At any time during the school year, you might be looking for school raffle basket ideas to help you raise money for different projects and events. That’s why we assembled this list of 20 good raffle prizes for high school students.
Our list provides a variety of school raffle ideas, from cheap and easy to more complex and expensive. This includes everything from buying gift cards to working with local businesses on donated products, services and even scholarships.
There are many ways to give high school students the boost they need going into next semester, to college or to a career, including technology, items for their homes or dorm rooms or equipment for hobbies and leisure activities. Find a great solution to your school raffle prize dilemma here!
1. Amazon Gift Cards
- Cost: $ - $$$
One of the most versatile school raffle basket ideas is an Amazon gift card. They're handy for high school seniors who will be starting their college careers soon. Amazon is a great one-stop shop for furnishing a dorm room or stocking up on essentials for next semester.
They're also an easy prize for school administrators to offer. You can get as many cards as you need in any denomination you want. You can even make them a more enticing raffle item by adding an element of chance.
Consider that if students know that all of the cards are worth a flat value of $20, then they probably won't spend more than half that sum on raffle tickets. A workaround for that is to buy several cards of varying denominations and put them in "blind bags." Advertise the values of the cards up for grabs but give out the prizes randomly.
The prospect that a student can spend as little as $5 and walk away with a $100 Amazon card may entice more students to try their luck with the raffle.
2. College Scholarships
- Cost: $$$
Good raffle prizes for high school students should be things they can use immediately. For seniors getting ready to graduate, their minds turn to advancing their education. A college scholarship is one of the most imminently useful prizes you can offer them.
With the cost of college these days, offering a full ride is off the table, of course. But even a partial scholarship or grant can be a lifesaver for a lot of students. Teaming with civic organizations or nonprofits like your local Rotary Club can help make this suggestion more practical.
Remember that you don't have to promise students the moon. The average Pell Grant award is less than $5,000, but recipients are still thrilled to get one.
3. Autographed Sports Memorabilia
- Cost: $ - $$
Local sports franchises are great targets for soliciting donations.
Major league sports tend to attract controversy in their host cities for several reasons. Professional athletes have been known to behave badly, creating public relations nightmares for teams. There's also increasing debate over hosting professional teams, with critics arguing that the cost to build and maintain stadiums and the adjacent infrastructure far outpace the supposed benefits of having a sports franchise.
With endemic issues like these, many sports franchises are eager to get positive publicity wherever they can find it.
Donating memorabilia to a worthy cause like a school raffle is a great opportunity for them to do just that. All it costs them is some merchandise, a couple of used jerseys, and a few minutes of their players' time. In return, they get to make the case that they're going above and beyond to give back to the communities that support them.
This can be a great way to get raffle prizes for free, or at most, the cost of the merchandise. And because the team will want everyone to know how generous they are, they often help administrators promote school raffles.
If you're fortunate, you may have several franchises you can build relationships with. Even teams that only come to town for spring training can be quite generous, so leave no stone unturned in exploring this school raffle basket idea.
4. Instant Camera
- Cost: $ - $$
They may seem ridiculous now that everyone carries a smartphone wherever they go, but don't be so hasty. Instant cameras have been making a comeback over the last few years.
Analog and lo-fi technology in general is quite popular with younger generations. TikTok and Instagram are full of Zoomers appropriating the fuzzy aesthetics of their parents' generation, and it's led photography companies to bring back old-fashioned instant cameras. Including one of these and a supply of film is a sure way to get the attention of some of your more artistically minded students.
Antique Polaroid cameras can be worth hundreds of dollars to collectors. So unless someone on your school fundraising team has one they'd be willing to part with, they are probably not practical prizes. Fortunately, you can get new instant cameras in the $50 to $120 range.
This can even be a chance to partner with a local business for a good raffle prize for high school students.
