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!