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10+ Incredible Middle School Fundraising Ideas

Choosing the right middle school fundraisers can take your school’s participation and revenue to the next level! By evaluating your school’s goals and students’ interests, you can find a fundraiser that aligns with your values and engages your entire school community.

  1. Read-A-Thon: Readathons are a great way to get your middle schoolers reading and can be held any time of the year.
  2. Car wash: This is a classic fundraising idea that is easy to organize and can be held at a local car wash or even in a school parking lot.
  3. Bake sale: A bake sale is another easy and popular fundraising idea that can be held at the school or at a local community event.
  4. Silent auction: A silent auction is a great way to raise money by auctioning off items donated by local businesses or community members.
  5. Raffle: A raffle is a simple way to raise money by selling tickets for a chance to win a prize.
  6. Walk-a-thon: A walk-a-thon is a fun way to raise money for the school by getting students and community members to walk a designated route and collect pledges from sponsors.
  7. Talent show: A talent show is a great way to showcase the talents of students and staff, while also raising money for the school.
  8. Sponsored event: Partner with a local business or organization to host an event, such as a 5K race or a community fair, with proceeds going to the school.
  9. Online fundraising: Today's digital age offers a great way to raise money for the school through online platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter and more.
  10. Fun Run: As you can see we think events are the best way to go at the middle school level because it’s a good way to make sure the kids are involved.

Note: It's important to keep in mind that all the above mentioned fundraising ideas would have to be compliant with the regulations and laws of the location you are in.

How to Choose the Best Middle School Fundraiser for Your School

Choosing the best middle school fundraiser shouldn’t be challenging! Whether you’re just getting started or are a fundraising pro, you’ll want to look for engaging programs that have low set-up costs and will help you drive a high ROI. Let’s dive into how to assess which middle school fundraiser is right for you!

1. Choose Engaging Fundraisers for Middle Schoolers

Administrators, teachers, and parents can try all they want to get their middle schoolers excited about fundraising, but if students aren’t interested, inspiring donations is left to the PTA and surrounding community. By capturing students’ interest, you’ll have more individuals working towards raising money for your cause. Plus, parents are more prone to take notice of a fundraiser if their students come home excited to discuss it.

Look for fundraisers where middle schoolers can be active participants, as opposed to ones where they have to wait for a parent or guardian to set something up or accompany them. Read-a-thons, for example, allow middle schoolers to access their portal individually, log their reading time, and request donations from friends and family members all by themselves.

2. Look for Simple School Fundraiser Set Up

Ease and efficiency are essential for a middle school fundraiser. Most middle schoolers already have busy schedules packed with homework and extracurriculars, and teachers and families are often busy with their own jobs. To get the most people involved in your fundraiser, you’ll need to choose an idea that’s simple to plan and host.

Choose fundraisers with low barriers to entry for an easier start.

If a fundraiser has high initial costs, it may not be a lucrative event. Fundraisers that require days of set up can eat up your school’s valuable time and resources. It can also be difficult to recruit enough volunteers to set up huge book fairs or bring in carts worth of products to distribute and sell. Time is money, so you’ll want to find a fundraiser that is simple to start and easy to wrap up as well.

Schools can sign up for Read-A-Thon for free and they keep 75% or 80% of the funds raised. Another one of the incredible aspects of Read-a-thons is that one person can administer a Read-a-thon! By using online tracking software, teachers, parents, and students can all access the fundraiser on their own time. Families sign up readers and are able to send out texts and emails and make phone calls gathering donations.

With the simple set-up and low barrier to entry, schools can spend more time encouraging their students and community to participate in fundraising rather than unloading products or discussing sales strategies.

3. Assess Fundraising Profitability

Having to pay for event space or product stock to sell can be an expensive investment that may not result in financial success. With the costs of hosting a product fundraiser, high sales rates may not even result in high profits.

Determine your fundraising goals prior to signing up for fundraising programs.

Typical product based fundraisers require selling products that are cheaper in a nearby store. Plus, it can be difficult for students and parents to sell products they may not believe in or if their parents aren’t adept salesmen. This can make it harder to garner participation and sell enough to make a decent amount.

