Whether you’re attempting to raise money for your child’s playgroup, a kindergarten event, your child’s medical or educational expenses, or adoption fees, fundraising can be tough and exhausting. Sometimes, raising the needed funds just seems unattainable. However, with a little bit of hard work and inspiration – you can reach your fundraising goals.
Getting kids involved with fundraising can help instill the values of hard work, gratitude, and generosity. But that doesn’t mean these fundraising ideas need to be boring for them! There are plenty of effective and fun fundraising ideas for kids out there that will encourage them to get in the spirit of giving while still having a lot of fun running around and playing.
Who says a kid’s event can’t be both fun and profitable? In this article, we’ll give you some easy fundraising ideas to involve and engage kids while also entertaining the adults to raise enough funds for your needs.
Almost all kids enjoy birthdays and birthday parties, especially when they’re receiving gifts! The fun of meeting their friends and family, neighbors and new kids, playing games, and enjoying the day means the world to them. You can give it a more meaningful twist. Switch it around and throw a birthday bash that gives the kids the gift of giving.
Choose a cause to support – whether it’s a hands-on local project or raising money for a specific organization. Invite family and friends to come to the birthday party with a donation in lieu of a gift (described on the invitation), and have fun making a difference!
Guests could also have the opportunity to leave a birthday message in person or on a dedicated donation form and make a donation. The best way to achieve this is to have a donor wall on your donation page. Encourage your invitees to leave a comment and that will show up on the page once the donation is made. You can display these messages on a projector to cheer up the kids and inspire more donations from people.
Decorate the party space with design elements that reflect the chosen nonprofit. For instance, if the chosen cause is wildlife protection, fill the space with greenery and photos of animals, have someone paint panda faces on kids, give them all a t-shirt with the organization’s logo (use a t-shirt fundraising platform), and serve a healthy, plant-based meal.
Consider wording an invitation such as, “[Our child] or [The children in our kindergarten] feel so fortunate that they want to help others feel fortunate too.” This will intrigue people to attend your party and make donations to make the kids happier. This simple twist to your birthday parties can very well turn out to be a great fundraising idea involving kids and encouraging lots of donations.
Pro tip: With help and permission from parents, set up a fundraising page for the kid whose birthday it is and add images, videos, and the birthday fundraiser information to it. Give them a week or month of time to raise enough funds and reward the kid with a gift on the party day. This will instill a sense of giving within the kid as well as give you extra time to raise more money.
The Mad Hatter picnic is all about doing silly and funny things together, and also about the details. Turn this picnic into one of the funniest and craziest fundraising ideas for kids in the community. Decorate with hand-sewn playing cards, rose bushes, oversized vibrant flowers, beautiful mismatched crockery, vintage music, and – of course – tea and scones. Make sure to coordinate enough tables for your expected attendees. If you’re helping a nonprofit, you can seek their help in deciding on a place that will be apt for an event like this. You can also give kids branded t-shirts from the nonprofit to help market their organization.
The Mad Hatter picnic is a phenomenal fundraising idea for kids and the whole family since the theme can get both adults and kids involved.
Make sure you have enough volunteers to serve and prepare food, as well as sell event tickets and organize entertainment. It is advisable to create a simple event page online and sell tickets from there. It is easier to market across channels. You can encourage people to buy tickets, input their meal preferences, and receive tickets and receipts automatically. An event ticketing tool will also help you track your sold tickets and purchasers’ information at the backend. This will help with the arrangements. Donorbox lets you achieve all this and also, determine tax-deductibility of ticket levels by inputting the fair-market value and tax rate of tickets. You can also accept donations from the event ticketing form.
Pro tip: Organize fun activities like a scavenger hunt, musical toadstools, face painting, costume contest, tea tasting, teacup decorating, hat-making, and croquet. Have some games and challenges for adults as well to keep them engaged during the picnic. For starters, you can have them bake cookies, do a chili cook-off, host a bake sale for the community and make money to help you, or bring edible cookie dough so the kids will be more excited. You can also have a raffle for the adults and sell raffle tickets with the necessary permit and license from the concerned authorities.
Spelling bees are classic fundraising ideas for kids – and for a good reason. They are a fun day of competition. Other than some marketing efforts, they are very profitable fundraisers that require very little work. All you need to find are spellers for your competition and an appropriate space/location.
