Students Helping Students - Fundraising Ideas

Students and schools have amazed us with the creativity and dedication of their fundraising ideas. We have compiled a list of many of these ideas so that other schools can get inspired. If you or your school has come up with a great idea, please let us know.

Here are some detailed accounts of how some fantastic ideas have been developed:

  • Room to Read Cafe - Students in Dubai have begun an annual Room to Read cafe! Partnering with a local venue to feature special treats to support our work, the students themselves roll up their sleeves and help with the service, raising over $10,000 in their first year!
  • Charity Ball - Branham High School in San Jose, California, held a series of events, including a Charity Ball complete with ballroom dancing lessons, and two "Night for Nepal" performances put on by the drama department. They raised over US$13,000!
  • Room to Read Day - Katie Remy wanted to raise enough money to sponsor a school in Nepal. When she faced difficulties getting support for her school, she set out on her own to raise the money. In the end, she held a fundraising dinner where the mayor of her town attended, and declared June 2 Room to Read/Katie Remy Day!
  • The First Mega-Fudraiser: Wristbands! - In the days after the 2004 Tsunami - three amazing kids - David & Danielle Sackstein and Jacob Rasch - came up with a fantastic idea to sell wristbands to support tsunami relief. Their little idea took off, and with the help of a matching grant, they raised over US$200,000 for Room to Read.
  • Embarrass your teacher! - Eight teachers as well as the Principal at Channahon Junior High School agreed to dress up in embarrassing costumes if US$1,000 could be raised through their fundraising efforts. Through this event, a raffle, and other activities, they raised US$3,900!
  • Cookbook Fundraiser - The parents and students of Open Window School in Washington created a fantastic cookbook full of fantastic recipes like Mama Albanese's Chicken Soup with Pastina and Rachael Robinson's ridiculously simple breadsticks. This great idea raised over US$5,000 for Sri Lanka.
  • Multi-cultural / International Days - St. Piran's School in the UK held an international day to raise awareness. What better way to raise awareness, celebrate our cultural diversity, and fund-raise at the same time!
  • Auctions - Parkgate School in the UK raised US$45,000 through an auction and evening event. It was a tremendous event - an entire evening organized at The Grand Hall at Battersea Arts. All sorts of things were auctioned from beauty treatments, tickets to football matches guitar lessons, art, jewelry, a holiday to Morocco, and more!
  • "Give Up to Give Back" - Students at Little Harbor chose to give something up and instead donate the money that would have been on that item to Room to Read. Students and teachers gave up things like Friday night takeout (US$30), a morning latte (US$5), making lunch instead of buying hot lunch (US$7). The goal was 100% participation no matter how large or how small, reinforcing the message that was a whole community project. Raising funds in this manner helped students think about how much they have to be thankful for and what they could do with out for a short period of time.
  • A "Dollar-a-day Campaign" - Sunrise Valley Elementary in Reston, VA came up with a simple yet highly effective idea - each student and teacher tried to donate at least US$1 each day for a span of 12 days. Parents were asked to make matching pledges. The idea was simple, yet the response was tremendous - they raised US$13,000!!

Other fundraising ideas have included: coin drives, bake sales, lemonade stands, seller paper origami cranes, talent shows making breakfast for other students, and more.

If you have a great idea, GO FOR IT. Then make sure to let us know so that we can tell others about it!

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