Event Ideas

9 Must-Try High School Fundraising Ideas

Reading time: 7 min

Looking for some new, exciting ways to raise money for your high school? Hosting awesome events throughout the school year can help you meet your online fundraising goals and give your high school students creative opportunities to make memories they'll be telling their own kids about! Here are a few of our favorite fundraising ideas for high schools that are sure to be a hit!

1. Themed dances

Homecoming and prom are always the most anticipated events of any school year, so boost the excitement all year long by throwing some extra themed school dances as fundraising events in between! Plus, who doesn't like an excuse to dress up? You can theme these dances around holidays (Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.), the seasons (like a spring formal or a fall barn dance), or other ideas that make your students want to throw on their dancing shoes. Deck out your school gym based on your theme, crank up the music, and dance the night away! Want to add a little extra to your fundraising total? In addition to selling tickets for these dances, consider selling concessions like soda and snacks throughout the night.

2. Showcases

Your school community is packed with untapped creative potential! Hosting a showcase gives students the perfect way to share their talents (in music, art, acting, fashion – you name it!) with the community members of the school. To boost your ticket sales and your fundraising efforts, consider requesting a “pay what you can” admission fee as well as selling popcorn and other small concessions at the door. Really want to sweeten the deal and encourage some friendly competition? Put together a gift card, cash prize, or exclusive school incentive like a “get out of class early” ticket for the best in each category. To amp up the excitement even more, like your own America's Got Talent, have a panel of teachers judge and pick the winners. Who knows, some of those students might become famous one day.

3. Restaurant nights

Partner with a local restaurant to host a fundraising night where a percentage of the profits are donated to your school. Then, spread the word and pack the place with students, their families, and their friends to all share a meal together. Be sure to pick a restaurant your student body already loves to go to or has always wanted to try! If you can't settle on just one, partner with food or ice cream trucks to come to your school and share the profits of the school fundraiser that way. Students will enjoy getting to skip the cafeteria food and support their school in the process of raising money!

4. Color runs

More than just a typical run, a color run encourages all participating students to wear all white clothes (and maybe some sunglasses) while they run a 5K. Fans on the sidelines throw colored powder at them as they go past, and by the end, they'll be decked out in a super cool array of colors and have some Instagram-worthy photos to share! These color runs are much less competitive, walk-friendly, and more appealing to younger audiences, making it a perfect event for your high school. Through your event's ticketing page, you can charge an entry fee, sell school T-shirts and invite students to wear during the run, ask for additional donations, or even sell the chance to throw some extra colored powder at people.

5. Half-time competitions

As students have fun cheering on their school's teams against their biggest rivals, try adding to the fun with crowd games that will really make them go wild (and help you raise funds). For example, set up a “Goal Shot” game where people pay to take a shot at halftime for a chance to win prizes. You can also host a raffle, spin-to-win game, relay race, or other fun contests on the playing field to encourage students to help score those fundraising goals for your school.

6. Silent auctions

Silent auctions are a classic school fundraising event that students and parents alike love. Essentially, people donate items or experiences that the audience will then bid on. And the opportunities are endless! For parents, offer things that'll make their lives or their children's lives easier, like reserved parking spots at games or date night packages. If one of your high school sports' teams is willing to help, offer to “rent the team” for a day to do lawn work, rake leaves, or shovel snow. For students, auction off perks like off-site lunch privileges or prime designated parking spots. Then sit back and watch the funds roll in!

7. Carnival nights

Throw a carnival in your school's parking lot and get ready for a full weekend of fun! Sell wristbands at the door and let your students, their families, and the local community enjoy thrilling rides like the Merry-Go-Round, Gravitron, Zipper, and so much more. Sell classic carnival food like cotton candy or hot dogs to really sell the experience, pay to play games and win prizes, or even sell the chance to dunk teachers in a dunk tank!

8. Teacher challenges

Build a buzz around the school that the principal will do something crazy if the school can raise a certain amount and get students excited to donate to make it happen. Get their favorite teachers, the theater director, the PE instructor, or other daring faculty in on the stunt as well! Based on successful ideas used by other schools, you can cover them in slime or silly string, stick them to the wall with tape, throw pies in their faces, or even have them do the chicken dance while wearing a chicken costume.

9. Community yard sale

Organizing a yard sale not only provides an opportunity for your school to raise funds but also cultivates a greater sense of school spirit among students, parents, and your local community. To start, encourage students’ families and your community to donate gently used items for the school to sell. Volunteers from your school community can contribute their time to sort, price, and organize the items for the sale too. Then, promote the school fundraising event through social media, local news stations, and community bulletin boards, to attract a wide audience. Not only will you earn additional funds to support your school’s efforts, people will get deals on some awesome new items in the process!

As you begin to put your favorite fundraising ideas into action, consider using an event ticketing platform to streamline your fundraising efforts. TicketLeap offers all the tools you need and more to help make your fundraising campaign ideas a success! No wonder our platform is a popular choice for high schools like yours!

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