50+ Elementary School Fundraising Ideas to Be Inspired By

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From school librarians to PTA fundraising coordinators, everyone affiliated with a K-12 institution knows how important fundraising is for their school. This is especially true for elementary schools, where students need as much attention as possible to create a strong foundation for the rest of their learning journeys. 

Money you raise during fundraisers can be used to purchase important educational resources, engage with your community, and invest in well-rounded after-school programs like sports and clubs. Plus, when you get kids involved with fundraising opportunities, they can learn valuable lessons about hard work, perseverance, and teamwork. 
We understand how essential these financial and learning objectives are for your school. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 50+ engaging, fun, and out-of-the-box elementary school fundraisers to inspire your next fundraising campaign. We’ve divided them into the following categories:

With these great elementary school fundraising ideas, you can bring in important revenue for your school to help you engage and educate students!

Read on to discover our favorite elementary school fundraising idea!

Favorite Elementary School Fundraising Idea

1. Read-a-Thon

Discover why read-a-thons are our favorite elementary school fundraising idea!

Of all the fundraising ideas we’ve come up with, read-a-thons will always be our top choice. 

What is a read-a-thon fundraiser? We’re glad you asked. Read-a-thons allow you to raise money by encouraging students to read during short intervals throughout the year. Not only is this fundraiser incredibly easy to host, but it promotes learning and can be carried out during your regular class time—a win-win. 

All you have to do is sign-up using a read-a-thon fundraising platform, promote the fundraiser to students and parents, and set aside a bit of class time for your students to read. The read-a-thon fundraising platform will do the rest, allowing students to log their hours and redeem prizes while parents and grandparents submit donations to reward their progress. 

Read-a-Thon will even provide you with flyers to promote your event and sponsorship packages that encourage local businesses to support your fundraising.

Learn everything you need to know about the Read-a-thon platform!

Sign up for free to access any of our three read-a-thon fundraising packages. With just a few simple clicks, you could be bringing in thousands of dollars in revenue for an activity that your students already do on a daily basis.

Sign up today to start your read-a-thon fundraiser!
Read on to explore our top picks for unique elementary school fundraising ideas!

Unique Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

1. Library Fundraiser

Take a look at our overview and tips for library fundraisers.

If the above read-a-thon fundraiser caught your attention, then a library fundraiser is another reading-centered campaign that you should consider! Library fundraisers are an easy, fun way to support local libraries, encourage students to read, and create a flood of incoming donations. 

You can combine two great fundraising ideas into one by hosting a read-a-thon with your local library, making the perfect library fundraiser.

Or, you might host a book-collection library fundraiser. Think of this event like the perfect match between a booster-thon and a book fair, raising funds while also collecting and sharing books for young students to improve their literacy. 

Your first step is to partner up with the right library fundraising platform, where students can sign up, create a donation page with a wish list of books, and reach out to family and friends to donate. Students will be rewarded with books on their wish-lists based on donations raised, with platforms such as Love My Library even giving students a free book just for participating. 

Most of the work is done directly on the platform, and you get to keep a majority of the profits. Just promote your event and get readers and their families onto your library fundraising platform, and the software will do the rest. 

If you want to begin your own library fundraiser, Love My Library is a platform uniquely suited to this fundraising type. Sign up for free to launch your next fundraiser, support your local community, and foster your students’ love of reading! 

Find out how Love My Library's web platform can help to launch your next library fundraiser!

2. Shoe Drive

Take a look at our overview and tips for shoe drive fundraisers.

Shoe drive fundraisers are a great way to repurpose shoes, turning a profit from the forgotten sneakers in your donors’ closets. This local, cost-effective fundraiser can work for any fundraising organization, but it pairs especially well with elementary school fundraising. After all, your students are going to be outgrowing a lot of shoes!

Simply place collection boxes around your school and partner with a shoe drive organization or a shoe drive fundraising coordinator to kick off this in-kind donation drive. You can trade in donors’ new and gently used shoes for a check from a third-party seller. 

