15 brilliant school fundraising ideas

  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:

  1. People can give as much as they like and donate anonymously if they want to (we’ve had donations ranging from £1 to £1,000!)
  2. People can donate even when they’re far away (we’ve seen donations fly in from America and Australia)
  3. 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. Organise a sponsored swim

Why not organise a sponsored swim just like Ardleigh Green, who wowed us with their project “Ardleigh Afloat” (top prize for hilarious project name!), showcasing perfectly how to engage the whole school in a their special challenge. The school communicated the teachers efforts via the ‘updates’ area on the Rocket Fund site, which were shared with all supporters throughout the campaign. In the end they raised a whopping £4,000 for their school - go team!

Three women celebrate

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.

Take a look at their twitter post for inspiration!

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, 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.

letters written to celebrities

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.

image of twitter grab promotion of school featuring on the radio

6. Or get in the local news

Just like John Hampden Wendover School did:

twitter grab of school making it into the newspapers!

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...

Visit the project page here.

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.

Poster in childs handwriting

9. Or more specifically a BINGO night ….

Bingo advert on twitter from school account

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?

Twitter grab person eating a 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!

school children stand in front of  home made totaliser

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 down right ridiculous like sitting in a bath of beans / jelly / custard / whatever you like. Oakham School got their legend of a teacher Mr Knight to shave his beard off (see the transformation below) - what could you do?!

before and after pictures of a teacher with a beard and then without!

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.

man holds oversized presentation cheque

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

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

two children singing in front of a car with a pop-style filter applied

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 Monquhitter Primary School worked together to create this amazing film with super high production values which attracted lots of interest and ultimately donations!

Screen grab from film , child holds up a fake VR set to eyes

Fundraising is an amazing opportunity to engage the whole of your school community, it can be fun and everybody can get involved. Using Rocket Fund makes for an easier fundraising experience and helps to spread the word to a wider audience.

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

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Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Senior Programme Manager

Ben was a Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Lab's Education Team.

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Cleo Fatoorehchi

Cleo Fatoorehchi

Cleo Fatoorehchi

Operations Manager

Cleo was part of the Education team at Nesta and worked on Rocket Fund, a crowdfunding platform for schools to give children access to EdTech.

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