93 Fundraising Ideas for Booster Clubs

Photo of dunking a basketballI put this list together to help get you started brainstorming the next perfect fundraiser for your booster club. Where indicated, the examples link to templates and checklists from actual booster clubs. These useful links can help you plan your own fundraisers. Most fundraisers listed here have actually been done, either by clubs I’ve interviewed, Boosterland contributors, or booster clubs in the news. Stay tuned for smaller thematic posts or “top tens” like sports fundraisers, and food fundraisers.  Have a successful fundraiser that you don’t see on this list? Post it in the comments and I’ll add it for everyone to see.

  1. 3v3 Basketball Tournament–You can use this announcement flyer and sign-up sheet from Laurens Booster Club of NY; it’s a great template/checklist to get your own BB tourney started.

  2. 5k/Fun Run– What’s a reasonable fee? What’s a good range of age divisions? Need a template sign-up sheet? Check out this web page for Mansfield High School’s booster club and their 12th annual 5k run.

  3. Advertising–On event programs, etc.

  4. Alpaca Manure–One booster club in Illinois sells “paca poo” as garden fertilizer. Just goes to show you should never turn down a donation!

    * = required field

  5. Artwork Sale–Encourage students and other local artists to donate their visual artwork, from painting to pottery and beyond. Family Education Network  says “This is very easy to do. Parents love it, and kids love to see their own artwork reproduced. It celebrates each child’s creativity.”

  6. Back-to-School Night–Spirit wear sales.Bake sale cookies

  7. Bail Out or “Jail Break”–Find willing volunteers to be “arrested” and held until they raise enough funds to bail themselves out. Originally found here, but the announcement isn’t on the website.

  8. Bake Sale–You know the drill! Bake or buy yummy things, and then sell them to your community at a higher price.

  9. Basket Auction–Auction themed bundles with contents listed, or Oklahoma! style with hidden hampers.

  10. Battle of the Bands–Great if you can get a prize (like studio time) donated. You can charge audience members for entrance and additional votes.

  11. B.B.Q.–Bring in a B.B.Q. vendor or bust out the grills yourself. Just make sure to find a great space outside and a good band!

  12. BINGO!

  13. Board Game (create your own version)–Here’s an example from a booster club in Washington. My  editor, Cedar Attanasio, also wrote a how to build boardgames, on a National Geographic Education blog.iStock_000001918437XSmall_bocce

  14. Bocce Tournament–Like a golf tournament it’s fun and outside. Unlike a golf  tournament, you don’t have to have “a stroke.”

  15. Cake Walk– participants boogie to music, passing along numbered squares. A random number is selected. When the music stops, participants stop in place. The person standing on the winning number gets a cake.

  16. Calendar–Make a calendar featuring photos of your team/orchestra/ensemble.

  17. Canvassing–Asking for donations in public places or door-to-door.

  18. Capital Campaign–Direct asks for financial support to create an endowment or other large one-time project.

    * = required field

  19. Car Wash

  20. Carnival–Sutro Booster Club of Reno, Nevada, created an outdoor carnival that included bounce houses, carnival games, a cake walk, food, drinks, community vendor booths, and a Pie-in-the-Face game featuring “pied” public officials.

  21. Casino Bus Trip–Casinos will often give you giant comps for bussing in large groups of out of towners. For example, they might give $50 of chips for each person. You can organize a group, pocket the chip money, and charge a slight fee for the bus.

  22. Casino Night–Either gamble for real (with appropriate permits), or make it a family event, charging admission for non-redeemable chips.Christmas Tree Farm

  23. Celebrity Waiter Night–Locally celebrated volunteers work as waiters. Their tips are donated. This example comes from Relay For Life.