3. Book Club

Take a look at our overview and tips for book club fundraisers.

Here at Read-a-Thon, we take reading very seriously— after all, it’s a basic building block of learning for your young students! Book clubs are yet another out-of-the-box way to encourage reading, foster a sense of community, and bring in funds for your institution. 

You can host these events for your elementary school students, parents, or both! Book clubs are for everyone, and the rules, activities, and schedules of your club are entirely up to you. Just ask members for a small donation to join, which they can submit in person or through your online donation form.

Then, just pick a meeting spot, kick back, and enjoy reading and discussing your favorite books together!

4. Discount Cards

Take a look at our overview and tips for discount card fundraisers.

From read-a-thons to shoe drive fundraisers, some of the most successful fundraising types are those that play off of something your donors are already doing, like reading for school or getting rid of old clothes. 

Discount card fundraisers empower your students’ parents and other family members to shop for a cause while shopping for clothes or eating out. Collaborate with local shops to create a mutually beneficial fundraiser where every card sale for them means a percentage of profit for you. 

You can either contact discount card businesses and take advantage of their pre-made discount card programs, or create your own program by leveraging partnerships with organizations around the community.

5. Food Truck Day

Take a look at our overview and tips for food truck fundraisers.

No one can turn down a good food truck event. Break out this creative school fundraising idea to bring together your wider community with the promise of good food and a day of fun. 

This fundraising event pairs well with other fundraisers, such as funfairs, field days, and other outdoor activities. Just reach out to your local food truck vendors and ask to receive a percentage of their profits during your special fundraising campaign. Alternatively, you could sell parking spots to these vendors to sell food on and around your school property. 

6. Rubber Ducky Race

Take a look at our overview and tips for rubber ducky race fundraisers.

This elementary school fundraiser is actually a two-in-one. 

On one hand, you could take the rubber ducky race literally— purchase little rubber duckies for all of your students and participants, send the duckies down a real river or artificial stream you’ve rented, and give the winner a prize! This could be a part of a larger fundraiser, like a school carnival or game night, and donors would pay to play. 
On the other hand, you could opt for a digital rubber ducky race. Pick a few different projects you’d like to fund for the school year, create a custom donation page that displays each project as a rubber ducky, and watch them race until the winning project reaches its monetary finish line!

7. School Concert

Take a look at our overview and tips for school concert fundraisers.

Take advantage of the talent around your community (or even within your own school!) to put on the ultimate kid-friendly concert. 

Do a bit of talent scouting in your local area, asking community members, local artists, and even faculty and staff if they’d like to join your night of fun and music by playing (kid-appropriate!) songs in your school’s auditorium. 

You can theme this event depending on the time of year and pair it with bigger initiatives like a talent show or school festival. Just be sure to collect a small entry fee as participants pick up their tickets. On top of that, you can profit from the event even further with a concession stand or branded event merchandise. 

8. 50/50 Raffle

Take a look at our overview and tips for 50/50 raffles fundraisers.

Half the hassle of a typical raffle is that you have to run around looking for prizes that your students and their families and friends would actually want to bet on. That’s not the case with this raffling event. The prize is 50% of the money raised from selling tickets for the raffle. 

The other half of the revenue will go straight toward your school, a lump sum that can total in the thousands, depending on the price of tickets and how heavily you promote the raffle. 

Pair this fundraiser with a bigger event, such as a game night, to maximize its effectiveness and engage your school’s families and community members!

9. Box Tops

Take a look at our overview and tips for box top fundraisers.

Box Tops are a tried and true, creative elementary school fundraising campaign that will never go out of style. From boxes of cereal to their favorite fruit snacks, students are unwittingly surrounded by Box Tops on a daily basis. 

