15 High School Fundraising Ideas: How to Reach Your Money Goals This Year

October 12, 2023

creative high school fundraising

Every high school group needs some way to raise money. Think about it—sports teams need new uniforms, the drama club needs those new spotlights and whatever the heck a scrim is, and the Spanish club has been begging for money to take a trip to Chichén-Itzá (honestly, the Spanish Club seems like the one to join, amigos). 

Fundraising for high schoolers isn’t just about making sure you have money for a rainy day; it’s about giving students formative experiences they’ll never forget. We’re actually referring to the unbridled joy of reaching an aspirational fundraising campaign, but the stuff they’re saving up for is pretty good, too.

We get it, though: It’s hard to come up with unique fundraising ideas year after year. You need to be original to keep supporters engaged, but you also need fundraisers that work! We’ll help you with our list of 15 high school fundraising ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

15 Engaging Fundraising Ideas for Teens

You want fundraisers that are fun—obviously! Not just for supporters but also for the students and leaders who put them on. Here are 15 of our best ideas to get you started so you can get that money quickly.

1. Rubber Duck Race

Allow supporters to buy a numbered duck. Dump all the ducks in a body of water and see which one makes it across the finish line first. The winner gets a small prize, and now you have hundreds of rubber duckies for your next bath!

2. Can and Bottle Donations

Set up donation boxes all over the school so people can throw in their emptied cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles/jars. Then take them to your local recycling center for some cold, hard Franklin D. Roosevelts (he’s on the dime) and watch all those cents add up quickly.

3. Trivia Night

Set up a trivia night where paying teams can compete. Don’t make it easy, though! Think up some hard questions like: What’s the capital of Wisconsin? (Nobody knows that.) (Note: You might want to choose a different state if you reside in Wisconsin.)

4. Silent Auction

Silent auctions are among the best ways to raise large amounts of cash. Collect donated items from supporters around town and host an event where people can bid on them. See if the school librarian can come referee to keep things super silent.

5. Engraved Bricks

This is another big money maker. Redo the pavement in a part of the school and sell the opportunity to engrave something on the bricks that will go in. (You should for sure proofread all the engravings beforehand…)

6. School Swag

Sell some school swag with your mascot and logo: sweatshirts, ball caps, blankets, mugs—whatever. Most parents love to support their kid’s school, so you should make a good profit.

7. Dodgeball Tournament

Encourage high school groups to enter as a team and compete for paying spectators. Cheerleaders vs. teachers, theater kids vs. glee club, professional dodgeballers vs. the mathletes—the entertainment possibilities are limitless!

8. Talent Show

Host a talent show with student performers. Charge for entry, and make sure you have a wide variety of performances. Someone playing water glasses right after the high school comedian will keep things interesting.

9. Student Art Show

Have students submit their masterpieces and hang them up gallery-style in the hallways or the gym. Invite the community one evening to bid on the art. You’ll raise money, and you might find the next Banksy (or the current Bansky, for that matter; could they be a high schooler at your school?).

10. Valentine’s Dance

Host a Valentine’s dance and charge a few bucks for entry. Of course, high schoolers love any excuse to have a dance: spring formal, Christmas ball, Presidents Day, even?

11. Punish the Principal

We know there’s a handful of students in your school itching for a little principal payback. Have the principal choose some good-natured dares they’ll do if enough funds are raised. Dye their hair hot pink? Shave their head? Go full mohawk? Why do all our ideas involve hair?

12. Sports Concessions

Your high school has at least a few sporting competitions every week. Set up a booth where you sell snacks before and during a game, keeping it simple with chips, sodas, and candy.

13. Movie Screening

People can buy a ticket and bring blankets, pillows, or anything else they need to feel comfy while you screen a movie. Sell popcorn for a little more moolah. (Just slip a few extra bucks to the custodians by way of apology.)

14. Pre-Approved MoneyDolly Products

At MoneyDolly, we know how hard fundraising is, so we found some trusted companies that provide vetted products people love to buy. Choose from our vendors, and you won’t have to worry about packaging or shipping—we’ll do all that for you. You just have to use the MoneyDolly app to send the order form to supporters.

15. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This is the modern way to fundraise. Simply send your MoneyDolly link or QR code to friends and family members so they can donate money. If everyone in the group does this, you can raise lots of cash in minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Can We Ensure Student Involvement in Fundraising Efforts? 

Keep things interesting! Keep students involved in the planning process and choose fundraisers they’ll enjoy being a part of. You can also make it a competition between students to see who can bring in the most money for prizes. 

What Strategies Can Help Us Engage Parents and the Community? 

To engage a boatload of supporters, get the word out quickly, and keep the fundraisers interesting. Make sure supporters know where their money will go and how it will change students’ lives. The community is more likely to get involved if they think the fundraiser is fun and/or for a good cause. 

How Do We Choose the Right Fundraising Ideas for Our School’s Needs? 

When choosing a fundraiser, you need to think about how much work will go into organizing it. Fundraisers that need a lot of effort might benefit bigger groups, but smaller teams need easier fundraising projects. 

Another vital consideration is how much money you need to raise so you can choose fundraisers to match your goals.

What Are Some Creative Ways to Recognize and Reward Top Fundraising Participants? 

Prizes prizes prizes! And one more? Why not. Prizes! It’s okay to ask your students what they would like to win. Tickets to a theme park? Gift cards? You need items your students want to win for them to stay incentivized and work hard to raise money.

How Can Technology Be Integrated into Traditional Fundraising Events?

MoneyDolly is an expert at using technology to fundraise. The app can help you peer-to-peer fundraise and spread the word about your fundraiser quickly. You can also easily sell products with a few taps on your phone. Overall, the right technology makes fundraising easier than ever.

What Steps Can We Take to Measure the Impact of the Funds Raised? 

Before starting a fundraiser, plan what you will use the money for. For example, with a volleyball team fundraiser, $100 might mean new volleyballs, $400 would mean new uniforms and $1,000 would mean an overnight volleyball camp. As the fundraiser goes on, you’ll see exactly what your efforts have earned based on the money raised.

How Often Should We Conduct Large-Scale Fundraising Campaigns? 

Only you can really determine how many fundraisers to run each year. Most groups do one or two large fundraisers yearly, but you can do as many as you want until you get the money your group needs. 

Keep Finding New Ideas with MoneyDolly

Fundraising for your high school group is always a big endeavor, but with some creative ideas, it can be an exciting experience. Just like an appliance dolly, MoneyDolly saves your metaphorical back as the digital, cash-collecting helpmate that carries your fundraiser over the finish line.

When you need to have a fundraiser for your high school group, check out these other fundraising ideas for school sports and clubs:

Damion Smith-profile 2

Damion Smith

Founder and CEO

Prior to starting MoneyDolly, Damion spent the last 25 years helping teams, schools & organizations raise money while growing multiple companies across the country. He has served in many capacities including Sale Representative, Sales Manager, Senior VP of Sales & President.