35 High School Fundraising Ideas: Creative Strategies to Unite the Community and Achieve Financial Success in 2023

Fundraising plays a vital role in the success and enrichment of high schools across the nation. These initiatives provide essential financial support for a wide range of activities, clubs, sports teams, educational programs, and community endeavors. In this comprehensive guide, we present 35 exceptional high school fundraising ideas, meticulously curated to empower schools in achieving their financial goals while fostering a sense of unity and participation among students, parents, and the wider community.

Title Fundrasing

From traditional fundraising events that evoke a sense of nostalgia to innovative online campaigns harnessing the power of technology, this article explores a diverse array of fundraising strategies. Moreover, we delve into creative ventures that showcase student talents, environmentally conscious efforts promoting sustainability, and adventure-driven activities that engage fitness enthusiasts.

A successful high school fundraising endeavor goes beyond merely collecting funds; it cultivates a shared purpose and inspires school pride. With this in mind, we’ve included community-oriented fundraising ideas that encourage collaboration with local businesses and initiatives to improve the neighborhood, further strengthening the school’s ties to the broader community.

Throughout the article, we will highlight the costs, efforts, and benefits of each fundraising idea, ensuring that schools can make informed decisions that align with their specific needs and capabilities. We’ll also emphasize the importance of considering the perspectives of students, teachers, parents, and local partners when choosing fundraising strategies, ultimately fostering an inclusive and engaging fundraising experience.

35 Best High School Fundraising Ideas
Traditional Fundraising Ideas
Online Fundraising Ideas
Event-based Fundraising Ideas
Sports and Athletics Fundraising Ideas
Creative Fundraising Ideas
Technology-driven Fundraising Ideas
Holiday-themed Fundraising Ideas
Community Involvement Fundraising Ideas
Educational Fundraising Ideas
Food-related Fundraising Ideas
Environmental Fundraising Ideas
Adventure Fundraising Ideas

School fundraising is a dynamic and multifaceted process that serves as a lifeline for educational institutions. It provides the necessary financial support to bridge the gap between available resources and the diverse needs of the school community. As budgets for schools often face limitations, fundraising becomes a vital tool to ensure the continuation of essential programs and activities.

Importance of fundraising

Fundraising plays a vital role in schools, particularly in enriching extracurricular activities that mold well-rounded individuals through creativity, leadership, teamwork, and discipline. By raising funds through diverse initiatives, schools can offer a wide array of extracurricular options, including sports teams, arts programs, science clubs, and community service projects.

Furthermore, fundraising efforts contribute to enhancing the learning environment for both students and educators. Additional financial support enables schools to invest in modern technology, updated textbooks, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, and facility improvements, fostering an optimal atmosphere for academic growth and personal development.

Beyond academic enrichment, fundraising fosters inclusivity and equal opportunities. Utilizing the funds for scholarships and financial aid ensures that all deserving students can access quality education regardless of financial constraints, creating a supportive and diverse learning community where every student can thrive and succeed.

Additionally, fundraising instills a sense of ownership and pride among students, parents, teachers, and the broader community. Active participation in fundraising campaigns strengthens the school’s sense of community, forging a united front in overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities.

In essence, school fundraising is not solely about gathering funds but about nurturing a collective spirit of collaboration and commitment to educational excellence. Through dedicated efforts and creative approaches, schools can maximize their fundraising endeavors, enriching students’ lives and contributing to the flourishing of the entire educational institution. As schools adapt to evolving needs, fundraising will continue to be a driving force for progress, innovation, and a promising future for generations to come.

Traditional Fundraising Ideas

These tried-and-true fundraising ideas have stood the test of time and are perfect for bringing the community together in support of your school’s initiatives. Organize enticing bake sales with a variety of homemade treats, host car washes where students, teachers, and parents can wash cars for donations, or plan exciting silent auctions featuring donated items and services.

Traditional Fundraising Ideas

1. Bake Sales

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Decent returns
  • Description: Organize enticing bake sales with a variety of homemade treats such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and pies. Ensure that participants follow proper hygiene standards during food preparation.
  • Necessary Materials: Baking ingredients, tables, tablecloths, packaging materials, price tags.
  • Steps: Choose a suitable location, advertise the event within the school community and on social media, and assign shifts to volunteers.

2. Car Washes

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Good returns
  • Description: Host a car wash event where students, teachers, and parents wash cars in exchange for donations. Provide all the necessary car-washing equipment and materials.
  • Necessary Materials: Water hoses, buckets, sponges, soap, towels, posters, and a car wash location with good visibility.
  • Steps: Choose a convenient location, promote the event through flyers and social media, and consider offering additional services like vacuuming.

