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Fundraising ideas for schools

Children holding trophy

Fundraising ideas for schools

According to a report in The Guardian published in October 2022, nine out of ten schools in England will have run out of money by the next school year as the enormous burden of increased energy bills takes its toll.

Schools are under more pressure than ever as spending cuts and rising costs have pushed them to the brink.

That means financial support is needed more than ever, and schools are continually seeking creative ways to fundraise in ways that support students and helps headteachers invest in essential resources.

In this guide, we delve into fundraising ideas for schools that can be used not only to raise funds but also to bring the community together.

How can schools raise funds?

Fundraising has become a vital part of sustaining schools and academic institutions nationwide.

Whether it’s to fund enrichment programs, support school teams, update equipment, or generate revenue for student activities, it’s important to find innovative ways to alleviate the financial burden placed on schools.

While there are many ways to raise funds, the most successful methods are events that resonate with the students and the wider community.

Some tried and tested school fundraising ideas include:

Traditional fundraising events

For decades, schools have used events like bake sales, auctions, talent shows, and even sponsored walks to involve students, teachers, and families in fundraising.

Bake sales, for example, are a great way to get everyone involved in a fun and delicious way.

You can send flyers home asking each child and their parent to bake something that can be sold to pupils at breaktime and lunchtime. You can ask each child to bake something different, so there is a variety of goods on offer.

These events provide a perfect opportunity for students of all ages, parents, and teachers to gather and showcase their baking talents while contributing to the school.

Digital crowdfunding

Online fundraising has become a huge part of modern fundraising efforts for schools.

With online platforms such as JustGiving and GoFundMe, schools can now use the internet to reach a wider audience.

These websites not only have no platform fee, but they also permit organisers to create personalised appeals for specific projects or educational initiatives, with individuals able to contribute from anywhere in the world.


As part of their ongoing corporate social responsibility, many local businesses and organisations will be more than happy to support your school financially.

Sponsorships are mutually beneficial methods of raising money because businesses receive positive brand awareness in the local community while your school boosts its revenue.

This could include sponsoring football matches, school awards evenings, talent shows and other community events that help improve the brand’s reputation and visibility.

Fun competitions

Competition brings out the best in people, and harnessing this competitive spirit can significantly benefit your school’s fundraising efforts.

Whether you are organising a school funfair, a sports event, or a talent show, incorporating fun competitions can enhance the overall experience and increase participation.

To encourage students and staff to get involved and recognise the efforts of the participants, you can award trophies and medals in different categories, such as Best Effort and Best Sportsman or Woman, as well as placement trophies or medals for the top performers.

What is the most profitable school fundraiser?

The money that can be made from a single school fundraiser event will always depend on several factors, including initial expenses, participation numbers, and local support.

Some fundraising ideas have proven particularly lucrative for schools, such as sponsored walks or runs where every child is encouraged to collect as many sponsorships as possible.

Fundraising events like this, which include some form of a competitive element, have been proven to be successful time and again. Plus, as an incentive, students can be awarded participation medals for their efforts, with pupils performing exceptionally well being awarded placement trophies.

Schools can generate substantial funds by including personalised bespoke trophies and awards to celebrate their achievements while promoting a sense of pride and camaraderie in the students and staff.

Here, we’ve detailed why exciting competitive fundraising events are considered to be some of the most profitable school fundraisers:

  • High levels of student and staff engagement

Competitive school activities that include award ceremonies capture the competitive spirit of students and staff alike. Whether it’s a sports-based event, a cooking competition, or a science fair, these fun and engaging occasions encourage participation by providing an opportunity to showcase skills.

  • Ticket sales

Competitions are great at attracting large audiences and supporters, which allows schools to capitalise on ticket sales to attend the event. While it takes place, staff and students can encourage attendees to donate and use the opportunity to explain in person why the school is fundraising.

  • Local sponsorships

Fundraising events with a competitive edge are always more likely to attract the attention of local businesses. Competitions draw large audiences, and these businesses will be more than happy to contribute funds in exchange for recognition and branding opportunities.

  • Positive coverage

Unlike a small bake sale or own clothes day, successful competitions complete with an award ceremony can generate a lot of positive publicity for your school. Local media coverage, social media posts, and word of mouth will all help raise awareness of your fundraising and attract more donations.

Competitions are great for raising funds, but beyond this they provide students and staff with the opportunity to feel a sense of achievement and take pride in their school.

These events allow schools to recognise and celebrate their students’ skills, hard work and excellence, reinforcing the importance of working together and supporting your community.

Fundraising ideas for primary schools

A huge part of primary school life is fun and creative fundraising events that not only provide young children with an opportunity to participate in exciting activities but also drive home the value of teamwork and being involved in your community at an early age.

These events show children how fundraising for their school encourages a sense of pride and belonging whilst having fun with their peers. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some engaging fundraising ideas perfect for primary schools.

Reading challenge

As a fun and educationally beneficial challenge, why not organise a read-a-thon fundraising event within each primary school class?

