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Great Ways to Plan a School Fundraiser

Updated on December 28, 2015

Super Fundraising Ideas

Fund raising events whether they are one-time gatherings or regular bake sales are a fabulous way to raise money for a trip, class event or a great cause that your organization wants to support.

Great fund raisers give something back to the people of give your group financial support. Giving something back is the key to create a successful fund raiser that does not rely on charitable donations or a begging approach. The most successful fund raisers involve the distribution of products. Most consumers will spend a little extra to support a good cause, so that means you can sell your goods at a higher market price.

Let's take a look at these fun fund raising ideas:

Regular Fundraisers

Weekly Events Bring In the Big Bucks

Planning a regular event that your group and organize on a weekly basis is one of the most effective fund raising methods. Weekly fund raisers are a great way to achieve large long-term goals. It also keeps your audience aware of your efforts, so your group is more likely to make more sales because people will be expecting your weekly bake sale and setting aside money to purchase a delicious bake sale or two.

Here are a few of the most popular fund raisers, which are easy to orchestrate on a weekly basis:

  • Bake Sales
  • Breakfast Sales
  • Pizza Sales
  • Lunch Time Barbeques
  • Gift Certificate Sales

Tips for Hosting a Bake Sale

I have participated in many bake sales, and they are HANDS DOWN one of the most popular and effective ways to raise money year round.

How many people do I need to start a bake sale?

Ten or more people should participate on a weekly basis, so if anyone forgets it won't be a big deal and your fund raising table won't be empty. The more people who are involved in your bake sale, the more goodies you will be able to sell.

What is ideal group size to organize a bake sale?

Successful bake sales often involve thirty people or more. Large groups can easily split up into teams that alternate weekly snack duty, this makes it easier on everyone.

What is the best day for hosting a bake sale?

Wednesday seems like one of the most popular days for bake sales. It's also great because team leaders have a chance to remind everyone to bring their baked goods.

What should I bring to a bake sale?

Cookies, brownies, muffins, rice crispy treats and self contained snacks are the most popular options. Things like bread pudding can be good too, but keep in mind that most people aren't adventurous enough to try something totally new at a bake sale. Simple, traditional desserts and treats seems to go over best, especially with kids.

***If you don't have time to cook, pick up a package of ready made doughnuts or chocolate chip cookies, and everyone will be happy.

It All Starts with a Table

Teamwork works wonders and many hands make light work. When you think about what a group can accomplish, the possibilities become unlimited. Between donated items, individual purchases to make baked goods and other small investments, it doesn't take much to plan and organize a successful fundraiser. In my experience, it all starts with a folding table that you can set up anywhere.

A Cash Box

Master Lock Cash Box, Locking Cash Box with Money Tray, Medium, 7113D
Master Lock Cash Box, Locking Cash Box with Money Tray, Medium, 7113D

Keep your fundraiser earning safe in a locked cash box. They're great for taking in money, giving change and keeping those funds secure.


The Best Bake Sale Recipes

Can't Go Wrong Snacks that Make Money

One of the easiest options for a bake sale is whipping out a box of brownie mix from Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. Both of the brands produce excellent results!

If you're up for a little time in the kitchen, try these recipes:

At a bake sale, everyone loves Rice Krispy treats! Moms will also love to know that they simple treats can be made in half an hour or less!! All you need in one box of Kellog's Rice Krispies or a generic puffed rice cereal, a small amount of butter or margarine, and a bag of mini marshmallows. These delicious treats can be made from marshmallows melted in the microwave. Easy-peasy!

Here's the recipe:

The Original Rice Krispies Treat Recipe from Kellogg's

These tasty bake sale treats can sell for $1 a square or more.

As a special treat, add M&Ms to the bottom of the pan before pressing the Rice Krispy treats.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Martha Steward Living

This recipe makes the best, softest, chewiest and ouuey oouey, gooey-est chocolate chip cookies ever. If you're rushed for time, wake up early and make them before you walk out of the door.

Photo by kakisky (courtesy of MorgueFile)
Photo by kakisky (courtesy of MorgueFile)

Fund Raising Events

Go Big with Major One-Time Events

Fairs, festivals and seasonal occasions are a great time to organize a a fund raising event. Some events are idea for the warm weather months and the holidays are always a great time to get people buying food, decorative items and other goodies. Here are a few ideas to get your fund-raising plans in gear:

Organize a Car Wash

Organize a Rummage Sale

Decorate Holiday Wreaths

Host a Talent Show and Sell Tickets

Organize a Dance and Sell Tickets

Organize a Pumpkin Carving Booth

Plan a Silent Auction Using Donated Items and Services

Host a Pancake Breakfast

Plan an Ice Cream Social

Organized a Themed event (for example a French Lunch with Crepes and Chocolate Mousse or Strawberry Shortcake Festival)

Grill Burgers and Items for a Lunch-Time Fundraiser

Hire a Barbecue Company to Host a BBQ Chicken fundraiser.

Sell Hoagies or Subs

Bake and Sell Pies, Cakes and Fruit Bread.

Make and Sell Caramel Apples (In most cases you can buy large amounts of apples and have a select group of parents make caramel sauce that can be reheated or brought in a slow cooker or crock pot.)

Silent and live auctions a great ways to get people bidding competitively! Some people have even auctioned dates, yard-work and some very creative and innovative products and services that make events really fun.

Tips to Sucessfully Raise Funds

Fund raising events require planning, good organization and a lot of team work. These events are a great way to put middle schoolers and high schoolers to work. Once mobilized, large groups of students can accomplish great things. Fund raisers require a small weekly commitment, and they also also promote responsibility.

Ensuring the safety of the money you raise, is extremely important. Cash boxes left in common areas, (even ones that are locked) are subject to theft. It's always good to have one responsible person ensure the safety of your funds and cash box.

How much fund raising have you done?

Photo by penywise (courtesy of Morgue File)
Photo by penywise (courtesy of Morgue File)

Are you a fund raising newbie or a veteran? How many have you done?

See results

Find More Great Fund Raising Info

Big-Time Fundraising for Today′s Schools
Big-Time Fundraising for Today′s Schools

Designed especially for school programs and parent terrace efforts, this book will show you effective and creative ideas for reaching your goals.


Plan Fundraisers Like a Pro

The Volunteers' Guide to Fundraising: Raise Money for Your School, Team, Library or Community Group
The Volunteers' Guide to Fundraising: Raise Money for Your School, Team, Library or Community Group

This popular, top-rated book is jam-packed with awesome ideas. Create a plan from the ground up or improve your existing fundraising strategy. Best of all, it make fund raising more like fun raising!


Do you have any great fund raising tips? - Share them here!

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