In the past, students would have had to cut out these cardboard stickers by hand and bring them to school. However, technology has made this fundraiser easier than ever. Now students and parents can just scan their receipt with the Box Tops app and the money will go right to your school!

10. Family Picture Day

Take a look at our overview and tips for family picture day fundraisers.

If you’re racking your brain trying to think of school fundraisers that will bring together parents and students, look no further than a family picture day. 

Your school already has the infrastructure and contacts in place to run a normal yearbook picture day, so organizing a picture day for your school’s families shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Promote the event heavily to parents and hire a professional photographer, giving families the opportunity to take fun, classy, or serious family photos at a reasonable price. 

Your photographer will take a percentage of the proceeds, but you can manage a team of volunteers to help facilitate the event and ensure that your school is bringing in the most revenue possible. 

11. Costume Contest

Take a look at our overview and tips for costume contest fundraisers.

From Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day to random Throwback Thursdays throughout the year, there’s always time for a costume contest. 

Ask students to pay a small fee to wear a costume to school on these special days, giving them a badge, a sticker, or another small indicator to signify that they’re official participants. Once their payments have been submitted, they’re free to compete in their classroom’s costume contest! 

Students can vote for their favorite costumes (though they can’t vote for themselves!) and the most creative, wackiest, and well-constructed costumes can win small prizes. 

12. Hay Rides

Take a look at our overview and tips for hay ride fundraisers.

Fall is the perfect time to break out this fun, seasonal fundraiser and engage entire families from your elementary school!

First, rent a few trailers and ask parents to volunteer their cars so that your designated drivers can pull these vehicles around on the big day. You can then fill the trailers with hay and decorate them to match the spirit of the season or the theme of your event. 

Finally, invite kids and community members to pay a small fee to ride in the back of these trailers, enjoying a thrilling and beautiful scenic drive around your local area.

Read on to explore our top picks for product elementary school fundraising ideas!

Product Fundraising Ideas for Elementary Schools

1. Face Mask Fundraiser

Take a look at our overview and tips for face mask fundraisers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a big obstacle for many elementary school fundraisers, temporarily suspending the possibility of hosting their usual, in-person events. But that hasn’t been enough to deter school fundraising teams— online-friendly fundraisers like read-a-thons or virtual raffles have helped some schools to bring in even more money than ever before. 

Face mask fundraisers are yet another way that you can make lemons into lemonade, using the challenges of the pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen your school fundraising program!

Create a custom face mask branded to your school. You can then sell this functional spirit wear to students, parents, and community members to show school pride and promote health and safety among your supporters. 

2. T-Shirt Fundraiser

Take a look at our overview and tips for t-shirt fundraisers.

Speaking of school spirit, t-shirts are a great product fundraising tool to encourage school pride, create wearable promotions for your school, and bring in a steady stream of donations. 

Partner with local businesses or seek out a professional product fundraising service to create custom t-shirts for your school, special school events, or specific clubs and programs. Buy these items in bulk and just like that you have a reliable, year-round fundraiser. 

On top of that, you can sell t-shirts as merchandise at other fundraising events or school programs, like special t-shirts for your field day or even t-shirts to show appreciation for your volunteers

3. School Calendars

Take a look at our overview and tips for school calendar fundraisers.

You can never go wrong with a school calendar sale. This is a classic product fundraiser that allows you to create a sense of community between your school’s different families by sharing important photos throughout your students’ year. 

Student art, photos of faculty and staff, and pictures of events and areas around your school are just a few of the images that you could share for each month in the calendar. 

Additionally, you can also note important school events in your calendars, such as reminders for picture day or notes about upcoming fundraisers. 

Sell these calendars to students and parents to create a heart-warming reminder of your times together as a school community!

4. Cookie Dough Fundraiser

Take a look at our overview and tips for cookie dough fundraisers.

Cookie dough is an irresistible treat that may just be the key to your next product fundraiser’s success! Cookie dough fundraisers can be themed with seasonal flavors, such as snickerdoodle and gingersnap for the winter holidays, or run on a more continuous basis with classic flavors like chocolate chip. 