3. Silent Auctions

  • Cost: High | Effort: High | Benefit: Potentially high returns
  • Description: Plan an exciting silent auction featuring donated items and services from local businesses and the school community. Create an inviting ambiance and display the items attractively.
  • Necessary Materials: Auction items, bid sheets, pens, display tables, tablecloths, promotional materials.
  • Steps: Gather donated items, set starting bids, organize items into themed baskets, and promote the event through newsletters and social media.

Online Fundraising Ideas

Leverage the power of the internet to reach a broader audience and boost your fundraising efforts. Launch crowdfunding campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, create and sell custom merchandise online, or host a virtual talent show where students can showcase their talents through pre-recorded videos.

Online Fundraising Ideas

4. Crowdfunding Campaigns

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Wide reach
  • Description: Launch an online crowdfunding campaign on platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to reach a broader audience. Create a compelling story and share it through videos and images.
  • Tips: Offer rewards for different donation levels, regularly update contributors on progress, and express gratitude to donors publicly.
  • Steps: Set a fundraising goal, prepare engaging campaign content, share the campaign link on social media, and reach out to alumni and the community for support.

5. Online Merchandise Sales

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: Low | Benefit: Decent returns
  • Description: Design and sell custom merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies, and school-branded accessories on an online platform. Use eye-catching designs that resonate with the school’s identity.
  • Necessary Materials: Design software, printing services, and an online store platform.
  • Tips: Consider partnering with local artists or design students for unique designs, and offer limited-edition items for a sense of exclusivity.

6. Virtual Talent Show

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Community engagement
  • Description: Host an engaging virtual talent show where students can submit pre-recorded videos showcasing their talents. Encourage participants to include an introduction and conclusion in their videos.
  • Necessary Materials: Video submission platform, event promotion materials, judges (optional), and prizes for winners.
  • Tips: Involve teachers and alumni as judges, allow audience voting for a “Viewer’s Choice” award, and stream the event live to enhance engagement.

Explore a video featuring a variety of online fundraising ideas. Discover creative and innovative ways to maximize virtual fundraising’s potential and find opportunities for success in the digital age.

Event-Based Fundraising Ideas

Make your fundraising events unforgettable and engaging with event-based ideas that appeal to everyone. Organize lively school carnivals with game booths and food stalls, host entertaining talent shows with live performances, or treat attendees to movie nights with popular films suitable for all ages.

Event-based Fundraising Ideas

7. School Carnivals

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: High | Benefit: Great community involvement
  • Description: Organize a lively school carnival with game booths, food stalls, and entertaining activities. Create a colorful and festive atmosphere to attract attendees.
  • Necessary Materials: Booth supplies, carnival games, prizes, food and beverages, decorations, and security arrangements.
  • Tips: Offer a variety of games for all age groups, sell tickets for games and activities, and consider partnering with local food vendors for additional revenue.

8. Talent Shows

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Good entertainment value
  • Description: Host an entertaining talent show with live performances by students showcasing their skills in singing, dancing, comedy, and more. Secure an experienced emcee to keep the show engaging.
  • Necessary Materials: Stage setup, audio-visual equipment, judging criteria, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Allow participants to rehearse on the stage before the event, provide constructive feedback from judges, and involve the audience in the voting process for an audience-favorite winner.

9. Movie Nights

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Low | Benefit: Good for bonding
  • Description: Host a movie night on the school premises, showing popular films suitable for all ages. Set up cozy seating arrangements and offer snacks and drinks for sale.
  • Necessary Materials: Projector or large-screen TV, sound system, seating arrangements, movie selection, and concessions stand.
  • Tips: Choose movies that align with the school’s values, encourage attendees to bring blankets for added comfort, and create a themed ambiance for special occasions like Halloween or Christmas movies.

Sports and Athletics Fundraising Ideas

Fuel the spirit of sportsmanship and team pride with fundraising ideas geared towards sports and athletics. Seek sponsorships from local businesses to support sports teams, organize sports tournaments for popular games, or host fitness challenges like fun runs and walkathons.

Sports and Athletics Fundraising Ideas

10. Team Sponsorships

  • Cost: Low | Effort: High | Benefit: Financial support for sports teams
  • Description: Seek sponsorships from local businesses to support sports teams. Offer various sponsorship tiers, providing businesses with different levels of promotion and recognition.
  • Necessary Materials: Sponsorship packages, promotional materials, and communication tools.
  • Tips: Emphasize the benefits of sponsoring local sports teams, such as community exposure and positive brand association.

