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Organizing School Fundraisers on a Budget

School fundraisers are an exceptional way of raising money for many purposes and teaching everybody involved the significance of hard work. Of course, such events require a well-organized team that is capable of picking fundraisers which will, in spite of small budgets, be profitable. There is a substantial amount of fundraising events to pick from and they can take place in many locations, so it will take a lot of individual effort and cooperation to reduce mistakes and the risk of loss.


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As donations from supporters are crucial for the finances of such an organization, it is crucial to be imaginative and to invest time and work to come up with effective and cheap fundraising ideas. It is also important to handle the money in a way that will reduce risks, such as theft, being short-changed or trouble with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Something to also consider is that many people now prefer to make an online donation.

Picking the Location and the Type of Event

Considering that parents and the school are investing money in the organization of this event, it is absolutely vital to consider renting school formal venues or take the event outdoors, in the school backyard or a local park. Naturally, you have to keep in mind the type of event, and you want to create a friendly atmosphere so that the event will generate many donations.

There are numerous types of events you can pick from, ranging from direct donations, quizzes, auctions to events related with music, movies, food and sports. You can even incorporate casino games in a fundraising event or organize a car wash.

If you opt for direct donations, you can ask people to donate their old phones, laptops, outdated VCRs, DVD players, or old video game consoles, so the school can sell those to buy a brand new computer, for example.  Of course, you can simply ask local businesses to make a donation and help the local school.

Another option for a fundraising event is to organize quizzes such as spelling bee competitions, trivia tournament or a quiz night.

You can also arrange auctions, which can be live, silent or a combination of the two. It is important to pick items which are high priced or have some sentimental value so the guests will compete over them.

Events related with music and movies are at the same time fun and effective way of fundraising. You can organize a music talent show, students or teachers concerts, lip syncing contests, or battle of the bands. If movies are your choice you can host a movie night in a local theater or in the school, if possible.


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When it comes to food and fundraising the choices are numerous, you can sell popcorn, pancakes, chocolate. You can also make a pizza day or organize a chili cook-off in a local pub. Another option is a bake sale. Everyone can take part and contribute to this type of event. You can even go digital for your school fundraisers now, with options available to take your fundraising in-restaurant and online, with a percentage of event sales being donated directly to your cause. 

Sports easily attract interest, so organizing a miniature golf tournament or a charity basketball game between teachers is a great idea. A fun run or a 5k walk/run promote health and are effective money raisers.

Handling the Money

It is very important to handle money in a way that reduces risks and the possibility of a mistake. You will do that by setting up one cash point, always using paper receipts for cash transactions, always having at least two people whenever money is around, never letting cash sit for a few days, never accepting IOU’s. You should also get insurance and cover for yourself.