We shared nine essential steps to fundraising success. Hosting a fundraiser is no easy task, and it takes planning to organize a successful event. Another factor in fundraising success is the quality of the fundraiser. Often club advisors find it difficult to determine which type of fundraiser is the best depending on their school dynamics. After confirming a monetary goal, it’s time to decide on the fundraising event.
Some fundraisers are easier to manage than others. Be mindful of the human capital and resources available before deciding on a particular idea because some fundraisers may require the purchase of materials. There are fundraising companies that allow club members to sell merchandise such as magazines, candy, or candles in exchange for a percentage of sales. The amount club members can earn will depend on the amount of merchandise sales and the commission rate.
It’s possible to raise funds without using an official fundraising organization. Over the years, club advisors and parent teacher associations have created innovative ways to raise money. We provided a list of fundraising ideas that other clubs have used to raise funds. Share the ideas with your club members and allow them to vote on their favorite fundraiser to execute.
1. Use Your Own Technology Day: Students pay $1 to use their phone in class to engage in lessons. Teachers provide lessons that involve using an educational app aligned to the content area which could encourage students to use education apps outside of school.
2. No Uniform Day: If your school requires students to wear uniforms, charge $1 and allow students to ditch the uniform for a day.
3. Theme Day: Students pay $1 to participate in the theme of the day (ex: college t-shirt day, hat day, pajama day, twin day, etc.) To build student interest, allow students to vote on the theme of the day and have club members promote the fundraiser.
4. Sports Tournament: Organize a sports tournament that aligns with most students’ interest at your school (ex: basketball, soccer, baseball, etc.). Students can pay $1 to watch the tournament. Club members can volunteer to set up a small concession stand and sell snacks and refreshments. Get a group of volunteers to join club members in cleaning up the gym or outdoor facility after the event.
5. Theme School Dance: Organize a school dance based on a particular theme (ex: Valentine’s Day). Charge $5 per ticket for entry. Hire a DJ or create a playlist of students’ favorite songs to save money. Make sure the music language and content is appropriate for school. You will need a lot of adult volunteers to monitor students during the dance. Provide punch, chips or any other quick snacks to attendees. Club members can help with selling tickets, setting up the dance, and working at the snack tables.
6. Candy Jar Challenge: Place candy in a jar and allow students to pay $0.50 to estimate the amount of candy in the jar. The student closest to the actual number wins the jar full of candy. Use candy associated with the upcoming holiday to make it fun. For example, in February, fill the jar with heart shaped candy or in December, fill the jar with small candy canes. To keep students’ interest, place a two-week time limit on the fundraiser. Have club members promote the challenge and announce the winner.
7. Grade Level Penny War : Set up a 5-gallon water jug for each grade level. Each grade level competes to see who can fill up their jug first by placing coins in their jug. Offer an incentive to the winner (ex: free game time, outside time, or whatever will motivate your students that don't cost money). Have club members promote the penny war and announce the winner.
8. Holiday Grams: Allow students to send a candy gram to another student. Candy grams are great near holidays such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween. Create pre-made candy gram notes to ensure that students send an appropriate communication. Charge $1 for each candy gram. Have club members promote the fundraiser and deliver the candy grams to students.
9. Birthday Shout Outs: Choose the first week of the month to set up an area in the cafeteria where students can purchase birthday shout outs for friends with birthdays that month. Create pre-made birthday “cards” to ensure that students send appropriate communication and add a lollipop. Choose one day each month to have club members deliver all birthday shout outs.
10. Movie Party: Choose a school and age-appropriate movie and allow students to pay a $2 entry fee to attend the party. To generate interest, ask students to vote on the movie and the popcorn flavor. Have club members sell the tickets and help prepare the popcorn.
11. Car Wash: Club members can pre-sale tickets to ensure that the fundraiser is a success. Club members can volunteer to wash cars after school or during the weekend with adult supervision. Hosting a car wash is a good way to publicize your math club, earn money for your club activities and contribute to your community.
12. Breakfast Drive Thru: Sell glazed donuts and coffee to parents in the drop-off line in the morning. Charge $2 for a cup of coffee and one glazed donut. Have club members operate the stand before school, promote the fundraiser to parents in the drop-off line, and deliver the food to parents as they sit in the car.
13. Field Day Competition: Celebrate the last few weeks of school with a field day event. Charge a $1 entry fee that covers participation in all events. Club members can also set up a concession stand to sell drinks, ice cream, and snacks.
14. Bake Sale: Have parents or a local bakery donate pastries. Sell the pastries at back to school night, curriculum night, school sporting events, etc. Charge based on the pastry. Club members can set up and operate the bake stand. Be sure to check your school district food regulations to ensure compliance.
15. Water Balloon War-Students form teams and battle in a water balloon fight. Charge $1 entry fee for students to participate. Be sure to have volunteers to help clean up after the balloon war. Water Balloon War is a good fundraiser to host when the weather is hot. Club members can fill the balloons and clean up after the event.
16. (insert school name) Student Idol - Host a singing contest. Students pay $1 to support their favorite candidate or candidates can collect a donation from family and friends. Each dollar counts as a vote. The candidate with the most votes (money raised) is named the (insert school name) Student Idol. Club members can help with promoting the contest, tallying the votes, and crowning the winner.
17. Pass The Jar: Pass around a jar at a sporting event and ask people to donate to your club. This type of fundraising works best at sporting events where adults are mostly seated (ex: basketball or football games). At half time, have club members make a short (3 minutes) speech sharing the purpose of their math club and why they need funding. Club members can also decorate the jars with fun math quotes.
18. Get Sponsored: Write sponsorship letters to local businesses asking them to sponsor your club. Be sure to state how the funds or resources will be used. Provide the sponsor with a group picture and a certificate of appreciation.
19. Host a yard sale. Choose a Saturday to invite parents, teachers, and community members to sell their used clothes and household goods in the school parking lot. Rent each parking space for $20. Club members can help sell spaces to family members, create the signage to advertise the sale and volunteer at the event.
20. Host a school spirit night. Partner with a local fast food restaurant or youth friendly entertainment location (ex: skating rink) to host a fundraiser. Invite students from your school, advertise the fundraiser, and collect a percentage of the revenue from the business.