11. Sports Tournaments

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: High | Benefit: Fosters team spirit
  • Description: Organize sports tournaments for popular games like basketball, soccer, or volleyball. Encourage team participation from within the school and beyond.
  • Necessary Materials: Sports equipment, tournament brackets, referees, first-aid kits, and venue arrangements.
  • Tips: Advertise the tournament in advance to attract teams, promote fair play, and award trophies or medals to winning teams.

12. Fitness Challenges

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Promotes health awareness
  • Description: Host fitness challenges like fun runs, walkathons, or dance-a-thons to promote health awareness. Encourage participants to seek sponsorships for their physical efforts.
  • Necessary Materials: Event registration system, route planning, hydration stations, and medical personnel on standby.
  • Tips: Partner with local fitness clubs or health organizations, provide t-shirts or medals for participants, and offer healthy snacks and beverages at the finish line.

Watch this video to learn how to effortlessly earn over $300 per player.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

Unleash the creativity and talent within your school community with these innovative fundraising ideas. Hold art auctions showcasing artworks created by students, collaborate with local artists to create unique custom merchandise, or offer personalized greetings and thank-you notes for special occasions.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

13. Art Auctions

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Showcases student talent
  • Description: Hold an art auction showcasing artworks created by talented students. Include various art forms like paintings, sculptures, and crafts, with a display of the artists’ profiles.
  • Necessary Materials: Artworks, bid paddles, auctioneer, display stands, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Collaborate with art teachers for curating the collection, offer starting bids that encourage bidding, and promote the event within the art community.

14. Custom Merchandise

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Unique fundraising items
  • Description: Collaborate with local artists or design students to create unique custom merchandise representing the school’s identity. Sell these items at school events and online.
  • Necessary Materials: Design software, printing services, and inventory management tools.
  • Tips: Consider organizing a design contest among students for merchandise ideas, and offer discounts for bulk purchases.

15. Personalized Greetings

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Low | Benefit: Emotional touch
  • Description: Offer personalized greetings or thank-you notes for special occasions like birthdays or holidays. Provide a selection of designs and sentiments for customization.
  • Necessary Materials: Greeting cards or stationery, design software, personalization tools, and envelopes.
  • Tips: Encourage early orders for timely delivery, offer bundle discounts for multiple orders, and promote the service among parents and school staff.

Technology-Driven Fundraising Ideas

Embrace the digital age and harness technology for effective and engaging fundraising initiatives. Launch social media campaigns to attract online donors, organize online workshops on subjects of interest, or host virtual gaming tournaments for a fun and competitive fundraising experience.

Technology-driven Fundraising Ideas

16. Social Media Campaigns

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Broad audience reach
  • Description: Launch engaging fundraising campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Utilize eye-catching visuals, storytelling, and donation links.
  • Necessary Materials: Social media accounts, campaign content, and engagement monitoring tools.
  • Tips: Utilize influencers or popular alumni to promote the campaign, respond promptly to donor comments, and acknowledge donors publicly with gratitude.

17. Online Workshops

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Knowledge sharing for a fee
  • Description: Organize online workshops on subjects of interest, such as cooking, fitness, or arts and crafts. Charge a participation fee for attendees.
  • Necessary Materials: Workshop content, online meeting platforms, and registration systems.
  • Tips: Ensure the workshops are interactive and engaging, offer recordings for participants who miss the live sessions, and encourage attendees to invite friends for wider reach.

18. Virtual Game Tournaments

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Appeals to gamers
  • Description: Host virtual gaming tournaments for popular video games, attracting gamers within the school and beyond. Charge an entry fee for participants.
  • Necessary Materials: Gaming consoles or PCs, tournament rules and guidelines, and communication tools.
  • Tips: Advertise the tournament in gaming communities, establish fair play rules, and consider live-streaming the matches for spectators.

Holiday-Themed Fundraising Ideas

Celebrate special occasions and holidays while raising funds for your school. Create spooky haunted houses during Halloween, offer a special Valentine’s Day gift delivery service, or organize Christmas tree sales during the holiday season.