Partner with a cookie dough fundraising organization or a cookie dough business to begin rolling out this delicious fundraising campaign. They will not only provide you with the dough, but they may also share brochures and marketing materials to maximize the success of this initiative.

Once you have your dough, ask students to pass out brochures and order sheets to their neighbors, friends, and family!

5. Lollipop Sales

Take a look at our overview and tips for lollipop sale fundraisers.

Lollipops are cheap, easy to carry, and easy to sell. Purchase wholesale lollipops from a reputable vendor and then ask students or parents volunteers to help sell your product to friends and family! 

You will be surprised at how quickly sales will build up for these small, sweet treats. And to incentivize students to spread the word about your fundraiser, you can offer different rewards based on funds raised, such as individual prizes, food, class parties, or game days and other fun activities.

6. Car Decals

Take a look at our overview and tips for car decal fundraisers.

In the same vein as branded t-shirts and custom face masks, car decals are yet another way to rally up a bit of school spirit among your students and parents!

You can sell branded (and even personalized!) car decals so that parents can proudly promote your school and their children wherever they go. In fact, you could even take your decal fundraiser to the next level and engage your participants by holding a design contest for one version of the decals. 

You can sell these decals outright, add them to the online store on your school website, or even give them out as prizes within your other fundraisers!

7. Used Book Sale

Take a look at our overview and tips for used book sale fundraisers.

With your elementary school students rapidly moving up to new reading levels, it’s more than likely that they’ve accumulated a stack or two of books they’ll soon need to get rid of. Introduce a used book fundraiser to your school to make good use of the books your students have grown out of! 

Set up collection bins around your school where students and families can donate their used books. They can then be sold at a school book sale or used book fair, with your books separated into different genres and grade levels for your readers’ convenience.

8. Coffee Beans

Take a look at our overview and tips for coffee bean fundraisers.

A coffee bean fundraiser might seem like a strange idea for an elementary school fundraiser— after all, how many elementary schoolers do you know that drink coffee? But while your students may not drink coffee, you can bet their parents do! 

Sell coffee beans to sleepy parents to keep them on their toes. You can promote this fundraiser through email blasts and take-home brochures given to their students. Plus, this is a great fundraising opportunity for your PTA! Leverage its extensive parent network and parent volunteers to promote your coffee sale and get maximum results.

9. Holiday Decor Sales

Take a look at our overview and tips for holiday decor sale fundraisers.

‘Tis the season to lend a helping hand to your school— sell seasonal decor to your students’ families to get them ready for the holidays!

You might open up donation drives for used decorations and re-sell them, or even recruit volunteers among your parents and staff to create these decorations. However, our favorite choice is to have students make decorations, such as tree ornaments, during dedicated arts and crafts lessons. This will make your decor far more valuable and personal than if they had been made through other means.

Then it’s simply a matter of opening sales for your decorations and promoting these handmade products to parents!

Read on to explore our top picks for quick and easy elementary school fundraising ideas!

Quick and Easy Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

1. Make a Snake

Take a look at our overview and tips for make a snake fundraisers.

Make a snake fundraisers are an exceptionally easy way to engage your students. 

Encourage a bit of friendly competition between students by dividing each class into its own team. Students will all bring in cash donations and line up their dollars and coins up in the hallways to “make a snake.” The longest “snake” of donations wins, getting a physical or experiential prize, such as an ice cream day. 

2. Dog Wash

Take a look at our overview and tips for dog wash fundraisers.

Turn your next school fundraiser into an easy, pop-up pet grooming business with this fundraising event!

Invite families to bring in their dogs for bath time. For a small washing fee, your team of volunteers will scrub up, wash, and groom their pets. 

