There are plenty of homecoming fundraising ideas your school can choose from. A simple Google Search could easily yield hundreds of results. All of these ideas will most likely generate revenue, but will it be enough to fund your events?
Unfortunately, many events will fall short of meeting your goals. That’s why the key is to find the right events. Where should you start when looking for the perfect homecoming fundraiser ideas? The best approach is to use the most tested ideas. These ideas work because schools have used them for decades. They continue to use them because they work.
To save you some time, we searched through countless fundraising ideas and found the top 10.
1. Sell School Spirit Products
First on the list of homecoming fundraising ideas is selling school spirit items. Homecoming is all about showing school spirit, and what better way to show this spirit than through fun noisemakers or a t-shirt in your school colors?
If your school already has a spirit store, try having a homecoming sale or offer special discounts to get people to purchase more products. You can also sell school spirit items during students' lunch period, before or after school in the hallways, or at school sporting events.
Things like megaphones, air blasters, foam fingers, shakers and pom-poms all make great spirit items that get people excited and motivated to support their school teams. It's also important to offer items students, faculty and community members alike can use year-round, such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, or raincoats with your school's mascot or logo on them.
Stock up on spirit items before homecoming to ensure you raise lots of money!
2. Focus on Ticket Sales
One of the easiest methods of raising money for homecoming is through selling tickets. These could be tickets to the homecoming football game, basketball game, or school dance.
Selling tickets involves very few materials — all you really need are the tickets themselves and volunteers willing to sell them. You can opt for pre-made rolled tickets or have students design the tickets themselves (this might be a more popular option for dance tickets if students want to create unique tickets that fit specific homecoming themes).
Be sure to advertise when the tickets will go on sale and when the event will take place. You might even offer an early bird discount for people who purchase the tickets a week or so before the game or dance.
You'll want to decide who will sell the tickets, such as students, teachers, faculty members, or parents.
Will the tickets be sold at booths around the school, like in the lunchroom or hallways? Or will homeroom teachers sell them to students? Maybe the tickets will even be available to purchase online through the school's website or social media pages.
There are lots of options when it comes to ticket sales, so get creative and emphasize marketing!
3. Promote a School Read-a-Thon
The best homecoming fundraising ideas are ones that stimulate students' minds and bring the community together, and that's exactly what a school-wide Read-a-Thon does. This homecoming fundraiser idea is perfect for all ages and can be planned to coincide with your school's homecoming events.
Decide how the fundraising will work, such as $5 for every book a child reads or an amount of money that's paid each day if a student reads for a specific amount of time. Then you can have students, teachers and faculty members collect pledges from people they know to raise money.
Be sure to make it clear what the money that's raised will go toward, such as new technology for the library or better science equipment. Create flyers with all of this information on them. Then distribute them around the school and send them home with students.
Create a start date and end date for the Read-a-Thon, too. For example, maybe it starts a month before homecoming and ends the night of the homecoming football game.
To boost engagement and foster competition, you can even offer prizes to the students who read the most books or pages or collect the most money. It also might be worth creating a list of suggested books for each grade level to give students ideas for what to pick up and read next.
4. Go All Out with Concessions Sales
When fundraising for homecoming, don’t forget about the food. Concessions are a simple way of raising money effectively, as your school likely already has several events where concessions could be sold.
Set up a concessions table at the homecoming football game and any other sporting events or shows your school puts on during homecoming season. Whether it's a theater production, volleyball game, or art show, all of these events could benefit from some tasty snacks and drinks!
Offer a selection of snacks like buttered and salted popcorn, hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and candy, fruit snacks, granola bars or cotton candy. Include beverages like water, soda, fruit punch, or sports drinks. You might even decide to serve the food in a special homecoming container like a plastic megaphone or cup with the school's mascot on it.
Because so many people tend to come to these events, you're likely to raise a significant amount of money in a short period of time.
5. Plan a Pre-Homecoming Meal
Continuing the trend of homecoming fundraising ideas that involve food is a group meal for the entire community.
Plan a special breakfast or dinner that happens a day or two before homecoming, inviting not only students and their families but everyone in the community. You can host it at the school, in a park, you name it!
Reach out to restaurants in the area and ask if they'd be willing to cater the meal at a discounted rate, or see if there are volunteers who could each donate a dish or two for the event. For example, you might ask the 8th-grade parents to provide dessert, the 7th-grade parents to provide sides, and so on.
Request a certain amount of money from each person to attend the meal, such as $5 or $10 per person. If desired, you could make the monetary requirement less stringent and ask for whatever amount each person feels like donating.
To make the pre-homecoming meal really stand out, consider adding forms of entertainment. This might include local singers, comedy done by the students, or a dance by the cheerleaders. Entertainment might help you draw a larger crowd and encourage people to offer larger donations.
