Back to School Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising is a great way to raise money for schools. These back to school fundraiser ideas from Chipotle will help you get started.

The end of summer break is an exciting time for parents and students as it marks the beginning of a school year with new curriculum, sports, and after school activities. To prepare for the back-to-school season, consider what upcoming fundraisers your organization will host to help fund the year or season ahead. Take a look at this list for some ideas when planning your next back-to-school fundraiser.

Back to School Fundraising Ideas

  1. Restaurant Fundraiser: Restaurant fundraisers are one of the best options for schools and organizations wanting to host an easy and successful fundraiser. Chipotle fundraisers give back 33% of event sales, subject to achieving a minimum of $150 in fundraiser sales, and are easy to set up and host. If your supporters are in a hurry, we offer a digital option where they are able to place their order online or in the app for pickup by using the unique fundraiser code. To host your next fundraiser with Chipotle, apply here.
  2. Back to School Dance: If you’re raising money for your high school, host a back-to-school dance fundraiser for all students. Let the student council or administration choose the theme, hire a DJ, and clear out the school’s gym or cafeteria. Charge an admission fee and ask parents or staff to volunteer as chaperones. Hosting this right when school is back in session can help create excitement for the year ahead and help students get to know one another.
  3. Fall Festival: Host a back-to-school fall festival to celebrate the beginning of a new school year. Get the community involved by asking for donations of food and drinks. Check out this article for some great fall festival ideas to use for your next back to school fundraiser.
  4. Color Run: Put a twist on the typical 5K race by hosting a color run for your back-to-school fundraiser. Use this guide for help in organizing your color run fundraiser.
  5. Spelling Bee: Challenge students right after summer break with a spelling bee fundraising competition. Participants and audience pay an entry fee and the winner can receive a fun prize. Ask teachers to get involved as judges.
  6. Book Fair: Hosting a book fair can raise money for your school while putting good use to used books. Collect used books from students, parents and other community members and sell them at inexpensive prices. All proceeds can go towards your school or organization and it can be hosted at the school with their permission. This is a great way to encourage reading and raise money at little to no cost.
  7. Talent Show: A fun event for both students and parents! This may take more time in advance to plan, but students will love showcasing their talents with the school, especially after having all summer to practice. This can either be an after-school event for the whole family, or if the school administration is on board, can be hosted as an assembly during the school day. Teachers or members of the community can be the judges.
  8. Clothing Drive: Instead of spring cleaning, encourage families and staff to do some summer cleaning and donate new or gently used clothing items. Open your clothing drive up to the public for other community members to come shop and upgrade their wardrobe.
  9. School Breakfast: Work together with the school cafeteria or other teachers to host a school breakfast in the cafeteria or gym. Students, teachers and staff can purchase a ticket for a delicious breakfast before school starts.
  10. Outdoor Movie Night: A great option in the summer/fall if you have the space available for a large outdoor gathering. Rent out the equipment and charge an admission fee per person. This is a fun event for families to participate in and encourage viewers to bring blankets to sit on during the movie. If there isn’t an outdoor space available to host your event, consider partnering with a local drive-in movie theater where a portion of the proceeds that night will go to your school’s organization. Combine this with your restaurant fundraiser and you can raise even more money!  Just be sure to procure all the necessary performance rights for the movie you plan to screen.
  11. Car Wash: This is easy to execute and can lead to a great turnout! Either set up a car wash on your own or partner with a local car wash business to receive a certain percentage of proceeds for that day. Advertise to the whole school and local community to get their car washed to benefit your school. Pro-tip, if you have a Chipotlane location near you, it’s a great way to combine both fundraisers in one day and raise even more money!  If you’re planning this kind of fundraiser you’ll need to choose a safe location and ensure you have the any necessary permissions to use the location. 

We hope that this list of back-to-school fundraising ideas helps your organization raise money for the year ahead. For more help on hosting a back-to-school fundraiser with Chipotle, check out this guide.