Encouraging high school students to raise money for charity, school-related causes, individual students, teachers, or the school itself can be a fun, engaging lesson in the importance of working hard, and being rewarded for it. Even if the fundraising event is fun, it still takes a lot of individual effort and collaboration to put one together, so no matter which choice you go with, it’s a win for everybody involved.
In this guide, you’ll find a selection of high school fundraising ideas for all kinds of purposes, and for schools and families of all kinds of budget ranges. Hopefully, you’ll find something applicable to your specific cause, and possible for you, your child, or your students to organize.
You can find a host of additional fundraising ideas in this post as a supplement to this one.
Raising Money For the School
If the goal of your fundraiser is to raise money for a school-oriented purpose, like purchasing more books for the library, obtaining new computer software, hardware, or other learning materials for classrooms, and so on, it only makes sense to have your fundraiser reflect this goal. The following high school fundraising ideas can help you raise money for school-related materials and services, while sticking to the spirit of education.
- Used Electronics Donation
A lot of people have old phones, laptops, CDs and DVDs, outdated VCRs, DVD players, and old video game consoles lying around that they might not use, or ever need to use, again. Having families of students donate their used technology to be sold by the school could mean turning one person’s junk into a brand new PC for the school library!
Most of the time, used electronics are not worth a lot, so spreading this fundraiser out to the general community, allowing the entire city (and not just families of the school’s students) to donate could result in a lot more revenue for the school.
For ideas on where to sell used electronics, check out this course on selling items on eBay and Amazon.
- Spelling Bee For Literacy
Are the shelves of your school library looking a little bare? Raise funds to purchase new books for students with a spelling bee event. You can charge a couple bucks a ticket for students who want to enter, serve food to attract more people, and allow the winner of the spelling bee to choose the book they want the school to purchase. (You can have the student pick from a predetermined list of books to prevent any issues.) To add extra motivation, you can invest in prizes, or have prizes donated, to be rewarded to the winning student.
You might think spelling bees are for younger children, since spelling shouldn’t be a struggle for most high school students, but that isn’t necessarily true. Schools with students who speak English as a second language, or even schools where the quality of education is low, might not see spelling bees as easy as others. This event can be a way to raise money for more educational materials, to strengthen the quality of learning at the school, and a way to encourage students to pursue their studies independently and with self-motivation.
Check out this course on basic ESL learning essentials or this course on American English spelling rules for an overview of the sorts of educational approaches you can take to improve your child or students’ learning experience.
Low income or not, unmotivated students is an epidemic across the education system in America. A fundraiser like this, or any number of fun, student-run fundraisers can be a major boost to student motivation.
- Dunk Tank or Publicity Stunt
Not all school-related fundraisers need to be directly related, thematically, to the funds being raised. There are loads of silly ideas out there that high school students will love to participate in, like the infamous dunk tank, or any number of publicity stunt, that can be pulled off by the school’s principal or a popular teacher on campus.
The gist of this fundraiser is that a well-known or otherwise popular staff member for the school promises to partake in a stunt if a certain number of funds are raised. The stunts can be listed on the school’s bulletin board – anything from shaving their head, wearing something funny to school, or being dunked in a dunk tank in front of everyone – with students paying $1 to vote on which stunt they want the faculty member to do.
Votes can be submitted multiple times by students, encouraging multiple votes and not putting a cap on the amount of money that can come in. You can also add bonus incentives. For instance: the student to raise the most amount of money will get to be the one to trigger the dunk tank on the day of the stunt.
Raising Money For a Charity
Some schools might assign students with the task of running a fundraiser to earn money for a charity of their choice, and then do a project on their experience. This is usually done in government classes, where students learn the value of volunteer work and what it means to make money.
As a teacher or a parent, there are a lot of inspiring ideas you can pass on to students that will help them make most out of the experience, while still allowing them the freedom and responsibility of running the fundraiser for themselves.
- Pay to Volunteer
For this fundraiser, students can organize an entire day around doing volunteer work, where they plan the events of the day, the organization they will volunteer for, and maybe even write a keynote. They will be responsible for marketing the event to other students, and collecting the entrance fee to participate in the event.
An example would be picking up litter. The student can pick a time and a location where they will gather other students to pick up trash and clean the environment, either on their own or as part of a volunteer organization that the student can collaborate with. The student can work with their parents or a teacher to organize for transportation to the volunteer site, and to a break site where the students can have free lunch (provided by the school) and reflect on what they’re learning.
The student can take the funds earned from the entrance fees and donate them to a related charity. This will teach students the benefits of hard work, and how volunteering to help your community is worth more than money. It’s important to teach young high school students qualities like responsibility and ambition, as outlined in this course on young entrepreneurship.
- Raffle Tickets For Charity
One of the easiest fundraisers to run, the school purchases (or has donated) a list of prizes, and charges money for raffle tickets. Students pay to be entered into the drawing and win the prizes. This idea can be applied to non-charity fundraisers too. If that’s the case, the only thing that needs to really be taken into account when planning this fundraiser is making sure a profit is made. You wouldn’t want the school to pay money for prizes that they don’t earn back! Some basic calculations can be done to prevent this.
If it is for a charity event, though, the school can simply buy the prizes themselves, and use the event to promote the charity during student’s lunch breaks, with mini announcements and mini raffles throughout the week, to maintain people’s interest in participating.
Raising money for the school or a charity is a great way to teach kids about responsibility. You can also check out this course on classroom management that encourages responsibility.