Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to plan a school fundraiser since many young people embrace all the fun, scary activities that come with Halloween. Yet, every year Halloween seems to sneak up on us, and we only have a couple weeks for planning. Start planning now, so that you don’t loose time with your Homecoming Campaigns. There may be some interesting school fundraisers you could plan to raise money for your school while making Halloween planning easier and less expensive for families. Here are a few fun Halloween fundraising ideas that work great for schools.
The Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser
While pumpkins seem to become readily available late September at local grocery stores, why not offer people a fun experience along with selecting their Halloween pumpkins? Plan a Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser where you invite community members to a fun event where they can select their Halloween pumpkins as well as participate in other scary activities? Purchase bales of hay and pumpkins from a local farm at wholesale and then decorate your school parking lot. Build scarecrows using pumpkin heads, a maze with bales of hay where children run through to select their pumpkin. Include a scare-crow building contest as part of the event. Secure donations from local businesses and award the winners with prizes. Charge a small admission fee for the event, and charge a fee for purchasing pumpkins. Transform a trailer into a ride by adding bales of hay and raise additional revenue by offering hay rides. You can also sell hot chocolate and apple cider, caramel apples, popcorn, trick or treat bags, pumpkin-carving kits, and more. This is a really fun idea for an elementary school fundraiser, as children really seem to enjoy pumpkin patches and hay rides.
The Spooky Fun Run
As parents and educators, we are interested in teaching children about how physical activity and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall self-esteem, productivity, and enjoyment of life. In our society today there is a tendency for children to make unhealthy choices and Halloween is certainly no exception. Why not get the kids out running, instead of sitting around eating candy. A school fun run is made even more fun with the addition of Halloween costumes. You could also add an obstacle course fundraiser with zombies and ghosts hiding out.
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Halloween Party Fundraiser
Plan a Halloween party at your school. Invite students, parents, and members from the local community. Raise money by selling tickets in advance or at the door. Arrange for your school’s food service to supply dinner, or work with a local pizzeria to donate pizzas. Offer a “witches’ brew” using dry ice to make it look like it’s smoking (or use the dry ice for scary fog effects). Make sure the room is decorated with festive Halloween decorations. Hire a DJ to provide spooky music. Encourage attendees to dress in costume and host a costume contest as part of this Halloween fundraiser. Get prizes donated from local business and reward attendees with the best costumes. Host a silent auction or fundraising raffle to raise more. This is a great way for students, families and communities together in a fun, social environment while raising funds for your school.
Fall is also the time of the harvest. Why not organize a farm to table fundraiser for your school? Invite a local chef or restaurant that focuses on local produce to prepare a special harvest meal for parents and families. Provide a child care center for the little ones, so that the parents can really enjoy themselves. This fundraiser is a great way to get parents to know each other and will help build your PTO and school spirit, in addition to having the potential to raise a lot of money for your school.
Halloween Costume Sales
Turn your school into a pop-up costume shop! Prior to Halloween, send out an announcement requesting people to donate old Halloween costumes. (You may even want to do this immediately following Halloween the previous year when people have costumes easily accessible, and then store these for your costume sale during the upcoming year). Plan a day or weekend where members of the community can come to your costume sale, browse costumes and purchase them. This makes costume shopping easy and affordable for community members. You can also offer pumpkins and carving kits for sale, or sell hot apple cider, trick-or-treat bags, bags of candy, Halloween decorations, and more.
Turn your school gymnasium into a haunted house the weeks preceding Halloween. Charge an admission fee and promote the Haunted House throughout the community. Decorate the school with spider webs, ghosts, strobe lights, and other creepy creations. Have students volunteer to help create scary scenes like a ghost in a graveyard, a vampire cave with creepy coffins, and a witch stirring her pot. Include a fundraising raffle as part of the event. Reach out to local businesses to donate prizes (such as gift certificates, sporting event tickets, a free bike or scooter). Display the prizes at the ticket counter and invite people to purchase raffle tickets as they buy their admission to the haunted house. Announce raffle winners at the close of the event.
Fall Carnival or Festival
Fall and Halloween offer a great opportunity for school carnivals. Many schools offer free admission to their carnivals so that everyone can attend, with game tickets being sold. Include all kinds of games for elementary kids and their families, including a bouncy house, win-a-fish, lucky duck and soda toss ring games to name just a few. Cotton-candy, pizza, popcorn and beverages bring in extra funds. Raffle donated goods at the event, and add a silent auction for extra allure. By the end, everyone will have had a chance to meet a new friend.
More Fundraising Ideas
Visit our 40 Best Fundraisers for Schools page for more suggestions for successful school and Halloween Fundraising Ideas.