Most spelling bees will see kids compete as individuals. Every participant is asked to spell a different word. They might call out their answers or write them on boards. Rounds usually get progressively harder. You could also theme rounds or the whole spelling bee (e.g. music, space, science, animals, etc.). Keep the kids in the competition as long as possible. However, ultimately the kids will start making mistakes, one by one until a clear winner is left. A nice way to keep the parents engaged is to let them play the same game but with different and more difficult words. The harder it gets, the more it will be fun for the adults. It’s the simplest fundraising idea for you to get more participation from kids and families while raising funds for your needs.
If you’re running this fundraiser for a nonprofit, it’s a good idea to align the theme with their cause. This will spread awareness of the organization among the parents. You can use this opportunity to later ask for donations from these people. You can also invite a few volunteers and a board member of the nonprofit to talk about the cause and inspire more donations to the organization.
Check out this simple donation page created to accept donations and sponsorships for a basketball-themed spelling-bee competition. They have added a bake sale and silent auction to make the event fun and engaging for all age groups. This can be a great inspiration for your kids-friendly spelling-bee fundraising event.
Pro tip: Find an entertaining spelling bee master to keep the crowd engaged and laughing. It can be one of the parents or family members who is comfortable doing it. Consider having short acts in between the rounds (e.g. acting, singing, dancing). The parents can also participate with kids to make the event more fun.
Design a fun-filled day of age-appropriate competitions for kids, and watch the donations pour in. This can actually be a great fundraising idea for your kids’ sports team. As you sell tickets for the event, remember to add ticket levels for family members as well and include games to keep them engaged. All the games that the kids will be playing can as well be played by the adults. This will make the day more fun. Have dedicated staff members click photos and make videos to send out once the event is over. These will make for a great memory for the kids and their family members. Also, design and sell branded t-shirts that will naturally market your organization or the one you’re raising money for.
Couple of field games you could consider for fundraising ideas like this:
Like with most other sports fundraisers, raise funds by selling tickets for kids to join in the field day, either individually or in teams. You should also set up an online donation page beforehand and share links with all the adults. Take the time to talk about the cause you’re supporting or the needs you’re trying to address through the event. Have QR codes to your donation page pasted across the event premises to make giving easy.
Check out the below donation page set up by a PTO to help raise funds for the educational support of their kids. Their donation form is the simplest and a quick 3-step donation process ensures more donations. Use this as an inspiration to create your own donation page to host your field day and raise funds.
If you’re trying to raise money for an urgent need (for the kids’ sports team, school, education, or a new piece of equipment you need at the kindergarten), consider running a crowdfunding campaign. This can be started a month prior to the event. Decide your fundraising goal and add a goal thermometer to your crowdfunding page. Add images of kids and related videos. Add details of the field day event. Let kids spread the word about the campaign among their family, relatives, and neighbors. You can ever reach out to the parents to share the campaign URL with more people in their network. You can also encourage kids to have individual crowdfunding campaigns that they can share with their people to raise more money and help you reach the fundraising goal faster.
Pro tip: Set up food and other fun stalls to attract kids. Add-ons like t-shirt fundraising and refreshments are a great way to make some extra money with water, juices, cookies, hot dogs, baked goods, or even sandwiches. Do consider the risks of food allergies. Using an online event ticketing tool to take note of any meal preferences and other important information while selling tickets would help make better arrangements for one and all.
A talent show lets kids express their non‐academic talents and interests, all while they’re having a lot of fun with their peers. Fundraising ideas like this will get you more participation as parents would love to see their kids on stage performing to their heart’s content. You should reach out to the parents and loved ones for pledge fundraising as well.
Recruit willing performers, and once you have secured a line-up of performers, advertise the show in your local area. Marketing is key for such events to entice more kids and people to join in and give you a chance to raise more money for your cause. If you’re doing this for a local nonprofit, ask them to be present during the show and set up a donation table there. You can ask them to speak about their cause in between the performances. Have the donation page link and QR code pasted across the venue and help people make a donation easily by sharing other donation methods like text-to-give.
Find an appropriate venue and think about setting up a concession stand. Consider scheduling time for a brief intermission during the show so that visitors can visit the concession stand and not miss any of the show.