Thanks to the ubiquity of selfie culture, TikTok and the like, so-called "selfie studios" have emerged as a new cottage industry. They can be built almost anywhere, and are popping up in downtown arts districts, suburban shopping malls and everywhere in between.
If you can track down one of these self-directed photography studios, reach out to them and see if they're interested in donating a free session to your raffle. You can then bundle that with your camera and film for a more complete package.
5. Headphones and Earbuds
- Cost: $ - $$$
On paper, a raffle seems like a great way to raise funds for your school. But in practice, you may find it hard to find raffle prizes that appeal to everyone. Not everyone is a sports fan or an amateur photographer, after all.
But practically everyone listens to music. Young people in particular tend to be very passionate about their tunes. And at the same time, it seems like they're always short of a good set of headphones or earbuds.
These make great prizes, not only because they're always in demand, but because they come in a wide range of styles and prices. You could spend anywhere from $30 to several thousand dollars. So you can be as frugal or as opulent as you want.
A related prize you could offer is a prepaid Spotify subscription. In the streaming age, it's the number one way people listen to music. Young people especially are more likely to stream music than buy individual downloads or physical copies of the new Taylor Swift release.
As with the Amazon gift cards we already mentioned, you can more or less pay what you want for these prizes. Three-month Spotify gift cards are the most common and will run you $30. They range up to $99 for a one-year subscription.
6. Movie Passes
- Cost: $
Offering gift cards in raffles can help make finding prizes for the event easier and more rewarding for everyone involved. And movie passes are a prize that everyone can agree on.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe still rules the world, the Fast and Furious family is gearing up for their final ride, and legacy franchises like Transformers and The Hunger Games are slated to make big comebacks. Movie passes are as desirable a prize now as they've ever been, so they’re good raffle prizes for high school students.
As with many of the suggestions on this list of school raffle basket ideas, there are a few ways to handle this idea. Packaging a handful of passes together is the simplest choice. But you can make things more interesting by bundling them together in a bigger package.
You could include gift certificates to a local restaurant to make it a "dinner and a movie" basket. Certificates for a neighborhood ice cream parlor work equally well. Or you can keep it simple by including some movie-sized candies and treats.
7. Concert and Event Tickets
- Cost: $$ - $$$
If you've ever planned a school event before, you know that one of the most important items on any school event checklist is some form of music or entertainment. And it's a good idea to keep in mind when preparing your school raffle prizes.
Many young people are more interested in experiences than valuables or gadgets. For them, passes for a hot-ticket event can be worth far more than physical goodies.
And because many concert and event venues are outdoors, these prizes can present a more COVID-safe alternative to movie passes or similar prizes.
Just remember to read the transfer policy on any event tickets before you make your purchase.
In the past, this wasn't much of an issue. But after botching the online ticket sales of several high-profile events, ticket-vending giant Ticketmaster enacted new rules to cut down on ticket scalping. These rules may restrict or outright prohibit customers from transferring their tickets.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of ways to avoid doing business with Ticketmaster. They have outstanding contracts with most of the management companies and major venues in the country that say ticket sales must be handled via their services. A workaround is to offer Ticketmaster gift cards as prizes instead.
8. Coffee Maker
- Cost: $ - $$
When looking at school raffle basket ideas, you may want to avoid encouraging students to develop a caffeine habit. But for better or worse, that particular ship has already sailed. Around 75% of high school students already consume caffeine regularly in the form of coffee or energy drinks. That figure tends to hold steady once they graduate and enter college or the workforce.
So a coffee maker is a practical item for young people who are about to find themselves away from home for the first time. You can even think of it as a teachable moment. A single Starbucks drink can cost anywhere from $3 to $7 or so. At the upper end of that price range, you could buy enough ground coffee to last a week.
Coffee makers are good raffle prizes for high school students because they come in a wide range of styles and prices. A small, drip-style coffee pot can cost as little as $10. French press coffee makers are also very popular and cost about as much as their electric cousins.
