Fundraising Ideas and Tips
Our Clubs and Organizations are very active and provide a wide variety activities for club members. Student Life and Athletic Programs realizes that some activities cost more than the budget of the club.
Raising funds is a creative and engaging way can be a challenge for members. To assist you, we have compiled a list of event ideas that clubs may want to try out.
We suggest you connect with the Student Life and Athletic Programs Office, Rollins Student Center, Room 112 or the Upper Bucks Director or Lower Bucks Director about ideas to generate club dollars.
Club leadership can call Student Life and Athletic Programs at 215-968-8257, or email us questions or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can run a raffle with virtually any prize. You will need to promote it well before the day of the event, and then again in the hours right before it is set to run.
Student Life can help you come up with ideas for what event would best suit your club, as well as how to promote it so that it can be a success. Some common raffle themed events include:
- 50/50 Raffles Sell tickets, and then take half of the proceeds for the club and half goes to the winner of the raffle.
- Raffle off a Prize: Purchase a prize or get one donated and sell chances to win.
Getting people involved often means bringing out their competitive spirit. What better way to do this than to plan an event centered on games or tournaments?
With these types of events, a theme should be selected around which the games can be centered. Themes could be anything, but should be related in some way to a club’s area of expertise. Some game based events that have found success in the past include:
- Night at the Races Gather people for a night of horseracing, indoors! Old footage of actual horse races with announcers doing commentary can be shown, with any number of variations on how to raise money. One way would be to keep track of who picked winners in each race and give prizes out at the end. An entry fee for all participants can help raise funds for the club
- Bingo Everyone has played Bingo at some point in their lives. Perhaps couple this game with a larger event and purchase prizes for the winner of each round.
- Field Day Build some school spirit by organizing a Field Day of outside sporting events on a nice day. Tug-of-war, obstacle courses, Sumo wrestling suits, high jump, and countless other events could be done. Think of it as an Olympics for your school, and your club is the sponsor! This event is great for getting publicity for a newly formed club or can be an inexpensive event to do as a reward for accomplishing a club’s goal.
- Tournaments This can take any form your club wants it to take, whether that be board games, video games, races, or athletic events. Whatever gets your club members and others excited is the goal. Most tournaments ask for an entry fee and this goes a long way towards generating money for your club.
Sales are perhaps the most common method that clubs utilize when trying to raise funds, and for good reason. They are easy to carry out, requires little set up, and can be done several times a year. Bake sales are always a favorite, but don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd by selling other items, such as:
- Gourmet lollipops
- T-shirts with your club’s logo
- “Going Green” recycled material products
- CFL light bulbs
- Hershey kisses with optional love note tags attached
Service based fundraisers require little more than a good idea and some elbow grease. Club members are the likeliest people you can recruit, but if you pick something inspiring then others will join in as well. A charity walk for cancer research, for example, can get tons of support and donations to give to a non-profit as your club’s community service project. Other examples include:
- Car wash
- Raking leaves
- Outdoor Movie Night
- Dances / Dance-a-thon
- BBQ contest
- Shave the head/moustache/beard of a beloved (and willing!) professor
- Kissing Booth
Other Ideas (Originated from Juniata College Campus Life)
- Jellybean count: Fill a jar with jellybeans and have people pay to guess how many there are in the jar.
- Dress-down day: Charge faculty and administrators who wants to participate. Make certain that you ask permission of Human Resources, first.
- Band and choir concerts: Ask a Juniata band to donate their time by performing a benefit concert for your cause. Charge admission for the event.
- Walk-a-thon: Choose a date and a route, make up some pledge forms, and advertise with posters. Have participants gather donations or pledges using their pledge forms.
- Bag groceries: Ask a local grocery store if you can bag people’s groceries for donations. Be certain to put up a sign saying what the money supports.
- Skip-a-thon (row-a-thon, see-saw-a-thon): Choose a date, create pledge forms, and advertise. Have participants gather donations or pledges using their pledge forms, then participate in the activity.
- Raffles: Sell tickets and keep ticket stubs. On the date of the draw, have someone close his or her eyes and pick a ticket stub from all the ones that were sold. Do this publicly. The winner receives a prize.
- Auction: Have individuals, groups and businesses donate goods and services. Be creative in what you can auction off and make certain that the goods and services are sold at reasonable prices.
- Perform a free service for donations: Rake leaves, shovel snow, take care of a pet. When offering your service, ask the person who benefited from your actions for a donation toward your worthy cause.
- Sell candy, cards, etc.: Work with reputable businesses that provide merchandise you can sell. Be sure at least half of the money raised goes to your cause.
- Winter carnival or bazaar: Hold a winter carnival or bazaar. Invite students, staff, and the community. Charge admission and/or a small fee to play games.
