The obvious outcome of any fundraiser is that it raises money. However, there is no reason you should not aim for something more when looking for fundraising ideas. Here I look at some ideas which have extra benefits for your group, in addition to cold, hard cash.
Publishing your own book encourages a love of the written word, and by asking students to write and illustrate their own stories or recipe books you are assisting with literacy and creativity as well as raising money.. There are a number of companies who provide the software and assistance to make the process relatively pain-free, such as Schoolyard Stories who streamlines the process online, so all you have to do is upload stories or recipes. You can even have personalised covers for every student. Learn more here.
Read-a-thons are basically sponsoring kids to read as many books as possible within a certain time frame. Students seek sponsors to pay them a certain amount of money for each book they read, and like a fun run, the more books they read, they more money they earn. Apart from raising money, the obvious benefits are encouraging kids to read more, improving literacy skills and promoting reading and books as a fun activity.
You can easily design your own read-a-thon and complement it with a wealth of other creative ideas such as a book scavenger hunt, a second-hand book stall or even book musical chairs. Learn more about how to run your own read-a-thon here.
Health and physical activity
Zoom Kites are perhaps one of the most fun and unique fundraisers that not only raise money, but encourage kids and families to get outdoors, get healthy and enjoy old-school kite flying. Kites can be enjoyed by individuals, families or entire communities if you want to hold a kite-flying event. Learn more here.
Fun runs or lapathons can be as simple or as involved as you want them to be. Working on the same principle as a readathon (or any of the –athons) children are sponsored for each lap they run, with the money raised going to the school (or charitable project). The health benefits are clear, and you can always encourage lunchtime ‘practice’ sessions to encourage even more physical activity. Or you can run your fundraising event over a fortnight, with children running laps each lunchtime to earn money. There are companies which will come and organise the entire event for you as well as provide incentive prizes or click here for simple instructions on how to run your own event.
Jump Rope for Heart is a classic fundraiser, although it should be remembered the funds go to the Heart Foundation, not the school. After 30+ years it is still popular and a great way to get kids outdoors and doing fun, healthy activities. Learn more here.
Supporting sick kids
Signing up to Cashrewards not only helps your own hip pocket but thousands of sick kids around Australia. Members of Cashrewards receive cash back every time they shop online at over 1,200 stores, and 1% of all money received is pledged to the Starlight Foundation, helping thousands of sick children in hospitals around the country. Learn more here.
Cooking and nutrition
Living Fundraisers are a wonderful way to teach children about where food comes from and the joy of raising plants and flowers. Money is raised by selling packets of seeds (vegetables, flowers and herbs) and the other benefits include having fresh, home-grown food to eat as well as encouraging children (and families) to go outdoors and get busy in the garden. Learn more here.
Expressions offers sturdy and practical cotton tote bags that you can customise with a huge range of designs, and are perfect for reusable shopping bags (perfect since the major stores will be banning single-use plastic bags by 2018). Plastic bags are a huge problem for marine life and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill. Help save the planet and be stylish at the same time. Learn more here.
Envirobank container recycling can earn your school or clubs thousands of dollars every year, and help clean up the local environment at the same time. Container deposit schemes were created to help turn the tide of littering, and now schools can benefit by collecting the 10c per container reward. Learn more here.
Eco Switch is a simple tool which enables you to turn off appliances easily, saving you (and the earth) all the electricity that is wasted by having equipment such as TVs on stand-by. Funds are raised by selling the eco-switches and added benefits are saving power and money, reducing emissions and raising awareness. Learn more here.
Updated April 2019