Most of the work required for the dog wash will be taken care of by your donors and volunteers. All you need to do is provide some space in your parking lot or blacktop, set up a cash and card payment station, and break out the plastic bins, water, and no-tear soap. 

3. PJ Day

Take a look at our overview and tips for pajama day fundraisers.

It may be tricky to get your young students to sell products or remember to bring in donations,  but a pajama day is a fun, memorable activity that your students won’t be likely to forget! 

Before the big day, students should be asked to pay a small amount (typically somewhere between $1–$5) for the privilege of wearing their PJs to school. 

You can incorporate this into a broader costume week or even host this during special seasons, like a “Polar Express Pajama Day” that encourages kids to dress up and get into the holiday spirit!

4. Penny Drive

Take a look at our overview and tips for penny drive fundraisers.

Along with learning to tell the time and leveling up their reading skills, knowing the value of coins and how to add their value together is a basic part of your elementary school students’ curriculum. 

Penny drives can easily be incorporated into these lesson plans! Give each class a jar dedicated to their “team.” Then ask students to bring coins from home to put in their own jar. The number of coins and their value will equal their number of points. For example, 4 quarters, 2 nickels, and a dime is 120 points.

You can increase their donations even further with a “dollar rule”— students can subtract points from their competitors’ total if they put a dollar in their jars. The winning team will get a prize and the collective earnings will go straight to your school!

5. Bake Sale

Take a look at our overview and tips for bake sale fundraisers.

Want to create the perfect PTA fundraiser? One idea is to launch an old-fashioned bake sale. 

Check in with the members of your PTA and their parent network to see if there are any bakers among them. Whether they’re making cookies from scratch or cake from a box recipe, anyone can pitch in, sell their goods at the bake sale event, and raise money for your school.

6. Jelly Bean Count

Take a look at our overview and tips for bake sale fundraisers.

All you need to begin this easy, cheap fundraiser is a jar, a bag of jelly beans, and some papers and pencils. Fill the jar with jelly beans, gather your students around the jar, and ask them to pay a dollar to make a guess. The winner gets all of the jelly beans!

You could always run your jelly bean count manually, with scraps of paper and a donation box. Or you can simplify this fundraiser even further with virtual fundraising tools that can record student guesses, facilitate payments, or help you to easily find the jelly bean count winner. 

7. Teachers in Jail

Take a look at our overview and tips for teachers in jail fundraisers.

Give your students a fixed number of weeks to reach a set monetary goal for a school project. You might ask them to raise enough money to fund a field trip or fix up parts of the school. 

Whatever the goal may be, their reward is the same: when classes: of students raise enough funds, they get to put their teacher (or principal!) in “jail.”

Of course, no one is really getting locked up. In reality, students get a free period, supervised by another faculty member, while their own teacher gets additional planning time (or chooses to spend time in a cardboard jail)!

8. Pie-in-the-Face

Take a look at our overview and tips for pie-in-the-face fundraisers.

Get your teachers involved in your next fundraiser with a pie-in-the-face challenge! Ask your teachers to bravely volunteer to have a pie (or a pie tin full of whipped cream) thrown in their face if their classes raise a certain amount of funds. 

Pair this outrageous fundraising goal with various other fundraisers, like a read-a-thon, a cookie dough fundraiser, or a shoe drive to maximize your revenue. If your students read for enough hours, sell enough cookie dough, or donate enough shoes, their teacher will step up to the pie toss!

9. Candy Grams

Take a look at our overview and tips for candy gram fundraisers.

Candy grams are a time-honored fundraising tradition for many K-12 organizations. Celebrate Valentines’ Day and give your students and staff a way to show appreciation for one another with this heartwarming fundraiser. 

Students, faculty members, and staff can all join in on your candy gram campaign. Participants just have to pay a dollar and a personalized candy gram will be sent to their friends, colleagues, or teachers in another class.

10. Parents’ Night Out

Take a look at our overview and tips for parents' night out fundraisers.

