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Top Elementary Fundraising Ideas

Cheers To The Holidays!

Holiday Shopper

This shopper has an amazing array of gifts for the whole family

Crazy About Cookies

Crazy About Cookies

The top cookie dough fundraiser more than 5 years running

Snackin in the USA

Snackin In The USA

Sell 20 delicious, sweet and savory treats for only $10 each!

Quote Candle Fundraiser

Quote Candles

A choice of 8 beautiful scented candles with an inspirational quote

Elementary School Fundraiser Ideas That Are Easy and Profitable

Best elementary school fundraising ideas

These days, more than ever, successful elementary school fundraisers are the backbone to a well-rounded education. And as you know an elementary school education is a critical foundation for children to socialize and develop a curiosity for learning. While children are learning in classrooms, they also regularly step out into the ‘real world’ with afterschool activities and field trips. Parents and teachers know how important it is for kids to have the opportunity to experience the real world in an engaging and safe way but also know it doesn’t come cheap.

Schools are also looking to expose children to new technology and learning tools that many older schools don’t have. Teachers and parents see these upgrades as essential to ensure children are familiar with the dynamic tools of the world today. These upgrades can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars! When governments and school boards can only cover a fraction of the cost, what can you do to help?

Teachers, staff members, parents and students regularly work together to develop elementary school fundraising ideas that ensure their elementary education is the best it can be. These ideas range from event fundraisers like dress down days, family dances, pizza lunches, and hot lunch programs to product fundraising solutions where volunteers sell goods to others in their community. But, in spite of a lot of the effort put forth, fundraising can be a struggle when the product or event doesn’t hit with your target community. It's important that your PTO or booster club implements the right fundraiser, the right way, to ensure success!

JustFundraising® Offers the Following to Ensure You Raise More

  • FREE Virtual Website For Online Fundraising
  • Fundraising Experts To Help Guide You
  • Free Order-Takers and Free Shipping
  • High Quality Products That Sell Themselves
  • 20+ FREE-to-Start Fundraisers
  • The Highest Profit Guarantee or Your Order is FREE!

We want to help your elementary school achieve its goal!

For the past 24 years, JustFundraising® has been helping teachers, parents, students and school boards successfully reach their fundraising goals. We know that fundraising can be challenging so we work with you to make the experience easy, fast and of course, profitable. We have helped elementary schools achieve their goals with fundraising profits as high as 90%! Our winning line-up of no money-up-front fundraisers, means you can achieve your fundraiser objectives with no financial risk. Join the thousands of groups that we’ve helped raise over 80 million dollars for!

Top 8 Product Fundraisers for Elementary Schools

Product fundraisers are ideal for elementary school students. Not only do they require very little planning, young children are able to grasp the concept quite easily. Plus, teachers can tie them into their math lessons for a hands-on learning experience (for example, how many chocolate bars would the class need to sell to reach their goal?).

JustFundraising® has the best profit margins in the business as well, with the capacity for you to keep up to 60% of profits on some products. And our price-matching guarantee ensures that you are getting the best deal out there.

Let’s take a look at the product fundraisers that work best for littler kids.

Cookie dough fundraiser

1) Cookie Dough - America’s Favorite Elementary School Fundraiser

If you ask your students to choose which fundraiser they’d most like to do, they’d probably choose cookie dough. Your smart little cookies know that their parents will surely purchase some of the good stuff. And let’s face it, cookie dough is hard to resist for anyone. This is why it’s been our top seller for many years.

Your students can easily raise money in the thousands with this delicious fundraiser. And with our new $15 cookie dough option, you’ll net more supporters than ever before. Our high-quality products come in a variety of formats and flavors, as well. This makes it easy to enjoy for all types of bakers, from seasoned pros to the littlest chefs.

Shopper fundraiser

2) Seasonal Shopper Fundraisers

Our Home for the Holidays shopper and Spring Is in the Air shopper are chock full of unique and affordable gift ideas. They also feature practical gift-giving accessories such as wrapping paper and gift tags. Each catalog features more than 100 quality items that friends and family will love. They’ll also love the prices, with many items under $10.

This is a great fundraiser for kids, as it allows them to practice their social skills and learn customer service. After all, it’s never too early to start developing professional skills. Plus, they’ll be overcome with glee when their shipment comes in and they get to play Santa Claus.

