Choosing appropriate school fundraisers for your school community is an important decision. What are your fundraising options? This article has information and resources for organizing a school fundraiser for your public or private school.

Here are some questions to consider as fundraising options are reviewed:

Long-term Goals 

  • How does fundraising fit into the school's overall economic plan? 
  • Is there documentation that clearly identifies the role of fundraising for the school community? 
  • For what types of expenditures can/will fundraising be used?
  • Does the fundraising plan cover more than a school year?


  • Is there an approval process so that fundraising events have oversight? 
  • Is there overall coordination so that different classes/teams/projects don't end up with overlap in fundraising efforts (e.g., doing a similar fund-raiser at the same time)? 
  • Is there overall coordination so that the people involved (whether staff, faculty, or students) are not overtaxed with responsibility? 
  • Is there overall coordination so that the community (and especially parents) are not asked for support at too frequent intervals? 
  • Is there a liaison with neighboring schools and organizations to avoid duplication?

Short-term Goals 

  • What particular goal(s) does this fundraising campaign have: 
    • Who will receive the funds raised? 
    • What are the funds ear-marked for? 
    • How much money is needed? 
    • What will be done with a surplus, if any? 
    • What will be done in case of a deficit, if any? 
  • How do the goals for this particular campaign fit in with the larger fundraising picture?

Fundraising Options 

  • What are the fundraising options available for the particular goal?

For each option, consider the following:


  • How much time will it take? 
  • Is there any monetary outlay required to begin? 
  • Does it require use of the school facility? 
  • Does it require time spent outside of normal student hours? 
  • How will word of the fund-raiser reach the target audience? 
  • Are other materials needed, such as: 
    • tables for a bake sale 
    • soap, buckets, sponges, hoses for a car wash 
    • merchandise for a school store 
    • a phone tree for unscheduled changes of plan and/or emergencies


  • How many people will it involve? 
  • Who are the people who will be involved? 
  • Are any special personnel needed such as: 
    • chaperones for a dance 
    • an advisor/accountant for a school store 
    • clean-up crew for after a bake sale 
    • money counters and receipt collators for gift-wrap sale 
    • unloading a delivery truck/boxes and sorting items from a company.


  • If on school property, is the fundraising activity covered under the school's insurance policy? 
  • If students will be interacting with strangers, have guidelines been determined and issued (e.g., for parent chaperones, students traveling in groups, etc.)? 
  • If students are involved with sales, have arrangements been made to collect money periodically so that students are not responsible for large sums?

Meeting Goals 

  • Will this option raise the needed money? 
  • If an item is being sold: 
    • is it of high quality? 
    • is it timely? 
    • is it likely to be of interest to a large enough number of people? 
    • will it draw funds from people outside those who are usually asked (e.g., parents, neighbors)? 
    • will it build school/community spirit? 
    • is it in keeping with the school's mission, policy, and teachings (e.g., if the school is famous for its anti-drug stance, selling coffee may raise an issue because of the caffeine; similarly if the school focuses on nutrition and then sells candy)? 
  • If a company is supplying a product, what is their policy on: 
    • quality issues? 
    • returns? 
    • rewards for high sales? 
    • students/client mistakes on order forms?

Choosing a School Fundraiser Resources:

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