Get creative with these 15 fundraising ideas for kids

Written by
Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

Get creative with these 15 fundraising ideas for kids

Kids are our future leaders, future supporters, and future changemakers. They’re often actively looking for ways to change the world around them for the better. Encouraging an interest and love for fundraising early is amazing, and with the right fundraising ideas for kids, it’s easy to do. 

Inspire that spark of community spirit and start small with an easy, interesting fundraiser. Here are 15 fun and creative fundraising ideas for kids who want to do more than your usual bake sale or yard sale. 

1. Host a DIY cupcake stand 🧁

Swap the traditional bake sale for a modern alternative with a fun, DIY cupcake stand. Set up a stand outside your home or arrange a date with a community space, then invite people along to get creative for a small fee. Bake plenty of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes ahead of time and set up a table full of icing options, sprinkles, toppings, and decorations. 

2. Design your own merch

Get your pens, pencils, and digital software out and encourage kids to create their own designs to sell as merchandise. Try your hand at screen printing your designs or work with a print-on-demand service to create your stock, then sell in-person or online with Collect by Givebutter. Use crowdfunding to help you reach your fundraising goals and create a limited edition line of merchandise. This can be a great way to fundraise and offer your supporters plenty of value, as they’ll walk away with a creative printed T-shirt or unique notebook they can keep forever. 

3. Host a themed movie event 🍿

Anna Frozen GIF

Bring everyone together and fundraise for a good cause with a themed movie evening. Set ticket prices and create bundles with popcorn and concession stands, then sell these tickets using Venmo. Ask for suggestions from friends and family for which movie to show and encourage the kids to think about how they can make the event feel special. You can get really creative here and decorate a rented event space to create an immersive showing for your supporters, or help to stage a fun outdoor cinema experience. 

4. Stream a game night

Games nights with friends are a great way to relax and indulge in some competitive fun, but they can also be transformed into a profitable fundraiser for your chosen cause. Arrange for your kids to get together with friends or their class and livestream a game day or game night, where they take turns playing a game to the audience. Kids can sell tickets, ask for donations, or ask friends and family to sponsor them for unlocking achievements. Take inspiration from Trinity Habitat, who raised over $100K with a Givebutter livestream.

5. Hold a fancy dress code car wash 🚗

Attract a crowd to your car wash fundraiser by going all-out with a fancy dress code. Coordinate your kids’ outfits for a movie-themed car wash, or simply ask them to wear their brightest, most creative costumes. Bring in plenty of people by handing out flyers and promoting the event on social media. Ask your supporters for a donation for their charitable car wash and ask them to vote for their favorite dressy look while they’re there. Keep supporters entertained while they wait with an old-school lemonade stand or an ice cream station. Serve your supporters swiftly with our easy to use Apple Pay and Google Pay options.

6. Organize a summer BBQ

Make the most of the glorious spring or summer weather with a fundraising summer BBQ. Bring together great food, friendly company, and even some live music or a dance workshop. You could also introduce some family rivalry and ask people to submit dishes for judging, or stage a live cook-off between local restaurants. Host this as a ticketed event to raise funds, or set a minimum donation for the food and drink you’re serving to guests to help raise money. 

7. Hold a shoe drive 👟

Simpsons GIF

Kids go through so many shoes, so hosting a shoe drive is not only a great way to raise funds for a good cause but it makes decluttering easy, too. Set up a stand at an event or organize a school-wide shoe drive, where students bring in shoes they no longer need. You can then shop from the shoe drive collection and ask for a minimum donation per pair. Kids can get creative and add on a customization station, where supporters can enhance their new shoes with stickers, fun laces, or other embellishments. 

8. Make a family cookbook

Most families have those tried-and-true recipes that have been passed down through generations, or fun new ones you’ve created together. Bring all these amazing ideas together in a family cookbook and sell it to raise funds for a good cause. This works well as a high school project across student groups or as a collaboration with youth groups, where everyone can send in recipes and photos. Compile them to create something people will love to buy and keep. Turn your cookbook into reality by working with a local print store, or try a print-on-demand service that ships directly to your supporters. 

9. Host a family karaoke battle 🎤

We all love a little competition, and what better way to bring out people’s fun side and raise money than a family karaoke battle? Rent out a community center, set up a stage, and deck the place out with decor, lighting, and speakers. Set a ticket price at the door and make it an entertaining event, or ask for donations from attendees for your brave karaoke singers’ efforts. 

10. Organize a live talent show

Singing isn’t everyone’s thing, but a live talent show is a great way to celebrate everyone's weird and wonderful talents. Invite people to share their latest jokes, creative masterpieces, or best dance routines. Get everyone together to fundraise for fun or add a competitive element with a trophy for the audience’s favorite or the winner as decided by your own “celebrity” judges. Manage guest numbers and make it easy for guests to buy tickets with our events functions.

11. Host a themed walk-a-thon 🚶

Take it back to the fundraising basics with a walk-a-thon, but not just any walk-a-thon — get creative and make it a themed event. Dress up as your favorite superheroes or stage a spooky walk-a-thon alongside a haunted house to celebrate Halloween. Kids can ask supporters to donate based on how far they or their team can walk, with a bonus for hitting a set target or being the first over the finish line. 

12. Run a team scavenger hunt

Encourage everyone to get involved, have fun, and explore your local area with a scavenger hunt fundraiser. Get local businesses and community groups involved and make this a real town or city-wide effort if you can. Keep it simple and ask teams to check off items found naturally around you, or hide your own treasures across the route for your teams to find. Raise funds by asking for an entry fee from teams, and ask them to rally supporters to donate towards a good cause based on how well they do. Use Givebutter’s Team Fundraising features to introduce some friendly competition with a leadership board and team ticket tracking.

13. Host a fun field day 🏅

Stage an extra-special family field day and enjoy a fun sports day while raising money for good causes. Invite teams to compete in your favorite track and field sports, with something for all family members from toddlers to grandparents. Add in a BBQ or bake sale and you have plenty of ways to fundraise. If you’re blessed with great weather, a fun field day can be a successful fundraising event. Keep a back-up plan in mind for a bad weather day, like renting an outdoor tent or moving your events into a local gymnasium. 

14. Run a read-a-thon

Matilda GIF

Read-a-thons are a great way to raise funds for a good cause, encourage higher reading rates across grades, and introduce everyone to a new favorite author or genre. Set individual and class challenges and encourage everyone to read more over a week or two, to see who can read the most pages or books in that time. Ask friends and family to sponsor per page or book, with a prize for the winning student or class. Combine your read-a-thon with a book sale for a two-in-one fundraising event.

15. Host a stand at a community event 🎨

If you can’t organize a standalone event like a movie night or talent show, hosting a stand at a community event can be a profitable way to start a fundraising campaign. These events already have an audience and plenty of attention, so you can take advantage of that to find new supporters for your cause. Set up a gift wrapping station, host a face painting table, or sell raffle tickets to raise funds. You could also create a fun, relaxing space filled with board games, video games, or craft supplies and ask for a donation to take part. 

You can also take your favorite fundraising idea and test it on a small scale before developing it into an event of its own in the future. There’s lots of potential here to have fun and explore how you can improve your fundraising efforts in the future.

Put the fun into supporting good causes with these fundraising ideas for kids

We hope this list of easy fundraising ideas for kids has inspired you to go out there, gather a team, and start working on your kids’ creative fundraiser. What starts as a small face painting station or gaming livestream could turn into a profitable and fun way for your kids to support a cause that they’re passionate about now and into the future.

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.