Holiday-themed Fundraising Ideas

19. Halloween Haunted House

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: High | Benefit: Attracts many visitors
  • Description: Create a spooky haunted house attraction during Halloween, providing a thrilling experience for visitors. Design elaborate sets and incorporate interactive elements.
  • Necessary Materials: Haunted house props, decorations, volunteer actors, and safety measures.
  • Tips: Collaborate with drama or theater clubs for acting, use fog machines and lighting for ambiance, and offer discounted tickets for students and families.

20. Valentine’s Day Gift Delivery

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Romantic fundraiser
  • Description: Create a spooky haunted house attraction during Halloween, providing a thrilling experience for visitors. Design elaborate sets and incorporate interactive elements.
  • Necessary Materials: Haunted house props, decorations, volunteer actors, and safety measures.
  • Tips: Collaborate with drama or theater clubs for acting, use fog machines and lighting for ambiance, and offer discounted tickets for students and families.

21. Christmas Tree Sale

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: High | Benefit: Seasonal demand
  • Description: Organize a Christmas tree sale during the holiday season, offering fresh and quality trees for families to purchase and decorate.
  • Necessary Materials: Christmas trees, tree stands, decorations, and sales personnel.
  • Tips: Collaborate with local tree farms for supplies, offer tree delivery services, and create a festive atmosphere with holiday music and decorations.

Discover five valuable tips in this video on creating a successful fundraising event.

Community Involvement Fundraising Ideas

Strengthen ties with the local community through these fundraising ideas that foster collaboration. Establish partnerships with local businesses, organize community clean-up events, or host charity walks to support meaningful causes.

Community Involvement Fundraising Ideas

22. Local Business Partnerships

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Mutual promotion
  • Description: Partner with local businesses for joint fundraising events or offer advertising opportunities during school events.
  • Necessary Materials: Partnership proposals, promotional materials, and communication channels.
  • Tips: Highlight the benefits of association with the school, offer different sponsorship levels, and acknowledge partners publicly.

23. Community Clean-up Events

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Improves neighborhood
  • Description: Organize community clean-up events to improve the neighborhood while raising funds. Involve students, parents, and local residents in the effort.
  • Necessary Materials: Cleaning equipment, waste disposal arrangements, and safety gear.
  • Tips: Collaborate with local environmental groups or government agencies, promote the event through community centers and social media, and arrange refreshments for participants.

24. Charity Walks

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Raises funds and awareness
  • Description: Host charity walks or runs to raise funds and awareness for a cause. Choose scenic routes and encourage participants to seek pledges for each mile they complete.
  • Necessary Materials: Route planning, safety measures, registration systems, and event promotion materials.
  • Tips: Partner with health or charity organizations for support, provide hydration stations along the route, and offer incentives for participants who raise the highest pledges.

Educational Fundraising Ideas

Promote academic excellence and provide academic support through these fundraising ideas. Offer tutoring services for various subjects, organize spelling bee competitions to boost vocabulary skills, or hold book sales to encourage a love for reading.

Educational Fundraising Ideas

25. Tutoring Services

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Benefits students and tutors
  • Description: Offer tutoring services for various subjects, providing academic support to students. Charge a fee for each tutoring session.
  • Necessary Materials: Tutoring schedules, study materials, and communication tools.
  • Tips: Assign tutors based on subject expertise, encourage students to form study groups for discounted rates, and track the academic progress of tutees.

26. Spelling Bee Competition

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Academic engagement
  • Description: Organize a competitive spelling bee competition, promoting academic engagement and vocabulary improvement among students.
  • Necessary Materials: Word lists, judging criteria, prizes, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Offer practice rounds for participants, create levels of difficulty for different age groups, and promote the competition through English and language arts classes.

27. Book Sales

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Promotes reading
  • Description: Hold book sales where students, teachers, and parents can donate and buy used books. Encourage a love for reading while raising funds for the school library.
  • Necessary Materials: Book donation boxes, shelving, promotional materials, and payment systems.
  • Tips: Sort and categorize donated books for easy browsing, offer discounts for bulk purchases, and involve the English department in promoting the event.

Food-Related Fundraising Ideas

Appeal to food enthusiasts and support nutrition initiatives with these food-related fundraising ideas. Host food truck festivals with a diverse selection of cuisines, create and sell school cookbooks featuring contributed recipes, or set up smoothie or snack stands during events.

Food-related Fundraising Ideas

28. Food Truck Festivals

  • Cost: Moderate | Effort: High | Benefit: Food lovers’ attraction
  • Description: Host a food truck festival with a diverse selection of vendors offering a variety of cuisines. Attract food lovers from within and beyond the school community.
  • Necessary Materials: Vendor arrangements, permits, seating areas, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Invite popular food trucks and local restaurants to participate, create a festival map and schedule, and offer family-friendly activities during the event.