To turn your talent show into a fundraiser, you can sell event tickets (either at the door or online), sell t-shirts through a t-shirt fundraising platform, bracelets, food, professional photographs of the performers, and more. Since so many kids are involved, peer-to-peer fundraising might as well be a great way to raise money for your needs. You can set up fundraising pages for the participants (or invite parents to create them for their kids) and add necessary details before seeking help from their parents to spread the word. The kids can get involved too by letting their friends, family, and relatives know about the show while getting donations for you. Keep encouraging them to share more about it and reward the ones with the most amount of donations on the day of the event.
Pro tip: Identify and reach out to major donors in the community before the event for a pledge for significant donations during the event. You should invite them to the show by giving them a VIP pass and offer special treatment on the day. The donation can be collected at the end of the event. This form of pledge fundraising will ensure more donations and push you a little more toward the fundraising goal.
A face painting fundraiser is one of the simplest fundraisers for kids.
Face painting works best as an attachment to another fundraising event, like a picnic or a fair. Or even to an event primarily for adults but to keep the kids engaged while raising money through small fees. It takes very little planning, and the items you’ll need to run this fundraiser are cheap and easy to source. You need a table and chairs, plates for the paint, makeup removing wipes, and paint and paintbrushes.
You don’t have to have a professional artist at your disposal – all you need is someone who is good with kids and happy to spend a day with them. Charge a small fee in order for kids to have their faces painted. If this is a bigger event with other games and activities involved, give it a good theme and sell tickets online to raise money. Keep meal options for kids and parents alike to entice more participants. Keep a donation jar at the event venue to help parents make a donation. But since most people don’t carry cash these days, it is advisable to create a fundraising page beforehand and share the links with the attendees.
Why Not Care adds face painting to their 3rd Annual Lower East Side United Festival for kids and the youth group and creates the below fundraising page to spread the word as well as raise money for the event. Check out the page for all the amazing images of kids they’ve added to it to make it look interesting.
Pro tip: Have some photos available of different face paint designs for your supporters to choose from (superheroes, patterns, animals, stars, hearts). You might want to provide instant photos of the face painting for an additional dollar or two, so the kids and parents have a lasting memory to take home with them.
A water balloon fight fundraiser is a straightforward fundraising idea for kids that guarantees success. In addition to being fun for the kids, this is also a great summer fundraiser. Everyone appreciates the opportunity to cool down and have fun outside during a hot summer day. To raise funds, you could charge a flat admission fee to join the fun or you could charge participants $1 for every water balloon. You can also sell branded t-shirts to all attendees for a small fee to raise extra funds.
For this event, you’ll need a location where water balloons won’t cause damage and you can easily clean up afterward (try a local park and make sure you get the official permission first); a few hundred balloons; the help of volunteers; containers to store the water balloons in. That’s all. On the day of the event, make sure you set up a booth where participants can register for the event. But it is a better idea to have an online event page to sell your event tickets beforehand. All tickets will be emailed to participants (in the case of kids, to their parents) automatically and they can just show them on their mobiles to get entry. It just makes the tracking and arrangement much easier for your team. You will plan better and be able to provide your participants and their families with a better and more engaging day.
Set up stations for drinking water, especially if your event is on a hot day. Blast good music and let the fun begin! Don’t forget to have the kids help with the clean-up later on!
Pro tip: There are many ways to super-boost this fundraiser in order to raise more money:
This fundraising idea can also be added to bigger events like a picnic or a fair, or an annual party meant for people from different age groups to raise more funds for your needs. Like this campaign here, they’ve added a water balloon fight to their biggest annual party called the national night out block party –
Let’s face it, who doesn’t love pizza? Now turn this love into one of the most entertaining fundraising ideas for kids.
Visit a local pizza shop and see if they’ll donate pizza-making ingredients and their space to you for a few hours. Either organize a fun lunch for kids, families, and community members charging slightly more for the pizzas (profits going to a good cause), or organize a “make your own pizza” party.
Have small pizza dough shapes prepped, together with the tomato sauce and other typical pizza toppings (mushrooms, peppers, corn, onion, anchovies, cheese). Let the kids assemble their own pizzas with the family members helping them and then have one of the restaurant’s staff members bake them in the pizza oven. Charge admission fees for families, kids, or community members to join this event. Such fundraising events are usually interesting because of the food involved and attract a lot of attention from everyone. Market this event well in advance and get the word out on social media sites as well as local media if possible. Sell branded/ themed t-shirts before or during the event. No one can turn down a slice of good pizza, so this is your perfect opportunity to bring people together and raise money – all in one go!
