We’ve all been there: sifting through endless ideas on Pinterest late at night, wrestling with school budgets tighter than Santa’s belt after Christmas dinner. Welcome to the world of Christmas fundraisers for schools.
But don’t worry: It’s not all candy cane-induced cavities and frenzied ornament hanging. The holidays represent an incredible opportunity to raise money when people are feeling generous. The festive season has always been synonymous with giving, so why not channel some of that goodwill into fundraising?
50 Christmas, Winter, and Holiday Fundraisers for Schools
If there were ever a prime time to tap into generosity for school needs, it would be now. After all, if Scrooge can transform overnight into Mr. Philanthropy because he saw some ghosts, imagine what you could do with actual living students and these 50 Christmas fundraising ideas for schools.
1. Holiday Show
Hosting a holiday concert is one idea that hits all the right notes (pun intended). Not only does it get people into the spirit of giving during this joyous season, but it also lets littles shine on stage. Who can resist adorable kiddos dancing their hearts out?
2. Holiday Wreaths
This opportunity to sell holiday wreaths allows students to explore their creative sides. Parents will swoon over these heartfelt gifts (full of glue, we’re sure) that double as keepsakes.
If there was ever a time for glitter overload without judgment, Christmas is it. Have students sell custom ornaments they’ve decked out in everything from traditional red, green, and Chanukah blue to funky neon colors representing their unique artistic pizzazz.
4. Mini Trees
No, we’re not suggesting the kids chop down the very top of pine trees. Instead, have them create mini-handmade versions. They’ll be adorable on desks or as table centerpieces, and they won’t drop needles all over the floor—a win-win.
5. Christmas Tree Fundraiser
Now we are suggesting you chop down some trees. You can either partner with a local Christmas tree vendor or go out and chop down some trees (please get permits) with the help of the wrestling team. Then sell them in time for the holidays.
6. Tree Delivery
Find a local Christmas tree vendor that will let your students take over once a tree has been bought. Your team can charge people to transport trees to houses so they don’t have to worry about scraping up their cars when tying everything down tight.
7. Fun Run Dash Through the Snow
School fundraising can be a sweaty business—literally. A festive-themed run or walk gives everyone an excuse to burn off those holiday calories, promotes health and fitness, and brings in a healthy infusion of cash.
8. Holiday Dinner
Hosting charity dinners can bring in that dough for your school while spreading some much-needed holiday cheer. Host an epic dinner party at your local parking lot or gymnasium, where every bite contributes to your goals.
9. Holiday Bake Sale
Bake sales are the unicorns of fundraising ideas—they’re magical, everyone loves them, and they can make dreams come true. Organize a festive bake sale where students, teachers, and parents bring in their best holiday-themed goodies to sell. Watch the dough roll in (another pun intended).
10. Ugly Sweater Contest
Organizing these contests isn’t as complicated as trying to untangle last year’s Christmas lights (we’ve all been there). Simply set up a registration process, charge a small fee, and then decide who has the best (or worst) Christmas style.
11. Auction or Raffle
A well-planned auction or raffle ensures everyone has fun and helps maximize funds raised.
To start, choose items adults would love to bid on or win; think of experiences like spa days or gourmet cooking classes rather than physical objects.
12. Christmas Gram
Students or community members can pay your group to deliver a personalized sweet treat to someone during the school day. Bonus: It’s an excellent opportunity to break into song.
13. Wrapping Station
Set up a wrapping booth somewhere lots of people will see you. Community members can bring you their Christmas presents to wrap for a small fee. Just make sure your bow-tying skills are on point.
14. Christmas Card Fundraiser
Have students create their own original Christmas-themed artwork or designs and then have these pictures mass-printed on cards. Sell them at local events and businesses.
15. School Holiday Shop
As the holidays approach, set up a table at your school to sell holiday-themed items like snacks, school supplies, and even small wrapped gifts kids can hand out to their classmates.
16. Winter Wonderland
Host a winter-themed wonderland complete with real—or real-ish—snow, decorations, and booths so local vendors can sell their wares or share their talents. Sell cocoa, trinkets, and treats as people enjoy the festive atmosphere.
17. Winter Carnival
Host a winter carnival with games, circus acts, and prizes. If the weather is a concern, host it inside your school gym.
18. Polar Plunge
Believe it or not, people will actually pay you to jump into freezing water. Ice baths are all the rage right now. Organize a plunge at a local water source and charge people to participate. See who chickens out—sorry, no refunds!—and who makes a splash.
19. Snow Removal
If you live in an area that gets snow, have your group shovel driveways and sidewalks for cash. It’s hard work, but they’ll definitely earn some money. And build some muscles.
20. Ice Skating
Partner with a local ice skating rink, or get really ambitious and make your own. Charge for admission and see who can keep their balance.
21. Snow Tubing
All you need is a local hill covered in snow and some inflatable tubes and sleds. Charge people to come and slide. Racing is encouraged, but please stress safety!
22. Hot Cocoa Station
All you need is a local event and a booth to make the big bucks selling warm hot cocoa or apple cider to passersby. Make it fancy with whipped cream, cinnamon, and marshmallows.
23. Snowman Building Contest
After the next blizzard, organize a friendly competition where paying applicants can come build a snowman to see who has the best skills. You may just wind up with a classic Frosty next to a complex snow dragon.
24. Gingerbread House Competition
Host a gingerbread contest where contestants can bring their entries. Charge a small entry fee to let competitors go after a prize and set up an optional donation for the voting public.
Send your team around one evening to sing at people’s doors. After each beautiful performance (assuming Javier isn’t too pitchy), give the audience the opportunity to contribute to your cause. Just make sure you brush up on those song lyrics first.