Neighbors and friends might say no thanks when asked if they want to purchase unneeded items like gift wrap or candles. But how many grandparents, aunts and uncles, or close friends would say no to offering financial support for your reader to participate in a reading program?

With Read-a-thon, many schools raise over $40,000. An average school should raise more than $10,000, and this is all via an online fundraiser. Imagine how much time and resources you could save with this comparably higher ROI than product fundraisers.

Here are some great resources to learn more about whether a Read-a-thon makes sense for your library:

See how much money your library can raise with our Read-a-thon calculator: Click Here

Get the answers to your basic questions in our Read-a-thon FAQ section: Click Here

Get a brief explanation of how our Read-a-thon system works: Click Here

Check out a sample prize store: Click Here

Middle School Fundraising Success Story: William Byrd Middle School

"I tried out the Read-a-thon for my district elementary schools to use as a fundraiser next year, but I had such success in my middle school that we will be doing this now every year! Thank you for making everything so easy! The kids had a great time and enjoyed winning the tickets for prizes that you offered. I added some extra prizes and it was a huge success. Thank you again!"

Middle School Fundraising Ideas

When it comes to school fundraising, there’s a wide variety of ways to host and get your students involved. We’ve gathered some of the best middle school fundraisers to help schools find the perfect fit for them.

1. Read-A-Thon

Read-a-thons are an excellent way to raise money and increase student literacy all within one event! By having students read for the fundraiser, there is no set-up cost, and everyone can participate.

Read-A-Thon is the most profitable middle school fundraiser, and it can also increase literacy!

Middle schools can sign up for the Read-a-thon software for free, giving them access to an online fundraising platform to oversee their school’s progress. Depending on the responsibility you want to give students, you can have either teachers, parents, or students log reading times on the platform. Students can set a reading goal, and then reach out to their friends and family for flat-rate donations using the Read-a-thon message templates.

Instead of asking people to spend money on unwanted or overpriced items, your middle schoolers can ask for individuals to invest in their education. When doing a Read-a-thon, the average participating reader raises $90!

Teachers can embed extra reading time in the classroom or encourage students to read at home for assignments. Chances are teachers require reading in the classroom, so students will already be on their way to logging time and reaching their goals.

By making reading a contest with the option of prizes, Read-a-thon motivates middle schoolers to be excited about improving their literacy. Holding a Read-a-thon could very well be the catalyst that ignites a passion for reading in your middle schoolers.

2. Love My Library

Love My Library is a new and improved take on book fair, with 100% of the profits staying within your school community.

Love My Library is a fantastic book fair alternative that helps schools keep all the profits in the community.

Students will use the Love My Library platform to customize their bookshelf with books they want to read and buy. Then, students can reach out to friends and family requesting donations.

To get started, your school needs to sign up on the website, create an event, and then allow readers to create donation pages to send to family and friends. Love My Library allows students to choose virtual books from over three million different titles! 50% of the profits go to your school’s librarians and 50% goes back to the students to purchase their own books.

Sign up for free to kick off a virtual fundraiser that students, sponsors, and community members will be inspired by!

3. Movie Night

Movie nights are a budget-friendly way to host a relaxing evening for the whole family while raising money for education.

Host a movie night as a more relaxed middle school fundraiser.

Show a family friendly movie and charge an admission fee. Project the movie in large classrooms, the gym, or cafeteria to accommodate as many people as you want. Sell concessions like hot dogs, popcorn, baked goods, soda, and snacks to raise even more.

Middle schoolers will enjoy spending time with friends and watching a movie, and parents will be grateful for an entertaining evening.

4. School Dance

This staple fundraiser is something middle schools have been hosting for decades. Who doesn't remember their first school dance?

School dances are a classic way to raise money for middle schools, plus, the students will get to make new memories.

Decorate the gym or auditorium with themed decorations for a low-budget venue option or rent a hotel ballroom for a larger event.

Recruit parents or teachers to volunteer to chaperone and provide refreshments. To make the dance extra special,look for local photographers and DJs.

Start promoting the event at least two months prior and charge an admission fee. You'll have an event that raises money and creates memories for your middle schoolers for years to come.

5. Fall Festival

Fall festivals can be a family-friendly event students look forward to every year! Depending on the size of the event, you can charge for admission and for tickets to activities around the festival like games and face painting.