If you’re hosting this fundraiser together with a nonprofit you’re supporting, ask them to be present and talk about their cause. They should share their donation methods with the attendees and give them easy ways to donate. The best time to do so is when the kids and the family members aren’t yet busy making the pizzas. You should add some more activities and fun elements to the night. Something like a trivia night will add to the entertainment and engage kids and others. Make donating fast and easy for your attendees and give them a reason to give to increase donations.
Cupcake decorating is one of the most fun kids fundraising ideas out there, almost as fun as biting into the cupcakes later on! Kids love cupcakes and so do adults. You can entice different age-group people from the community and raise more funds than you can imagine.
To organize a Cupcake decorating party, send out the invites, and promote the event well in advance. This will give parents enough time to plan around the family schedules. Suggest to parents that they dress their kids in clothes they won’t mind getting a little messy.
Buy or bake plain cupcakes and purchase cupcake decorating supplies. You can get in touch with a local restaurant or a bakery to have them donate the supplies. Choose a suitable location (e.g. a sunny patch of grass in a garden, a kindergarten, or a schoolyard), and set out tables and supplies for decorating. You can charge a small fee for each table, the number of cupcakes, and the supplies. This can be done through an online registration form/event ticketing form or a donation form, whichever suits you better. This can be a good way to raise money before the event.
On the event day, set up a few more interesting fundraising activities to encourage donations from the adults. You can create separate fundraising pages for the kids beforehand and let all the attendees know that they can make a donation to a kid’s donation page if they like their work. This is sure to bring in a good amount of donations. Most families and community members will do so to encourage the kids. They can also buy the cupcakes they like the best in exchange for a donation.
This fundraising idea has immense fundraising potential individually and also when added to other fundraising events (like a bake sale). You just need to add enough fun elements to it so that more people would love to get involved. For E.g. if this is happening around the holiday season, add gift wrapping services.
It is advisable to turn these simple fundraising ideas for kids into a great fundraising potential through pledge fundraising. Reaching out to parents in advance and asking for a pledge of donation would surely help you raise more money.
Scavenger hunts are one of the best fundraising ideas for kids. Promote the event online on social media sites and offline via local media, letting participants sign up to participate individually or in teams (recommended). It is recommended that you use an online donation page to accept donations and set up an event page online to sell tickets for the convenience of your team and the potential attendees.
Plan the scavenger hunt route and triple-check it’s appropriate and safe. Make sure that kids will be supervised by their parents or other adults at all times. Also, try to organize the scavenger hunt on a sunny day! Have small items ready to serve as prizes for the winning teams. Kids will be more motivated to find everything on the list if they know there’s a prize waiting for them at the end. You can also have add-ons like an obstacle course, car wash, a straw draw, balloon raffle, etc. with this fundraising idea.
After hours spent scavenging for items, your participants are going to be hungry and thirsty! Have refreshments ready for everyone afterward. You should take inspiration from this simple donation page created by PurplEXIT to run a scavenger hunt for the community. It can be a great way to raise funds before or during the event. Plus, you get to involve the whole community including kids and their parents to make the day more fun. However, it is advisable that you plan such events in advance so the parents can manage their schedules and you get the maximum participation.
Kids seem to have a natural love for animals, so this kids’ fundraising idea is sure to be a win!
Decide what kind of pet parade to organize i.e. will you include any pet, regardless of species or size? Or will it just be a dog show? Or a cat show? When organizing the pet parade, the most important thing to keep in mind is the animals’ safety and well-being.
Charge a small fee to enter the show. Then, charge admission for those who just want to attend. Have judges award in lots of different categories: Silliest Pet, Fastest Pet, Most Fashionable Pet, Sleepiest Pet, The Best Kid-Pet Pair, The Most Fashionable Pet-Family, etc. You can also have a pet party afterward where the pets, the kids, and community members all can buy food and snacks and enjoy the evening together.
Alternatively, partner with a local shelter and organize a pet party at your local school or playground (or any other green and child-appropriate area). Have the shelter bring over adoptable dogs (and any social and calm cats). You could co-organize this fundraiser with the shelter. This fundraising idea is sure to bring in more donations since people would love to help the shelter do better work and appreciate your kind efforts of supporting them by organizing a fun and entertaining event.