Not every elementary school fundraiser is necessarily centered around your students— some of the best school fundraising ideas are actually catered towards your schools’ parents! 

For example, a parents’ night out fundraiser gives parents the chance to take a night off. Recruit a group of trusted volunteers to babysit parents’ children on a particular day. Then, invite parents to pay a fee to have their kids watched for a certain period of time. Parents will be able to enjoy their free time for a date, event, or opportunity to relax at home!

Read on to explore our top picks for online elementary school fundraising ideas!

Online Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

1. Crowdfunding

Take a look at our overview and tips for crowdfunding fundraisers.

Crowdfunding campaigns involve asking a large number of your supporters to give many small donations to a chosen project. These fundraisers are a great way to drum up a groundswell of support in a short length of time and they can be set up with relative ease. 

Crowdfunding consultation websites like Crowd 101 give a very simple breakdown of what you need to do: 

  1. Partner with a dedicated crowdfunding platform or use your own website. 
  2. Set up a crowdfunding page. 
  3. Ask students and parents to share your page across the web. 

On top of such online-friendly school fundraisers as read-a-thons or library fundraisers, crowdfunding is another easy virtual initiative to raise money for your elementary school!

2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Take a look at our overview and tips for peer-to-peer fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraisers take the work of setting up and promoting your fundraiser right out of your hands. Instead, you can hand over the reins to your supporters. Ask PTA members, staff members, and parents to volunteer to raise funds from their network of friends and family. 

First, they can set up their own donation and fundraising pages and share them with others. Then, they can text the links to each other, use word-of-mouth or even leverage Facebook and other social media platforms to gain the most exposure for your peer-to-peer fundraiser

You could even make it a competition, putting each classroom head-to-head to see which group pulls off the most successful peer-to-peer campaign. 

3. Matching Gifts

Take a look at our overview and tips for matching gifts fundraising programs.

Did you know that over $4-$7 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed each year? 

Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy that companies use to give extra money to deserving causes that their employees have donated to. This means that your donations might just be eligible for matches from donors’ employers. 

Be sure to promote matching gift programs to parents and community members and encourage them to check on their employers’ corporate philanthropy programs. Integrate a matching gift database into your donation form to simplify the process, doubling or even tripling incoming donations with just a few clicks!

4. Text-to-Give Campaign

Take a look at our overview and tips for text-to-give fundraisers.

With mobile use rising every year, a text-to-give campaign can be a great way to raise funds for your elementary school without needing to hold a physical event. 

Post flyers, send email blasts, and review the information in your donor database and school contact lists to reach out to your supporters. Invite parents, staff, and community members to send a specific text code (like “HelpMySchool” or “Dollars4School”) to a special number. Your text-to-give platform should take care of the rest, allowing donors to give to your cause within seconds.

5. Virtual Craft Night

Take a look at our overview and tips for virtual craft night fundraisers.

Virtual craft fundraisers prove that you don’t need to be in the same room to have fun! Students and parents can enjoy this virtual evening of arts and crafts from the comfort of their own homes. 

Provide a craft video tutorial or even a live, guided meeting for students to make a craft at home. You can deliver and pass out materials to your students beforehand or advise them where they can get the right cheap or easy-to-find tools. 

Ask for a small donation as students walk through the online registration page for the event. Once they’ve paid, share the craft video link and they can start making paper bats for Halloween, cardboard Christmas cut-outs, or whatever else your fundraising team imagines!

6. Online Giving Day

Take a look at our overview and tips for online giving fundraisers.

Sometimes a time crunch is exactly what your elementary school fundraiser needs to really encourage donors to give. You can create urgency for your fundraising with a single online giving day for your school, similar to Giving Tuesday

This single, highly promoted event is one of the most lucrative fundraising periods of the entire year for many nonprofits, and your school can use the same strategy to pull in a wave of support!