Get your students involved in hosting the fall festival by having them brainstorm games or perform in the choir.

To get your students involved, have them plan activities and games for the festival. They can even help create some of the decorations for the event. You can also incorporate a dunk tank with various teachers and administrators. Be sure to charge an extra activity fee for the opportunity to dunk a teacher.

For free entertainment, and to inspire parents and family to attend, you can have your student choir and band play music throughout the event.

6. Talent Show

Have students try out or invite all the students to create a short talent act. Talent shows can help build confidence for middle schoolers and give them the opportunity to showcase something they’re passionate about.

Give your middle schoolers the opportunity to try out their new skills in a talent show fundraiser.

To raise funds, you can charge for admission and have a concession stand or serve a meal. Invite students to volunteer to work at the concession stand or serve dinner as a way for them to participate.

Parents and family members will be excited for the chance to see their student perform. Host the event in your cafeteria or gym and create a small elevated stage for students to perform on if you don’t have one already.

With planning and forethought your middle school can bring in the funds you want to raise. Just be sure to keep things light and fun!

7. Silent Auction

Reach out to your local community to see if any parents, teachers, or local artists would be interested in teaching classes on the weekends or after school. Students will be excited to learn new skills or further hone their artistry. Depending on the size of the art classes, consider having a parent or teacher volunteer to be a chaperone

Give your middle schoolers the opportunity to try out their new skills in a talent show fundraiser.

You can use unused classrooms or your designated art room to host the classes and use some art supplies already available. Since you may need to purchase additional supplies, be sure to consider this cost when creating your price of admission.

8. Art Classes

Reach out to your local community to see if any parents, teachers, or local artists would be interested in teaching classes on the weekends or after school. Students will be excited to learn new skills or further hone their artistry. Depending on the size of the art classes, consider having a parent or teacher volunteer to be a chaperone.

Host art classes after school or on weekends to raise money for your middle schoolers.

You can use unused classrooms or your designated art room to host the classes and use some art supplies already available. Since you may need to purchase additional supplies, be sure to consider this cost when creating your price of admission.

9. Fun Run or Color Run

Middle schoolers are at the perfect age to start learning the sport of running. Host a fun run on your school property or at your local park, and place cones to mark the path. Let students know ahead of time so they can prepare prior to signing up. You can even host an after school running club to condition students prior to the race.

Host a fun run or color run at your middle school to get the whole community involved.

To get more student participation, create different race paths with varying distances. For an element of fun, make it a color run and have parents and teachers toss colored powder on runners along the way

You can charge a participation fee, and even have students ask for donations from friends and family. You can also charge for color packets to toss onto the runners.

10. Mini Golf Tournament

Instead of a sports tournament, consider hosting a mini golf tournament at your local golf course or amusement park. If this isn’t an option, you can also create a golf course in a park using flags as the goal.

Create a mini golf tournament for your middle school students to create memories and raise money for their education.

Invite students to participate in fun rounds of mini golf! Create a few levels of the golf course and have students with the highest scores move into the next rounds or have those with the best scores win a special prize. Students can pay a participation fee and also ask friends and family for donations to support them. Donations can either be flat rate or based on how many rounds of the tournament a student makes it through.

Wrapping Up

The right middle school fundraiser can do far more than just raise money for your school. Using these top middle school fundraising ideas to engage your parents and students will help you raise money and create valuable memories for your school! By choosing a fundraiser made for participation (like our favorite: the read-a-thon), you can teach students responsibility, stimulate their literacy, and create a lucrative fundraiser.

To learn more about how to use Read-a-thon’s robust fundraising platform and other top fundraising tools, review these resources:

  • How do I choose profitable fundraisers? Dive into this guide and find out why read-a-thons are one of the fastest growing elementary school fundraising initiatives.
  • Read-A-Thon Testimonials Real schools with real experience discuss their profits and process after using the Read-A-Thon platform. Review this list of testimonials to see how Read-A-Thon has helped hundreds of schools raise thousands of dollars and enrich their students’ literacy.
  • Elementary School Fundraising and 50+ Inspiring Ideas. Are you also looking for elementary school fundraisers? Explore Read-A-Thon’s masterlist of more exciting and inspiring fundraising ideas.

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