t-shirts and prizes.

  • Garage Sale: You know the saying: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Host a school garage sale by asking parents and community members to donate items to be sold – anything from clothing to appliances and furniture, with all proceeds going to the school.

  • Movie Night: Soon after a blockbuster is released on DVD, host a movie night in the school’s gym or cafeteria. Instead of charging an admission fee, sell concessions such as pizza and popcorn.

Planning a fun and profitable fundraiser doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful – it just needs a little creativity and planning.  Good luck planning your next event!