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The Top 100+ Fundraiser Ideas For Youth Groups (That Have Actually Worked)

Fundraising season can really be a frustrating time for any group that relies on others’ generosity for its budget. It often means sending teens around essentially begging for money and offering good or services that no one would buy otherwise. Whether cookie dough, doughnuts, or charity miles, many fundraisers fall flat.

For the last 20+ years, we at Scoutorama have been receiving and gathering successful fundraiser ideas from youth groups, scout troops, church organizations, schools, sports teams, and even companies. This list of 100+ ideas includes submissions from tons of different groups that can be used to help you and your group meet your goals.

The best way to use this list of fundraiser ideas is to pair a few of them together to create a big activity for the community. This list will help you compile an excellent toolkit with ideas for different situations and different time frames. Feel free to tailor these to your organization’s needs.

Top 25 Best Overall Fundraisers

FundraiserDifficulty (out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Garbage Can Cleanout Service5$$$
Indoor Mini Golf5$$
Teacher Torture3$$
Sports Clinic6$$
Flag Subscription5$$$
Breakfast with Santa6$$
Silly String Shootout3$
Spaghetti Dinner3$$
Dodgeball Tournament4$$
Curb House Number Painting3$$
Magic Show7$$
Students vs. Teachers5$$
Junk Car7$$
Pie Throwing4$
Community Service6$$
Chili Cook-Off4$$
Swap Meet5$$
Food Fight6$
Adult Spelling Bee4$$
Movie Night5$
Pink Flamingo Flocking5$
Car Wash6$$
Lawn Aerating6$$
All You Can Eat Pizza3$

32 Fundraiser Ideas that Don’t Require a Budget

A big hangup to fundraising is the seed money required to get started. Some organizations may not have a budget to start with. It can also be risky because you could even end up losing money if you don’t get the turnout you expect. These fundraisers don’t require a budget at all, and can be done with hard work and some creativity.

FundraiserDifficulty (Out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Penny War2$$
Head Shaving3$$$
Pajama Day1$
Babysitting Evening6$$$
Ballroom Instructions5$$
Vote for Mayor2$
Eat for a Cause3$$
Community Service7$$
Students vs Teachers5$$
Bring Your Pet to Work Day4$
Mall Coat Check5$
Sports Clinic5$$
Report Card Sponsor7$$
Hearts Marathon3$
Goal Can3$
Volunteer Jobs5$$
Cheater’s Spelling Bee6$
Large Vehicle Show8$$
Children’s Cookbook8$$
Egg and Beg3$
Egg Cycle4$
Donation Cans2$
Cute Baby Contest4$
Goat Insurance8$
Crazy Hat Day2$
Don’t Come Event1$
Adult Spelling Bee7$$
One Dollar Auction7$$
Candle Sale5$

20 Ideas for Ongoing “Evergreen” Fundraisers

Some fundraisers can be done repeatedly every month or year. It’s always good to do more advertising to get the word out for more sign ups, but this way you start with a strong donor base each time. Several of these are just ongoing and can be done or advertised at any time.

FundraiserDifficulty (Out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Report Card6$
Curb House Number Painting5$$
Read a Book2$
Community Service7$$
Mail Coat Check3$
Pass the Can2$
Mischief Insurance5$$
Dog Treats4$$
Lazy Boy Day5$
Donation Cans3$
Goat Insurance6$
Duct-Tape Trap4$
Potty Protection Insurance5$
Best Seat in the House5$
Commemorative Brick Pavers Memorial Garden7$$$
Garbage Can Cleanout Service5$$$
Lawn Aerating6$$$
Flag Service6$$$
Goal Can4$

17 Ideas for Month-long Fundraisers

Rather than holding a fundraiser for a single event, why not spread the giving throughout a month? Many of these work as a buildup to a larger event, so it makes sense to group them together.

FundraiserDifficulty (Out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Candle Sale3$$
Flamingo Flocking5$$
Cute Baby Contest3$
Spirit Chain3$
Children’s Cookbook6$
Volunteer Jobs5$$
Guessing Jar2$
Picture Voting2$
Prom Boutique7$$
Students Vs. Teachers6$$
Head Shaving3$$
Penny War3$
Teacher Torture6$$

16 Ideas for Seasonal and Holiday Fundraisers

A season change or holiday can make for a good theme for a fundraiser. Many of these can be done as something that people are going to do anyway (breakfast with santa, pumpkin painting, gift wrapping). Rather than paying a business, they donate to your fundraiser for something that they actually value.

Others on this list involve cleanup for a holiday event, which is often the worst part and people are glad to pay someone else to do it for them. You can be creative with these and do them out of season as well- who doesn’t love celebrating Christmas again in May?

FundraiserDifficulty (Out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Pumpkin Painting Party6$$
Polar Bear Plunge6$$
Prom Boutique7$$
Gift Wrapping4$
Halloween Mischief Insurance4$
Pie Throwing4$
Breakfast with Santa6$$
Christmas In…April?6$$
Pumpkin Launch7$$
Face Painting3$
Black Friday Hot Chocolate4$$
Cake Bake6$$
Black Friday Breakfast Tacos6$$
Selling Easter Candy3$

45 Standalone Event Fundraisers

These are marquee-events that can draw a crowd by themselves. Most require a team of people to execute, though some could be headed up by a single person. Ideally, you hold a carnival or group several of these together. For example, a Luau with a silly string shootout and an ugly tie contest.

FundraiserDifficulty (Out of 10)Fundraising Potential ($$$)
Magic Show7$$$
Silly String Shootout4$
Frisbee Golf Tournament4$$
Dodgeball Tournament5$$
Dance Dance Marathon4$
Ballroom Lessons7$$
Scrabble Tournament4$
Bike Scavenger Hunt5$$
Ugly Tie Contest 3$
Blind Auction5$$
Babysitting Evening6$$$
Redneck Games9$$
Swap Meet5$$
Sports Clinic7$$
Hydro Joust6$
Photo with Animals6$
Yard Sale5$$
Pet Parade4$
Rent a Puppy5$
Dinner Auction6$$
Cheater’s Spelling Bee3$
Lobster Racing6$
Large Vehicle Show3$
Caged Critters7$
Super Sundae5$
Mini Golf-a-thon5$
Make Believe Tea Party3$
Potato Bar5$
No Talent Show5$
Karaoke Night3$
Chili Cook-Off4$$
All You Can Eat Pizza3$$
Cardboard Boat Race5$
Indoor Mini Golf6$$
Car Smash7$$
Car Wash6$$
Toilet Seat Horseshoes5$
Spaghetti Dinner6$$
Food Fight6$
Movie Night5$$
One Dollar Auction6$
Slam Out Hunger4$

Whether you are holding a fundraiser for a non-profit, a church group, a scout group, a business, or a sports team, or a youth group, these ideas will help you create and execute a successful event that will make people happy and bring in the funds you need to be successful. The best events combine a handful of different activities so that people can contribute to what they most closely identify with. It’s always best when the value of the event or activity is aligned with the contribution value.

Mike Harmer

I created this website back in 1996, and have slowly added content to it over the years. Some resources have been contributed by viewers and other people who love the outdoors.

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