It takes money to run a lot of things in the world and your CTSO is no different.  There are many types of fundraisers out there, its just up to you to choose the one that’s going to give you the most cash flow for your organization.  Here you will find some common fundraisers and some not-so common fundraisers, so try a few or try them all its up to you!

1.   Bake Sales:  Once a month or once a week, you can have your students cook up a lot of baked goods to sell after school or on a weekend.  It is also a good idea to either have parents volunteer to prepare baked goods or to at least donate the ingredients needed to prepare the goods which help on cutting down your costs and of course increasing profits.  To help make your event more successful:  1) create nice banners, 2) create flyers and promote, promote, promote and 3) remember that presentation is everything!

Some ideas for what to include are listed below:

  • Cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Rice Crisy Treats
  • Cookies
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Cakes (Slices or whole)
  • Home made candy
  • Candy apples
  • Muffins
  • Flavored Popcorn
  • Flavored Pretzels

Check out some great ideas from the sources below:

2.   Valentine’s Day Gift Baskets:  Valentine’s Day is a big spending holiday for a lot of customers and convenient gifts are a must.  To make this a great and successful fundraisers, visit the Dollar Tree or Oriental Trading and purchase a lot of Valentines’ themed products.  Assemble them in cute baskets and wrap with cellophane paper and allow the students to take orders and then deliver them to the recipients on or around Valentine’s Day.  This is great to do in the schools because its great for the students and teachers but its even better when taken out into the community.

Some items to include:

  • Chocolates
  • Heart shaped cookies (These could be baked by your students)
  • Small balloons ($1)
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Pretzels, crackers or other snacks
  • The baskets are usually 2 for $1.00

 3.   Game Tournament:  A game tournament is a fun and easy way to raise money.  You can either charge by the team or individually a small fee to enter the tournament.  Have each game worth some points and each time a team wins add the points to that teams score.  Give away a portion of your proceeds as prizes or have local businesses donate prizes.

Some types of games you may include:

  • Sorry
  • Scrabble
  • Uno
  • Phase 10
  • Spades
  • Checkers
  • Connect 4
  • Boggle
  • Perfection
  • Life
  • Trouble and more!

It is also a great idea to sell refreshments or run some sort of concession stand during this to increase profit potential.  Also if you have a huge assortment of games charge a set fee for a certain number of games to make the tournament fair and for games that take longer times to play, give them a time limit.

4.   Electronic Game tournaments:  This is alternative to the regular game tournament that is described above.  Today, most teens are into everything electronic so why not have an electronic games tournament.  All you will need are a host of tv’s (you can work with the library on this) and a big open space and computers are a plus too, if not wireless laptops work just as great.  Some types of games you may include are listed below:


  • PS3
  • PS2
  • Xbox 360
  • Wii
  • Supernintendo, etc.
  • Computer games such as Pacman, Tetris or Galaga, Bejeweled and more!

You can use the high scores to determine the points for this tournament.  Again, make sure to have a concession because players get really worked up over a little friendly competition.

5.   Catering Business:  Time is of the essence when running any type of organization, so this business solves the problem for many of these organizations.  You can have your foods students start a catering business that caters small meetings such as departmental meetings, faculty meetings, and other clubs and organizations in your school that may have monthly or weekly meetings and a need for refreshments.  Make sure that you require either a weeks notice or at least a 48 hour notice so that you have time to go grocery shopping.  Be very professional with this one and remember that presentation is everything.  This is a fundraiser that can be done year long to give your club a steady income.

6.   Cookbooks:  This fundraiser can be done several different ways.  You can find a company that already does cookbook fundraisers or you can make, publish and bind your own.  To get the recipes, you can collect them from teachers, students, or family members and friends.  It’s also fun to make sure that those who submit recipes submit pictures as well.  This makes for a much better product and increases profit potential.



 7.  Dinner Fundraisers:  These types of fundraisers are usually very successful.  You plan a meal such as a spaghetti dinner, steak dinner, BBQ dinner etc.  You take orders for a couple of weeks and then deliver the meals or have them come pick them up on the day of the actual dinner.  Another great idea would be to host this type of dinner as a dinner and show where customers can come and sit down to a very elegant or decorated dinner and be entertained with students presenting extraordinary products that they have completed in the class.  This not only gives the students a chance to show their parents and community what they are doing in class but also gives them a chance to help practice presenting to help prepare for Star Events or other organization competitions.


8.  Breakfast Fundraiser:  This is an alternative to the dinner fundraiser described above.  Instead this would be for breakfast in the mornings so it could be breakfast sandwiches or a waffle or Pancake Breakfast.  Again the plates could be picked up or you could have table settings and have the customers served.



