Here are some easy school fundraising ideas that are eco-friendly and will raise a lot of money fast. Most of these green fundraisers don’t require much in the way of upfront funds to get started and the kids will love them.
They are grouped into activities, event ideas, and products to sell. Each idea is linked to an article with lots of “how-to” advice and extra profit tips.
School Fundraiser Activities
Electronics Recycling Fundraiser – All sorts of small electronics are recyclable for cash including printer cartridges, cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, laptops, PDAs, etc. This is a year-round program that works well with a school drop-off box near the office and periodic collection drives. There is a huge supply of old electronics that needs to be recycled and not thrown away, plus there’s good money in it if promoted correctly. One supplier that works with hundreds of schools is the Funding Factory.
Watershed Cleanup – Raise money doing a community cleanup project by getting pledges of $0.10 to $0.25 a pound for the total amount of trash collected. Watersheds like creeks, rivers, and lakes are often dumping grounds for all sorts of junk. Because you may end up with old washing machines and discarded tires, its a good idea to put an upper limit on the pledge amount per person. Most students can get at least 5 pledges, so a cap limit of $20 or $25 is good. You can even combine this with the rubber duck race.
Rubber Duck Race – Another green fundraising idea is a floating rubber duck derby where numbered ducks float downstream to the finish line. Sell raffle chances for $5 each and award cash or donated prizes to the top finishers. Minimum size race is usually 3,000 ducks and many schools do twice that number. Make it a fun family event with food competitions (barbecue, chili, wings, etc.), face painting, water balloon fights, bean bag tournaments, and other fun stuff. Do it annually and it gets bigger and better each year.
Earth Day – Observed every year on April 22, Earth Day is a great day to hold a green fundraiser. Since it’s Springtime, you can organize an Earth Day fundraiser where you offer green home cleaning products, flower bulbs, organic seeds, mulch, pine straw, saplings, organic fertilizer, and other items for sale. Work with local suppliers to offer the big stuff like mulch and pine straw delivered directly to your customers. Put together some demonstration areas and invite subject matter experts to give talks.
School Fundraising Event Ideas
Hunger Games – A Hunger Games fundraiser is totally fun to do and infinitely adaptable to the needs and skill levels of different age groups. Kids get into dressing up and role playing all the different characters. Skills competitions can include classroom knowledge, archery, paintball target shooting, obstacle courses, food fights, water balloon battles, best costume awards, eating contests (weird foods), engineering challenges, design contests, role playing, trivia contests, and just about anything you can think up. High schools can divide up students into districts and do elaborate recreations. Do a video competition for best scene re-enactment, best engineering solution to technical design challenges, Hunger Games trivia contest or tribute costumes.
Organic Fair – Host an indoor or outdoor fair showcasing all things organic. This one is great for attracting local businesses that offer organic products or services and for getting corporate sponsorships. There’s literally dozens of different things you can do ranging from a fashion show to demonstrations of organic beauty products, eco-friendly cleaning products, solar energy, electric cars, etc.
Cow Pie Bingo – A fun-family event based on offering raffle chances for where the cow pie will drop on a field marked off with numbered squares. Because there’s usually a lot of waiting involved, you can make it part of a school carnival event. Or, you can make it a family fun day that’s open to others from outside the school itself and draw a bigger crowd. Have live music and lots of other fun activities like bounce houses, games, eating contests, cooking competitions, kiss a pig contests, etc. The more fun you make your event, the more people will want to attend and the more money you’ll raise.
Rummage Sale – Re-purposing consumer goods is another green way to fundraise because it keeps these things from ending up in the landfill. All it takes is getting the word out that you are holding a massive yard sale at the school on a Saturday, arranging a pickup service and/or drop-off point, publicizing your rummage sale so you get a big crowd, and getting students to run the sale (with some adult supervision of course).
Green Fundraising Products
Mixed Bag Fundraiser – Mixed Bag Designs has a brochure fundraiser where students can sell all sorts of colorful fabric bags, including reusable grocery bags and other shopping bags. That way, you are reducing the use of plastic bags and saving trees by not using paper bags. This is an easy fundraiser product for any school to sell and also works great for school clubs, cheer squads, and sports teams.
Organic Foods – There are all sorts of organic products that you can sell to raise funds, including gourmet chocolate, snack foods, nuts, and spices. Look for products that will sell well in your community. These also work well for smaller school groups like marching band or cheer squads that need to raise money for uniforms or competitions.
Organic Seeds – Organic herb and vegetable seeds are a great product to offer in late winter or early spring. Brochure includes individual heirloom seed packets or bundles. There are even window ledge offerings for growing your own kitchen herbs and spices. The average participant usually makes 7 sales for about $100 total. Profit margin is 50%.
Product Labels – This is really more of an activity than a product sale, but there are dozens of products where you can collect labels or wrappers and redeem them for cash. Most K-8 schools run a Box Tops For Education program at $0.10 each up to $20,000 per year. There’s also the Tyson Chicken product labels fundraiser where labels are worth $0.24 each and schools can earn up to $12,000 each year. Other product wrappers like Capri Sun pouches are recyclable for cash. Check out the recyclables list at TerraCycle.
Hope you enjoyed this look at these 12 eco-friendly school fundraisers.