1) Talent Show Fundraiser
High school is teeming with budding musicians, dancers, and performers of all kinds. A talent show fundraiser gives them a chance to show off their talents while raising funds at the same time. You might want to give yourself a good amount of time to plan for this one. This will give participants time to prepare, along with giving organizers time to get the best deals on any equipment or rentals they may need for the event.
Raise money by charging admission to your event. Make it an evening affair if you can, so parents and other members of the community can attend. You can also set a minimum fee to perform and invite participants to solicit donations to cover it. To boost donations, ask a teacher, or better yet, the principal, to volunteer to sing a song chosen by students to close out the show – but only if you reach your goal.
COVID-19 hack: if you’re unable to hold a live event, you can always live stream your show online on Facebook or Instagram. Have your emcee direct viewers to your donation page between performances, and interview performers about what the money raised means to them.
2) 80s/90s Party Fundraiser
This fundraiser is great because it’s a good time for both teens and adults. Parents and teachers get to relive their glory years, and kids get to laugh at how silly they look. You can raise money by charging admission, or you can combine your event with other fundraising activities. Try a silent auction, for instance, or raffles and games (we like the heads or tails game). You can also sell snacks and drinks, or thrifted 80s and 90s paraphernalia.
The beauty of this fundraiser is that it’s relatively inexpensive to plan and execute. Decorations can be anything neon, and you can set up movie stations with old school party flicks showing. Plus, given the abundance of 80s and 90s playlists on Spotify, there’s no need to hire a DJ.
3) Babysitting Fundraiser
Parents of younger children need a night off once in a while, so why not offer your services? The average rate for a babysitter in the US is around $17 per hour. That can add up to quite a bit of money over the course of the year.
You can work on a rotation basis, with a few volunteers dedicating one night per week to babysitting. Or you can advertise “date night” in your community offering your services on a particular Friday or Saturday night. You can even hold a daycare in your school gym around the holidays so parents can get their shopping done. You might also consider combining babysitting with another event fundraiser, such as 80s night or movie night, to help increase attendance.
4) Movie Night High School Takeover Fundraiser
Students will jump at the opportunity to put their feet up on the desks and snack on popcorn in the dark in their classrooms. You can raise funds by charging admission and by selling snacks as well (see popcorn fundraiser above).
Have a few “theaters” on the go at once, each with a different theme, such as horror, action, and comedy. You can restrict it to students only, or you can invite family and friends. This gives you a perfect opportunity to offer child care services as well, in a separate “kids’ theater”.
5) Prom Dress Drive
Most girls will never wear their prom dress again. Why not recycle them and make some money doing it?
Put out a call on social media that you’re collecting old prom dresses, shoes, and other prom accessories. If you cast a wide enough net, you should get a decent collection of newer designs as well as some vintage gems. Post pics of your finds online to promote your upcoming sale, which you can hold in your school’s gym. Don’t forget to advertise to other high school students in your community as well.
Given that a new prom dress can cost hundreds of dollars, eager prom-goers will be happy to spend $40 to $50 on an upcycled dress. And the environment will benefit, too!
6) High School Bazaar Fundraiser
Another way to practice the 3 R’s while raising money is to hold a yard sale or bazaar at your school. Invite friends and family to donate gently used books, household items, and clothing. Given that it’s a fundraiser, you might be able to score some higher quality items that people would have otherwise sold themselves. Once you’ve got enough stuff, you can start promoting your event.
You can hold your bazaar in the gym, or if the weather’s nice, outside on school grounds. If you’ve got a few really good items, up your revenue by selling them silent auction-style. This is a great community event that can be combined with other fundraising activities, as well. Have a bake sale at the same time, or sell homemade lemonade or iced tea. You can even invite a local food truck to set up shop and donate a portion of their sales to your cause. The opportunities for profit are endless!
7) Community Cookbook Fundraiser
Everyone has a favorite recipe, or one that means a lot to them. Have students, teachers, and parents submit their favorite recipe, along with a story of why they love it. You can organize sections alphabetically, or based on difficulty or type of food, whatever you want. It’s your oyster, so to speak.
You can design and print it in house for a more affordable option, or you can opt to use a professional cookbook printing company. Note that the latter will cost more, but you’ll get more sales with a professional-looking product, and your supporters will have a keepsake they can use for a lifetime.
You’ll want to get started on your cookbook right at the onset of the school year to make sure it’s ready for holiday shoppers!
8) Reverse Raffle – The Easiest High School Fundraiser
50/50 raffles are a tried and true method of raising money quickly and easily. The reverse raffle offers a twist on the traditional game, making it more exciting and potentially more profitable. And it couldn’t be easier.
Sell raffle tickets as you normally would, and have supporters follow your school’s Facebook page to see the contest results. The twist is that the big winner is the last ticket in the pot. In other words, if your number gets called, you’re out. As you might have a large number of participants, you can drag out the raffle by eliminating 5 or 10 tickets each day. Post the eliminated numbers on Facebook. Keep doing so until one ticket remains.
You can add an extra twist – and boost your revenue – by giving participants the option to pay to have their ticket thrown back in the pot. The bigger the pot, the more people will want to buy back in. When you’ve reached your goal, you can halt the buybacks and work your way down to a winner.
Check out our Ultimate School Fundraising Guide for even more tips, tricks, and helpful hacks to help make your high school fundraiser the most memorable and profitable yet!