60 Free or Almost Free School Fundraiser Incentive Ideas

When we spoke with our top performing fundraisers from this past season, there was one word that kept popping up in each conversation: prizes. Prizes and fundraiser incentives can be a tricky business – some fundraising experts swear by the rule that if you offer a prize for bringing in one item, you will automatically have a better sale since more sellers will participate. Others argue that by setting the bar low, you don’t encourage students to sell more and thus have a lot of one-order sales when you could have five, six or seven orders per seller.

When it comes to a school fundraiser, one thing is for sure and that is you don’t want to spend a lot of precious funds from your budget on prizes or seller incentives. Instead, many crafty fundraiser organizers and seasoned experts have come up with a variety of incentive ideas that are free or seriously inexpensive. Add any of these prize ideas to your fundraiser prize program to help boost participation and ultimately get those sales numbers up!

60 School Fundraiser Incentive Ideas

Elementary school student/seller incentives – These are great ideas to motivate individual sellers in your fundraiser. If they sell X amount of items or $, they can enjoy one of these special privileges.

  1. Be recognized during announcements
  2. Wear a hat to school
  3. Choose any class job for the week
  4. Receive a free homework pass
  5. Receive bonus points on the next quiz
  6. Enjoy a visit with the principal
  7. Keep a stuffed animal or favorite toy at desk during classtime
  8. Recognized on the classroom board
  9. Be the first in line for recess
  10. Be the first in line at the end of school

School-wide fundraising incentives – These ideas work well with school-wide fundraiser goals. If the school or classroom meets the goal, celebrate with these fun (and wacky) ideas.

  1. Duct tape the principal to the wall
  2. Dunking contests for teacher or staff
  3. Music/dance party in the classroom
  4. Earn a trophy or plaque to hang in classroom or hallway
  5. Eat lunch outdoors as a class or school
  6. School party with dance area and game area for one afternoon
  7. Listen to music during lunch
  8. “Silly string” principal and teachers at an assembly
  9. Principal has to dress up in funny costume and dance around
  10. Extra pizza day for lunch for the school

Middle school fundraiser prize ideas – Middle school fundraisers have the tough job of motivating students that may otherwise not be interested. Use these incentive ideas to get your sellers involved in your fundraiser. Each student has to sell X amount of items to enjoy the prize!

  1. Invite sellers to a VIP party with pizza, ice cream and music
  2. Get extra time at the computer/in the computer room
  3. Free entrance to a football, basketball game or a dance
  4. Get to paint a tile in a hallway wall – make it a mural from all the students in the school/grade
  5. Listen to music during lunch
  6. Classrooms can play a game of choice if they reach their goal
  7. Special hall pass to leave class early on a Friday
  8. Free homework passes
  9. Student can pick which problem/task will be a freebie/bonus question on homework or next test
  10. Can wear pajamas to school (or street clothes if they usually wear uniforms)

Even more silly and fun yet effective fundraiser incentive ideas – Whether you’re a middle school, preschool, music group or a team, these prizes can work for your fundraiser. With a little bit of creativity, you can get your fundraiser mojo going!

  1. A music director or band leader will shave his/her head if the group meets the goal
  2. If you bring in X number of orders, you’re entered into a drawing for a gift certificate or cash prize
  3. Create some motivating competition between classes with a group reward (music party, special trip to pizzeria, etc.) for top selling class
  4. A small gift bag set for top two sellers in the group or class
  5. Grab bag with drawings. More orders brought in = more chances to draw a prize
  6. Dance party with a DJ after school
  7. Gift cards to local businesses (manicures for parents or teachers, movie tickets, bowling passes, etc.)
  8. Laser tag party at a local gym
  9. Extra time at recess or play time
  10. Tickets to movie when it’s just released
  11. Free/special parking spot for student or parent
  12. Limo ride for top 15 sellers to go to a local game, dance or event
  13. iTunes gift cards
  14. Amazon gift cards
  15. Choose what assignment class does for homework
  16. Ask for donations from local businesses and run a raffle or “treasure hunt” with sellers if they reach their goal
  17. Classroom reading party with sleeping bags, PJs and favorite books
  18. Extra art time in class
  19. Wear a hat for the whole day during school
  20. Gift certificate to school book fair or school store
  21. Cut the principal’s tie off
  22. The teacher or principal will cut or buzz their hair if the class/school meets their goal
  23. Be a teacher’s helper for the day
  24. Bounce house during recess
  25. Game truck or chance to play a video game (have games donated by community or local group)
  26. Small cash prizes for middle school sellers
  27. Chance to watch a movie during school
  28. Teachers will have a dance off at a school assembly
  29. Host a karaoke party for the whole school
  30. Play a catchy pop song in the school hallways until the sellers bring in enough orders for that day (some schools opt to play an annoying song to really motivate their students!)

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