  24. Christmas Tree Sale–Like firework sales, this is a great seasonal fundraiser, but it requires a bit of investment.

  25. Coffee Sales

  26. College Testing–Host an SAT or ACT test using your school’s space.

  27. Comedy Night–Recruit aspiring stand-up comics for a night of laughs.

  28. Concessions/Snack Shack–Low-hanging fruit fundraiser to complement school events.

  29. Concessions Cart–Put your snack shack on wheels and take it to local events.

  30. Consignment–A mash-up of the Garage Sale (#50) and the Craft Fair (#34).

  31. Cookie Dough Sale

  32. Coupon Books–Collect coupon deals from local merchants, and then sell the books to supporters.iStock_000002700090XSmall_crabs

  33. Crab Feed–A West Coast favorite. I hear they have these in Maine as well.

  34. Craft Fair–Make your gymnasium or parking lot available to local artisans for a space-based fee. You can charge extras for tables and chairs, and run a concessions stand as well.

  35. Crowdfunding–Use kickstarter or indiegogo to fund a project.

  36. Dance Party–From formal ballrooms to sweaty 24 hour dance marathons.

  37. Day Camps–For sports, theater, engineering, etc. Students make great counselors.

  38. Dessert Silent Auction–Check out this example from the Seward Seahawks Athletic Booster Club.

  39. Drive-Through Dinner–E.g. tamale pick up as a drive-through on a weeknight in the school parking lot.

    * = required field

  40. Employer Matching–Based on donations or volunteer hours.

  41. Escrip–Box Tops for Education, but without the clipping and sending. See our posts on how to run successful scrip fundraisers.

  42. Euchre Tournament–It’s a card game, and it’s fun.

  43. Fan Bus–Take a load off families of fans by offering them a chartered bus to the away game.

  44. Fantasy Sports League or an NFL Betting Pool–A 50/50 raffle in the form of a fantasy sports season.iStock_000003717890XSmall_fireworks

  45. Father’s Day Skeet ShootHere’s an example from a booster club in Orlando, Florida. They decided not to rent guns or sell ammunition, but just focus on the pigeons.

  46. Fireworks Sale

  47. Fish Fry

  48. Flamingo Flocking–Plant a “flock” of plastic flamingos in a supporter’s yard, then charge them to put it in someone else’s yard. Then that person has to pay for removal and chooses the next target. Old targets (revenge flocks) should cost extra. Here’s an example.

  49. Formal Dinner

  50. Garage SaleGet lots of good donations, sell them really cheap, and give the leftovers to a thrift store.

    iStock_000000984356XSmall_pinkgolfball

  51. Golf Tournament–These are immensely popular fundraisers that bring together a lot of money from sponsors and contestants.

  52. Hall of Fame–Charge admission for this induction ceremony.

  53. Haunted House

  54. Head Shaving–Voluntary noggins get shaved when a certain (and well-publicized) fundraising goal is met. Variants include mohawk cuts and bright color dying!

  55. Jazz Dinner Night–Great for a band booster club like this one in Swansboro, North Carolina.

  56. Karaoke Competition–Like air guitar and singing in your car, karaoke is a socially acceptable excuse to let loose and rock out.

  57. Mattress Sale–Sometimes you have to think out of the springbox, like this Oroville, California, booster club did.

  58. Meat Sale–The Ballenas Whalers Booster Club is really into their year-round meat selling. Seasonal meat sales of game are a also a good idea in areas where hunting is popular.

  59. Membership Dues–This is a popular, steady income stream that cuts through overhead costs. However, membership should never be mandatory, especially  if your organization is a 501(c)(3).Cinema tickets on white background

  60. Movie Premiere–Every indie moviemaker is looking for a way to show their film to a new audience, And there’s something special about seeing a film that no one has seen before.

  61. Music Album–While the costs of producing a decently recorded album are approaching zero, one can easily charge $10-$15 for an album of locally or student produced music.

  62. Obstacle Course–Charge entry fees as in this “Flud Run.”

  63. Outing to Pro Sports Event–For example, the New York Yankees baseball team offers a 50% discount for groups of 40 on certain games. A booster club can offer a 10% discount, and pocket 40% for the fundraiser.

