Fundraisers are a great way to raise money for your club, a charity, or special school event. Tried-and-true fundraising ideas include bake sales, raffles, rummage sales, and selling tie-dyed or science-themed t-shirts. Money generated from fundraisers can be used for club field trips, contributions to charities, AP test registration fees, materials for science demos, and more. Try one of these fun ideas for your next fundraiser:
Items to Sell
- Chemistry-Themed Bake Sale
Put a twist on traditional bake sale items—try periodic table cupcakes or cookies.
- Science Sweets
Put Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas-colored M&M's (or your school colors if available) in decorative test tubes.
- Finals/AP Test Survival Kits
Kits could include a bottle of water or juice, a granola bar, pens/pencils, gum, jokes, inspiration messages, etc.
A university chemistry club sells hand-painted flasks with a glow stick inside for Halloween. See a photo.
Sell flowers for Mother’s Day, homecoming, or another special occasion. Order from your local market a few weeks in advance and try to negotiate special pricing. Use ribbon tied around each flower to attach student-designed cards.
Smencils, Smens, and Smarkers are scented pencils, pens, and markers made from recycled paper.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Items
Sell glow-in-the-dark necklaces, glasses, and other items. Display a description of the chemistry involved.
- Bulbs and Plants
Sell bulbs and plants at a local market.
Items to Collect
- Cell phones
Several companies work with nonprofit organizations to recycle cell phones so that old phones do not end up in a landfill. Typically companies accept a minimum number of phones in working order.
- Inkjet and Toner Cartridges
Several companies accept certain brands of inkjet and toner cartridges in exchange for cash.
Different types of waste, such as food packaging and shoes, are collected, with donations given for each piece collected. The waste is then converted into new products. For more information, visit TerraCycle.
A penny/coin drive is a collection of pennies or other coins from those in your community, such as family, friends, and classmates. Some clubs hold a competition between classes, to see which can collect the most coins. Some clubs offer a prize to the group that brings the most pennies, while others offer a prize based on a point system where non-pennies count positive points and pennies count negative points. Small to mid-size plastic containers are recommended rather than breakable glass containers. If containers will be out for longer than a day, empty the coins daily and store in a safe place. After the drive, exchange the coins at the bank; banks have different preferences as to whether they want the coins counted into wrappers or not.
Read about one ChemClub's successful coin drive.
Safety Shower Dunk
Faculty and students can be nominated through monetary sponsorship. Each person with a certain amount of sponsorship money could be "dunked" in the safety shower during the event. The club advisor should be sure to monitor and approve this event.
Duct Tape a Teacher
During a lunch hour or a sports event in the gymnasium, sell strips of duct tape to duct tape a teacher to the wall. The teacher stands on a chair to start, and students buy strips of duct tape to tape him or her to the wall. Once there’s enough tape to hold them up, remove the chair.
Jail & Bail
Create a place in the school to serve as a “jail cell” and fill it with items such as a TV, games, chairs, food, etc., to make it a fun place to hang out. Make a mock warrant that students can purchase to send themselves and/or friends to jail during a free period during the school day (with approval from your school).
Coordinate with a local store during the holidays to run a gift wrap station, with a suggested donation amount from customers for wrapping their packages.
Kiss a Senior Goodbye
Toward the end of the year, invite students, teachers, staff, and parents to give seniors a sweet send-off in the form of chocolate kiss candies and a personal message. Your Club could contact the parents of each senior with a form to personalize their message to their graduate. On the chosen date, Hershey’s Kiss candies could be placed in small snack-size zip-seal bags with messages attached, and delivered to the recipients.
Hold a trivia night at a local restaurant. Student and teacher groups (friends, band members, football team, math teachers, administrators, etc.) can sign up to reserve a table for a set fee. Each table competes with trivia questions for prizes and bragging rights. Students and faculty could contribute trivia questions on various topics or Trivial Pursuit game questions could be used.