Need to raise some quick bucks for a school, church, or club-related event? Maybe you and some friends want to pitch in to a charity, or crowdfund a small project. Whatever your need for raising money, doing it in a group and having a little fun with it can make the donation process an exciting and unifying one, plus help raise awareness for your cause or campaign.
So grab some friends or family, and check out this list of easy fundraising ideas. You’re bound to find one that fits your needs. If you’re in a hurry and need to make money now, consider this course on jump starting an emergency fund.
#1 – Guess the amount
Everyone likes a friendly competition, and one of the easiest ways to implement this into the fundraising process is with a good old fashioned jelly bean count. You can substitute any other candy, toys, or other small object for jellybeans, but jellybeans tend to be the popular choice because of their size and relative cheapness in large quantities.
The only downside to this campaign is sitting there and counting out the exact amount of jellybeans, but it can be a fun activity for younger children who are good with numbers.
To raise money with this method, you simply fill up the jar with jellybeans, and have people pay for tickets to guess the amount. Whoever is closest to the total wins a prize – usually the jar of jellybeans, which saves you money buying additional prizes! This is an easy fundraising idea for school, preferably students of a younger age bracket.
#2 – Raise money, pull off a stunt
Another great one for schools, this time of all ages, students and faculty can pitch in money for someone to do something daring, unusual, or funny – shave their head, dye their hair, get dropped into a dunk tank, wear something silly to work, etc.
Of course, this fundraising idea requires the consent of that person first, who should generally be the spokesperson for the fundraiser, or at least a major figure who people would find amusement in pranking.
To make this fundraising idea work, organizers should set tiers so that even low amounts pay off for donors. For instance, if the school is trying to raise $1000, they can encourage students to raise $100 for the principal to come to school dressed as a clown. At $500, the principal will dye her hair blue. At $1000, she’ll shave her head.
Again, make sure the person agrees to this, that activities are in good taste, and that no rules or regulations are broken! The goal is to make it fun for everyone.
#3 – Host a cook off
This is a great fundraising idea to get the community involved in a real, substantial way, rather than just as passive onlookers. It’s easy to host, but perhaps a little more difficult to organize.
Basically, you’ll have a few volunteers or local chefs offer to cook something that most people can enjoy, such as pizza, chili, or desserts. This would be an actual event, where participants get to watch the chefs cook, outdoors if possible, while materials for your fundraising campaign or charity are passed out, discussed, or presented.
When the meals are ready, participants can donate to try each one, and vote on the best. This idea includes free entertainment for participants, volunteered prizes (the food), and a tempting way to get people to donate!
Need help deciding what contestants should cook? Spaghetti is a popular choice – learn how to cook different types of pasta in this Italian cooking course. If you’re worried about leaving people out, considering checking out a dish or two from this vegan and vegetarian cooking course.
#4 – Volunteer car wash
Is it getting hot outside? Volunteer car washes are a popular and easy fundraising idea, generally for high school students as they’re more capable of it than younger children. You’ll have to coordinate with a local car wash for this one, or the owner of a parking lot or other large space that you can hold the car wash at. In fact, what better place than the school’s parking lot?
Students will have to volunteer to wash cars, as well as stand on street corners advertising the car wash, and parents and faculty will need to supervise. This can be a fun way to raise money, and a good thing for younger students building volunteer experience to put on their resumes.
#5 – Neighborhood chores
This is a great way for students aged 12 to 18 to learn discipline and work ethic, while gaining experience and earning money they can put towards a good cause. Teaching young people the ambition, responsibility, marketing of skills, and financial know-how of entrepreneurship at an early age will help them be more successful later on, which you can learn more about in this class on encouraging entrepreneurship in children.
With the help of a parent, students can put up flyers for their services – which can include mowing the lawn, raking leaves, gardening, painting, washing cars, babysitting, or whatever else the student and parent are comfortable with – around the neighborhood, with an email address or phone number included, and their rates.
People can pay volunteers to do their chores, the volunteer student can save that money for their fundraiser or charity, while gaining valuable work experience, and everyone wins!
Everyone should be paid for hard work done on their own time, so it should be fair for students to take out a percentage of the pay for themselves. Unlike the student car wash, this work is a personal undertaking and not a school-wide event. Plus, it’s a good way to encourage students to work for their earnings, and raise cash for a good cause.
#6 – Community classes
Hold a community-wide class for skills like painting, knitting, sign language – something fun and/or relevant to your cause – and charge an entrance fee for students. Bring in volunteer teachers who are experts in their field, and willing to teach for free.
Make sure to use the event to promote your cause, rather than tricking people into paying for something they might not support!