United Way of Westchester and Putnum

Search for Help



Sign Up for News

Popular School & Student Fundraising Ideas

Fun creative ways to raise money!

  • Ugly Tie/Ugly Earring Contest - Male teachers/students wear their ugliest ties, females their ugliest earrings. Solicit “votes” (donations) from students. The person with the most votes at the end of the day wins a prize.
  • Student American Idol - singing contest during recess or lunch. In order to vote students must contribute to the candidate of their choice. He/She with the most donations wins as “<SCHOOL NAME> Student Idol”
  • Make a “Community Quilt” - Provide construction paper, markers, magazines, etc. Have students make a collage related to United Way. Tie all the squares together with yarn at a rally, and display proudly!
  • You Make the Music - Hold a jingle-writing contest using this theme. The top five winning jingles can be sung to students by the writers/composers during a United Way meeting, or have your top students perform the jingles.
  • Funniest Home/School Videos - Encourage students to bring their funniest videos from home or make new ones at school. An entry fee can be charged, and be sure and offer a prize to the winner. Winning videos can be featured at your victory party.
  • Dress up Day - Students pay to wear their finest eveningwear or tuxedo to school. Hold a fashion show and crown the winners.
  • “Academy Awards Night” - Have students dress as their favorite celebrity. Create video movie “skits” using your favorite movies with a United Way twist.
  • Wild Hat Day - Entry fee is $3.00. Students and adults may participate.
  • Mix Match Day - Entry fee is $3.00. Students and adults may participate.
  • Karaoke Night - Event for students and adults. Admission is $3.00. Snacks are $1.00. Money raised goes to United Way.
  • Talent Show/Dinner - People will make donations for their meals. Desserts will also be available for purchase.

Fun ideas to raise money while showing school spirit!

  • Pass the Can: Fun to do at football games and other sporting events where you will have adults and students seated. Make an announcement that the funds are going to United Way. Even better if the competing team conducts one at the same time to see who raises the most at the event.
  • Sell popcorn and drinks at school event, dance, or picnic with proceeds going to United Way.
  • Hold a raffle for tickets to student sporting events or movies.
  • Have a day at the races. Students can team up to have their race day with kid’s pedal cars or trikes. Checkered flags and a mini race track create more fun. 
  • Collection at School Dances. One dollar more for tickets. Sell roses at the dance.
  • Spirit Day: A competitive event amongst different class ranks that will determine which group has the most spirit by their donations to United Way. This event will take place right after a big game or school event.
  • Sports Tournament - Invite other clubs or teams to participate. Entrance fee will be $2.00.
  • T-shirt sales - Schools can raise money by selling T-shirts specialized for each student or club.
  • Skit/Puppet Show - A skit/puppet show could be performed by the drama club. A display table will be set up for donations.
  • Give a dollar - Organizations or clubs can sell paper shamrocks for a dollar.

Use your special talents to help raise money!

  • Hold an Art Fair or Book Fair.  A great way to raise money and provide a fun shopping experience for students.
  • Hold a poster contest for students to illustrate an aspect of United Way.
  • Face painting - fee is $2.00.
  • Makeover Day - Students will pay $4.00 to get a makeover.
  • Card sale - Students can make and sell cards for special events.
  • Poet’s corner - Students will pay to enter their poems.
  • Craft Fair - Students can sell Baskets and Bouquets.
  • Photos - Organizations and clubs can take photos at special events for a donation.
  • For that Special Day! Organizations or clubs can make corsages for special events. Each corsage will cost $7.00.
  • Basket Raffle - Each person will purchase a ticket for a chance to win a Basket.

Fun outdoor activities to help raise money!

  • Hold a carnival or outdoor picnic complete with entertainment, agency booths, drawings, local celebrities, dunking booths, cakewalks and on-site radio remote.
  • Hold a prize-filled rally and great food to pump up the spirits and get the campaign off to a great start.
  • Kiss the pig/cow/llama - If students reach their goal, a teacher or the Principal agrees to kiss a pig or cow, OR their choice of species.
  • Car Wash - students agree to wash cars for donations to United Way.
  • Dunking Booth - Charge $1 per ball to dunk a student or teacher.
  • Play Catch & Release - teachers/students have to stay in fish tank until they raise ten or more dollars in donations.
  • Game Day - Students can purchase pizza and refreshments. They can also pay to participate in fun games during the day at school instead of going to class.
  • Penny Fundraiser - Each group member must design and decorate a collection box/bin. First place wins a Pizza Party. Second Place wins sundaes.
  • Bake sale - Students will sell baked goods for donations to United Way.
  • Movie Fundraiser - The movie is free. The refreshments will be $2.00.
  • “Beach Bash” - Decorate cafeteria with beach balls, etc. Sell hot dogs and fruit kabobs. Tell everyone to wear their favorite “Hawaiian shirt” and then vote on the best one. Award prizes for the best outfits.

A great way to raise money and provide a learning experience!

  • Lunch ‘n Learn - Invite an agency speaker and provide lunch for a lunch-time workshop on a topic of interest.
  • United Way Trivia Contest - Distribute e-mail, printed questions or put up “potty papers” in the restrooms about United Way and its programs every day for a week. Then ask trivia questions based on the information. Those completing all the questions are entered into a drawing (use information in the United Way brochure, Campaign Coordinator Kit or our website to help you write the questions).
  • Guess the Baby Contest - photos of teachers/students as babies posted. Cost per vote adds fun and can also vote on cutest, etc. 

Fun interactive ways to raise money!

  • Magazine or Candy Bar Sales
  • PJ Days – Students pay $1 to wear pajamas to class on specified days.
  • Sweet Tooth Sales - students serve ice cream, hot chocolate, or other sweets at lunch or breaks in order to raise money. Get items donated or baked by volunteers.
  • Students send candy-grams for 25¢ each. Halloween Grams or Holiday grams are great sellers.
  • Stress Buster Days - Teachers wear jeans to work. Students pay to throw water balloons and whipped cream pies at them - can be scheduled around peak busy times on campus.
  • Schedule a Youth Brown Bag Seminar -- sell pizza and soda to the participants with the proceeds going to United Way.

  • youtube
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • linkedin