Which Fundraising Ideas for Kids Are Best: What to Focus on & What to Ditch

November 29, 2023

Group Of Children Holding Bake Sale Smiling To Camera.

You see them every season: kids holding up signs for a car wash or bake sale, raising money for who knows what. Wrapping paper sales, hawking crappy chocolate bars, putting on a big ol’ show in the barn—there are thousands of fundraising opportunities for kids. They pop up in school, as part of a club, to get uniforms for a sports team, or to send the youth group to Senegal. 

But come on. You don’t want this stuff to take over your entire life. That’s why parents and group leaders want to know which fundraising ideas for kids work best—and which should be pulled to the curb in time for garbage day. 

Let’s look at what works and what sucks so we can determine the best sort of fundraisers for kids.

What You DON’T Want in Your Fundraising Ideas for Kids

With so many fundraising options for kids’ groups, it’s easy to fall into common fundraising pitfalls. Not if we can help it! Here are six things you flat-out want to avoid doing in your fundraisers.

1. Going Door to Door

Knock, knock! It’s kind of like trick or treating…when no one’s expecting you. While this traditionally has been a popular form of fundraising, it’s not necessarily the safest way for kids to raise money. We wish this weren’t the case, but going door to door to strangers’ homes can put kids at risk. Though you may reach a bunch of people quickly, it’s better to play it safe.

2. Sticking to Phone Calls

First of all, phone calls? Ew. While you may think that learning to make official phone calls is a good life skill (which our parents assure us it is), it’s not the best tactic for a successful fundraiser. It’s often hard to get money donations over the phone, and people can easily hang up, lie, or not answer. Calling at dinnertime doesn’t necessarily improve your odds of success, as you might assume.

3. Relying on Direct Mail

Mailing letters directly to neighbors or supporters asking for financial support is an antiquated fundraising technique. Just think of how many pieces of junk mail you throw away without reading them. Mail isn’t as fast as other forms of modern communication. Texting and email have taken over and are far more effective anyway. (Plz don8 ♥️ Thx!)

4. Asking for Sponsorships

Traditional sponsorships involve kids going to local businesses and asking the owners to support their team financially in exchange for a patch on their sports jersey, a shoutout at an event, or a banner hung at a competition. While this can be effective, it involves a lot of legwork and crafting careful pitching statements. So not the worst. Just not the most effective.

5. Creating Fundraisers That Require Heavy Planning

It’s often tempting to plan large events that could bring in substantial fundage in a short time. However, many massive events require extensive planning with complicated details. You’ve got time for that, right? Right? Because it’s definitely falling squarely on your shoulders, no matter how much Becky promises to help. Ugh. Becky.

6. Doing Too Many Fundraisers

Another common fundraising pitfall is planning too many fundraisers. Unless you’re trying to exhaust the kids, burn out the parents, and exasperate the community, of course. It’s better to only do one or two fundraising campaigns that earn all the money you need.

What You DO Want to Do When Fundraising for Kids

So you know what not to do. But what strategies result in a Scrooge McDuck swimming pool full of moolah? Glad you asked.

1. Choose Something the Kids Are Excited About

Fundraisers are always more effective when the kids are excited. Accomplish this by putting the fun in fundraiser or incorporating incentives for raising lots of money. Either way, they’ll work harder and get more out of the fundraiser—and that enthusiasm can infect the donors, too.

2. Create Easy-to-Facilitate Fundraisers

As a parent or leader, you want your kids to take on most of the fundraising load so they can learn (and you can relax). Choose fundraisers kids can run with, so all you have to do is keep an eye on things and help out as needed.

3. Make One-and-Done Plans

We know you don’t want to spend countless hours on a crapton of little fundraisers. (Plus, you saw tip #6 in the previous list, right?) It’s better to focus on one or two fundraising efforts that will be effective enough to bring in the dough you need (especially if you choose to sell cookie dough). Choose fundraisers that are sure to bring in a lot of money at once.

4. Sell the Right Product

If you decide to sell a product for your fundraiser, choosing the right one is important. You could go for something useful, or popular at the moment (remember when everyone was going gaga over pop sockets?). Food products are always a good bet because no matter what people say, they will always have a sweet tooth or crave a salty snack.

5. Use Online Fundraising

A large amount of communication takes place online or over text now, so take advantage of online fundraising! Use digital fundraising platforms like MoneyDolly to make finding and reaching out to supporters far easier. Unless, of course, you like working harder than you need to.

The Higher Purpose of Fundraising for Kids

While we all know fundraising is meant to raise money for a super important cause, other benefits come with it. Quality fundraising strategies raise money while also raising your kids (see what we did there?) through new learning experiences. 

A well-run fundraiser can teach kids:

  • Communication: Working with teammates and speaking to others about their fundraiser.
  • Collaboration: Coming up with ideas and strategies as a team.
  • Goal-Making: Establishing a realistic goal and making plans to achieve it.
  • Salesmanship: Learning how to pitch their ideas and get donors on board.
  • Adult Interactions: Respectfully communicating with adults to achieve their goals.
  • Money Management: Getting experience managing savings, expenses, and investments.
  • Appreciation and Generosity: Responding appropriately to those who donate to their cause. The kids may also one day feel inspired to be as generous to others as people were to them.

All these skills benefit each child involved throughout their lifetime.

Why MoneyDolly Is the Best Fundraiser for Kids

Fundraisers are a heavy load to carry, but that load suddenly becomes far more manageable with MoneyDolly in your corner. Think of us as the digital dolly that helps you carry the weight of your fundraiser across the finish line. 

How does it work? With MoneyDolly, you’ll use an app to spread the word about your fundraisers, sell products, and ask for donations. Welcome to the crazy-effective world of peer-to-peer fundraising.

We’ll Simplify the Process

Coach Isom: “My favorite part is the online system which made it really easy to fundraise without worrying about shipping and the products getting to supporters.”

We’ll Provide Expert Guidance

Coach Laura Shiner: “Our profits have just skyrocketed since using the MoneyDolly app. Use it!”

We’ll Help You Electrify Participant Engagement

We’ll Help Supporter Engagement Skyrocket

Parent April Randall: “It was the easiest and most profitable fundraiser that we’ve ever done…it allowed our supporters to decide what made them feel most comfortable.”

See How MoneyDolly Can Help Your Fundraiser Today!

Your kids deserve the money they need so they can enjoy their extracurricular activities and learn new skills all at once. MoneyDolly is the answer! It will make your life easier, and your kids will be able to raise more money than ever in record time. 

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.