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Fundraising Ideas for Small Groups

The intimacy and camaraderie of small teams can make for authentic and effective fundraisers. Whatever the size of your fundraising group, we can help you leverage your team members’ unique skills to help your small group raise a large amount for a friend, loved one, or worthy cause.

student group working together

Small groups can have a big impact

There are many benefits to fundraising in small groups, including being able to communicate clearly, make decisions fast, maintain focus on a shared goal, and react nimbly to events throughout the campaign. Take advantage of these strengths to reach your crowdfunding goals quickly and effectively.

  • Working in a small group can teach you useful skills like listening to different perspectives, close collaboration, and democratic decision-making.
  • Make your mark on a large scale. GoFundMe’s platform is free for fundraisers, and we give small groups the kind of fundraising infrastructure and tools previously available only to large organizations.

Five profitable fundraising ideas for small groups

  • 1. Make it bloom with flower power

    Pre-sell flowers in exchange for donations to your fundraiser. This can be a very effective campaign around Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays when flowers are commonly given. Once the orders are in, your group can fulfill the flower orders in a number of ways:

    • It’s most profitable to buy the flowers in bulk from a local flower wholesale market and assemble the bouquets yourselves.
    • Deliver them to the lucky individuals your donors want to gift flowers to.
    • Ideally, the bouquets should be distributed from a central location, perhaps at a school or workplace. This is why this idea works particularly well if your small group is connected to a larger organization.
    • You might also work with a florist (but then the only money you raise will be the difference between the florist’s price and the donations you receive).
  • 2. Make a pledge

    Pledges don’t require any money up front. You can use resources you already have—your time, skills, access, etc.—and raise money by pledging those resources in exchange for donations.

    • You could pledge to teach a workshop.
    • Volunteer for the organization you’re supporting.
    • Bike from one symbolic place to another.
    • Ask family, friends, and colleagues to pledge money toward your efforts.
  • 3. Create candy bouquets

    This is similar to the flower idea, but with candy and other treats. The advantage over flowers: no spoilage.

    • Get lollipops in bulk, then create bouquets from a variety of flavors and styles using ribbon to fasten the candy together.
    • Each person in your group can work separately, or you can work in assembly-line fashion.
    • Sell the candy bouquets for more than the cost of the candy—the difference will be the funds you raise.
    • Each group member can sell the bouquets, anywhere from at schools to workplaces.
    • At events, set up a donation station with a mobile device and take payments via donations to your fundraiser.
  • 4. Perform extreme makeovers (of yards, kitchens, people)

    What are the members of your group good at or knowledgeable about? Turn that expertise into a makeover service.

    • Offer to update donors’ gardens, household decor, kitchen cabinet organization, or personal style.
    • On your fundraising page, give donors a makeover package if they donate a predetermined amount to your fundraiser.
    • Have fun with this and grow your community of supporters—everyone wins.
  • 5. Host a dog wash

    Throw a dog wash in your neighborhood where people can bring their dogs to get squeaky clean—and support a good cause. This is an especially good idea if your cause is related to animals.

    • Pick a day when most people will be free.
    • Secure a location with access to hoses. Bring buckets, soap, and towels.
    • You can even bring in a local groomer and upsell his or her service, or ask the groomer to donate part or all of the usual fee.
    • Consider asking a local business (perhaps a pet store?) if you can use its parking lot; many may be willing to donate space for a good cause.
    • Ask dog owners to donate to your campaign (which they can do from any mobile device) as payment for your services.

Teamwork pays off

When small groups dream big, they can achieve great things—we see it happen all the time. Find out more with tips and ideas for more successful fundraisers and events. And if your group hasn’t already started a crowdfunding campaign, create one now—it’s the first step toward making a big impact.

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Fundraising ideas for school clubs

student chess club

School clubs can provide young people with some of their most important educational and social experiences. Extracurricular clubs allow kids to explore interests outside the scope of the classroom, and create opportunities for intellectual exploration and creative expression with like-minded peers, free from the stress of grades. Clubs provide a safe, engaging space for socializing after school and can add structure to the latter half of a student’s day.