  64. Pancake Breakfast–Like a bake sale, it can be more trouble than it’s worth.

  65. Parking–Run a parking lot for an event in your town or a neighboring town.

  66. Phone Drive–Every club should keep information on past donors, event attendees and potential sponsors. Once a year, or for one-time projects like endowments or bus purchases, you can gather a phone bank of volunteers and solicit donations from everyone on the list.Set_of_Poker_Chips_in_Case_wikimedia

  67. Pick-A-Prize Raffle–A hybrid raffle/auction. ”Bidders” buy tickets for individual prize drawing. The more tickets they buy, the higher chance they have of winning that particular prize. The Saint Helen’s Sports Boosters club puts one on every year, auctioning (well, more like raffling) special donations from local artisans.

  68. Poker Tournament–There are an infinite number of ways to structure a poker tournament but the Stillwater Area High School Wrestling Booster Club of Minnesota has a simple formula: entry fee; appetizers; cash bar.

  69. Polarbear Plunge Jamboree– “Polarbearing” is the act of jumping into cold water for fun. You can charge for transportation, hot chocolate and extra towels.

  70. Pumpkin Patch–Like a Christmas tree fundraiser,  but for Halloween.1280px-Halloween_pumpkins-IMG_2191

  71. Raffle (Simple)–Supporters buy tickets for a random prize drawing. The J.F. High School Athletic Booster Club of North Carolina has some innovative ideas, like making each raffle ticket a coupon for a sponsor restaurant.

  72. Recycling(Phones and Laptops)

  73. Reverse Raffle–All attendees get a free ticket to a raffle full of really bad and compulsory prizes (head shave, have to sing a silly song in public, have to spend the rest of the evening in a cage…). They can pay to have their ticket removed from the drawing.

  74. Restaurant Dinners–For example, Champs Booster Club of Sherman Oaks, California, partners with a local pizza place in a multi-day fundraiser.

    * = required field

  75. Reunion Donations

  76. Scoreboard Advertising

  77. Silent Auction–The PCMS Drama Booster Club of Georgia has a nice donation form template.

  78. Snow Shoveling–A volunteer-heavy activity best performed by teenagers.

  79. Soda Fight–A battle best fought outside! Arguably more fun than a water balloon fight.

  80. Spirit Merchandise–The biggest challenge in merchandising is what to order and how much. Surveying parents and students on both decisions is a shortcut to making good decisions.Tennis balls on Court

  81. Talent Show–As with a battle of the bands, there are a number of things you can monetize: entry fees, voting, and food. Unlike a battle of the bands, organizers can include more talents, and don’t have to handle as much sound equipment.

  82. Tennis Tournament–If you have a tennis club, you’ve probably organized a tournament for your league. Why not take those organizational skills to have  a public fundraiser for your club? Here’s one way to do it.

  83. Test Drives–Dealerships will pay you to recruit people to come test drive their cars! Here’s an example from The Farmington Athletic Booster Club in New Mexico.

  84. Slam Dunk/Globetrotters Competition–Either as it’s own event, or as an add-on to a 3v3 tourney (see #1).

  85. Ticket Sales–For games, performances, and exhibitions.

  86. Trivia Night

  87. Track Meet

  88. Underwear Run–Best done in winter! Here’s an example.Boy with water balloons

  89. Valentine’s Day Gift Delivery

  90. Water Balloon Fight–More popular than soda fights, and less sticky. Water balloon fights require more preparation (filling balloons) and cleanup (picking up plastic).

  91. Wine Tasting–Partner with a local winery for free tastings. Charge a fee to participants, and provide transportation to maximize safety.

  92. Wrapping Paper Sale–Best at Christmas time,but arguably not the best type of fundraiser.

  93. Insert Your Favorite Here

I hope these 93 fundraising tips help you get started finding the perfect fundraiser. I’m always looking to improve the list, so please add your own fundraisers in the comments. If you do, make sure to link to your booster club’s website or flyer; I’d love to give you credit. Speaking of links, this is the kind of page that needs link updates frequently. Please identify dead links in the comments. Happy fundraising!

Photo credit: “Set of Poker Chips in a Case” by Psychofox on wikimedia
Photo credit: “Pumpkins for Sale” by Accuruss on wikimedia

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