Do you moan every time you hear the word “fundraiser”? Do you still have all of the wrapping paper you bought at last year’s fundraiser? You are not alone! The same-old-same-old routine can sometimes be the death of a fundraiser. But breaking out of the ordinary can spark a new fire in your fundraising efforts and even add some fun. Check out these really unique ideas for your next fundraiser:

  1. Cook Off. You can organize a cook off for chili, soup, brownies – just about anything. Your chefs could be: teachers in a classroom vs classroom, police department vs fire department, girls vs boys. Families purchase tickets to the event and get to vote for their favorites. Add a couple raffle baskets and you have a winner!
  2. Trivia Night. You challenge your school community to organize into teams of 2-4 people. Each teams pays an entrance fee for the completion. You could also have a special category for kids based on their grade level. Seeking donations from local businesses would be helpful here, but you could also charge an entrance fee for spectators.
  3. Birthday Yard Sign Service. For a fee, your group would put cute, tacky (but appropriate) signs in someone’s yard to recognize their birthday. You would also leave a sign advertising your group and some contact information to hire out this service.
  4. Pamper Mom Night. This is a mini spa retreat for the ladies. Arrange for several different services to be available, from manicures and pedicures to facials and massages. You could also offer a wine tasting class and hors d’oeuvres. Instead of the wine tasting, how about High Tea? Vendors could either donate their services or offer a discount to your group. Attendees purchase a ticket for the services. You might want to add some raffle baskets themed around women’s interests.
  5. Adult Dance. Survey the age group of your families and then offer a dance night. Hire a DJ to play music from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s (depending on the age group of the group). Fun things to add would be food, drinks and of course raffle baskets. Each attendee buys a ticket to attend.
  6. Purse Bash. This one takes some organizing, but your group would either purchase or seek donations of high end purses and perhaps some other high end items like makeup, jewelry, etc. Attendees purchase tickets for the event where you also have some food, drinks and music. Every ½ hour you draw a ticket and award a purse to one of the attendees. You could also add some other things like 50/50 raffle, etc.
  7. Once in a Lifetime. This is really just selling tickets for a once in a lifetime experience. The experience depends on your community but it might be: watching a football game with the sports team owner in the owner’s box, throwing the first pitch at a MLB game, doing a lap around the course with a famous race car driver, attending a movie screening with the star of the movie, being the grand marshal in your local July 4th parade, having an article published in the local newspaper, getting a head-to-toe makeover, learning to cook from a famous (or locally famous) chef, interviewing your all-time favorite musician… The list goes on.
  8. Adult Scavenger Hunt. Teams of 2-4 people enter the contest for a fee. Each team is given clues to a place in your community. The clues should be difficult. The teams have to solve the clue, then race to the place and take their picture there. The first team to correctly go to all the places in the shortest amount of time wins. The prize could be anything like a night on the town, cash, event tickets, etc.
  9. Cow Patty Bingo. We have seen this mentioned in several different places and thought it looked very interesting. Essentially you map out a giant bingo grid on a local field. Participants purchase as many bingo cards as they want. You then let a cow or two loose in the field to leave their patties. If the cow leaves it on a number on your card, you get to mark off that number on your card. The rest of the bingo rules apply. Prizes could be whatever you are able to get. Just imagine the fun waiting for the cows to make their move!
  10. Family Game Night. This one could involve the whole family. You select at least 10 different games. Families purchase tickets to play. A family remains in the competition every time they win a game. Each family continues to play until there is only one family left. You can modify this for the age groups of the kids as well as allowing one or two game losses to still be eligible to continue. Prizes could be dinner and movie tickets, tickets to a local museum, sporting event, concert, etc.
  11. Dog Kissing Booth. What a fun way to add something special to your carnival or fair! This takes the old fashioned “kissing booth” and adds a fun spin on it.
  12. Duct Tape Your Principal to the Wall. Almost no upfront costs here…just your duct tape. You can charge $1.00 (or more) for a yard of duct tape. The kids love taping the principal to the wall!

We hope these ideas will inspire you to have a really unique and fun fundraiser – and of course raise a lot of money for your school or PTA!