Whether you have a Facebook fundraising page, a text-to-give number, or a combination of different giving methods, just be sure to promote the big event and give simple instructions to parents and the greater community on how they can give. 

7. Watch Party

Take a look at our overview and tips for watch party fundraisers.

Facebook Watch Party, Teleparty, and other shared streaming platforms make it easier than ever for groups of people to watch movies together. All you have to do is pick out a family-friendly movie for your attendants, schedule a watch time, and create a donation page to collect the “entrance fee.” 

Host a vote for the best kids’ movie to watch and deliver popcorn and other snacks to your registrants to maximize their engagement!

8. Facebook Challenges

Take a look at our overview and tips for Facebook Challenge fundraisers.

Similar to peer-to-peer campaigns, Facebook Challenges are a type of Facebook fundraiser that involve a physical challenge like running X miles or doing X number of jumping jacks in return for pledged donations and exposure to your cause. Students, parents, community members, and other groups of your supporters can start these Challenges on their own, posting their progress and using hashtags and shoutouts to their friends to pass the Challenge on. 

Start your own Facebook Group for supporters to join, then kick off a Challenge yourself or give your supporters the space to start their own campaigns. Give them the tools to start their own donation pages on behalf of your elementary school.

Read on to explore our top picks for elementary school fundraising event ideas!

Fundraising Event Ideas for Elementary Schools

1. Walk-a-Thon

Take a look at our overview and tips for walk-a-thon fundraisers.

While run-a-thons and 5Ks are standard fundraisers for many high schools and businesses, a walk-a-thon is far better suited for an elementary school fundraiser. This event retains the donation potential of a run-a-thon while not putting so much pressure on your young participants. 

Students can collect sponsors among their family and friends to donate for each lap that they walk around your school’s track. Simply set up an event registration and donation page prior to the event, make some space for your parents to cheer from the bleachers or walk with their children, and let the race begin! 

This fundraiser has the added benefit of being highly merchandisable. Sell event t-shirts, wrist bands, water bottles, and snacks to your walkers and their sponsors for maximum revenue. 

2. Art Show

Take a look at our overview and tips for art show fundraisers.

Between their own at-home projects and the arts and crafts opportunities in the classroom, your students probably have a growing collection of art just waiting to be shown. Set aside time for crafting during classes or encourage students to bring art from home to display in your school’s own art show!

Make a night of the event, promoting the opening up of your student gallery with snacks and awards. You can raise funds by selling tickets to parents and families as they line up to see their childrens’ work. 

3. Talent Show

Take a look at our overview and tips for talent show fundraisers.

Your student body is made up of young musicians, magicians, singers, dancers, and artists just waiting for the chance to show off their talents. This elementary school fundraising idea won’t just bring in funds, but shine a spotlight on your students and their unique skills. 

Create a sign-up page inviting students to join the line-up of performers and show off their hidden talents. 

You can not only sell refreshments at the event, but charge a modest ticket fee for attendees who are eager to support the young superstars who make up your school. 

4. Auction

Take a look at our overview and tips for auction fundraisers.

Auctions are one of the most lucrative fundraising opportunities you could host, though they do require a bit of extra planning and consideration to get a strong return on your investment. 

For example, the toughest part of any auction is procuring items that your participants would actually want to bid on. For your elementary school fundraiser, be sure to pick out kid-friendly items and home goods that parents would appreciate. You can bundle up multiple items into high-value gift baskets, along with experiential rewards like vacation opportunities that entire families can enjoy.

The right auction software can open up a wealth of other opportunities for your auction. Participants can bid through their mobile devices, or you could even host your auction entirely online for a COVID-safe event.

5. Restaurant Partnership

Take a look at our overview and tips for restaurant partnership fundraisers.

There’s never been a better time to support your local businesses and forge stronger community bonds. Partner with restaurants in your area to take home a percentage of their earnings one night. 

In return for a cut of their revenue, you should promote the restaurant to your students, create support for the business, and market the opportunity to the families of your student body. 

