Fund Raising Event 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, Event Sponsorship ticket 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).

For more information on school carnivals, please consult our:

School Carnival Guide


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.

Gold Party Fundraisers

In the past few years, Gold Party Fundraisers have increased in popularity. What is a Gold Party Fundraiser? It's a party where guests bring their broken or unwanted gold or silver jewelry and receive cash in return. This is the only type of fundraiser that guests go home with more then then they came with. The sponsoring organization receives 15% of all the gold and silver purchased. So, for example, if $10,000 is purchased, your school would receive $1500.

The benefit to having a Gold Party Fundraiser is that only 10 - 20 attendees are needed to attend the party.