Scratch card fundraiser

3) Scratch & Help Scratch Cards - The Math Skill-Building Fundraiser

This fundraiser requires some easy on-the-spot calculation, which makes it perfect for older grades. Each scratch card features $100 worth of scratch dots. Each dot in turn conceals an amount between $0.50 and $3. Supporters can scratch off as many dots as they wish. The student then must calculate the total money owed and carry out the cash transaction.

Scratch cards are not only fun for supporters, they’re rewarding, too! Each donor will receive a discount card with $50 in savings at popular restaurants and stores in their state. Want something a little more community oriented? Simply have your students approach local merchants about signing up for our coupon program. We’ll print custom coupon sheets just for you!

Pretzel rod fundraiser

4) Pretzel rods & twists - The Crowd-Pleasing Fundraiser

Elementary school fundraisers can easily be combined to maximize profits. Our pretzel rods fundraisers, for instance, are perfect for pairing with an event fundraiser. Especially events where people might get peckish, such as a color run or a car wash.

These salty gourmet pretzels are coated with rich chocolate and dipped in colorful candy. Not only do they look irresistible, once your buyers get a taste, there’s a good chance they’ll be back for more. And priced at $1 for rods and $2 for caramel coated, they won’t think twice about it.

Candy bar fundraiser

5) Candy Bar Fundraiser

Candy bars are one of the oldest and most popular product fundraisers on the market. This makes it a great introductory fundraiser for grade school kids as they may already be familiar with the concept.

Once your group has determined how many candy bars they’ll need to sell, you simply place your order with us. Then, each child gets their own carrier containing a variety of quality candy bars priced from $1 to $2 each.

Older children will enjoy the sense of pride and responsibility they derive from being trusted with both the product and money. Younger children may need parents to take the helm, however. Luckily, candy bars are always a hit at the office.

Nuts about sports fundraising program

6) Snackin' In The USA - Nuts & Snacks Fundraiser

Another hit with grade school kids, our nuts & snacks fundraiser has the perfect balance of sweet and savory for every kind of snacker. It also has a great selection of healthy treats, such as nuts and trail mix, a bonus for health-conscious parents.

All items are beautifully photographed in our free full-color order-taker, making these mouthwatering treats even harder to resist. Plus, there’s no money upfront for you, and your school gets to keep up to 50% of the profits! We’d say that’s a sweet deal.

Candle fundraiser

7) Quote Candle Fundraiser - A Great Way To Lift Spirits

Everyone could use a little warmth and positivity these days. Have your students spread a little cheer with wonderfully-scented, colorful mason jar candles.

Each candle comes adorned with an inspiring quote such as “Live, laugh, love”, or “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. There are also 8 different colors available, each with its own scent. Some have uplifting aromas, like cucumber melon, while others, such as baked apple pie, feel like a warm hug.

Candles are a great gift idea, as well, making this the perfect fundraiser to hold before the holidays. And priced at $18 each, they’re much more affordable than well-known retail brands.

Online fundraisers

8) Online Fundraising - Yes, Even Elementary School Fundraisers Can Go Online For Even More Profit!

Think your kids are too young to have their own online store? Think again. We’ll set you up with an easy-to-use, turnkey online store so your students, under their parents’ supervision, can expand their reach and increase their sales.

Many of our fundraising programs now have an online option. There’s popcorn, cookie dough, snacks, and even custom face masks, with more being added all the time! The sites are customizable, too, so you can share your story and post pics of your lil’ fundraisers. Supporters can even specify which student they’re supporting in case you want to offer incentive prizes.

Parents, teachers, and even PTO and booster club members can spread the word by sharing the link on social media. It can also be sent via text or email for those who don’t have much of an online presence. Bonus: parents and teachers can use this experience to teach kids about using the Internet responsibly.

Browse our Other Categories of Elementary School Fundraising Products

JustFundraising offers 2 methods of product fundraising – order-takers (or brochures) and direct-sellers (also known as show-and-sell).

Order Takers

Order-Takers are brochures featuring quality items to sell, such as cookie dough, gourmet snacks and gift items, usually priced between $5 and $25. We’ll send them to you free of charge so you can start selling, and earning up to 55% profit.