But you don't need to restrict yourself to the cheap models if you don't want to. Higher-end coffee makers can get up into the hundred-dollar range and beyond.
There are plenty of accessories you can include to sweeten the pot as well. Coffee is the obvious one, and if you have a local coffee roaster in town you make even get them to donate a couple of pounds of beans to the cause. Coffee grinders are also good options, particularly if you opt for the French press, as are various flavored sweeteners and syrups.
9. Starbucks Gift Cards
- Cost: $
Even if making coffee at home is the financially responsible thing to do, you may have a hard time convincing high school or college students to do that. This is especially true because every school and university in America probably has a Starbucks on or near campus that serves as a de facto hangout.
So for teens and young adults on the go, Starbucks gift cards are always welcome. If they have the Starbucks app, they can even add the balance of these cards to their accounts to get rewards points for their purchases.
10. iPad or Other Tablet
- Cost: $$$
Although they've yet to replace traditional computers, iPads and other tablets remain popular among young people, so they make great school raffle basket ideas. They're often lighter than even the most compact laptops and are versatile enough to use for both education and entertainment.
For graduating seniors, having a tablet can be a major money saver. Digital versions of required textbooks almost always come at a significant discount compared to hard copies, and tablets can be a convenient way to read them. Some programs even allow students to make notes or annotations as with a physical book.
And that's to say nothing of how much more convenient a tablet is to carry than a library of heavy textbooks.
Tablets also make for great compact entertainment centers. Students can use them to listen to their favorite music or podcasts while fixing dinner or to binge Netflix to decompress after stressful midterms.
These prizes are on the higher end of the price spectrum, as you would expect, but you do have options. Like with a traditional computer, you can get tablets with a range of functions and price points. For a midrange tablet, expect to spend somewhere in the $100 to $200 range, with iPads costing a bit more.
11. Tickets to a School Event
- Cost: $ - $$
In terms of affordable options, you can't beat an event your own school is hosting.
These prizes can take a lot of forms depending on what your school calendar looks like. Season tickets for your school football team could be a good raffle prize for high school students. Free prom tickets for juniors or seniors could be another.
Hypothetically, these prizes should cost you nothing. But there are optional add-ons you can spring for to make them more appealing. For example, your season football tickets could include free concessions or reserved seating for each game.
If you offer prom tickets, you could expand the prize to an all-inclusive package. Asking local businesses like limo rental companies and restaurants to contribute their services at a reduced rate can be a great way to give two lucky students a night to remember at little cost to your school.
12. Cooking Classes
- Cost: $ - $$
Cooking classes can be a fun and interactive school raffle basket idea for your students. And when you consider that many of them are almost young adults, you can think of it as a practical prize as well.
Prices for cooking classes can vary. Group classes tend to be more affordable and can often be more fun as the whole group makes mistakes and learns together.
13. Community Contributions
- Cost: $ - $$
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. And because you're putting the proceeds of your raffle toward the education of your community's young people, you can invoke that same spirit by approaching local businesses and individuals for contributions.
There are people throughout your community who would be all too happy to help out if only someone would ask. Local restaurants, entertainment venues and civic or business coalitions should all be on your checklist. Between them, you can assemble raffle baskets that represent a beautiful cross-section of the people who support your school by living and working in your community.
As a bonus, you can often get local businesses to donate products or experiences. At the very least, they're almost always willing to give you a significant discount or sell a product at cost. It stands to reason that saving money on your prizes makes raising money with raffles that much easier.
If local businesses are gracious enough to donate their time and resources to your raffle, remember to send personalized thank-you notes. Knowing that they're not only helping their community but that their efforts are appreciated, will help forge positive relationships that you can rely on in the years to come.
14. Personal Training Sessions
- Cost: $$ - $$$
Whether a student has athletic ambitions or just wants to get in shape in time for the summer, one-on-one time with a personal trainer is a good raffle prize for high school students.
