The Top 16 Fundraising Ideas for Kids

Below is a list of the top 16 fundraising ideas for kids, including both seasonal ideas and options you can plan year-round.

kids playing tug of war

Friends, family and the surrounding community are crucial in raising enough funds to reach your fundraising goals. When planning a fundraiser for kids, it’s important to consider family friendly  and fun options. Below is a list of the top 16 fundraising ideas for kids, including both seasonal ideas and options you can plan year-round.

  1. Restaurant fundraising: Restaurant fundraisers are one of the best options for schools and organizations wanting to host an easy and successful fundraiser for kids. Chipotle fundraisers give back 25% of event sales, subject to achieving a minimum of $150 in fundraiser sales, and are easy to set up for hosts. 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. T-shirt fundraising: Selling t-shirts can be fun and easy if you use a t-shirt fundraising platform, like Bonfire, to design and sell your custom shirt or hoodie. Allow the kids to help design the t-shirt for their fundraiser and encourage them to sell these to friends and family.
  3. Bake sale: Bake sales work great as a fundraising idea for kids because they’re easy and your school or community will enjoy supporting your cause by purchasing various treats.  Be sure to keep food safety in mind.
  4. Face painting: For this fundraising idea for kids, all you will need at your face painting station is face paint, brushes, and volunteers that are able to paint designs. Consider adding this as a part of an existing school or group event.
  5. Pumpkin carving: During the fall months, organize a pumpkin carving fundraiser for the whole family. If there is a pumpkin patch nearby, make it a day event where kids can pick their pumpkins first before carving them.
  6. Shoe drive: All you need to do is collect gently worn, used and new shoes from members of the school, team or community. From there, you can donate the shoes to an organization like this one and receive a check for the donated shoes. To learn more about how it works, click here.
  7. Book Drive/Book Fair: Hosting a book fair or drive can raise money while simultaneously finding a good home for used books. Collect used books from parents and other community members and sell them at inexpensive prices. All proceeds can go towards your organization and it can be hosted at a school or other central location. This is a great way to encourage reading and raise money at little to no cost.
  8. Talent show: A fun event for kids of all ages! This may require more time in advance to plan, but kids will love showcasing their talents with the school or community.
  9. Field Day: A good kids fundraising option for the spring or summer time when there is nice weather. Work with school staff or a nearby park to reserve a field and set up fun games like bean bag races, egg tosses, and water balloon fights. Either host this on a weekend to bring in more family participation, or host as an after-school activity for students. Recruit parents and community members to volunteer and help set up and referee the games.
  10. Carnival: In the summer months, a carnival can drive a lot of participation and buzz. Be prepared for a heavy amount of planning and preparation, but equal amounts of fun.
  11. Read-A-Thon: An idea that both teachers and parents will love is a read-a-thon. Kids that want to participate and raise money in this option can commit to reading as many books or pages as they can and will log the hours. Participants gain pledges and will read on behalf of those who have donated to their fundraising efforts. For more information on setting up a read-a-thon fundraiser, click here.
  12. Scavenger hunt: Kids will love participating in this event and raising money for a great cause! Organize a scavenger hunt with teams or individuals, and partner with local shops and restaurants. Make sure you have clear rules for all participants and organize well in advance of the hunt. For some inspiration and tips for your next event, click here to read an example of a successful scavenger hunt. 
  13. Color run: Put a fun twist to the classic 5K and host a color run fundraiser, which will appeal to the whole family. Provide participants and spectators with colorful chalk powder and encourage them to throw it into the air as walkers and runners pass by.
  14. Cookbook sale: Put together a cookbook where each kid shares their favorite family recipe and the book can be broken into sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Try to work with a printer to donate their service or give you a discounted price to print your books.
  15. Dog or car wash: This is easy to execute and can lead to a great turnout. Either set up a car or dog wash on your own or partner with a local car wash business to receive a certain percentage of proceeds for that day. Advertise to family, friends, and the local community to get their dog or car washed in support of your organization. 
  16. Crowdfunding: An easy way to gain online donations is by using a crowdfunding platform and sharing it through social media. This works best when you can communicate a specific fundraising goal or need, so people can invest in it. Promotion is key and the more sharing, the higher chance for  better results! Here are some crowdfunding platforms that you can use for your next fundraiser for kids.

For more fundraising ideas for kids and tips for hosting a successful fundraiser, visit our Resources page.