Earn while you learn: Educational fundraisers

A curriculum-related fundraising event will support both your cause and your pupils’ education

Creating links with the curriculum when holding 
a fundraiser means parents and teachers are sure to be supportive. Moreover, giving the children a fun challenge is a great way to encourage pupils in their learning. Link your fundraiser to the project it’s supporting, for instance a sponsored read to raise money for the school library, will get parents on board and pupils excited.

STEM

Escape room

Work with your maths team to put together a series of tricky mathematical puzzles. Avoid spending money on props by using school equipment. Test your ideas out on a small group of staff before rolling it out as an event. Charge teams of four to six players to take part and use several classrooms at once. The first team to escape wins a prize!

Beetle drive

Great for younger pupils, the aim of a beetle drive is to be the first player to draw a complete beetle. The body parts are each given a number, and players take turns to roll the dice and add the corresponding body part of their beetle. This helps children with counting and number recognition. For an in-depth guide to how to run this event visit funded.org.uk/events/guides.

Codebreaking treasure hunt

Turn your pupils into codebreakers with a treasure hunt around your school or local area. Work with your STEM teaching team to establish a code that the pupils need to crack to work out the clues at each location. Charge people to take part and serve refreshments.

Science workshop

Let your science team get their hands dirty with all the fun experiments they can think of. Why not host an interactive after-school science workshop that families can attend? Work together 
to think of exciting activities, such as making slime.

Virtual Balloon Race

Rentaballoonrace.com is the world's only 100% eco-friendly virtual balloon race based on real weather data. Get businesses to sponsor balloons for pupils, who can learn about variables when picking the parameters of their balloon. Thin rubber and lots of helium will make your balloon fly higher but risk it popping sooner. The website uses weather data and geographical positions to simulate what flight path your virtual balloon takes.

PE

Jump Rope for Heart

Five- to 13-year-olds can take part in the British Heart Foundation’s Jump Rope for Heart skipping challenge. Sign up for free, and receive teaching resources and skipping ropes for your school, as well as access to the online hub. Any funds raised are then split between the British Heart Foundation (80%) and your school (20%). For more details, visit bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/schools-events

Sponsored run, swim or bike ride

Run these events individually or group them together for a triathlon event. It’s a great way to promote exercise and get pupils practising their technique. Adapt the sponsorship according to the activity and age of your pupils. Consider encouraging the students to complete the challenge in teams for added enjoyment – and rivalry! If making a day of it then boost profits with refreshment stalls.

It’s a knockout

For a larger event, try an inflatables day. The outlay may seem large, but this fun idea will draw in more participants, meaning more sponsorship. An ‘It’s A Knockout!’ fundraising event will attract spectators as well as those taking part – after all, what better way to encourage more donations than to let the donors see the challenge for themselves! Companies such as Knockout Challenge (knockout-challenge.co.uk) can adapt a package to suit your size and budget, and bring their own insurance, PA system, trophies and medals.

Powershot challenge

Ask pupils to seek sponsorship
to achieve their fastest shot at a football goal, allowing three turns each. Obtain a speed-radar machine to record the speed of each shot – local sports clubs may allow you to hire or borrow one. Give people an incentive to take part by having a range of prizes up for grabs, and award prizes to the pupils with the fastest shot and the most sponsorship money raised.

Literacy

Ready, Steady... Read

Usborne runs sponsored literacy challenges that combine fundraising with promoting a love of reading – Ready, Steady...Read! for older children or Ready, Steady...Listen! for younger children. Children are sponsored to read as much as they can in a given time. Usborne provides sponsorship forms, posters and letters to parents. Depending on the amount of money raised, you can also receive free books for your school. Find out more at usbornebooksathome.co.uk/schools

Word in a word

Give every child a sponsorship form and ask them to find as many words as they can using the letters in your school name. They collect an amount per word from their sponsors.You could also award prizes for the most words, the longest word, the most unusual word and the best anagram.  

Sponsored spell

Ask teachers to prepare a spelling test to be sent home with a sponsorship form. Children can practise the words and seek sponsorship over the holidays, for example 10p for every correct word. Children are tested
when they return to school, then collect their sponsorship money. Award prizes to the top fundraisers 
in each class, year or key stage.

Business

Grow a pound

Give each pupil or class a set amount of money, from £1-£10, which they must then use to set up their own business in groups of three
to five. This could either be running a stall at your summer fair or at an event dedicated entirely to their fundraising schemes. As well as a great learning experience, it's also
a good way to get extra manpower for a fair. Offer a reward for the group that makes the most money.

Arts

Art exhibition

Challenge pupils to create a piece of art based around a theme. Frame the finished artworks and display them in your school hall. Charge an entry fee for visitors, sell refreshments and sell the framed art to parents. Companies such as Images (imagesart.co.uk) can do the framing for you, making it a fairly simple event.

Design competition

Set up an art competition asking pupils to create a piece of work based around a theme. Charge 50p-£2 for entry, depending on your school. Primary schools may wish to invite children to do simple artwork of painting or colouring, while older pupils may be more creative with materials. Divide into age categories and award a winner in each. Alternatively, how about a photography competition?

Fashion show

Work with teaching staff to run a fashion show exhibiting the results of a textiles project. Drama students can give your event pizzazz with dramatic lighting.

Humanities

International evening

Raise awareness of other cultures with an international evening. Focus on one culture and plan it around a festival, such as Diwali in autumn or a French evening for Bastille Day, or bring numerous cultures together. Incorporate performances such as Bollywood dancing or African drumming, found via adverts in your local paper or on social media. Get pupils to make decorations in class in advance, researching what would be relevant. Ask local restaurants that serve different types of cuisine to donate dishes in exchange for advertising, or ask parents to get involved.

Prizes

To further encourage curriculum engagement you could award prizes relating to that particular subject. To boost profits, can you get donations
from local shops or ask
a company to sponsor the prizes?