15 brilliant school fundraising ideas!

by Ben Gill | Feb 18, 2020 | Advice

15 brilliant school fundraising ideas!

We know how hard it can be when you are trying to come up with ideas to make the most out of your campaign, and sometimes trying to come up with new things can be quite draining! We thought we would lighten the load by sharing some top tips and ideas that we have unashamedly stolen (thank you very much) from some of our best projects…

1. Try crowdfunding (via Rocket Fund)

Obviously, we were going to say that! We just want to make it clear that by using the Rocket Fund website you will massively increase your chances of raising your target amount.

This is because:

  • People can give as much as they like and donate anonymously if they want to (we’ve had donations ranging from £1 to £5,000!)
  • People can donate even when they’re far away (we’ve seen donations fly in from America and Australia)
  • It expands your network: people are encouraged to donate and share, which can really increase your reach

Once you’re on Rocket Fund, you can still do all the fun, offline school fundraising activities too! Here’s a selection of our favourite school fundraising ideas from previous projects:

2. A sponsored swim

Ardleigh Green wowed us with their project “Ardleigh Afloat” (top prize for hilarious project name!), which showcased perfectly how to engage the whole school in their special challenge, as teachers took part in an open water swim. The school communicated the teacher’s efforts via the ‘Updates’ area on their Rocket Fund page, which were shared with all supporters throughout the campaign. In the end, they raised a whopping £4,000 for their school – go, team!

Teachers celebrate completing their swimathon

3. Contact local businesses

Portlethen School cleverly roped in their students and managed to squeeze in a bit of literacy as well (nice touch), as students wrote persuasive letters to local businesses to bolster their school’s fundraising efforts.

porty school

4. Contact a local celebrity

Know any celebrities that are based close to your school? A famous alumni member maybe? Not only can these be a handy source of funds, but they can also help to amplify your message, especially on social media.

Don’t forget to say thank you! St Gabriel’s Ormesby‏ did this successfully, then tweeted their thank you letters to Bob Mortimer and Steph from BBC Breakfast.


5. Become a celebrity yourself… Get on local radio

Local radio stations are always looking for ways to get in touch with their communities, especially schools. Make the most of this exchange and get your project promoted on the radio, it’s a great opportunity for children to learn about media and communications too!

Oakham Primary School announced their fundraising project on Rutland Radio to great effect.

rutland radio

6. Or get in the local paper

john hampden.png

Just like John Hampden Wendover School did.

7. Get your PTA involved

The experts of school fundraising, they are your secret weapon and the easiest way to get your fundraising project off the ground. Never underestimate the power of the PTA to engage, enthuse and galvanise the school community to meet your fundraising needs. Ready, Set… Fundraise! Just like Oakham school did.

8. Organise an event

You have the perfect audience right there in waiting, parents love events that children can go to, and children just love events! Engage your students in promoting the upcoming bingo night, fete, fair, auction, including making posters and telling all of their friends and family about it. Harness the power of the children for this one and get the whole school community involved, just like Portlethen School did.

porty school event.png

9. Or more specifically a BINGO night ….


10. Give people cake (and ask for money in return)

Ye olde cake sale from yonder year still rings true today. It’s a tried and tested method and it brings in money to add to the Rocket Fund pot. You know how it works, but this time, promote it on social media and maybe sell some cyber cakes via Rocket Fund to people who can’t attend?

eat cake

11. Go a bit Blue Peter – build a totaliser

Dunblane Primary used a timeless technique to further engage their audience and to visually communicate how far along they were on their fundraising journey. They created a totaliser to track their fundraising efforts and to inject a bit of competition into the proceedings. Great for sharing in assemblies!


12. Shave something off

Know someone who has a beard? Longish hair? Copious amounts of dignity? People love it when other people shave things off and ask for money in return. If there is no hair to be shaved, take a slice of that dignity by getting them to do something downright ridiculous like sitting in a bath of beans/jelly/custard/whatever you like. Oakham School got their legend of a teacher Mr. Knight to do just that!

Oakham Shaved face.png

13. Ask school suppliers

Look to your school suppliers to donate and encourage some philanthropy from those who you have built trusting relationships with. They do, of course, have your best interests at heart.


14. Create a silly song (that might go viral!)

Make your audience smile and laugh and smile again. Woodley C of E School did an amazing job of that as they made a well-known song their own and used it to share their message.

15. Get your friends involved

Actors (tick), cameraman (tick), great concept (tick)… you’re ready. There are resources and very helpful people all around you. Children, staff, and volunteers at Monquitter Primary School worked together to create this amazing film with super high production values which attracted lots of interest and ultimately donations!

Fundraising is an opportunity to engage the whole of your school community; it can be fun, it doesn’t need to take too much time and it can all be made easier if you use Rocket Fund to assist you!

For more inspiration, to create your own, or to support another project visit our project pages here.

*This post was originally published on the Nesta blog.

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