- Carnival day: Host a mini carnival, with games, prizes and popcorn, in a local park or your own backyard. Charge admission and/or a small fee to play games.
- Spelling Bee, Trivial Pursuit, Checkers, Scrabble, Twister: Have participants and spectators pay to participate and the winner receives a prize. You cannot charge admission for Poker Games as that would violate Gambling Policies.
- Battle of the Bands: Gather some bands from your local community. Book a venue and advertise with posters, flyers, and radio announcements. Hold a mini concert in which the audience chooses the winning band.
- Pitch-a-thon: Rent a radar gun and measure how fast people can throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball. Charge $1 per try and give a prize to the fastest individual.
- Sell buttons or t-shirts displaying your logo.
- Puppet Show: Make puppets with socks, felt and other craft materials. Pick out or write a story. Set a date, time, and location. Advertise with flyers and posters. Sell tickets in advance and at the door. Advertise to the local elementary school and day care facilities.
- Spaghetti Dinner: Prepare a great dinner for students or community members and charge a fee.
- Hold a Theme Party: Decide on a fun theme. Charge an entrance fee, but be sure to explain to people what their cover charge is going towards.
- Plant Trees: Ask a nursery for seedling donations and then get people to sponsor a tree.
- Pledges: Gather pledges to have dance-a-thons, rock-a-thons, or any other type of endurance contest you can think of.
- Day of Community Service: Gather together a group of friends, and contact a number of organizations for which you would be interested in volunteering. Then have people sponsor you to do community service for 24 hours.
- Food Fast: Get together with a group of friends, gather pledges, and fast for a full 24 hours.
- Piñata Contest: Charge a fee to have each blindfolded person have one turn at trying to break a candy-filled piñata.
- Craft Sale: Make all the crafts yourself and sell them.
- Family Barbecue: Host a family barbecue with games and activities.
- Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament: Organize a basketball tournament in your school with the winning team receiving a prize. This can also be done with soccer, tennis, badminton, volleyball, or any other sport.
- Swim-a-thon: Get sponsors for the number of laps you swim.
- Beat the Goalie: Pick the best hockey or soccer goalie you know and invite people to try to score a goal for a prize. Every participant has to pay to play.
- Bingo: Host a bingo night at a local hall, place of worship, or school.
- Plant Sale: Organize a plant sale with plants donated by local nurseries.
- Boat Race: Organize a model boat race on a body of water. Charge a participant/spectator entrance fee. The winner of the race gets a prize.
- Fruit Stand: Get permission to go to local farms and pick fruit to sell. Sell the produce in high-traffic areas or at community festivals.
- Book (used book) Sale: Ask all your friends, relatives, and teachers to donate their old books. Advertise your book sale by means of posters and flyers. Set up a table and sell books. If there are leftovers, you can always give them to a needy library, shelter, or school.
- Bowling: Organize a bowling night or a competition. Charge everyone a small fee to enter or have participants get bowl-a-thon pledges.
- Buy a Brick: If you are fundraising to build a school or building, have people make donations to purchase bricks.
- Coupon Sale: Have coupon books donated by local businesses, and then sell them to students and adults. You can also contact Sheetz.
- International Dinner: Have people from various ethnic origins cook traditional foods, and then charge admission to an international dinner.
- Balloon Pop: Before filling a balloon with air or helium, put a note inside. Have a certain number of the notes worth a prize. Have people buy balloons and pop them in the hope of getting the prize. Be sure to pick up the broken balloons afterwards.
- Scavenger Hunt: Set a route and make a list of items that the participants need to find in order to win. Advertise your scavenger hunt well and charge everyone a small fee to participate. The winning person/group gets a prize.
- Car Wash: With a group of friends, set up a car wash in the parking lot of your school, church, or public area. (Be sure to ask for permission and make sure that people are careful of moving cars).
- Hug-a-gram: Advertise a hug for a dollar. Have people buy a hug for a friend. After a member of your group gives the hug to the designated person, give them a small card with a message from the person who sent the hug. (You could do the same idea, but have the Juniata College Eagle give the hugs).
- Charity Ball: Hire a DJ or a band, rent a hall, advertise, and sell tickets for a dance.
- Holiday Ornament Sale: Sell ornaments during the holiday season.
- Classic Car Show: Organize a classic automobile show. Invite people to attend and to bring their cars by placing ads in local newspapers, leaving flyers at local businesses, and charging people to come and see the show.
- Miniature Golf: Build a nine-hole miniature golf course at your school, featuring ramps, water and sand traps, and other obstacles. Charge people to play a round during lunch.
- Bench-a-thon: Have people bench press weights in the school gym and collect pledges for every pound they lift. Make sure all participants have spotters.
