Fundraising Ideas - Need Some to Share

Looking for some successful fundraising ideas that have worked for teams in the past or presently.

Many “Grant” teams are dumbfounded this year at having to raise matching funds in order to receive additional funds this year. Or are no longer able to receive “free monies” and have no ideas on how to raise funding for their team.

In FIRST we have “Gracious Professionalism” and want all teams to succeed. So lets come up with some ideas to help struggling teams (ours included) work and earn funds for this years competition.

If you have ideas that didn’t work, share them too!

Things that The Gila’s do to earn funds include:

AZ Tax Credits - Parents get write off on taxes
Candy Sales -
Car Washes -
Wal Mart Matching Funds for funds raised
Cookie Sales
Working at School Events - Cafeteria, Games
Auction -

Just to name a few - help us find more…


Our team is trying a candy sale…should be interesting, although we have to write a proposal out first, we plan to buy tons of candy in bulk (assorted hard candy, chocolate, fruit chews, lollipops, gum especially), put them into “candy bags” and sell them.

Here in MI there is a big deal with recycling, I have had numerous fundraisers come by and ask if they can have any of my cans or bottles. I usually give them all I have in the garage and they get about 10 cents a piece at the grocery store. Its quick, easy and even saves me the hassle of taking them to recycle myself.

We have finally found a good money making fundraiser.
the magnetic body flashers that this company sells move fast.
We make around $400 per football game when we sell these.
Here is the link to thier website
Check it out and try it – sell at bb games or dances or maybe something special for new years – but these seem to sell really well – at least until we saturate our market. If anyone tries this let us know how you do and let them know where you heard of them maybe we can get a discount.


This was actually for our music department, but might work well for first. we had a different twist on the car wash.
The students would go out into the community and get sponsors for however many cars they couls wash in one day. Like a walk-a thon where you’d get sponsored so much per mile.
For example, someone would sponser a kid something like ten cents a car or even a penny or some rediculously small amount like that. However, all the kids needed was about a dollar’s worth of sponsers per car. then they’d have a crazy, free car wash on a Friday as everyone was leaving the student parking lot. They’d just go dwown the line in a sort of attack wash formation and wash something like four hundred cars in about an hour. Nobody complained because it was free. then the students went back to thier sponsors and collected the money.

It worked out like this…
Every student who had at least a dollar’s worth of sponsors earned four hundred dollars. Most kids would get about five dollars worth of sponsers per car though. It really adds up.

We raised enough money to buy a Yamaha G5 baby grand piano for the choir room. (about 8-10 grand).

only problem with that that i can figure though is the cost of the washing materials and figuring out and proving how many cars each person washed but when you have a team from 2 main high schools that adds up and sounds like a neat idea

*Originally posted by jk2005 *
**only problem with that that i can figure though is the cost of the washing materials and figuring out and proving how many cars each person washed but when you have a team from 2 main high schools that adds up and sounds like a neat idea **

Soap isn’t that expensive, participants brong hoses and sprayers and rags from home, and the sponsorship is based on how many cars the GROUP washed all together.
It was a blast we did it every year. Every time, we got some major improvement to our classroom with the money. One year it was a complete high end stereo/entertainment system for listening to and watching replays of our concerts and music appreciation and theory classes. Another year we got 150 new posture chairs. The year after than the enitire misuc wing was redone with paint, carpet, acoustic tiles, new white boards, and Clavinovas (electric pianos) in the practice rooms.
We also hosted a formal dance in the multi purpose room at the school every fall to raise money for outfits and sheet music.

Bagging Fundraisiers (bag peoples groceries at a local supermarkets; "waldbaums,pathmark, keyfood etc

Running Marathons (e.g. NYC Marathon - be a clean up volunteer)

Mini Running Marathons (same job as above)

The proceeds will go to the team itself. split it in half.

Half goes to the student portion which is divided amongst how many hours was worked by each student and the other hald of the proceeds will go towards team needs - e.g. shirts, jackets, buttons, robot materials etc…

thats all i can up with for now.

Our band (and soon, hopefully robotics) sells Krispy Kreme dohnuts at school. They have a few hundred boxes of them come to the school monthly. They sell $5/box and 12 in a box. I’m not totally sure on the profit on them, but I may be able to find out soon enough.

Comments: I REALLY like that idea of the carwash-a-thon! The bagging idea is cool too but that wouldn’t work out here in cali where there are bag boys.

Anyway, here’s something I posted a long time ago…
Well for those who need quick cash (lets say you need an expensive part soon) there’s always the bakesales (we made a nice $100 in one day), See’s Candy Sales, selling rootbeer floats, and carwashes. The only problem is that every other club at the school does this.

