Fundraising Tips for Schools

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Everyone knows education is one of the most valuable resources for the future, and yet educational institutions often find themselves underfunded. The good news - people believe in education, if not out of loyalty to their alma mater or their children’s institution, then perhaps out of a general sense that education makes a difference in people’s lives. Your school should capitalize on this sentiment to raise funds and bring more resources to your teachers, students, and programs! Check out these easy, creative, and fun ideas to learn how you can fundraise for your school:

Stage a Play

Have your students put on a play and invite parents, family members, alumni, and community members to buy a ticket and enjoy the play! This is a great way to raise revenue from tickets, bring in members of the larger community, and encourage creativity & expression in your students!

Trivia Night

Who doesn’t love a good trivia night? Similarly to the play idea, invite families, alumni, and the larger community to buy entry as a trivia team and dazzle everyone with their bits of random knowledge. You could incentivize the winning team with a prize, or collect all the money and have everyone know that the ticket revenue is going towards supporting your students!

Yard Sale

A yard sale puts less financial pressure on students and families than the play or trivia night. Everyone has old clothes, books, furniture, or whatever it may lying around their house or hidden in the basement. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure! Organize a yard sale where families can bring in things they no longer use and invite the community to shop through the yard sale. All the money raised from purchases would go directly to your school!

Car Wash

This is a great way to get your students more involved in a fundraiser. Figure out what a carwash usually goes for in your area, set a price slightly lower than that, and then invite the community to your school parking lot to get their car washed! This will also attract attention from people who may not have known about the event or have any connection to your school, but who still need a well-priced carwash. The longer hours you have (with different shifts so that students aren’t there all day!), the more money you will raise.

Restaurant Fundraiser

Many restaurants are eager to give back to their communities. Some have fundraising programs already established, so that on a particular day they will give 20% of the revenue made that day to a local organization. Pick a day and organize it so that your school will get those funds. The more people who go, the more money you will get! Here’s a list of chain restaurants around the country who have fundraising programs already set up. You can also check in with locally owned restaurants in your community to see if they would do something similar. Make sure to have students at the restaurant to raise awareness about the fundraiser to customers who may not know about it!

Haunted House

Designing a haunted house inside your school is a great way to engage the larger community, get great publicity for your school, spark organizational and design skills in your students, and of course, raise money. Host this event during a weekend in October and publicize it widely. People would love to pay for a good scare when they know it’s going towards a great cause.

Holiday Card Creation

While we’re in the seasonal mindset, why not create a program that sells holiday cards your students design to the community? Sending holiday cards is a far from outdated tradition even in our digital era, so most people still buy paper cards. Your school could buy several hundred blank cards and set time aside during art class so that students draw their own holiday designs on the front of the card. Then you could sell the cards to parents, alumni, or community members who would be buying holiday cards anyway!

A few more tips…

When brainstorming fundraising ideas, be wary of putting financial pressure on students/families who may not be able to participate due to socioeconomic status. Ideas like the yard sale and car wash are examples of fundraisers that do not put financial pressure on your families!

If your school is in need of money for a specific resource, program, or initiative, let people know that your fundraiser is for that specific purpose! People are more likely to give when they know exactly where their money is going.

Social media is your best friend when it comes to all of these fundraising ideas. You cannot rely solely on your students’ families to be your donating base; you need alumni, family friends, friends of teachers, and other community members to be just as aware of and invested in your fundraisers! Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even posters and email to spread the word wide and far.

A DipJar is a perfect tool to collect money for tickets and purchases associated with these fundraising ideas. It might also encourage people to give an extra donation, thus increasing your overall funds! Check out more resources on DipJar’s blog to learn more about how DipJar can help your school raise money. 


If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!