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Do you need to get parents or kids involved in a fundraiser? Make it fun for them and they’ll love helping! 

Most of us can’t meet up in groups and have grown accustomed to virtual events and classes alike. Even if you can meet in person, sometimes it’s just easier (and less expensive) to host fundraisers online. 

Here are 9 different ideas for fun virtual fundraisers:

 

virtual school fundraiser - family dressed up in costumes

 

1. Pajama Day

Lounging around in our pajamas all day has become the norm. So why not make a competition of it? 

The American Childhood Cancer Organization uses a Pajama Day Fundraiser to raise awareness about the struggles of children with cancer. They encourage volunteers to post selfies of their favorite pajama getup and give or solicit a small donation.  You could spin a similar fundraiser, any time of the year, with your students or with parents. 

Some other fun facts about pajamas and fundraising: 

  • April 16th is officially considered “National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day”. 
  • In Australia, July 16th is Pyjama Day, used to raise funding for kids in care (foster children). 
  • The word “pajama” comes from the Indian word piejahma

 

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2. Costume Contest

Whether or not it’s Halloween, we all love a reason to dress up in a costume! Why not ask children and parents to pay to enter a contest? They can post their selfies or videos by a set day, to a platform reviewed by a panel of guest judges or teachers. Alternatively, you could ask a private group or public group to vote on the winners. 

Winners can receive a portion of the proceeds, a gift, or a set award. 

This is easy! 

  • All you have to do is advertise a particular date and set up a payment page (or PayPal portal) for payments. You can create a new webpage or a private Facebook page for the contest submissions. 
  • Make sure you confirm with all of your participants that they have registered, and track their submissions. If you plan to post the pictures or videos you will likely need parental consent for minors as well. 
  • You can even make the contest educational. Ask children to dress up as their favorite figure from a particular historical era, for instance.

For more on Halloween costume fundraisers or other Halloween ideas, click here.

3. Talent Show

Another great contest idea is a talent show. Ask students or parents to perform live on a video call, or tape in advance. You might even be able to convince a few local companies to offer a sponsorship, even for a virtual fundraiser. 

4. Viral Video Making Contest

See which student can get the most YouTube likes! If you want to make the contest a theme, you could ask them to:

  1. make a short “horror” film, 
  2. post quirky pet videos, 
  3. or put on a family performance.

5. Spelling Bee

Is there a contest with a more academic twist that you could easily achieve over Zoom? Yes, a spelling bee! Team up with other area schools and ask them to nominate their top spellers for a contest. If you prefer to make it less formal, ask students’ parents to chip in a small donation for the chance for their children to win an award and keep the contest to a few grades or classes at your own school. 

6. Reading Contest

Reading contests are a classic contest to help boost literacy skills. Google is offering a free application with high-quality e-books and learning assistance, which tracks your child’s reading progress in a number of languages. See which kid in the class can log the most stars or points in a program like this and you can encourage everyone to spend more time with books! 

A key to success is to set a period of time (a month, a semester, etc.) and nominate a trusted “gatekeeper” to monitor the reading points. 

A twist is to offer a set amount of money or “funny money” to earn prizes. Each point could count as a penny, for instance, and the child would win a real book or a gift certificate donated by a local company for the funny money they earn reading over a set time. 

7. How Many Beans in the Jar?

Find a glass vase, a large mason jar, or other similar object and fill it with jelly beans (or real beans). Take a few pictures from different angles, and provide the dimensions of the jar. Ask parents to pay a set price for a guess at how many beans are in the jar. The closest answer gets a prize. If your whole school participates, you could raise a good amount of money!

8. Karaoke Night or Dance Party

Sell tickets to a hopping dance party or karaoke session, over videoconference! You can even ask local bands or musicians to help with the music from their home. Sell tickets in advance or at the door. (More about dance fundraisers.)

9. Dog Show

Why not host a virtual dog show? Ask children and parents to enter their dogs for a price, and have a fun prize for the dog voted “fastest”, “fuzziest”, “biggest”, and other quirky indicators.

You’ll need a group of judges. You can ask participants to be available for a show at a specific time and show their dogs’ skills live over video, or record those skills in advance and show them in a preset time for their entry category. 

Ask a local pet store or veterinary office to donate a few prizes (such as free grooming, free consultation, or a gift card). 

Again, just because you are stuck at home does not mean you need to put your school fundraising on hold! Ask parents and children to get involved in creative and fun activities that will be sure to please.

For more fundraising ideas click over to our lsit of 100+ Fundraising Ideas!

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