Direct Sellers

Direct-Sellers are any product that you have in-hand to sell such as lollipops, Hershey’s candy bars, beef sticks and scratch cards, usually priced between $0.50 and $5. Free Shipping on all.

Top 8 DIY Fundraisers For Elementary Schools

DIY elementary school fundraising ideas

While product fundraisers are easy as A-B-C, do-it-yourself fundraisers have an important place in elementary school life as well. Not only do they allow kids to get creative, they’re also great for teaching responsibility and teamwork. Which DIY fundraisers do we like best for grade school students? Read on to find out!

1) Color Run Fundraiser - An Elementary School Favorite

Kids are always being told to not make a mess. So how about a fundraiser that celebrates messes? Yes, please! This is an easy way to raise quite a bit of money while having a ton of fun. And it’s relatively inexpensive to run. There are lots of color powder options available for purchase online. Or you can DIY it!

One way to raise money is to collect pledges as you would for a regular race, with color powder as a fun bonus. Teachers can stand at various points throughout the race and pelt students with color powder as they run by.

If you want extra excitement, you can turn the tables, too. Offer your students the opportunity to get revenge on their teachers if they reach their fundraising goal.

2) Raise Money And Encourage Reading With A Read-A-Thon

Elementary school is a crucial time for kids to develop a love of reading. With this fun and rewarding fundraiser you can, as the new saying goes, feed two birds with one scone!

The first step is to determine a window of time for your fundraiser. It can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of months. Next, have your students collect pledges from friends, family, and neighbours. We recommend taking pledges for each hour or half hour of reading. Counting books or pages gives an unfair advantage to fast readers, and may cause struggling readers to dislike reading. Finally, set aside a bit of class time each day for reading, and have parents track reading time at home.

Make sure you track your weekly progress. If several classes are involved, have them compete for most minutes collectively spent reading. Then, reward the winning group with a pizza party or a movie day.

PTO Today has a ton of resources to plan your read-a-thon from start to finish!

3) Turn Trash To Cash With A Bottle Drive

Bottle drives are a relatively quick way to raise money, and they can be done with minimal planning. All you need is a few volunteer parents, a day or two, and a place to stash your bounty.

The easiest way to do it is for students to go door to door with a parent - and a car full of boxes - in tow. Once the car is full, head to your drop-off point, unload, and repeat.

If you have more time to plan, you can turn your bottle drive into a party. Distribute flyers in your community a few days in advance. Ask people to round up any bottles and cans they have around the house and drop them off at your school on the specified date. Then greet your donors with grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, refreshing drinks, and music.

You can also use this opportunity to double up on profits with an easy product fundraiser, like fortune cookies or pretzel rods. At $1 each, they’re an easy sell, and they can help you reach your goal even faster.

4) Family Sports Day Fundraiser

Turn your school grounds into an Olympic park with a day of fun and games for the whole family! Organize classic events like a three-legged race, a potato sack race, and a ring toss tournament. Pit parents against teachers in a high-stakes game of dodgeball. Make a hopscotch obstacle course for younger kids. These are just a few examples of the thousands of games out there that kids, parents, and teachers will love.

You can make the bulk of your money by charging admission. You can also maximize donations by selling food, drinks, and school merchandise. Save money by approaching local merchants to sponsor your event by donating food, drinks, and prizes.

5) Pizza Party Fundraiser

This is a great fundraiser for elementary schools. After all, who loves pizza more than kids? Plus, it’s super easy to organize, and if you play your cards right, it’s inexpensive, too.

Local businesses tend to be fairly generous when it comes to helping out little ones. You’ll often find family restaurants sponsoring little league teams and other grade school clubs. In fact, your PTO or booster club may already have connections with local pizzerias. You may be able to get free pies, or at least a sizable discount. Just be sure to organize your party on a day that’s not typically busy for the restaurant (for instance, Tuesday rather than Friday). And let parents know ahead of time so they send their kids to school with money rather than packing a lunch.

For a different kind of pizza party that might net you even more money, try our Zap-A-Snack pizza fundraiser. Encourage parents to pre-purchase a pack of delicious microwavable pizzas. Once you receive your items, all you need are a couple of microwaves and you’re good to go!