6. Ask for Participants in a Homecoming Fashion Show
While a little out of the box, a fashion show is a homecoming fundraiser idea that is sure to be a hit.
Turn your gymnasium or school cafeteria into a runway by renting a red carpet or creating one out of tape or paper. You could even host the fashion show outside! Set up chairs along the runway so spectators can easily see the outfits and make sure there's plenty of lighting.
As for the fashion, reach out to local clothing stores and boutiques to see if they will let you borrow clothing, accessories and jewelry for the event. Have students (and teachers!) volunteer to pick outfits to wear for the show, encouraging them to really make a statement with their choices.
Sell tickets to the fashion show and promote it through flyers, social media and word-of-mouth. Open it up to the community and have students, parents and teachers tell their friends and family members about it to reach even more people.
It's a great idea to make a deal with the boutique or store that the clothing is from and turn the end of the fashion show into a fashion sale. With each store’s permission and agreement, your school will receive a small portion of the money from each item that sells.
7. Arrange a Cook-off or Bake-off
Next on the list of homecoming fundraising ideas is putting together a bake-off. After all, what gets people in a spirited mood better than some delicious food?
There are multiple ways to make the event a success.
You might reach out to restaurants or businesses around town and ask them if they'd like to compete in a cook-off, or have school families submit dishes to be voted on in the competition instead. And there's always the option of doing a mix of both!
Whether it's a chili cook-off, pie bake-off, or BBQ cook-off, there are endless options for dish ideas.
Charge an admission fee for people to come and vote for the different food items and add a fee to be part of the competition. Each admission price would allow people to sample the different dishes so they can vote on their favorites. After everyone has tried the food and voted, offer the winner a portion of the money or a special donated item!
8. Throw a Homecoming Hayride Event
Last on the list of homecoming fundraising ideas is one of the most fall-spirited ones: a hayride. This fundraising idea is great for all ages and combines fresh fall weather with loads of excitement!
For a successful hayride, you'll need access to a large stretch of space, such as an open field (or farm, if you're lucky!). Sell individual tickets to the hayride to make money. You might consider selling food, drinks, or even things like blankets and glow sticks as well.
To turn the hayride into an even cooler event, consider matching the theme of the hayride with the theme of homecoming (if there is one). You can also take advantage of the spooky season and encourage guests to dress up in costumes or add scary decorations.
Don't think you can gain access to a tractor for a hayride? That's okay! Consider creating a giant maze for people to purchase tickets to instead.
9. Organize a Raffle or Auction
When fundraising for homecoming, one of the top ideas is often auctioning off items or holding a raffle.
A raffle or auction will need to be a community endeavor, as it requires donations to be super successful. Reach out to local businesses to ask for donations and have parents and faculty members brainstorm items that can be donated as well.
For instance, a local putt-putt center could donate admission tickets for a game of putt-putt, or a school family could offer their vacation home for a weekend.
Auctioning off simple tasks or rewards is another great way to collect raffle or auction items. Being principal for a day is always a crowd-pleaser among students, as is having dinner with a teacher!
People can bid on the items at an in-person or online auction, or you can sell raffle tickets for a week or two before homecoming. Then the raffle winner can be announced at halftime during the football game.
Keep in mind that an auction will be a little more work than a regular raffle, so if you're running low on time or volunteers around homecoming, a raffle might be the way to go.
10. Schedule a School-wide Walk-a-Thon
With the weather turning cooler in many areas around homecoming time, planning a Walk-a-Thon is a great way to get everyone outside, exercising and enjoying their surroundings.
Spread the news of the Walk-a-Thon and ask parents, students, teachers and community members to participate in it.
To get people in the homecoming spirit, schedule the Walk-a-Thon the day or weekend before homecoming. Similar to a Read-a-Thon, participants in the Walk-a-Thon can decide on goals they hope to accomplish for themselves, like walking a certain number of miles or for a set period of time.
Then the walkers can collect pledges from people to raise the funds. If you want to increase excitement, offer prizes for the people who walk for the longest time or for the most miles.
You might even design t-shirts that have your school's name, mascot and the words "Walk-a-Thon" on them for people to buy and wear during the event. This is a great way to boost school spirit and create a sense of community among participants.
Want to really get people moving? Turn it into a Fun Run instead! Or allow participants to choose whether they want to run or walk. As long as they're having fun and collecting pledges, it's a success!
Bonus Idea: Sell Spirit Wear Using an Online School Store
One of the best school fundraising ideas for homecoming is an online school store. With the store, you can sell school spirit wear and other school-branded merchandise around the clock.
Depending on the fundraising software you use for your school, you can have a whole ecommerce store set up for you, no DIY necessary. This store will run around the clock, raising revenue for key programs that might not have enough traditional funding. Discover how easy it is to get started with one of the most powerful fundraising tools available. It only takes seven minutes to get started. Watch our short online demo.