- Clearing Snow: Shovel snow from people’s driveways and walkways in the winter months for a donation.
- Monopoly Match: Have a group of students play a Monopoly tournament with the winner receiving a prize.
- Guess the age of your teacher: Organize an event in which students pay to guess the age of your teacher. Obtain approval from your teacher first, however.
- Hoopla: The competitor throws hoops over prizes. The person whose hoop completely lands over the prize gets to keep the award. Make sure you do not spend too much money on prizes.
- Pumpkin-decorating Contest: Around Halloween, hold a pumpkin-decorating contest among different grades of homerooms.
- Debate Evening: Research a number of debate issues and invite various community members to debate issues. Charge the audience to come and watch. The issues can be fun.
- Dog Show: Invite faculty and staff to show off their dogs in a show. Make it a competition that people pay to enter, and offer a prize for the best groomed dog, most- and least-obedient dog, and so on.
- Talent Auction: Auction off the talents of people. For instance, great singers offer to sing at a wedding, party, or special event.
- Duck Race: Sell numbered plastic ducks. Set all the ducks afloat in a race on a river. The person who bought the duck that wins the race gets a prize.
- Comedy Hour: Host a comedy skit during lunch at your school and charge people to attend.
- Nacho Party: Plan a morning to make nachos and popcorn, which can be sold during lunch.
- Eating Marathon: Have a pie eating, hot-dog eating, or ice cream-eating contest. You can charge people to participate or to watch, or you can make all participants obtain pledges.
- Ugly tie, worst hair-do, best mismatched outfit: Have the students come to an event, dinner, or a sports game where the vote will take place. Provide a price to the winner.
- Flower Show: Invite gardeners from your community to enter their flowers in a competition for a prize. Ask volunteer experts to be judges and charge all participants and spectators a fee.
- Calendar Sale: Create a calendar highlighting the projects and members of your organization, and sell it to students and their family members.
- Sports Tournament/Fitness Competition: Organize a sports tournament or fitness competition. Advertise well and charge spectators to come and watch groups compete. You may need to have medical personnel on hand.
- Art Sale: Have local artists donate some of their works, which will be displayed and then sold to the public.
- Game Show: Recreate one or more of your favorite game shows and charge contestants a small entrance fee. Sell tickets to the audience.
- Gardening: Tend the garden of a neighbor, a local store, or community park for a donation.
- Karaoke: Rent a karaoke machine, sell tickets or charge an admission fee, and sing all night.
- Videos: Make and sell How-To videos; for example, how to improve your golf swing, or how to make crafts.
- Kilometers of Coins: Gather donations of coins (pennies, dimes, or quarters) and lay them side-by-side until they stretch out to be a kilometer long. Alternatively, surround your gym, library, or parking lot with the coins.
- Recipe Book: Gather together favorite recipes and put them together in a book. Sell the book through your school, sports organization, or community center. Try to get the photocopying donated by local businesses.
- Henna Hand Art: Find out if any members of your group know how to apply henna (Indian hand art), which can be applied to people in your school for a fee.
- Walk Dogs: Love pets? Try walking dogs every day for a fee.
- Toy Sale: Hold a toy sale. The best season for this is just prior to Christmas.
- Triathlon: Set a course of running, cycling, and swimming. Have participants get pledges to compete to win prizes.
- Lemonade Stand: Make lemonade, post signs, and sell it on a hot day.
- February: Sell red carnations for Valentine’s Day.
- May: Mother’s Day sale.
- June: Father’s Day sale
- September: Back-to-School supplies sale.
- October: Halloween party; pumpkin sales; Thanksgiving turkey raffle.
- December: Gift-wrapping service.
- Babysitting Evening - promote as great time for parents to have alone time!
- Babysitting during worship services.
- Babysitting during PTA meetings, Open House, Meet the Teacher Night (contact the local secondary schools to arrange this service).
- Garage Sale.
- Concession Stand: Purchase products at Sam’s Club and get in a high visibility, high traffic, high demand spot. Perhaps at major event!
- Raffle: Could be a quilt, a special item like jewelry, day of beauty.
- Pancake Breakfast: Some companies will offer the equipment for free; others will give you the product necessary to make the pancakes. Hold first day of hunting season or cold winter day!
- Breakfast in Bed: Clubs provide breakfast in bed for participants (or tents if you do this during Madrigal)
- Cake Walk: Auction off cakes.
- Gourmet Cooking School: Hold a cooking class and charge an entrance fee.
- Submarine Sandwich Sale.
- Singing Telegrams: Hopefully with someone who has a great voice!
- Sports Clinics.
- Call Burger King or McDonalds and arrange a benefit night where your organization gets a cut of the night’s profit.
- Tutor students at the local schools.
- Apply for a grant.
- During finals give massages for a small fee.