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Top Fundraising Ideas for High School PTO, PTA and Booster Club Organizations

Need to raise some money for your High School PTO, PTA or Booster Club Organization?

This post has the top tried and true ideas to help your group raise money so you can do wonderful things for your school community!

All of these ideas work for schools both small and large, as well as private and public.

First, one of the biggest things high schools have going for them in terms of fundraising is that there’s a ton going on at any given time.

So this means that if your group can leverage and build upon the already planned activities and crowds they draw, students and families will readily participate, making for bigger profits and boosted fundraising income.

With that introduction, let’s hop to it and dive into the world of fundraising options that work at high schools!

Athletics Concessions Fundraising

Most high schools have a ton of sports teams competing with other local schools, so this single activity category and serve as the bulk of your fundraising base for the year.

The nice thing about running a concession stand is that people coming to the games will be actively looking for refreshments, especially if the games are around dinner time, which many of them are.

The one drawback to this type of fundraiser is that it is heavy on human capital to pull off, especially if you plan to offer concessions at all of the home games.

You’ll need a bunch of volunteers to recruit volunteers, source and purchase inventory, as well as volunteers to prep, serve and clean up at the end of the night.

My group currently offers concessions for all Fall Sports except Girls Tennis, and that’s due to the distance between the tennis courts and indoor concession stand where all of our equipment is located, so that takes a lot of volunteers to make happen!

How to effectively and profitably run a Concessions program is worthy of a separate post, so look for that soon.

I’ll be sure to update this post with a link when that post is published.

Lottery Raffle Fundraisers

If you’re not familiar with how Lottery Raffles work, here’s a quick explanation:

Choose a month, decide prizes and sell tickets where purchasers get to choose a three digit number.

If their chosen number matches that of your State’s Pick 3 evening drawing, they win:

  • $50 Monday-Friday
  • $100 Saturday
  • $150 Sunday

If more than one person chooses the same number, then they’ll split the day’s pot accordingly.

You can easily set up a link to a Google Doc with a running list of the numbers that have already been chosen to minimize the odds of split pots, further incentivizing folks who really enjoying playing their numbers.

At the end of the month, check the daily drawing numbers to see which numbers were drawn, and send out checks to the winners.

This is a great fundraiser to run if you’re low on time or volunteer power to make happen since you really just need the efforts of one volunteer plus the Treasurer.

Calendar Raffle Fundraisers

A calendar raffle works in a similar manner as the Lottery Raffle described above, but instead requires you to purchase of get items donated for each day of the month that’ll serve as the prizes.

Each ticket sold gives the as many chances to win as days there are in the designated month.

This type of fundraiser has a good chance of being a huge money maker!

Check out this fabulous fundraising result!

A group of students headed to Costa Rica for an educational tour ran a calendar fundraiser and raised over $11,000 with relative ease.

Prizes ranged from a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant to a day out on a family’s fishing boat, but most had a value of $100 or less.

The most surprising part was that there were only 48 students going on the trip, so that’s about $250 raised per student.

Just think about how much more would’ve been raised with more students participating!

This means that you don’t have to gather super expensive prizes to pull this fundraiser off and raise a ton of money using this fundraiser concept.

Spirit Wear Fundraising

Selling school mascot or logo branded spirit wear items is a fantastic recurring fundraiser that you can easily run year over year.

You’ll need a chunk of change for the initial investment of products, but you can easily start small and then scale up to offer different designs and items as the first item sells and money flows in.

Ideas for items to sell:

  • Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Ballcaps
  • Pom Pom hats
  • Socks
  • Flannel pj bottoms
  • Scrunchies
  • Bandanas
  • Backpacks
  • Jewelry
  • Stadium Blankets
  • To go tumblers
  • Garden flags

Sell items at athletic events, school programs and any other place you can think of, time and available volunteers permitting.

