Raising money for even small youth causes and events isn’t easy. Finding a fun and easy fundraising idea that both the kids and the adults will enjoy is a challenge. Often, the word “fundraising” just makes all the parents groan in despair, knowing that the following week they’ll head off to work to pester their coworkers (yet again) to sponsor their kids. It’s not fun for them, and in most cases, it’s not teaching their kids very much.The ideas below will help you raise money for school and club trips, equipment, medical bills, experiences, moving, and more, and most won’t leave you wanting to tear your hair out! Here are 7 of the best fundraising ideas for schools and clubs.

Fundraising Idea: My Can Drive

Earning the top spot on our list is, of course, the My Can Drive fundraising platform. If you are looking for easy fundraising ideas which won’t require you to hold the exact same fundraising event you held last year, ask your parents to donate or force them to ask their coworkers again, or spend vital money on – let’s be honest – tacky products you sell without seeing a great return.

How it works: The My Can Drive system is a simple way to raise money by asking your local community to pledge their returnable cans and bottles to you, and your volunteers (kids supervised by adults) go out and collect them on the day of the drive.

The My Can Drive is a breath of fresh air in youth fundraising because you don’t need to set up any major events, you don’t need to buy (or make) stock to sell, you connect with members of your community, and spread awareness for doing good for the environment. Simply sharing your event web page asking people to simply put aside their returnable cans and bottles for your group is a lot easier than trying to sell them an overpriced item they don’t want or need.  Because many people dislike the task of returning cans and bottles at the supermarket, they will gladly donate them to your cause.

Best of all, it’s super affordable to get started (even if you’re a very small team of organizers) and we offer you all the support you need to run your My Can Drive event as successfully as possible. Find out more here.

The disadvantage of this idea is that it won’t work as well if your youth group is located in a state that does not have the can/bottle deposit law. That’s why Michigan schools and youth groups have a great opportunity to leverage this idea for raising money.

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Crowdfunding is a great method if you need a method of fundraising that can be shared online or can be used to support other youth fundraising methods.

How it works: You set up a page on a site like GoFundMe, share it online through your social media channels, and people who see it can donate to your cause with their debit or credit card.

Crowdfunding can also be an easy fundraising option if you don’t have the time to fundraise in a more hands-on method (like if someone is sick), but if you have a strong shareable story and get the page to go viral online, you can see some serious success with it.

Of course, the downside of this method is that it will only be successful if you can get it in front of the right people, and it also doesn’t require any input from the children so if you’re fundraising for a trip or equipment, the children won’t be able to have any involvement in raising money.

Sell Candy or Baked Goods

If you have well-behaved children or parents who are willing, you can bake your own goods like cookies and cakes to sell at a booth or table. If you don’t want to bake and have a little seed money, you can buy and sell candy instead. Set up a booth or table outside the school as parents come to collect their kids, by local stores (you will need to get permission first), or at school events.

If you want to find a form of youth fundraising where the kids need to be actively involved in the work of planning and working the fundraising event, this is a good option.

The disadvantages of this idea are that in most cases, the adults will have to be the driving force behind the fundraising event, and parents won’t be thrilled about having to spend time baking or going out to buy goods to sell. If you plan to bake the goods together you should also be aware that it can get messy very quickly!

Car Wash

Why not choose a classic way to raise money? The car wash is still a great way to raise money in the summer when the weather is warm, and you have a good water supply.

If you have a great location to hold a carwash pick a weekend summer day when lots of people will be out and about and advertise the car wash for a few weeks beforehand so your local community knows it’s happening. If you can time your car wash with another event people will be driving to and set up your car wash there, all the better.

If you choose to run a carwash, remember to have an adult who can help the kids use the right amount of soap in the kids’ buckets, so you don’t end up using all the products you bought on the first few cars. Also be aware that the kids can’t offer the same level of finish your customers would receive at a professional car wash, so don’t charge more than they would pay at a professional car wash.

The disadvantage to this idea is that it requires fair weather.  If it’s too cold or raining on the day of your event, you might have to reschedule.

Put on a Show

If you’re looking for unique fundraising ideas to help you raise money for your school or youth club, why not put on a show? If you have theatrical kids or a great location, you could put on your own play or show and charge money for the tickets to see it.

Alternatively, you can also hold a show and ask others to come and perform, like an open mic night for performers and comedians and charge for the tickets and any refreshments you provide.

Obviously, this method requires a lot of work and planning, so it won’t be for everyone, but if you want to raise money for new equipment for your community youth theater group, this may be the perfect option.

Hold a Raffle

If you plan to fundraise at an upcoming event and don’t have a lot of time to get your stall together, why not keep it simple with a raffle? Ask the parents to donate fun raffle prizes or go to local businesses and ask them to sponsor the raffle with a prize. Sell the raffle tickets and hold a draw. If you are at an event, you can let the winners pick the prizes for themselves, or if local businesses donate a high-value prize, draw specifically for that prize and notify the winner.

Be sure to carefully review laws in your state before you choose this method.  There may be additional requirements to consider.

If you are looking for unique fundraising ideas and live near a park with a great (and safe) route you could arrange to use, why not consider a sponsored bike ride? This is a great idea if you have the location, the time, and the volunteers necessary to hold it.

Plan a route and ask those who want to join in on the sponsored ride on the day to pay a fee, and if you like, give them the option to ask their friends and family to sponsor them to ride it to help raise money for your cause.

You will need a good number of volunteers to help supervise at checkpoints, staff a refreshment stand and have someone who is certified in first aid, but if you’re in a rural area and want to arrange something active this may be a good option.

All of these ideas are easy to implement and don’t require a lot of money to get started, but they will require volunteers.

See this post about how to create an awesome volunteer experience so they will want to work with you again and again.

A great fundraising idea!

Be a fundraising hero with this unique fundraising kit. This is for youth groups, schools, churches who are based in Michigan. Returning cans and bottles is good for your community and the environment!


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PDF: How to Keep Volunteers Happy

Every fundraiser needs great volunteers.  Learn how to get them and keep them.

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