Each box contains a 6-pack of delicious pizzas in 5 flavors. This means you can send the rest home with your students at the end of the day. You can also request permission from parents to quietly donate some of their pizzas to children whose parents don’t have the financial flexibility to purchase.

6) Greeting Card Fundraiser

This fundraiser is perfect for the lead-up to the holidays. Ask your local crafts store to donate art supplies and card stock. Then, have a card decorating party during which students let their creative juices flow. Depending on the time allotted for this activity, students can make 10 or 20 cards each!

You can then sell the cards to friends and family, and to members of the community. This can be done several ways. Students can solicit relatives. They can also go door-to-door. If your school or community hosts a holiday market, your students can set up a greeting card booth. Or, you can ask local businesses to keep a stack by their registers.

However you decide to do it, your students will get a kick out of being professional artists!

7) Lip-Sync Battle Fundraiser

Great for older elementary school students, lip sync battles allow students and teachers to showcase their talents as performers - with someone else doing the singing.

Students and teachers can form groups, or go it alone if they’re brave. Encourage them to get creative with choreography and costumes. Make sure you approve each song so there are no surprises or inappropriate content! Check out this list of kid-safe songs for inspiration.

You can raise money by charging admission to the show. You can also charge a significant minimum participation fee, which performers can cover by collecting money from friends and family. To increase revenue, try offering an incentive prize. For instance, if they reach their goal, the principal will perform a rousing rendition of a song chosen by them.

8) Coin War Fundraiser

As far as easy elementary school fundraisers go, this one is tops. All you need are large jars or jugs (empty water cooler containers are perfect).

There are a couple of ways to run this fundraiser. You can have a jar in each class for students to dump any spare change they can get their hands on into. The class that amasses the most money is the winner.

You can also make it more competitive. Label each jar and line them all up in a central location (make sure to tape them down). Then, assign positive points to silver coins, and negative points to pennies. For example, a nickel is worth 5 points, a dime ten, et cetera, and pennies are worth -1 point. This way, students can put pennies in competing class jars. The class with the most points at the end wins.

You’ll need volunteers to tally the points and roll the coins if needed. You can reward them, along with the winners, with a pizza party or a movie day.

Explore how JustFundraising® can make your elementary school fundraiser the best and most profitable yet!


Fundraising Tips for Elementary Schools

Finding the Perfect Fundraiser

Before starting your fundraising activities, you will need to get a very good sense of the needs of your fundraiser and your community. Here are some factors to consider before deciding on which fundraising products to sell:

  • Price Point – Get a sense of the economic situation of the communities you will be reaching out to. You want to offer a product that is in line with your community’s means. Make sure the products offered by your fundraiser are priced affordably for the neighborhood.
  • Demand – Find out what is popular or in-demand within your area. You want to make sure you’re offering a product that your supporters want. Offering an in-demand product takes the sales pressure off your volunteers by letting the product speak for itself. Follow this easy tip and it will help your fundraising sales immensely.
  • Quality – Although a great cause like a school fundraiser is a strong motivator for potential supporters, you can’t underestimate the impact of a high quality fundraising product. A great product could mean multiple contributions from the same supporters because you’re offering a product they really enjoy. It also means they’ll be more likely to support your cause next time you try and sell them something.
  • Profit Level – It’s critical you find product that has a good balance of the above listed points but it’s equally important not to overlook your profit level. If your product fits every other requirement but doesn’t generate income for your fundraiser, then it’s not working towards your school’s fundraising goals. Choose products that provide at least a 40% profit return. This will drive down the number of unit sales required to reach your goal.


We want to help. Call one of our experts at 1-888-440-4114. We’ll answer your questions and help you find the perfect fundraiser for your school.


Get Organized

If we include the sellers, their parents, extended family, along with teachers and staff, your fundraising project may find you needing to coordinate hundreds or even thousands of adult and youth volunteers. With this in mind, you will want to get ultra-organized and create a fundraising plan that considers all your communication and management needs. Here are few points to help you get started:

  • Establish an overall fundraising profit goal, as well as individual sales targets, and make sure they’re communicated consistently to your sellers and parents throughout the fundraiser.
  • Prepare a list of adult volunteers and outline their roles – weekly funds collection, distribution day, etc.
  • Prepare a list of dates from kick-off date, to collection dates, to distribution day, and stick to them.
  • Prepare a list of weekly meeting dates for the Fundraising Board, so you can address any issues in a timely fashion. Get all of their emails and make sure your CCed on any fundraising-related matter, so you can stay in the loop.
  • Prepare an incentive plan that is sure to motivate the sellers (and their parents!).  Make sure you have a spot in the school where kids can see the prizes throughout the fundraiser.
  • Have the most effective speaker, often the principal, be part of the kick-off sales pitch.
  • Prepare weekly letters and or emails to keep the kids and parents informed about the fundraiser status.