Restaurant Nights Fundraisers

Partner with a local pizza shop and set up a designated night for the year (the second Tuesday of the month, for example) or partner with a different restaurant each month to drive traffic to their location in exchange for a portion of the evening’s sales.

Watch the video for a run through of how a Dine to Donate fundraiser works:

How to Run a Virtual Dinner Fundraiser | Dine to Donate Restaurant Night Fundraising for PTO PTA

And then watch this video for tips on how to maximize your profits for this sort of fundraiser:

Avoid This Type of Restaurant Fundraiser for Your PTO (what to do instead)

Drive Thru Dinner Fundraising

Instead of having people go to the restaurant on your fundraising night, bring dinner to the school and offer drive thru service!

This works as a pre-sell fundraiser where you partner with a restaurant to select a menu and pre-arrange your cost versus the price you’ll advertise for the pre-sale campaign.

Come the night of the fundraiser, the restaurant will deliver the pre-packaged meals and your volunteers run the out to cars as they arrive.

Your profits will be the difference between the restaurants charged cost to you and the amount you sell the dinners for.

This is a great fundraiser that teachers will readily participate in, especially if you schedule an early pick up time so they can leave work with dinner in hand.

Senior Class Fundraising Opportunities

The Senior Class presents an unmatched fundraising opportunity, so your organization should definitely be using this to your advantage!

Raffle for Extra Commencement Ceremony Tickets

Most schools offer only a certain amount of tickets per graduate. Ask your school for a few extra sets and raffle them out right or use them as incentives for other fundraisers.

For example, for every 10 tickets students “sold” by referral for the Lottery Raffle described above, they earned one entry for the extra tickets.

For families that really needed the assurance that they’d have enough tickets for their family for the ceremony, this resulted in many “Help Nana get to Graduation” posts on Facebook, which yielded a bunch of ticket sales.

Graduation Year Signs

Design a “congratulations graduate” sign that can be used from year to year to maximize your fundraising profits.

Presell at an early bird discount so you’ll know how approximately many signs to order and then continue to sell signs through graduation day.

Set pick up for the same day and time as the cap and gown pick up or the last PTO meeting of the year and save yourself some time.

Senior Shout Outs

Give parents, family and classmates the opportunity to honor their Senior student with a message broadcast on the internal screens in your school or on the scoreboard during Football or Soccer games.
Set up a form to collect information and payment, and then pass along the information to your school’s A/V coordinator once a week.

This is a great fundraiser and spirit raiser too since students will be pleasantly surprised to see the messages of love during the day!

Class Shirts

Selling Senior Class shirts can be a profitable fundraiser!

It just doesn’t make economic sense to have more than one design since bulk ordering is most cost effective, so let the students vote for their design of choice and offer the design with the most votes as a t-shirt and hoodie.

Having just one design will allow you to keep the base price of the shirt low and then sell it at a reasonable price, keeping it affordable for most.

Start the design selection process during the second half of their Junior year so that you can find vendors and best pricing over the Summer and then start the new year with pre-orders or sales, maximizing the time for students to get the most wear out of the shirt.

Student Shout Out Fundraiser

This is the same thing as the Senior Shout Out concept, only open it up to all students in the school to let them send messages, school appropriate of course, to their classmates for $5.

Think of this like the new classified ads that used to run in your school newspaper!

Advertise on the same screen with a QR code they can snap a picture of while passing by. Don’t have screens?

Go old school with the shoutouts and advertisements by posting the messages and QR code on a bulletin board.

In any event, be sure to accept payment methods that students have access to beyond cash, like Debit cards, Cash App and Venmo.

But be sure to set up your Venmo or Cash App the right way! This video explains how.

Can PTOs Use Venmo or PayPal?

Over to you!

Hope you’re all set now with a slew of fundraising ideas that are perfect for the high school age students that work equally well for PTO, PTA, and Booster Club Organizations!

Choose a combination of these fundraisers to make the most of your time and volunteer base.

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