26. Christmas Movie
Host a movie night at your school—and, of course, make it a holiday classic (Elf or Die Hard, anyone?).
27. Tree Disposal
There’s still money to be made as New Year’s approaches. Let community members pay your crew to get rid of their dying Christmas trees.
28. New Year’s Eve Mocktail Party
People love a good New Year’s Eve party, so host a big one! Decorate the gym and make it even more special with a mocktail bar where your team serves up the best drinks—for the right price, of course.
29. Pictures with Santa or the Holiday Armadillo
All you need is someone’s grandpa willing to dress up, and voila—you have a money-making fundraiser right there. Set up in a local event space or shopping center and charge people a few dollars for the photo op.
30. Winter Painting Class
You’ve heard of a wine-and-paint night. Well, this is a sparkling-cider-and-paint sort of situation. Paying community members learn to paint a beautiful winter wonderland scene and enjoy sipping the sparkly while they create.
31. Hay Rides
This one is tricky because you need some horses and a wagon, but see if a local farmer will help you out. Charge for rides and lead some holiday carols along the way. The kids will love to see horses all decked out in jingle bells.
32. Storytime with Santa
Have an evening where kids can have hot cocoa and cookies and sit with Santa as he reads some classic children’s stories. Just imagine the kids cozied up as he reads a stone-cold classic like If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don’t!
33. Winter Ball
The cold season is the best excuse to have a school dance. Charge for entry and let students come dressed in their best JCPenney couture to enjoy a beautiful evening.
This may seem old-fashioned, but a dance-a-thon is a pretty entertaining way to earn some cash. Paying couples can enter and dance as long as they can to corny Christmas music. The last pair standing wins.
35. Christmas Pet Pics
People love their pets, so take advantage of that by setting up a pet photo booth, complete with costumes, props, and a backdrop. Do you have tiny Santa hats for all the frogs, turtles, and geckos? Because Lady Shellington III would look adorable in a tiny Santa hat.
36. Make Your Teachers Dress Up
Step one is having students pony up to a special fund. If they meet their goal, all the teachers have to dress up as elves for a day at school.
37. Santa Letters
Build a beautiful Santa mailbox and set it up somewhere public. People can bring their kids to drop off letters to Santa. When the parents slip you a few bucks, you can personally reply to each letter as the head elf.
38. Holiday Trivia Night
Have a holiday trivia night where people pay to compete for a prize. Make all the questions holiday-related to maintain the spirit of the season. (What are the Kwanzaa candle colors?)
39. Multicultural Fair
Not everyone celebrates Christmas. There’s Hanukkah, Three Kings Day, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and more. Have a night where people can learn more about each culture and their way of celebrating for a small admission fee.
40. Cookie Decorating
Host an event where people get to decorate premade cookies for a donation. You can even make it a competition to see who makes the prettiest one.
41. Christmas Art Show
Invite local artists or your students to submit winter-themed pieces for an art show. Set up an art gallery in the gym so kind community members can purchase their favorite pieces.
42. New Year’s Eve Kids Party
Kids want to celebrate the new year, too, even if they can’t stay awake until midnight. Have your team host a kid’s New Year’s Eve party (that ends at 9 p.m. to make things easy). Parents get some babysitting, and you get some cash.
43. No Shave November
Hold a contest to see who can grow the most facial, leg, or armpit hair throughout November. People can pay to enter, but only one will win a prize.
44. Santa Look-Alike Competition
We know you’ve got some round-shaped old dudes in your community, so have a Santa look-alike contest. Take donations at the event while kids get to decide which old man looks the most like Santa.
45. Christmas LEGO Night
LEGO sets are a popular Christmas gift, so get kids hyped about what they’re hoping to get with a LEGO competition. People can bring their completed builds to your school, and you can display them in a gallery. Accept donations as an entrance fee and let people vote on the winners.
46. Tree Decorating Contest
This is for all of those competitive soccer moms. Paying contestants can come to your school and decorate trees with all the trimmin’s. Accept donations from community members who view the artwork and vote on a winner.
47. Petting Zoo
Find local farmers or ranchers who have friendly farm animals. Set up a petting zoo in the school parking lot and invite the community to visit. Kids will love to meet some real-life animals. Bonus points if you can bring a reindeer.
48. Christmas Treat Delivery
If you’ve ever lived in suburbia, you know that Christmas treat exchange can feel like a national pastime. Capitalize on that by making small Christmas baskets of treats. People can buy them and pay you to deliver them to friends and family. (Dressed as an elf, of course.)
49. MoneyDolly Treats
One of your easiest fundraising options is to sell treats through the MoneyDolly platform. We’ve already partnered with vetted vendors, so all you have to do is choose which ones you want to sell, and then send the link to your supporters. No packaging, no shipping, no hassle!
50. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
The festive season brings a shower of opportunities to raise funds. But how do you keep up with all the holiday-themed fun while managing your fundraiser? Well, folks, technology has an answer. It’s time to leverage the power of apps like MoneyDolly for peer-to-peer fundraising.
Advantages of Using MoneyDolly for Fundraising
No longer do you need your elves running around collecting donations or tracking down pledges for your winter fundraising ideas for schools. With this digital platform, every member becomes part of your fundraising team by simply sharing their personalized link within their networks.
It’s kind of like if Rudolph had LED lights on his nose—brighter visibility. And guess what? More visibility means more potential donors.
Make the Most of Holiday Fundraisers With MoneyDolly
So, you’ve taken the sleigh ride through our innovative Christmas fundraisers for schools. From harnessing the holiday spirit to using technology like MoneyDolly, it’s a journey filled with music, artistry, fitness, food fun, and fashion.
Now, you’re set to engage your community in any type of fundraiser. All while wearing an ugly sweater! We know you’re ready to raise money, so set up your account today!