School Fund Raising Ideas



There are many school fund raising event ideas available these days to fundraising committees. The challenge is to make it fun and make money at the same time. The advantage of having a fund raising event is that it doesn’t drag on for a month, like other fund raisers can. Here are three high profit fund raising event ideas:

School Carnivals


School carnivals are an American tradition. Who can resist the smell of cotton candy, playing games of chance, and enjoying the inflatable rides? School Carnivals lend themselves to numerous profit centers. This fun event may derive income from admission, Gift Basketsticket sales of games, bake sale items, craft vendors, food and beverage sales, auctions, entertainment (such as magic shows), inflatable rides, sales of school spirit ware and activities (such as bingo and cake walks). Here’s info on School Carnival Planning.



Silent or Live Auction


Everybody loves an auction. An auction is one of the most profitable fund raising event ideas available to schools. Since all of the items are donated, the profit margin is almost 100% My personal record for a live school auction is raising $9000. in less than an hour. Since I’m a licensed auctioneer (GAL 2957), my speed at a typical school fund raising auction is selling 75 items an hour.

Both silent and live auctions are fun and profitable, but it’s been found that you will generate about 20% more money (for the same items) when you have a live auction. Bidders get caught up in the process and have a tendency to bid higher than at a silent auction. The competitive nature of this type of fundraising event benefits the school fund raising effort.

Auctions may be a fund raising event in itself, or as part of a larger event, such as a school carnival or fundraising group dinner. Additional profit centers may include the selling of food and beverages or a raffle. Many schools now have an annual auction as part of their school fund raising activities.

To really make this fund raising event idea work well, it’s best to use a licensed auctioneer. This will help the auction move along at a rapid pace. One idea that has proved successful is to invite a local celebrity to help with the auction, by describing the item to be sold, then letting the auctioneer handle the bid calling.Items to be sold at auction should have a monetary value of over $25. Click here for a list of auction items best suited for school fund raising auctions.Below is a picture of a Gift Basket Auction I conducted at the end of a school carnival. There were about 25 baskets, and we raised almost $1000. in 45 minutes.

Many of the schools I’ve worked with have used Gift Baskets in their auctions. Here’s a list of Gift Basket Themes I’ve seen used at school fund raising auctions.

Group Dinner


Many schools have fundraising dinners. They may be just dinner and some form of entertainment, or an interactive theme.

Here are some popular themes:

• Spaghetti dinners

• Chili cook-offs

• Casablanca theme

• Holiday theme, such as Valentine’s Day

• Mardi Gras

• Casino theme

• Beach Party

• Medieval Theme

• 60’s Theme

• 70’s Disco Theme

• Caribbean Theme

• Hawaiian Luau

• Kentucky Derby

• Mexican Fiesta

• Clambake

• Hollywood Awards Night

Some schools call teachers, the principle, or local celebrities into service to be the servers. Usually the dinner includes some form of variety entertainment (such as a magician) or a guest speaker.

Perhaps the most popular fund raising event ideas include interactive dinners, such as Murder Mystery Parties, or Game Show Nights are gaining in popularity. The Murder Mystery dinners usually last about three hours, and involve many members of the audience. Scripts are available from a number of suppliers.




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