Pupils can ask friends and family to sponsor them for every page read to encourage them to read as much as possible while raising money for the school.

The challenge can be tailored to each year’s reading level so that all children feel confident participating, and a fundraising goal can be set at the start so pupils know what to aim for.

Prizes in the form of medals or trophies can be awarded to the top readers or classes with the most pages read as an added incentive.

Walking or fun run challenge

Primary school children love any excuse to be outside, so what better way to fundraise for your primary school than with a fun run or walking challenge?

Pupils can be sponsored and receive a set amount for each lap they complete around the school playground or, if the typical British weather sets in, around the school hall.

Stations with water, juice and snacks should be set up to keep everyone hydrated and motivated to keep going.

At the end of the day, the children who complete the most laps can be awarded medals to acknowledge their achievement!

School fair day

Most adults remember the fun of attending a school fair, and in 2024, not much has changed! Why not treat pupils, staff and families to a day of fundraising with a school fair?

The school playground and fields can be transformed into a fairground with games, rides, raffles, food stalls, and entertainment.

The school can charge admission to each person in attendance and take a portion of the revenue from each stall and event.

Themed clothes day

You’ll likely remember the fun of your own clothes day growing up, so why not introduce this fantastic fundraising idea to your primary school with a twist?

Organise themed dress-up days such as rainbow clothes, pyjama day, or crazy hair day as a fun and exciting way to engage students.

Pupils can pay a small fee to participate, and medals can be awarded for the best outfit or even the craziest hair!

Christmas fundraising ideas for schools

Christmas is a magical time for children of all ages, so it is the perfect season for schools to make the most of festive fundraising opportunities.

Here are some of our favourite festive fundraising ideas to spread Christmas cheer whilst capitalising on people’s generosity:

Christmas market

Make the most of the festive season by asking pupils to make Christmas decorations for the school hall so that you can host a Christmas market!

Invite parents, local artisans, and small businesses to set up a stall in your school hall where they can sell everything from baked goods, jewellery, pottery, cosmetics, candles and other locally made products that would make a perfect Christmas gift.

The school can then charge vendors a fee for using the space and collect a percentage of the sales as proceeds towards your fundraising efforts.

Christmas carols

Most schools have choir groups, so why not allow these pupils to show off their talents by arranging Christmas carolling in the local area to boost your fundraising efforts?

Whether you want to go house to house in the local community or visit hospitals and care homes, arranging Christmas carolling for the children is a great way to spread festive cheer whilst raising funds.

Not only do pupils get to showcase their talents, but they will also create a memorable and heartwarming experience for everyone involved.

With any luck, appreciative listeners will be encouraged to donate to your school!

Festive fun family evening

Christmas is a special time for families, particularly those with younger school children, so you’ll find many parents will jump at the chance to attend a fun and festive Christmas event at the school.

The evening can include a tree lighting ceremony with carol singers, hot chocolate, baked goods and sweet stalls, a grotto where children can meet and greet with Father Christmas, and other festive activities for the whole family.

Tickets can be sold to attend, and a percentage of the money made can be put towards the school’s fundraiser.

Easter fundraising ideas for schools

Easter is another great time of year to capitalise on the festivities of the season and raise funds through fun and creative activities.

Here are some Easter school fundraising ideas to inspire your pupils:

Easter egg hunt

Egg hunts are a timeless easter tradition, and so one of the best ways to fundraise is to host an easter egg hunt on the school grounds.

Each pupil is charged a participation fee, and they can be given a basket to collect as many colourful painted eggs as possible within an allotted time. You may even want to hide extra special prize eggs to add an element of fun to the day.

Once the children have finished, they can return with their painted eggs and exchange them for chocolate easter eggs!

Plus, the child with the most eggs collected can be awarded a special easter trophy to commemorate the day.

Easter bake sale

Everyone loves a sweet easter treat, so why not organise an easter themed bake sale?

Encourage pupils, teachers and parents to bring in their best hot cross buns, bunny-shaped cookies and pastel-coloured cupcakes to sell as part of the sale.

Pupils can then buy their favourite treats during break, lunchtime and after school for the whole family to enjoy.

Easter raffle

Easter is a time for giving, so why not encourage pupils to donate everything from chocolate eggs to toys to create easter themed baskets to be raffled?

This is a fun and festive way to encourage pupils to get involved with the school fundraising campaign while spreading joy during the Easter season.

The school can sell raffle tickets to pupils, staff and the wider community for a chance to win the baskets. The winning ticket can then be drawn and announced at a school assembly or using the school’s social media platforms.

Enhance your fundraising efforts with school trophies

At Trophies2u, we have supported schools across the UK with their fundraising efforts by offering a wide range of trophies for schools and presentation cups to add an extra level of excitement to a range of events.

If you are interested in learning more about our bespoke trophies and awards and would like to learn more about our custom products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on 01527 400092 or email us on and we’ll get straight back to you.

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