Taking education into their own hands

When members of a club raise funds for their own experiences, it creates a sense of agency. School club fundraising can open opportunities for travel to competitions and conferences. By encouraging students to thoroughly explore their hobbies and interests, clubs develop well-rounded, ambitious young people. And kids often get more out of their schoolwork when they glimpse its real-world significance. There are many other benefits to club participation:

  • Clubs and other after-school activities can offer a safe place for kids. Baltimore police reported that once an after-school program opened in high-crime area, children there were 44% less likely to be victims of crime.
  • After-school activities keep kids active and healthy. For example, statistics indicate that after-school program participants are 21% less likely to be obese.
  • Students applying to college can help their applications stand out with a variety of clubs, sports, arts, community service, and other extracurricular activities.

Six fundraising ideas for school clubs

  • 1. Science clubs: Life-changing field trips

    Whether your science club dreams of making it all the way to the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii or simply to the local science museum, crowdfunding can create opportunities to engage with curriculum in an exciting, hands-on way. Kids in Washington state might want to raise money to hike Mount St. Helens, while kids in Florida may focus on funding a special trip to explore the Everglades. No matter the context, when science clubs offer in-depth field study and other real-world experiences, they provide life-changing memories and encourage students to associate the subject with fun and exploration. Students are more likely to learn for personal satisfaction, rather than just to please teachers or parents.

  • 2. Chess clubs: Travel tournaments

    For chess players who want to attend competitive tournaments, crowdfunding can help cover registration fees, transportation expenses, and hotel stays. However, some schools have more modest needs, especially those in less wealthy areas, which may just need chess sets and other supplies. (Esperanza Chess Club Fund is a great example.) While most school clubs are moderated by a teacher who generously gives his or her time, a school may not have an instructor qualified to help members improve—in these cases, crowdfunding can also help students fundraise to bring in an expert for a skills workshop.

  • 3. Art clubs: New supplies or an inspirational experience



    When budgets tighten, schools often face pressure to make cuts that disproportionately affect the arts and humanities. If schools decrease funding to arts and music programs, art clubs may have difficulty paying for supplies, let alone affording special experiences for students. Crowdfunding can help raise money to pay for brushes, paints, pencils, and canvas, theater costumes and sets, sheet music and instruments, or other necessities. One tip: Look into special deals from museums, such as discounts for students, and if they don’t offer any, call to ask if they can make your club a special offer.



  • 4. Language clubs: New experiences at home and abroad



    Whether it’s attending a French-language movie or ordering in Japanese at a local restaurant, crowdfunding can help language clubs have fun experiences and speak in real-world settings. For ambitious students, fundraisers can even help finance a trip to another country, giving clubs an unforgettable opportunity to explore a new culture while improving language skills. Whether a Spanish club dreams of spending a week in Costa Rica or a German club wants to organize a home stay in Munich, with a well-executed crowdfunding campaign, life-changing opportunities are within reach.



  • 5. Political clubs and debate: Expanding political minds



    If your school offers Mock Trial or Model United Nations, crowdfunding can help civics-minded students compete and engage with other kids from all over the state. Your MUN convention might require your club to travel, and students may face registration fees as well as travel-related expenses, limiting the ability of lower-income students to participate. Or you might want to provide your club with the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. or your state capital, requiring an extra fundraiser. Mock Trial and debate revolve around tournaments that require entry fees and transportation. Whatever the need, crowdfunding can help you introduce the leaders of tomorrow to different cities and experiences, while allowing them to engage with peers of diverse backgrounds.



  • 6. Support your student press



    From the yearbook to the arts magazine to the school newspaper, an active student press sharpens the minds of future writers and provides vital experiences for students who want to pursue a career in publishing or journalism. But publications can be expensive to produce. And if your school doesn’t view these clubs as a priority, crowdfunding may be one of the only tools available to ensure a secure future for your student media. Access to outside funding can also give student editors the ability to produce more than they could through school funding alone.

Join the club: Start crowdfunding now

School clubs offer unique opportunities to raise funds as a group, make a great impact, and capitalize on the skills students develop in the clubs themselves. Make sure your students have access to the resources and enriching experiences they need to get the most out of their time at school, and launch your crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe today. GoFundMe is free for fundraisers, and you can begin withdrawing funds as soon as you start receiving donations.

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Fundraising ideas for student council: Class acts

teenagers in a group

Student council is about working to better your school and boost school spirit. Funds from student council fundraisers usually go to local charities, scholarships, facility upgrades, and school community projects. Sometimes, funds are raised to help a student or teacher suffering a hardship. The challenge isn’t finding enough worthy causes for the funds you raise, but finding creative ways to raise those funds—activities that get the student body involved and encourage giving.

Use the following five fundraising ideas for student council to jump-start your classmates’ humanitarian spirit.