Motivate Your Elementary School Fundraiser Volunteers

It can be difficult to maintain morale throughout the entire duration of a fundraiser (some can last the entire school year!) so you, as an organizer, need to employ tactics to keep motivation elevated. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Assign personal ‘accounts’ for individuals, groups or classes so their progress and contribution can be tracked separately. This can help add a healthy competitive spirit that will give a nice boost to motivation.
  • Offer gifts or other incentives to individuals, groups or classes that surpass certain milestones like quickest or most sales.
  • Do shout-outs to groups or individuals who are succeeding or improving. This can be done in a weekly e-mail recap, a social media update or at a school assembly. Public recognition can be a powerful motivator.
  • Remember to keep an enjoyable and light atmosphere so volunteers can go about their duties in a pressure-free environment. Too much stress on your volunteers can lead to problems with motivation. Remember to have fun!
  • Make sure you and your teams thank your supporters for their contributions and let them know the difference they’ve made in achieving your school fundraising goals.


Turn fundraising activities into a useful learning experience

Sometimes the frantic pace of a fundraiser can overshadow just how much of a beneficial learning experience it can be for the children. Remember to draw focus on the skills that children are developing. Set up sessions to discuss and train students and volunteers on how to develop or showcase these skills. These skills include:

  • Communication Skills – Children will learn how to communicate ideas and goals to potential supporters. Communication skills are critical and developing them early can be a great asset.
  • Math Skills – Although fundraisers usually only require addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, volunteers will need to perform these operations on the fly many times throughout the fundraiser. These math skills will continue to be useful for the rest of their lives.
  • Teamwork – Children working together in the buddy system or in larger teams get to experience what it’s like to work with others to achieve a common goal. As well, each seller’s individual efforts are for the good of the entire class or school, not themselves personally. Learning how to work as part of a group will become essential in their lives when they progress into higher education and the working world.
  • Sales Skills – Children will be able to develop skills in salesmanship which benefit more than just people in sales. A good sales approach can be applied in many walks of life and having this skill early can mean more opportunities for success.
  • Leadership – Children who want to improve or sharpen their leadership qualities can take on the role of leader in their specific teams to help keep their group organized and motivated. These experiences can help shape the leaders of tomorrow!


Elementary School Fundraising Safety Guidelines

There are many positive elements to fundraising but even with all the positivity, we can’t forget to make sure volunteers are conducting themselves in a safe manner. Be sure to talk extensively about fundraising safety in the fundraising kick-off meeting. Be sure to employ the following guidelines to ensure your volunteers are safe and secure while trying to reach your goal:

  • Always make sure young children are with a parent when fundraising door-to-door
  • Older children and teenagers should always use the buddy system and have no less than 2 players traveling together. A common configuration involves 3 older children, 2 who will be ringing the doorbell and 1 who will remain on the edge of the property to have a safe view in case help needs to be called.
  • Do not allow your volunteers to enter in the home of strangers when going door-to-door. Instruct them to keep all door-to-door fundraising activities beyond the door step, quite a few feet from the door to make sure neighbors and passersby have got a clear viewpoint
  • Do not allow your volunteers to carry copious amounts of cash currency. Have volunteers store money in a safe and secure area on a consistent basis to make sure they're not holding too much when traveling door-to-door.

The purpose of our fundraiser is to keep the price of the yearbook low so more parents can afford to buy a yearbook for their kids. We raised $602.00 using the Smart Snacks fundraiser.


Wellton Elementary Yearbook staff | Wellton, AZ


Just completed the $10 gourmet cookie dough fundraiser with JustFundraising® and sold over $7500. Wow what a great job the students did.


Patricia's Daycare | Kennett, MO