6. Roller Skating Night

Take a look at our overview and tips for roller skating night fundraisers.

If the above restaurant fundraiser sounded like a strong fundraising event idea, then you’re going to love the idea of a roller skating night. This more-involved business partnership fundraiser would create a memorable night of fun, music, and movement for your students. 

Reach out to a skating rink in your area and agree on a percentage of sales that will go to your school for a particular night. Heavily promote this skate night to your students, encouraging carpooling, volunteer chaperoning, and other joint initiatives to get larger groups of your students and their families to show up to the event. 

7. Board Game Tournament

Take a look at our overview and tips for board game tournament fundraisers.

Board games aren’t just for kids— from complex strategy games like Monopoly to simpler games of chance like Candy Land, everyone can find something to enjoy from a board game tournament.

Reach out to your students and parents and take a poll of their favorite games. Then invite them to come and play their favorite board games in this engaging, multi-round school fundraiser. 

You can ask your participants’ families to pledge a donation for each round that they play or you can charge a small entry fee for each player to participate. You may even include a collection of prizes for the champions of your different games.

8. Trunk-or-Treating

Take a look at our overview and tips for trunk-or-treating fundraisers.

Trunk-or-treat events are an elementary school fundraising idea that have experienced a huge boost in popularity the past few years— and it’s no wonder why! This pre-Halloween fundraiser is engaging for volunteers and trunk-or-treaters alike, often attracting participants from all over their local communities!

Reach out to parents, families, and members of your community that would be interested in volunteering to use their parked cards as candy stations for students to visit. 

Each car and its volunteers should register in advance and can follow their own unique Halloween theme. Students should pay an entrance ticket fee and then be left to freely move between each vehicle, playing games and collecting candy as they discover every new attraction.

9. School Dance

Take a look at our overview and tips for a school dance fundraiser.

Students shouldn’t have to wait until high school to enjoy a school dance! Decorate your gym, open up an online and in-person ticketing station for your event, and let your students and their families let loose and dance the night away with friends. 

Consider integrating your dance with other fundraisers, such as raffles, silent auctions, and food concession sales. The price of tickets may be your main source of revenue, but these additional initiatives will increase your total profit and add even more opportunities for student engagement.

10. Trivia Night

Take a look at our overview and tips for trivia night fundraisers.

Make your next elementary school fundraiser a family event with a trivia night! Participants will learn strange, exciting, or funny facts about a variety of different topics while competing for prizes big and small. 

You can even incorporate a bonus round of questions about school events, taking a moment to highlight an upcoming read-a-thon, bake sale, or some of the other fundraisers you have in the works. 

Trivia participants can learn more about your school, compete for victory, and enjoy snacks and refreshments from your concession stands in one, ultimate evening of fun.

11. Fall Fun Day

Take a look at our overview and tips for fall fun day fundraisers.

Fall festivals or fall fun days are a carnival-type fundraising event where students and their families pay an admissions fee to join in on a variety of autumnal games and activities. 

This fundraising event can be a bit pricey if you dive in without the right help. Send out a call for donations across your community, train a team of volunteers, and partner with local businesses to organize and run as many fun attractions as possible for your fall festival.

From going on hayrides to bobbing for apples, fall fun days are the perfect opportunity to combine a host of different fundraising activities into one. 

Wrapping Up

The right elementary school fundraiser can do far more than just raise money for your school. With these top elementary school fundraising ideas (such as our favorite: the read-a-thon!) and robust fundraising software, you will be able to engage participants, create important partnerships in your community, and even teach your students a lesson along the way!

To learn more about our favorite elementary school fundraiser, Read-a-thon’s fundraising platform, and other top fundraising tools, check out these free resources: 

Explore Read-a-thon's platform to find out how you can raise more money just by reading!

50+ Elementary School Fundraising Ideas to Be Inspired By

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