Tired of organizing the same old bake sale and raffle every year? Classic fundraising ideas work, but why not try thinking outside the cookie jar. Keeping things interesting and new can help engage your students, parents and local businesses. This holiday season try one of these innovative and interactive FUNdraising ideas.

Reverse Raffle

Instead of selling raffle tickets the old way, hand out a set amount of tickets to each student for free. What’s the catch? In a Reverse Raffle your students won’t be entered to win a prize; they’ll be entered to “win” some kind of task. For example, have the winner help you clean up the crafts station every day for a week. The reverse part comes when students’ family and friends pay to have their tickets taken out of the raffle. Double the motivation by setting up a bonus prize, have the students come up with a task for you to complete if the whole class sells all their tickets.


A Read-a-Thon is the perfect fundraising project for any break from class. Create a list of 6-10 suggested books for your students to read over the break. Then, create pledge cards for each book which the student will sell to their family members. This is a great way to ensure students are keeping their minds active while on break instead of tuning out to TV and video games. Need an incentive to assure everyone reads their pledged books? Offer a post-break quiz, the students who complete the quiz successfully will get a one-time ‘Get out of Jail (homework) Free Card’.

Christmas Caroling

A Caroling Fundraiser is perfect for involving the entire community in your cause. Divide the class into groups, and then create Caroling appointment cards for students to sell to neighbors, friends, and even local restaurants or coffee shops. On your appointment cards ask how many songs they’d like to ‘order’, you can even ask if they have specific song requests. Arrange a chaperone for each group and print out lyrics for the students to use for practice.

Sell Something Useful

Forget the candy bars and home made goods of years passed. Few parents neither want nor need another sugary treat, making the purchase feel like an obligation. Consider selling products what are used frequently at home or in the office. Offering a product your donors will buy regardless maximizes your chances of getting the donation. Look for manufacturers or retailers who will sell toilet paper, paper towels, soap, printer paper etc at a discounted rate. Want to involve your students even more? Why not sell hand-crafted blank holiday cards or drawings, or ornaments or window decorations to family, friends and local retailers.

Raffle Yourself

As teachers we know that giving your time and dedication, even after school is out, is part of the job. Step out of the classroom and into an experience your winning ticket holder/s will cherish by holding a Teacher Raffle Off. Sell tickets for $1-$5 each and have your students brainstorm ideas for their afternoon with you. Select one winner or a small group of winners and enjoy your day!

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