As parents, the elementary years are new and fun and we jump in head first. As the years go by, parent participation and support are harder to come by. By the time kids reach middle school and high school, some are done, tapped out, and are in need of something new and sparkly. Here are a few fundraising ideas for middle school and high school because yes, they still need our support!
Tried & True Fundraising Favorites for Every Parent Organization
Restaurant Dine Outs
No doubt—kids love to eat. Set up monthly restaurant nights that your community will enjoy. Mix it up with dessert places, dinner, and lunches during modified days. Don’t forget to throw in a couple of date night options for your parents who always need a break and will thank you for thinking of it.
Yearbook/Marquee Shout Outs
Your organization has prime real estate at the back of every program, yearbook, and on your school’s marquee; space that can be used to raise important funds. Reach out to your admins to see if you can use the marquee throughout the year for birthday shout outs and charge a set amount for them. Don’t forget the programs for music & theater performances as well as shout outs during any sports games. Offering these throughout the year are an easy way to raise funds and bring some spirit to your community.
This oldie but goodie is a must for every school. Not only is it easy to do, it’s effective. Offering your parents an easy way to donate on your website throughout the year is a no brainer. Write a letter explaining why you need their support, how they can support, and where their support will go. Transparency goes a long way when you are trying to appeal to your members.
They are a rite of passage for middle and high school students and are so much fun! Create themes, get your Student Council involved and sell those tickets and concessions! Think about adding a dance-a-thon to the mix so your students can get pledges for how long they can last.
If you have the man-power, host a color run! Use an online platform so students can receive pledges and donations for their participation. Choose the right platform, and you can keep up to 95% of the funds you bring in! Have T-shirts made for the day of. Sell sunglasses/bandanas on sight so they can be used the day of for extra profit. Don’t forget to offer water, but also have shaved ice or cool drinks available for purchase. Color dust (it’s colored cornstarch-available on Amazon) is great to use in squeezable condiment bottles and as a parent you’ll get a kick out of how much fun it is to spray a bunch of tweens and teens with it. You’ll need all hands on deck for this one, but it’s worth the time and effort. It’ll bring in a good amount of money and it’s such a fun day!
Fun Events that Are Sure to Bring in Funds for Your Parent Group
Flock A Yard
This fun fundraiser is a great way to spread community spirit and make a profit. Lawn flamingos can be purchased pretty inexpensively on Amazon. Make a few yard signs and start promoting. $40 to flock someone, $40 to pass it on, and $10 for removal- you set your price. “Don’t get mad…get even” lawn signs come with each flocking. You’d be surprised at how long this event will last and how much money you can make. Have your team of “flockers” at the ready. Don’t forget to include a hashtag on your lawn sign so your community can tag you and your social media pages through their posted pics!
This is a fun and frightful event high schools have been doing for years. Think about bringing in the school’s mascot or founder’s name for added uniqueness. Charge per ticket or per car (you can do a drive through haunted house for social distancing purposes). Pair this with food trucks and/or a concession stand for added donations on food sales! Think about a haunted “lock up” and add dance music, games and fun for added costs/profit.
Auctions (silent or live)
Hosting an auction is not just for elementary schools. Use this opportunity to get the kids involved and/or go bigger and have a gala. Parents of middle and high schoolers still want to show their support, but give them something fun to attend and maybe the excitement of attending an adult-only affair will be the ticket. Selling tickets and accepting donations is easy. Auction items change as the kids get older so if they haven’t attended one since their kiddo was in elementary, this will be something fun and new for them. Don’t forget to invite your teachers and think about offering them a free ticket. You’ll want their support leading up to the event—and the more bidders the better.
Its All About the Gram
Candy grams are still fun in middle and high school and you can change them up for every season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day—you can turn this into a kindness week, or teacher appreciation. There are lots of options!
Look within Your Community for Indirect Fundraising Opportunities
Within your local community, there are many simple fundraisers that won’t cost you any money for your school to participate in, but a donation will happen if your community just shops where and when they always shop.
Everyone is shopping online these days and a lot are shopping off of Amazon. AmazonSmile is the extension of Amazon that will give a percentage back to your non-profit. Your parents and community just need to select you as their non-profit of choice. No extra money for them-but extra money for you. AmazonSmile has made it super simple now that they have a nice little button on their app that you can keep on (previously you had to change it each time). Just make sure your school is in there, and you are good to go!
This is an easy one-but you have to do some legwork. Easy in the sense that BoxTops has changed their platform to all digital, your community just has to scan their receipt within 14 days of purchasing. Hard because, your community has to scan their receipt within 14 days. They set up an account one time and it will even tell them when there are bonus days and how much they have contributed to their school. Lots of reminders work well here and again-no extra money for anyone.
Kroger/Ralphs Community Rewards
Ever run into a parent at the grocery store? Yeah, me too (every time!). Think about how many families shop at your local Kroger and for every purchase, a portion of that sale will go back towards your school. Set up your school through their app and don’t forget to advertise to their parents. They just need to enroll one time and select your school as their community rewards organization of choice. Every time they punch in their phone number for their coupons and specials-you’ll get some $. Checks are sent out to your school quarterly. Don’t have a local Kroger? Call around to your grocery stores to see if any have similar programs.
Shop with Scrip
All digital now, the Shop with Scrip program is another great fundraiser. Electronic gift cards to your favorite restaurants, fast food, coffee places, stores and more are available to purchase, and your school receives a percentage of each sale. If your parents are going to shop anyway, this is a great way to indirectly receive their support. Offering this digitally (especially during this time) makes it so easy. Promoting on your end is all that you need to.
GET INSPIRED! OUR FAVORITE FUNDRAISING IDEAS FROM OUR FAVORITE FUNDRAISING MAVENS.
Middle school and high school fundraising is a different beast for sure. Remember that being transparent and letting your parents know what you are looking to fund and what you are planning will be a big push to get them involved. Give them enough time to save the date, send out just enough notices, and don’t forget the power of your administrators’ voices. Getting them onboard to help you promote and support your efforts will go a long way.