School fundraising ideas –
there are hundreds, but which ones raise the most money? And maybe more fundamentally, how can you
involve your students in something meaningful at the same time as fundraising? Your school
fundraising ideas should focus on your millennial students and families –
the largest living generation in our country currently – and engage them in
meaningful experiences that also raise money.
Most school fundraisers of
the past fifty years have centered around product sales, and to a lesser
degree, a-thon types of events (walkathons, jogathons, fun runs, etc.). These fundraisers are tried and true, but are
they the best school fundraisers? Are
they the best types of fundraisers that connect with your millennial students
The short answer? No.
Millennial families do not
like product sale fundraisers. Whether
your fundraiser involves selling chocolates or cookie dough or pizza dough – or
oranges or candles or gift-wrap or catalogs – most of your parents don’t get
excited about these types of fundraisers.
In fact, some of the largest school product sale fundraising companies
are greatly concerned at their declining sales.
liftathons, fun runs – there’s nothing wrong with any of these event
fundraisers, but they too don’t engage the hearts and passion of your
millennial students and their families.
So what types of fundraisers
are attractive to your millennial families?
What are the best school fundraisers for these parents and students?
The answer? Fundraisers with a cause.
Millennials don’t like to
just give money toward causes; they want to give their time and talents as
well. Instead of sending money to drill
clean water wells, they want to grab shovels and start digging. Instead of sending money to help build
houses, they want to pick up drills and hammers to actually build those houses. They want to be involved, to feel like
they’ve made a personal difference in the world.
Creative Fundraising Ideas
Many schools are moving
beyond traditional school fundraisers and are looking for creative fundraising ideas.
Some of the best school fundraisers are those with a cause – those that
serve other people, especially those who are less fortunate. One type of service fundraising event is
called a servathon – instead of doing a walkathon where your students raise
money then walk around a track, they raise money and spend the day of event
doing hands-on service projects to help others who are less fortunate. In a servathon, your students do service
projects in nursing homes, fire stations, soup kitchens, rescue missions,
animal shelters, etc.
Servathons are attractive,
especially because they give your students a chance to have a local impact in
their community. Donors also tend to
give more to a servathon than a walkathon because, like your students and their
families, your donors’ hearts also connect at a deeper level.
So what are other fundraising
event options that have a cause?
Best School Fundraiser –
Feed The Need
The best school fundraiser we have seen as an event called Feed The
Need. Think of it like a walkathon or
servathon: the money is raised before the day of event, but instead of walking
the track or doing community service projects, Feed The Need involves your
students doing an indoor food packing party where they hand-pack 10,000
meals. These meals are distributed to
local hungry families as well as overseas directly to hungry children in small
schools and orphanages.
Feed The Need exceeds the
servathon as a cause-driven fundraiser, and based on the fundraising results of
schools that have conducted Feed The Need events, Feed The Need is likely the
best school fundraising event in the country.
Many schools are raising $50,000 to $80,000 in Feed The Need events. Some small Christian schools of less than 100
students have raised over $100,000 with Feed The Need, and some schools have
raised over $200,000.
Feed The Need is highly
attractive to your millennial families because it’s centered on a deep purpose
that involves your students having a hands-on impact in both their local
community and globally. Feed The Need
food ships to several impoverished communities in the United States (Pine Ridge
Indian Reservation in South Dakota and Harlan County, Kentucky), as well as
internationally to Haiti, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya and Jamaica.
Feed The Need food is a
mixture of four different ingredients that were designed by dieticians at
General Mills. Ingredients include rice
(for energy), soy (for protein), dehydrated vegetables and vitamix (19 key
vitamins and minerals). These
ingredients are poured through a funnel into a plastic bag, which is then
sealed and packed into boxes. A portion
of your boxes are given to local hunger-focused organizations; the balance is
shipped overseas to the destination country where the boxes are distributed
directly to children.
Feed The Need events take
about four hours to conduct and can be hosted year round. The packing parties are typically conducted
in a school gym or cafeteria and involve upbeat music, energy and fun
competitions. Local news teams and print
media reporters are usually onsite to do special-interest stories, which provide
free publicity for the school.
Best School Fundraising
In summary, some of the best school fundraising ideas today are
those that use creative fundraising
ideas, especially those focused on serving other people. Of these creative
fundraising ideas, Feed The Need is one of the best school fundraising ideas available to schools today. The service-aspect behind Feed The Need
engages the hearts of your students, their families, your staff and teachers,
your local media – and most importantly, your donors.
Remember that your millennial
families want to be part of something meaningful that helps make the world a
better place. Feed The Need meets that
deep desire to make a difference and help other people in a way that has a
global-impact audacity like no other school fundraisers, to our knowledge, in
the country. Is Feed The Need the best
school fundraiser for millennials? Based
on engagement levels and fundraising results, the answer seems to be a