Beyond the Bake Sale: Fundraising Ideas!
Need to raise funds? Here are some ideas from around the country!
Student leaders at George Carter MS in Clio, MI, organized a haunted house for Halloween consisting of a series of rooms winding around the middle of the school’s media center and ending with a chase from a “madman.” Admission to the haunted house was $3 and groups of 10 people went in at a time.
Football players and cheerleaders who are willing to participate in a fundraiser at North Newton HS in Lake Village, IN, fill out information cards about themselves and agree to dance at the Homecoming Dance with the highest bidder in an auction. An auctioneer auctions each one off during a rally before the Homecoming game.
After basketball games on Friday nights, the student council at Warren Township HS in Gurnee, IL, sponsors movie nights. Students are invited to stay after the game to watch a movie shown in their Black Box Theater. The group charges a $3 fee at the door and provides popcorn and soda during the movie.
Test Drives Benefit Student Council
The student council at Stephenville (TX) HS benefited from the generosity of a local car dealership and representatives from Dodge Motors through a program that paid $5 to the student council for every test drive performed on a designated day.
The event took place in the west parking lot of the school with cars and liability insurance provided by the local dealership. Approximately 200 test drives were done during the three-hour event.
All-Night Volleyball Tournament
The student council of Seneca Valley HS in Harmony, PA, sponsored an all-night volleyball tournament as a fundraiser for Shriners Hospital, which was selected by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils as the state project. The group raised about $1,000 by charging teams a minimum $40 donation to play. More than 200 students participated.
The tournament started on a Friday night at 11 p.m. and ended about 6:00 the following morning. Teams played in a league format for several hours before a double-elimination tournament began. Teams were co-ed and were required to have at least two boys or two girls on the floor at all times. A faculty team also joined in the fun. Between volleyball games, participants could eat, watch movies, or play other games. Once students arrived at the tournament they were not permitted to leave until the end.
The student council St. Joan of Arc in La Place, LA, sponsored a gumbo dinner in the cafeteria on a Sunday afternoon. For $4, diners were able to eat there or take out dinners. Drinks and sweets were also sold.
Parking Lot Sales
At the beginning of each school year, the student council at Eastern Hancock HS sells the parking spaces in the student parking lot. Spaces in the two rows closest to the building sell for $10 each, with the rest of the spaces going for $5. Seniors get first draw for spaces by putting their names in a hat. Names are drawn and students pick and pay for their spot. Once paid for they are allowed to paint their spot to personalize it. At Robbinsdale Cooper HS, student council raffles the much-coveted–especially during winter in Minnesota–first four parking spots in the student lot. Raffle tickets sell for one dollar each and they usually sell close to 250 tickets. The winners receive special parking passes and keep the spots for the semester.
Cardboard Boat Regatta
A unique fundraiser at Portage (IN) HS involves both students and faculty members in a cardboard boat regatta. Teams of two pay an entry fee of $15 and submit a registration form with parent signatures to enter a boat made only of cardboard and duct tape. Teams race across two laps of the pool, paddling with homemade oars made of anything–wood, frying pans, etc. A racing lane is two swimming lanes wide, so organizers run heats of three boats at a time. To keep the atmosphere lively, an emcee plays music during the race and keeps the crowd entertained between heats with raffles of donated movie tickets and gift certificates. Spectators pay $4 to attend the event.
Participants try to place for Fastest Boat and Most Creative Boat. The Most Creative Boat is judged on theme, boat shape, enthusiasm, costumes, and originality. Boats can only be constructed with duct tape and cardboard, but can be decorated with flags, stuffed animals, and other items. The first place teams in both categories receive trophies, and second and third place teams for Fastest Boat receive medals. Each participant receives a complimentary regatta T-shirt with sponsor logos on the back.
“This is a unique event that raised a lot of money, and everyone, spectators and participants, all enjoyed it greatly,” said Ron Hancock, student council adviser at Portage HS. “Some boats sink, some flip over, and some boats are made so well that they can go 50 laps if needed. It is exciting to see which boats make it and which don’t. It is definitely a project well worth the time,” he said.