21 Awesome ideas for youth fundraisers

Looking for a cool idea for a youth fundraiser? Check out our list of simple suggestions. We’ve included 21 of our favourite money-makers – they’re fun, easy, and bound to get your fundraising off to a great start!

Food for Thought

Try any of these delicious fundraising ideas and you’ll see how food has the power to draw people together.

  1. Bake Sale - Whether the goods are homemade, or store bought, you can’t go wrong with this classic form of fundraising.
  2. Drink’s Stand - There’s nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold beverage on a hot summer day. Set up a booth on a busy corner and sell away. If you’re willing to brave the winter chill, you can set up your booth with hot chocolate and coffee.  Or bring it inside during the winter month’s and set up a booth with hot chocolate and coffee in your school or at the local ice rink.
  3. Throw a Mary’s Meals world famous ‘Porridge Party’
  4. Ice cream social: Stock up on some ice cream; toppings and charge people to build their own sundaes. You can also rent an ice cream truck to come to your event and donate a portion of the proceeds to your charity or cause.
  5. Pizza Pizza ... Everyone Loves a good pie!  Ask a pizzeria or business to donate pizzas toward your fundraiser and sell them by the slice.
  6. Pancake Breakfast – Not just reserved during the Calgary Stampede.  Pancake Breakfasts are simple to pull together. If you cook them, they will come whether it is in the middle of a school or workday!

Go the Distance

Whether you go it alone or club together with friends, these are all great ways to keep fit while helping some of the world’s poorest children.

  1. Basket-Ball Bonanza – (Volleyball, soccer, bowling, hockey) Sports tournaments and athletic challenges are a fun way to create community engagement and raise awareness. This type of fundraiser is relatively simple to set up and you can charge players an entry fee to participate
  2. Throw a ‘thon’ – dance-a-thon, bike-a-thon, read-a-thon, walkathon, or marathon – whatever you choose, it’s sure to bring in the bucks! 
  3. Set a milestone – Conquer a new challenge.  Do a walk, climb, run, swim or cycle to raise funds - This type of event is very popular and draws big crowds of participants and onlookers, so there’s a good chance you can meet – or even surpass – your fundraising goal. 

Challenge Yourself

  1. Give it up – skip a favorite treat during Lent, or challenge yourself to a month without coffee, movies, cell phone, video games, chips, or chocolate, save up the money you would have spent and give.
  2. Social media challenges: One of the most successful fundraising campaigns in history involved dumping ice cold water over yourself to raise money for ALS research and challenging friends via social media to do the same thing.  Other ideas – Facebook/IG Birthday Fundraisers; Head Shave / Don’t Shave / Hair Dye for donations / Marketplace – Sell items on social to the highest bidder.

Have Fun

When Fundraising becomes more like Fun-Raising!

  1. Have a Superbowl party or hold a movie night for Mary’s Meals –Pick your venue (e.g. your backyard, church basement or empty classroom) and watch the super bowl or your favorite movie with friends and family. Ask your friends to bring a dish or collect donations in a bowl or jar placed conveniently by the snack table.
  2. Art/ Talent Show - Ask local artists to donate some art and hold a show to sell the works for charity. Make sure to arrange any commission the artists want ahead of time. Showcase some local talent at your church, school or even on your driveway, in your garage/backyard! You can also hold a bake sale during the intermission and ask other businesses to donate various items for auction.
  3. Hold a Battle of the bands, or Karaoke contest - Host the party at home or another venue and charge an entry fee. Or turn it into a game where participants pay $2 to “volunteer” each other to sing songs.
  4. Host a quiz, games, or bingo night - Teams pay a small fee or registers to compete to win the night’s proceeds.  Or anyone up for a little Bingo?  Pick up the supplies and organize a bingo night, charging people to buy cards and offering prizes for the winners. 

Little Acts of Kindness

We are all about being fantastic neighbors!  These ideas not only help you do good for our cause, they also help you do good for your community.

  1. Make a splash – and some cash – by holding a Carwash
  2. If you’re planning a cleanout, hold a Garage or Yard sale – Get some friends together in your neighborhood or organize a larger event at your church, school, or community center
  3. Keep busy during the winter months by offering to shovel snow from your neighbor’s sidewalks in exchange for a donation
  4. Host a ‘swap shop’ and in return for a small donation, invite your friends to exchange their unloved clothes, music, books, or games for something they want
  5. Make and sell your own Christmas cards and handmade gifts over the holidays, or recruit some volunteers to help run a gift-wrapping service in exchange for donations
  6. Mary’s Meals Mow – Challenge your friends to the Mary's Meals Mow 50 Yard Challenge. "I've just mowed 50 yards and am challenging you __________ (name of person) to do the same."

Get Involved – Opportunities to Create Change

Start a club at your school, church or community group

Start a club

Find out how grassroot fundraising changes children’s lives

Fundraise

Become a volunteer and spread the word about our work

Volunteer