Here is an interesting fundraising idea we found one of our users implementing for their fundraising campaign (below image). On valentine’s day (for you, it could be any day of your choice), they let community members donate for a treat sent to their own pets as well help puppy-mill dogs. You can add this to your dog parade fundraising idea and increase donations because people would surely love to gift their pets with a special treat as well as help a local shelter puppy. You can have kids write down special messages on cute cards for their pets and it will be a wonderful way to see them bond at the event.
Everyone has to clean out their closet from time to time, especially with kids who outgrow clothes and shoes before they even wear them. These wearables can be sold for a good cause and the money will help you with your needs. This can be one of the most useful and effective fundraising ideas for kids.
Promote the event through emails, flyers, posters, and word of mouth. The collection location for your clothes and shoe drive fundraiser could be anything from a yard to a garage – anything that will allow lots of people to come by and you to store boxes. This can as well double up as a yard sale fundraising idea that works well within local communities. Decide on collection days – you don’t want to limit potential donors to just one day – and your team will need at least a few days to sort through all the donations. You can invite kids and family members to participate in the sorting of the clothes and shoes. They can also help decorate the place a little so it has a nice look during the event days and people stop by.
Involve the kids in the promotion. You can have them create cute, little hand-made invitation cards for the community as well. These cards with heartfelt messages from them will inspire many people to come by and be a part of your fundraiser. This fundraiser is both socially and environmentally friendly, it promotes awareness-raising, declutters homes, and supports schools focussing on sustainability and waste reduction. It’s also a great fundraising idea that’s family-friendly and will nurture a sense of philanthropy among kids.
A teddy bear raffle is one of the easiest fundraising ideas for kids, either as a stand-alone event or as part of a fair.
A couple of weeks before your teddy tombola, ask for donations of clean soft toys, particularly new and unused. Many kids have unwanted toys just lying around! Even better – reach out to a local gift shop and ask them if they’d love to partner with you on this. Most would. Because that gives their business a boost. They can donate a few toys and teddys for the kids and in exchange, can set up a stall at your event venue for marketing in the community. These fundraisers for kids have a great fundraising potential overall by finding small sponsors, letting local businesses set up stalls, selling beverages, reaching out for pledge fundraising, and more.
Once you collect all the toys, go through the collection, and make sure they are clean and safe. Then, for extra fun, name all the teddies (e.g. Lazy Luke, Happy Hopper, etc.). Write all the names on small pieces of paper twice. Pin one onto the teddy (you can use stickers or pins) and fold the other and place it in the tombola box/jar.
Kids pay to pull a ticket from the box and win the corresponding bear. Also, place some blank tickets in the box/jar. This will ensure more pulls and more donations for your needs. When it comes to simple fundraising ideas for kids, a teddy tombola is hard to beat. It’s easy to put together and run, and it can bring in a surprising amount of donations.
If you wish to boost your donations with a simple fundraising idea like this, add more activities and fun elements. Especially, for the parents and other community members. This can be a full day funfair with loads of fun games and challenges, food, snacks, and beverages for all.
Create an online event page and sell tickets to families. This can have ticket levels – for teddy tombola tickets, adult raffle tickets, tables and meals, other challenges and board games, etc. – as per your pricing strategy. Events are a great way to increase revenue in addition to donations.
If you think it’s difficult to raise money with kids’ fundraisers, we’re here to help with more and more fundraising ideas for kids. The ones mentioned above are all very simple and effective, fun to carry out, and have loads of fundraising potential. But we know you could benefit from some more fundraising ideas for kids, and maybe use them as add-ons to the above-mentioned ones to boost donations.
Fundraising ideas for kids need to be both creative and efficient. Our top picks can easily be adapted for any age or grade level. Don’t forget to show how the funds will be used and why raising the money is important. Working towards a specific target also helps boost engagement and raises morale.
Finally, while most of the kids fundraising ideas we shared above are physical events, do not forget about the digital. Set up a modern, functional, mobile-optimized donation form to receive donations online.
Having an online donation process can help relieve some of the work. Check out Donorbox – a powerful online donation platform that easily integrates into your website and allows you to receive both one-time and recurring donations. You can leverage our simple-to-use fundraising features like Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Events, Memberships, Text-to-Give, and more. Learn about the features on our website.
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