 9.  Yard Sale:  This is always a great fundraiser and has a very small set-up fee.  Have students, other teachers, family members and friends donate unwanted items.  Have your students clean them up and make them presentable or even re-create totally different products out of them and sell them at the yard sale.  Make sure that you advertise for weeks and everywhere possible to make this a big success.  Another good idea would be to have a concession stand set up out there as well to help increase profits.


10Screen printing business:  This is a fun and a great way to earn a steady income for your organization and to teach your students customer service skills and real-life business skills.  Equipment for screen printing is not cheap but it is a great investment that you can use for years to come which will eventually pay for itself.  However, there are cheaper options such as the Yudu All in One printer from Provo craft as well.  With this, your students can create their own designs to sell or make tee shirts and other paraphernalia  for different clubs, organizations and/or groups within the school.  They can take orders, fill the orders and deliver the products too!



 11Cut-Outs Fundraiser:  Have you ever went to a restaurant or business and saw several cutouts either shaped like balloons or shamrocks that have different customer’s names on them.  Or maybe you have been asked to donate a dollar to get your name up there on the wall too.  Well, your CTSO can design some cut outs as well and partner with local businesses in and have them ask their customers to donate a dollar to help support your organization either to help the registration fees for competition or other events your group would like to attend.  You can supply several different businesses with these cutouts and pick up the donations and supply them with more weekly or for whatever term is set between your organization and the local business.

 12.   Restaurant Fundraiser:  Don’t forget about the many local business that offer school nights where everyone who makes a purchase between your designated hours, a portion of the proceeds will go to your organization.  Restaurants that offer these types of fundraisers include:

  • Sonic
  • Pizza Hut
  • McDonalds
  • Burger King
  • Jack in the Box
  • Subway
  • KFC
  • Chili
  • Applebees
  • Chic-fil-A
  • Wendy’s
  • Cici’s Pizza
  • Chucky Cheese
  • Monkey Joes and more!

Make sure you check with the businesses first because these programs are not offered in all areas.  And be sure to promote like crazy so that business is non-stop during your designated fundraising time.

13.    Helpers for Hire:  Are teachers and other school workers complaining about not having enough time to get things done or having too many things to get done?  Why offer them a “Helper for Hire”.  School workers can be given the chance to pay a set fee per hour for one of your members to help them out in their classroom.  This can be done after school, on the weekends, the weeks before school starts, or the weeks leading up to school about to be out when teachers have the most work to be done.  The income potential is great and the teachers get a lot of help without having to beg others or trick their kids into helping them or coming in on their days off.  For example:  If you charge $5/hour and 30 teachers want to hire helpers for 2 hours each;  that is $300!  Imagine this being your club income on a monthly basis!  The best part is, you don’t have to put any money into this fundraiser.  It’s also a great idea to create Helpers for Hire tee shirts to help advertise and to be able to distinguish the helper students from other students if all students are supposed to be out of the school at a certain time.

This could be done in the community as well, however there would be more risks involved and a lot more red tape!

14.       Selling Advertisements:   Just like the yearbook does each year, you can do the same.  You can create a published document such as school newsletter, yearly calendars, cookbooks, etc.  You would create the demographics on how often these published documents go home, how many families they reach and so forth and sell advertisement spaces to local businesses in order to raise money. 

15.      Bingo Night:  This always tends to be a great turn out and raises a good amount of money.  Charge a set fee to enter the bingo night (usually around $5).  It is best to also guarantee at least a free drink and refreshment of some sort.  You get the prizes and/maybe even the refreshments donated from parents and/or local businesses or you can use a part of the funds raised for cash prizes.  The catch is always finding a place big enough so that you can really make some money.  You may also sell additional refreshments as well such as pizza, hot dogs, drinks, chips; baked goods and more to increase fundraiser potential.

16.        Holiday/Special Occasion Wreaths:  This is a brand new idea that I think would be a great fundraiser and what’s even better is that you can create a few samples, take pictures, share with potential customers, take orders and then get the assistance of students/parents to help put them together.  This fundraiser only requires a small investment for materials or of course, you can get some of the materials donated.  You may check out websites such as TipJunkie for ideas; however, don’t copy the designs.  Only incorporate the techniques that they use and use the photos for inspiration.  You don’t want to end up doing anything illegal especially considering you will be making money. (Probably will need to do a training/certification class for this fundraiser)

1.  You may focus on a specific type of wreath with certain materials such as:

  • Tulle
  • Ribbon
  • Plastic flowers (floral)
  • Fabric
  • Mesh

2.  They may also be sold, created and promoted for all types of events/holidays/special occasions or just themed decorations:

  • Teachers
  • Christmas
  • Halloween
  • Labor Day
  • Valentine’s day
  • St. Patrick’s day
  • New Year’s day
  • Memorial day/Veterans day
  • School spirit
  • NBA/NFL team colors
  • Easter
  • New teacher



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