Student council fundraising ideas

  • 1. Use your school colors in a school color run

    For your next student council fundraiser, try a color run to make running a 5K fundraising race less intimidating and more fun. At each mile marker, volunteers toss colored powder at the participants running by (the powder is simply dyed cornstarch—which is safe to toss around and can be made easily—in your school colors). Since the race isn’t timed, the emphasis isn’t on competition, and there’s more room for people to enjoy their experience and the explosion of color—participants wear white shirts so the colors really show. Have your student council organize a color run on campus, allowing any student or community member to participate with a donation as the registration fee. Last-minute donations can also be made using a mobile device.

  • 2. Host a battle of the bands

    Show off the musical talents of your student body by hosting a battle of the bands. Announce audition days and times. Have the student council (or the whole student body) vote on which bands enter the battle. Ask permission to use the auditorium as the concert venue on a specific day and time, making sure that you’ve lined up students or staff to help out with mics, speakers, etc. You can even create a printed program for the event.

    In the weeks leading up to the battle, sell tickets for the price of a donation to your fundraising campaign—make sure to collect names or hand out tickets with each donation. You can also sell tickets at the door using a mobile device.

    Obviously, the success of this event hinges on the quantity and quality of bands at your school. If the audition yields too few bands for a good show, consider pulling the plug. Alternately, you can consider similar fundraising ideas for your student council: perhaps a poetry slam, rap battle, dance-off, or other performance competition.

  • 3. Pit students vs. teachers in a competition

    Look out the window—see that blacktop or field that’s used to play a wide variety of sports like basketball, soccer, foursquare, tetherball, kickball, etc.? Why not use it to your advantage? For your next student council fundraiser, organize a friendly competition in a handful of different sports (played separately, or combined as a pentathlon or decathlon). To make the event more fun, form teams of three or four people who compete against other teams for medals or trophies (maybe silly ones—keep it fun). Teachers vs. students? Students vs. students? A mix of the two? How about returning alumni? You and the student council decide. To raise funds, each player and/or team pays an entrance fee by making a donation to your online fundraiser. A small admission charge for spectators can raise even more funds.

  • 4. Host your very own Triwizard Cup

    A thrilling student council fundraiser idea for Harry Potter fans: Have teams compete in three missions that mimic those in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Teams sign up for the Triwizard Cup by paying a registration fee in the form of a donation to your online fundraising campaign (you can even have people put names and donation amounts in a “gold” goblet, almost like a blind auction, and select a set number of entrants to compete).

    • First Task: Dye a large number of eggs green, and only three eggs gold. Hide all of the eggs around your field or other outdoor space at your campus. The first team to find a golden egg wins X points, with the second and third golden eggs earning progressively fewer points. If anyone steps on a green egg, they are disqualified from the task.
    • Second Task: Ask each team to select a student (one not already on a team). Student council members then hide these people in different locations on campus. Give each team written clues to help them find the hidden people. Award X points for the first person found, and fewer for each additional person until all have been retrieved.
    • Third Task: Set up a maze on campus (perhaps in the auditorium). To make it more challenging, require that each team member finish the maze alone, in a relay race where the second team member can’t start until the first one finishes, and so on. The first team to have all members successfully get through the maze wins X number of points, with fewer points award to each successive team to finish.

    Add up the points at the end of the tasks and award the winning team a homemade Triwizard Cup. You could also keep the Cup in a case at school so students can vie for it annually.

  • 5. Put your teachers in a sticky situation

    For this student council fundraising idea, all you need are rolls of duct tape, a ruler, a chair, a wall, and a willing teacher or two (maybe a principal for good measure). Student council raises funds by selling students strips of duct tape about a foot long for $1 each (let students know that there’s no limit to the number of strips they can purchase). When the event begins, students attempt to stick the adult “volunteers” to a wall. To increase the number of donations you receive, If more than one teacher volunteers, have multiple stations set up. Those being taped to the wall stand on a chair as students tape them. Once the students think they’ve successfully stuck their teacher or principal to the wall, remove the chair to see if it’s worked—those who succeed get a prize.

The sky’s the limit

The possibilities for student council fundraisers are almost endless—check out our fundraising ideas page for more great tips that could spark your student council’s imagination. And with GoFundMe, you get a crowdfunding platform that’s completely free to use. If you’re between the ages of 13 and 17, just make sure to get your parent or guardian’s permission to start a GoFundMe. Start your free fundraiser.

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