For more money, it takes a little more preparation. Our big student fundraising event is putting together a dinner, ours is actually next week. All the parents make pasta and one of my teammate’s dad is a chef so he makes the sauces. Another dad is big on garlic bread so he just prepares bread like there’s no tomorrow. Put some tablecloths on tables in the school’s cafeteria, display your robot and show it off by running it around, and put together video clips of your robot…and voila, you got yourself a good fundraiser. We charge $8 a person (team members get in free of course because they’re all gonna be working). We give two tickets to the presidents of companies who sponsor us to show our appreciation and they can purchase more tickets if they want their kids or friends to come or something. The kids that our team mentored for lego league are also really eager to come…and so are their parents…and so are our parents…and so are the administration. Tons of people bought tickets just to support us even though they could not attend that day. You get the picture, lots of people = lots of money. Each person has to sell at least 3 tickets. So if I do my math right and everyone sells the bare minimum, our class is making around $1000. Thats about how much money we raised last year and our team was half as small and just a loosly structured club.

Not only is this as great way of making money, its also fun because its like an end of the year wrap up for the team. We get to show off our accomplishments (especially to our sponsors, who are more inclined to donate again once they see their money being put to good use). We also do a little thank you ceremony at the end, to our teacher, mentor, sponsors, and our team captain’s parents, whose house we lived in for 6 weeks.


Ok, in the segway forum our acedemic advisor posted this note, I just cut and pasted it here for you info. As you can see we work our tails off. Ninety percent of fundraising is PR and projecting your image and showing the community what you do and where thier money is going.

Please share ideas on fundraising. Include unique ideas, and how you organized them and pulled them off. Also include # of people involved, prep time, PR time, and how you made it a success.

We have had to be very creative, especially when there are so many fundraisers being carried out by other groups and organizations.

Some of our ideas are:

Have a Sponsor Appreciation Dinner and share the many ways that your community leaders can help the kids.

We are doing gift wrapping in an empty store in a local mall. The Mall coordinator is letting us use the space for free, and in return we are wrapping the Toys for Kids drop off donated toys as a community service. We will be open Thanksgiving weekend, and the 2 weekends before Christmas.

We do leaf raking.

Sell the fabric stretchy bookcovers at our school-- turtle company

Sell flashy magnetic lites at ball games—

Sell school clothing–sweatshirts, faculty shirts, and monogrammed coats

sell frozen slabs of bbq ribs from local BBQ restaurant

Take pre-orders, set up in a large room, make and deliver hot BBQ meals (bbq meat, potato salad, cake, beans, bread) and deliver to work sites.

Have pre-game meals at your high school cafeteria.

Sell commemorative bricks and put them in a place at your high school that needs beautifications. Fill in a flower bed that has weeds in it.

Sell ad space on your robotics trailer (if you have one)

Contact local kid play center (the kind with indoor jungle gym) and set up a mom’s night out, and babysit the kids for f$10-$15 for the evening. Feed them Pizza.

Deliver food on Super Bowl Sunday

Sell smoked brisket, turkeys for Thanksgiving & Christmas

Have a local Photographer come into the school around a holiday. He can set up a background and do pics during lunchtime–the kids will love it. Have him/her do buttons, keychains and locker frames.

Have a booth at each local festival. Even if it is to demo last year’s robot. The more publicity you have the better your other fundraisers will do.

Hope these will help you this year–it is tough economically!

I would love to hear your ideas too!

Tonya Scott
Ponca City, Oklahoma

Tonya Scott

Here is a great fundraiser.
Take the car wash to the next level.
Here is how it works, Advertise two to three days a week after school you will be hosting a car detailing fundraiser. The cars must be washed prior to bringing them to the detailing.
The materials needed:
1.Windex glass cleaner
2.Armorall protectant for tires and rubber parts
3.Three to four foam sponges for wax applicators
4.Paper towels
5.Old towels for wax removal
6.Cotton “T” shirts for armorall application

2 students apply wax
2 students do rims and tires
2 students remove wax
1 student does outside of windows only
1 student applies armorall to rubber car components
1 supervisor usually an adult will monitor quality control

Once you get the routine down you can finish 4 cars per hour
our team was asking for donations of minimum $25 for regular cars and $35 for SUV’s

We were clearing easily $150 in as little as one 2 hour session
and raised nearly $2000 for the short time we did this.

Get on this activity ASAP if everyone works well and learns their job, and the participants work as a team it will be very successful.
The time to do this is now! everone is looking to wax their car for the winter season.
P.S. Use the term Car Detailing /Waxing it makes a difference.

Yard clean ups!

We go out and get 10+ students and go do work in pre-planed yards. You charge like $5 an hour per person for the time it takes to do the job. We usually make $100-200 a yard and can get up to 4 yards in a day.

It’s great for team building too. Everybody learns to work better together etc.

