29 Creative Fundraising Ideas for Your On-Campus Club

January 18th, 2018 at 1:06am
college fundraising ideas

Every student has experienced that uncomfortable walk past a fundraising table on campus at least once. Of course you want to help out a good cause, but after a certain point, you just can’t justify buying another donut to help raise money. If you’re the person on the other side of the table, you know the dilemma of coming up with new fundraising ideas all too well. While it may seem like selling baked goods is the only method, there are actually countless ways to fundraise without being boring. From braid bars to charity balls, here are 29 ideas to raise cash for the causes and clubs you’re passionate about.

  • Game night: Nostalgia is a moneymaker. No one will be able to resist a night of Twister, Monopoly, or Uno (accompanied by plenty of Polaroid pictures of course) with all their college friends.
  • Mini-golf: Set up a putt-putt course and charge a small fee for people to play.
  • Themed party: This is sure to get your classmates through the door. Charge for admission, raffles, costume contest entrees, and food to maximize your club’s income.
  • Dance marathon: Charge an entrance fee and crank up the tunes. Bonus points for creating a theme for the event (like swing or salsa).
  • Student art sale: Ask the emerging Picassos on your campus to donate paintings, photographs, and small sculptures, then set up a table on campus to for a mini exhibition to sell the pieces.
  • Spirit night at a local restaurant: Many chain restaurants like Salsarita’s and Chipotle are often open to partnering with organizations to raise money for a club or good cause. On these nights your group will get a certain percentage of each total purchase if the customer mentions your organization.
  • Blind auction: Ask local vendors or people in your organization to donate items and wrap the boxes, and then have your guest bid on the gifts inside of the boxes.
  • Fashion show: Borrow clothing from local stores and provide fellow college students with styling advice and inspiration by setting up a student-run runway. Charge people a fee to attend your show.
  • Battle of the bands: Ask local musicians to perform and invite local on-campus celebrities like star athletes or performers to participate as judges. Sell tickets for the event.
  • Trivia night: Have students to sign up as teams, charge each team a fee to play, and let the fun begin.
  • Sell clothes to a consignment shop: Local resale stores will give you cash for your gently used clothes. Have everyone donate their unwanted items, and then take them to a shop like Plato’s Closet to receive cash on the spot for anything they take.
  • Clean the stadium after a game: At some colleges, the athletic department will pay groups to clean the stadium after games.
  • Pop-up shop: Have every member of your group donate gently used items for a garage-sale style event. You’ll just need to find a space and people willing to work the cash register.
  • Make T-shirts: Create cute T-shirts relevant to your campus and/or college town. The more unique they are, the more money your organization has the potential to make.
  • Yoga session: Ask a student who’s a certified yoga instructor to teach a class and charge your campus yogis to join the fun.
  • Portrait photographers: Find a photographer who will volunteer their skills and take professional portraits for students to use as headshots for LinkedIn or personal website.
  • Waffle bar: Breakfast for dinner? Yes please. Host a midnight brunch during finals to feed everyone who’s pulling another all-nighter.
  • Bingo night: Find a large space to host a bingo night for anyone who wants to play.
  • Panel with a local celebrity: Find someone well-known who is willing to speak on a panel about a topic that would resonate with students.
  • Work a concession stand: Contact your college’s athletic department to see if members of your organization can work in the concession stand at a game.
  • Charity ball: Set up a fun night of dancing, dinner, and entertainment. Charge attendees for the tickets, or allow them to buy a table for a larger fee.
  • Braid bar: Before big on-campus social events, set up a space to have students flex their makeup and hair styling skills and offer makeovers to students for a fee.
  • Used formal dress sale: Before formal season, have students donate their old dresses and resell them on campus.
  • Gift-wrapping service: If you need to raise money around the holiday season, find students with solid wrapping abilities to lend their skills and charge a small fee for each present wrapped.
  • Make your own sticker booth: How many laptops do you see in class all decked out in stickers? With just sticker paper and a regular printer, you can make your club’s table the hotspot for electronic decorations.
  • Host a workshop: Find out what skills your organization board members are good at and use their knowledge to teach the student body. This could range from DIYs to career skills, so the sky’s the limit!
  • Student business sale: A number of people at your school are bound to have a side hustle or two. Invite them to sell their handmade jewelry, artwork, or clothes at your fundraising table, and charge a table rental fee.
  • Coffee and tea sale: How convenient would it be to have a coffee stand right in the lobby of your academic building? Bring the coffee to them, and your classmates are bound to pay!
  • Art and design contest: Charge your campus creatives a small fee to enter in a contest, and then get a local business to donate a gift card to award the winner.

Have you hosted a rad fundraising event that’s not on this list? Leave your best suggestions in the comments below!

Featured photo by @sarahgargano29.