6 Ideas for Fundraising with Kids

Written by
FH staff writer
Published on
May 15, 2024 at 4:14:16 PM PDT May 15, 2024 at 4:14:16 PM PDTth, May 15, 2024 at 4:14:16 PM PDT

Part of raising compassionate, helping kids is showing them they can make a difference—no matter how young they are!

Maybe your child or Sunday School class is learning about poverty and Christ-centred ways to respond. Or maybe they’re beginning to notice brokenness in the world and you want to teach them how they can make a positive impact.

Fundraising is a great way to cultivate compassion and empower children to bring about change.

Here are six ways you can fundraise with your kids, Sunday School class, or homeschool group.

1. Host a Bake Sale

Bake sales are a sweet way to rally your community around a shared cause. There’s many ways to host bake sales—as a church event, after school celebration, sports tournament, or a roadside stand, to name a few.

Here’s how to get started:

•  Gather a group of bakers—parents, you’ll likely need to help your kids in the kitchen! Create a list of diverse desserts and have each baker sign up for what baked goods they’ll be selling. We recommend including vegan or gluten-free options for people with dietary restrictions (there’s lots of easy recipes online and you can charge more for these as well!). Appoint a treasurer to be responsible for collecting money and making the final donation.

• Pick a date and location.

• Spread the word! Create posters, post on social media, and tell your friends and family. Make sure to include the date, time, location, whether it’s cash only, and where your donations will be going.

• Bake and sell your goods! Consider creating a fundometer on a poster board to show progress throughout the day and encourage people to fund the gap. Post pictures of your treats on social media and share updates about the amount raised so far, rallying people to stop by and contribute!

• Share your success on social media or through announcements when you’ve made your final donation.

Danica, Ella, and Elianna are three young girls from Abbotsford who sold cookies, brownies, and hot cocoa to buy a dairy cow for a family fighting poverty through the FH Gifts for Change Gift Guide. Their family and friends came out to support them and they tripled their fundraising goal!

2. Set Up a Lemonade Stand

Perfect in the summer heat, there’s a reason lemonade stands are popular! They’re simple, charming, and passersby love the chance to support a child’s initiative while enjoying a refreshing cup of lemonade.

Here’s how to get started,

• Choose a busy street corner where drivers can easily stop and find parking, but where parents can still keep an eye on the kids.

• Put up handmade posters around your neighbourhood directing them to the lemonade stand. If your neighbourhood has a community Facebook group, share a post to encourage them to stop by.

• Set up your table and chairs, making sure it’s stocked with napkins, plenty of cups (you’ll run out fast!), a cooler of ice, a donation jar, and an umbrella for shade.

• Prepare your lemonade and determine the price per cup—have back-ups in case you sell out. Make sure to taste-test!

• Decorate your stand with posters about your fundraising cause and consider selling homemade treats with your lemonade.

• When you’ve made your donation, share your success with your family and friends and encourage them to come out to the next one!

3. Organize a Pajama Day

Kids love an excuse to stay in their pajamas all day! Pajama days are a fun, easy way to involve your whole school in fundraising for a cause. Not only does it drum up fun around the schoolyard, but it’s an opportunity for your child or group to learn how to pitch an idea to their school’s administration and to rally their classmates.

• Empower your child to speak with their school administration to present their fundraising idea. Have them pitch what they are fundraising for, how much each student will donate to participate (we recommend $2 so everyone can join in), and what day they think will work best.

• Spread the word! Design a poster to place around the school, make announcements in classes, and add a blurb to the parent newsletter.

• Consider creating an incentive for the class that raises the most money—a pizza or ice cream day.

• Announce a reminder to each class the day before the pajama day.

• Have teachers collect donations from each grade and coordinate with the office how the final donation will be made.

• Share the success—announce to the school how much money was raised and celebrate!

Check out how Maple Ridge Christian School organized a pajama day to buy dairy cows for families in FH partner communities, calling their fundraiser Comfy for Cows.

4. Organize a Bottle Drive

Bottle drives are a fun way to show kids how to use the resources they already have. Return-It depots make it easy to create ongoing bottle collection fundraisers with express fundraising accounts.

It’s a good idea to have a kick-off bottle drive to raise excitement and awareness around the cause. You can rally volunteers to collect bottles with a trailer or truck, or have donors bring their bottles to your church or school for a kick-off party.

Here’s how to get started:

•  Decide who you will do your bottle drive with—your neighbourhood, church community, school, or Sunday School group.

•  Choose a date and location for your kick-off day!

•  Set up an Express Return-It account.

•  Spread the word! Create posters and post on social media. Make sure to include the day, time, location, how to drop off bottles, and where your donations will be going.

•  Set up tables and drop cloths to organize bottles into clear plastic bags (check with your local recycling depot for their requirements). Organize volunteers to drive the bottles to the depot.

•  Share your success on social media or through announcements when you’ve made your first donation.

Kids can also organize bottle drives on a smaller scale with their friends or family. Eleven-year-old Sophia and her younger brother collect bottles from parks, sidewalks, neighbours, and their own family to support families overcoming poverty. In a span of three years, they brought over 5,000 containers to the recycling depot!

5. Get Active for Good: Walk, run, bike, paddle, or hike

If you have an active group of kids, get them moving for good! Organize a walkathon, run, bike ride, paddle, or hike where family and friends can donate to your cause. Consider asking donors to match each kilometer with a donation amount. This can be a fun way to merge your kids’ hobbies and activities with a charitable cause, teaching them to train for and accomplish an achievable goal. Whatever you choose, make sure your kids are excited about the activity—they may even ask their friends to join in too!

Here’s how to get started:

•  Pick an activity and a date for your fundraiser.

•  Rally family and friends to join you—remotely or in-person!

•  Set up an online giving platform. Or, contact your charity and ask if they are able to host a fundometre on their website for your fundraiser.

•  Spread the word! Share about your fundraiser with family and friends through personal contacts or social media, asking them to donate.

•  Remember to send updates to your donors after you complete your activity! Thank them for their support and share photos of the day.

6. Fundraise with Your Church’s Kids Club or Camp

Are you a leader wanting to incorporate a fundraiser into your Vacation Bible School (VBS) program? A VBS can easily and creatively include fundraisers. 

Here are a few ways to incorporate fundraising into your summer kid’s club or camp:

• Simply send out a newsletter to parents with a fundraising goal.

• Have the children create an Acts of Service coupon book to bring home, where each chore they complete has a dollar amount that their parents will donate.

• Have the children create handmade cards to handout at a local seniors home.

• Take your VBS group to a local charity and volunteer time for a service project.

Another option is take your VBS group to a local charity and volunteer time for a service project. Whatever you do, incorporating a fundraiser into your VBS can be easy, fun, and a great way for children to put into practice what they’ve been learning all day. For example, Calgarian Vacation Bible School hosted a fundraiser where kids learned about other children’s lives in Africa and they raised money for clean water and other items through the FH Gift Guide. 

These are just a few of the many ways you can involve children in making a difference. Get creative and let the kids pick an activity that resonates with them and works for their group. When kids realize they really can make a difference, it can make a lasting impact on the people they become. 

After all, nothing sparks compassion in others like a child selflessly wanting to make an impact on the world around them.

Whatever fundraiser you choose, we’d love to hear about it! Tag us on social media at @fhcanada. If you need support or ideas, or even want our logo to add to your promotional material, reach out to education@fhcanada.org and we’ll gladly help.