There are plenty of options, so be sure to shop around. Different students may take an interest in general fitness training, yoga or training and conditioning for a specific sport.
Bear in mind that personal trainers are professionals, so these sessions can be quite pricey. By developing a positive relationship with a local gym or trainer you might be able to get them to donate a few sessions to your raffle, or at least give you a break on the price.
15. Fitness Tracker
- Cost: $ - $$$
If personal training sessions are not practical, offering a fitness tracker as a prize can be a great alternative school raffle basket idea.
These tools can help with everything from maximizing someone's workout efficiency to meal planning and tracking. Most also come with smartphone apps that can offer a lot of the same guidance and tips that a personal trainer would.
Name-brand devices like Fitbits will command premium prices, usually in the $200 and up range. But you can find simpler, off-brand devices for less than $100.
16. Art Supplies
- Cost: $ - $$
For any aspiring artists at your school, the best prize they could ask for is usually a fresh set of supplies.
You have a lot of flexibility in the size of the prize basket you want to assemble. A sketchbook and a decent set of pencils doesn't need to cost more than $30 to $80. But pastels, paints and brushes can run you quite a bit more.
17. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Cost: $ - $$
Whatever the occasion, kids love to take their music with them wherever they go. Another school raffle idea is a portable Bluetooth speaker, to ensure that the party doesn't stop just because they're away from home.
As with most technology, you can expect to pay more for name-brand speakers like Bose or Beats by Dre. But you don't have to let that dissuade you. You can find plenty of serviceable options in the $40 to $80 range.
18. Camping and Outdoor Gear
- Cost: $ - $$$
We should encourage young people to unplug and spend more time in nature whenever possible. Your school raffle can be a great opportunity to do that.
Depending on your budget, there are plenty of prizes you could opt for. Sports bottles, sunglasses and hiking attire are all on the lower end of the price scale and make good raffle prizes for high school students. But if you're feeling ambitious, you could offer a complete package including a tent, sleeping bags, lights and other outdoor essentials.
19. Video Game Consoles
- Cost: $$$
High-end school raffle basket ideas can include current model video game consoles.
The exact budget for these prizes will vary depending on the game console you choose. For example, a brand-new Nintendo Switch has an MSRP of $299.99. You can save a little money by opting for a factory-refurbished model. This can shave $50 or more off the price.
You can also offer individual games as smaller prizes. New games like the recent “Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” cost $69.99 but can make very attractive prizes for fans.
Nintendo eShop gift cards likewise make great prizes. These allow gamers to buy and download new games and content for their Nintendo Switch devices. As an added benefit, you can often save money by buying bundles of cards at a discounted bulk price.
The other two major video game consoles are the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Both standard editions have an MSRP of $499.99.
Like the Switch, you can buy a refurbished Xbox Series X to save a little money on the big prize.
There is also the Xbox Series S, an all-digital version available at a lower price point. A refurbished Series S can cost as little as $200.
The PlayStation 5 is the most attractive prize. Making its debut during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was in short supply for several years and became more desirable. Like the Xbox, there is a cheaper, digital-only version available.
20. Using Event Ticketing Software
- Cost: $
Want to discover the secret to skyrocketing revenue for school raffles while simplifying the entire process? Introducing the game-changing school event ticketing software by Vanco.
With Vanco Events, you can say goodbye to manual ticket sales and hello to streamlined success. By using this powerful software, schools can effortlessly create and manage raffles.
From customizable ticket pages to secure payment processing, every aspect is optimized for success. Experience the joy of simplified administration, real-time tracking and seamless communication with donors.
Unleash the true potential of your school raffles with Vanco Events!
Prepare for School Events with Free Checklists
There’s a lot to keep track of with any school event. That’s why we built three checklists, which will work for most school events, to simplify event management. The checklists and guides include the following…
- Prom event planning checklist.
- Homecoming event planning checklist and guide.
- A general school event planning checklist.