Sponsor dinners uaully work well too…

Our booster club has a huge operating bingo 2xs a week for the public year round. Each year there’s a lottery for school clubs to get dates to earn money for their club. Most clubs get 2 dates a year. The club has to get 5 persons for each of the 2 shifts on the day they’re responsible for. Each worker earns $50 for the team. So a full day’s shift earns the team $500. Late workers, someone not showing up, early departures, reduce the money to the team, and shows the booster club your club’s not reliable. If a team doesn’t show up for their date at all, all subsequent dates are cancelled. There are regulars working the hard and foundational part of putting on the bingo. The volunteers walk around constantly selling $1 cards or games. Those on the 2nd shift also clean up.

We aren’t doing candy or car washes… Cuz of the particular circumstances of our team, we’ve been meeting 3xs a week since spring 2002, all of which is an open house to the public advertised in the paper. That’s brought us visitors from as far away as Riverside, an hour away. We had a very tough year last year, and had a lot we needed to accomplish this year, like completely reorganizing our facility cleaning up the auto shop that hadn’t been used in years

Cleaning out old greasy yucky abandoned auto parts.

Putting our stamp on the cleaned out cupboards.

(1/03 auto shop’s being redesigned into construction technology and a robotics area), , reorganizing the way our team does things, experimenting with robotic subsystems…

Most clubs only want 2 bingos cuz it’s hard to get that many volunteers. Last year we had 3 bingo opportunities. I got 5 bingo opportunities this year - all scheduled July - Sep. I sweat some bullets deciding whether to take all those dates. I am getting commitments NOW from parents, mentors, students who will be 18 by end of June, that they do 2 bingo shifts. If everyone does their part, I’ve covered all 5 bingos and our team will have earned $2500.

Next year we don’t expect to be meeting 3xs a week, our facility should be done, we’ll have experienced our newly cohesive team and come up with better ways for us to organize ourselves. Who knows what fundraising activities we’ll be doing then.

Not that it earns lots of money, but if you live near a Zany Brainy, you can arrange with them to take your robot (the one from last year will do) in for a few hours during the evening and they will donate 10% of their sales to your team for everyone who tells them to at the register. You can offer to do the gift wrapping for them and set out a “donation” bucket and earn some extra money from the customers. Like I said, it’s not going to earn you thousands of dollars (unless you do it lots of nights), but it’s most likely more than a bake-sale, plus it can be counted as outreach as well.


something like that.

Our team has considered finding and gathering empty pop cans from our school, people we know, etc. Then we turn them in at grocery stores to get money and use them toward our many needs. Basically our team decided to do this weekly. It may not sound like a good idea but worth a try.

*Originally posted by Hailfire *
**Our team has considered finding and gathering empty pop cans from our school, people we know, etc. Then we turn them in at grocery stores to get money and use them toward our many needs. Basically our team decided to do this weekly. It may not sound like a good idea but worth a try. **

This only works if you live in a state where they pay for old pop bottles. They don’t here…

well our team is currently in the midst of three ongoing fundraisers…well one was a one night thing but and is now over but was very successful…we are selling pretzels and soda afterschool, selling wawa cupons and we sponsered a halloween dance…

pretzels and soda - is an everyday fundraser where we set-up a table with pretzels and sell them for $0.50 a piece and as the kids are walking out they pick up a pretzel and soda…we only have permission to do this for one quarter…and is successful…we sell the pretzels out daily and thats 75 a day…and then how ever many sodas we decide to set out.

WaWa Cupons - ok to all of u non-northern-east-coast people that dont know what WaWa is…its sorta like a glorified convienient store…its huge up here and we all love it…so they sell like hoagies and the such…well we are selling hoagie cupons for their 6" hoagies that are $3.00 a piece, you save $0.40,and we get a dollar per cupon sold…its a very good fundraiser and did well last year

Halloween Dance- We heard about teams last year sponsoring dances and our school doesnt have enough dances as is so we decided it would be benificial to sponsor our own halloween dance since the school doesnt have one regurlarly and we needed a fundraiser…we made $1,500 for one nght of work, which was a lot of fun too…that was so worth it…i hope we do it again…we charged $5 at the door…it was nice

Joe Troy Jr.
Team 357
Royal Assault

2003- Return of the Jester

We like to make money in bunches. We do some fundraisng at school, penny drives, sell candy, etc. But the best way for us to make money is through business presentations. We send out letters of introductoin, follow up with a call to set the appointment, make a presentation, follow up with thank you notes, and an invoice for the donation. We have worked on 15 companies thus far and have received $6,000 in a month and a half, commitments for another $6,000 or so, and two more companies who want us to get back to them to set up presentations. In Az we made it manditory that each team member come up with $200 in tax credits. With the tax credits we have earned about another $5,000. We also have local comapnies donate another $2,000 to $3,000 in parts and supplies for the robot.

we held a lan at our school, charge about 20 dolalrs to enter, hold it for a whole day, order a few pizzas(include pizza and drink in price)(get pizza place to sponser. . .most will). we had loads of fun fragging each other and it helped to untie our team as well as meet new ppl from nearby school districts. also holding computer education classes for adults is a great idea as many older ppl would love to ahve the oppertunity to lear a/b computers.

team 1019