29. Cookbook Sales

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Showcases local recipes
  • Description: Create and sell school cookbooks featuring recipes contributed by students, teachers, and parents. Showcase the school’s culinary talents while raising funds.
  • Necessary Materials: Recipe collection, cookbook design, printing services, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Include a diverse range of recipes, add personal anecdotes or cooking tips, and involve the culinary arts class in recipe testing.

30. Smoothie or Snack Stands

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Healthy treats
  • Description: Set up stands to sell fresh smoothies, healthy snacks, or treats during school events or sports games. Offer refreshing options while supporting nutrition initiatives.
  • Necessary Materials: Blenders or food processors, ingredient supplies, and stand decorations.
  • Tips: Create appealing menus with both classic and innovative options, use sustainable serving containers, and offer discounts for reusable cups or containers.

In this video, you’ll discover three healthy food recipes perfect for your fundraising festival or cookbook.

Environmental Fundraising Ideas

Promote eco-friendliness and sustainability while raising funds for your school’s green initiatives. Organize recycling drives to collect recyclable materials, host plant sales featuring potted plants grown by the school’s gardening club, or arrange green workshops focused on environmental awareness.

Environmental Fundraising Ideas

31. Recycling Drives

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Promotes eco-friendliness
  • Description: Organize recycling drives to collect recyclable materials like paper, plastic, or electronics. Promote eco-friendliness while generating funds for green initiatives.
  • Necessary Materials: Recycling bins, collection trucks, awareness materials, and logistics planning.
  • Tips: Partner with local recycling centers or waste management companies, educate the school community about proper recycling practices, and offer incentives for the most recyclables collected.

32. Plant Sales

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Supports sustainability
  • Description: Host plant sales featuring potted plants, flowers, and herbs grown by the school’s gardening club. Encourage sustainable practices and gardening skills.
  • Necessary Materials: Plant saplings, pots, gardening tools, and promotional materials.
  • Tips: Include a variety of plants suitable for different environments, offer planting and care tips, and provide additional information on the benefits of indoor plants.

33. Green Workshops

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Educates about environmental issues
  • Description: Arrange workshops focused on eco-friendly practices and environmental awareness. Raise funds while educating the school community about sustainability.
  • Necessary Materials: Workshop content, presentation tools, and registration systems.
  • Tips: Collaborate with local environmentalists or organizations, involve science and biology teachers as guest speakers, and incorporate interactive activities in the workshops.

Adventure Fundraising Ideas

Embark on exciting fundraising ventures that encourage physical activity and adventure. Host sponsored hikes or nature walks to explore the outdoors, organize bike-a-thons or cycling events to promote fitness, or plan fun-filled adventure challenges that captivate participants.

Adventure Fundraising Ideas

34. Sponsored Hikes

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Promotes outdoor activities
  • Description: Organize sponsored hikes or nature walks to promote outdoor activities and raise funds for the school. Choose scenic routes with varying difficulty levels.
  • Necessary Materials: Trail maps, safety measures, first-aid kits, and communication tools.
  • Tips: Partner with local parks or nature reserves, encourage participants to seek sponsorships from family and friends, and organize group hikes with experienced guides.

35. Bike-a-thons

  • Cost: Low | Effort: Moderate | Benefit: Fitness-oriented fundraiser
  • Description: Host bike-a-thons or cycling events where participants collect donations for their cycling efforts. Promote fitness and cycling as an eco-friendly mode of transportation.
  • Necessary Materials: Bike racks, route planning, safety gear, and registration systems.
  • Tips: Offer rest stops along the route with refreshments, provide participants with custom bike-a-thon shirts, and offer awards for participants who cycle the most miles.

Embark on an inspiring journey by watching this captivating video filled with a wealth of innovative fundraising ideas exclusively tailored for high schools. Unleash your potential, discover remarkable opportunities, and ignite the spark for an exceptional fundraising experience that will elevate your school’s success. 

Useful Links:


Fundraising for high schools not only provides necessary financial support but also fosters a sense of community and engagement. By exploring a diverse range of fundraising ideas, schools can ensure the success of their initiatives while involving students, parents, and the wider community. Whether it’s through traditional events, technology-driven campaigns, sports-related activities, or creative ventures, these fundraising ideas offer a path to success while bringing the school community closer together.

Simona Johnes

Leave a Comment