30+ Family-Friendly Fundraising Ideas for Kids of All Ages

Why shoe drive fundraisers work for any fundraising event.

Check out our top 30 family-friendly fundraising ideas to kickstart your fundraising strategy

Getting your kids involved with fundraising can help instill the values of charitability and generosity. But that doesn’t mean these fundraising ideas need to be boring for them!

There are plenty of unique fundraising ideas and events that will encourage kids to get in the spirit of giving while having fun running around, playing, and raising money for a fantastic cause.

Whether you are trying to fundraise with small children or bring out your own inner child, these 30+ fundraising ideas are sure to make any kid smile.

If you’re brainstorming fundraising ideas for your nonprofit organization, individual fundraising, or for a larger cause, getting your kids involved can be fun for the whole family!

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Our Favorite Fundraising Idea for Kids

Shoe drive fundraisers are our top pick for a great fundraising idea for kids.

1. Shoe Drive Fundraiser

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Shoe drive fundraisers are the perfect fundraising idea for kids, and an ideal way to launch your fundraising strategy. Kids are steadily growing, which means you need to continue buying them new clothes and shoes to try to keep up.

Well, their outgrown shoes can finally serve a new purpose! Donate them to a shoe drive fundraiser and encourage classmates, friends, and family to do the same.

What happens to these shoes? Let’s start with the beginning of the fundraiser:

  1. First, call on an organization like Funds2Orgs to start the fundraiser, they will drop off all of the collection supplies to gather as many shoes as you can from the community.
  2. You’ll make calls out to the community to clean out their closets to gather their old, gently worn, used, and new shoes for these collection boxes.
  3. Once the fundraiser is over, Funds2Orgs comes to collect the shoes to repurpose them.
  4. You’ll receive a check in the mail depending on the weight of the bulk of shoes you gathered and donated.

Super easy, right? You’re giving new life to your kids’ old shoes while instilling the values of generosity and ecological responsibility for the donations and repurposed shoes.

Not only is this fundraiser super easy, but it’s also incredibly affordable with no out-of-pocket costs. Other organizations have raised thousands of dollars with this fundraiser. Plus the praises partners give the process speak for themselves.

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Check out our other top creative fundraising ideas for kids.

Other Creative Fundraising Ideas for Kids

A silent auction is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

2. Silent Auction

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Silent auctions, whether online or in-person, are a perfect way to get kids involved with your fundraising efforts.

If you are fundraising for a school, try auctioning off a school supply basket or top young adult novels to engage the kids in the gifts. Or you could auction trips for the entire family to enjoy! Possibilities are endless.

Another way to get kids involved in this fundraiser is to encourage them to create the auction items themselves. Parents will love bidding on art projects by their own children!


T-shirt sales are one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

3. T-Shirt Sales

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Everyone loves t-shirts! Selling shirts is an effective fundraising option for any cause. Plus, you get to show off your creative side with the design.

Get your kids involved with the t-shirt design process. Choose a t-shirt fundraising provider who encourages you to submit your design. Then, hold a contest among the children to see who can come up with the best design, and feature the winner.

Either collect order forms for everyone who wants a shirt or make a bulk order to sell to families. If you choose to order in bulk, be sure you order a variety of sizes for each of the kids and the parents who want to buy.


Crowdfunding is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

4. Crowdfunding

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Is your child an athlete? Or starting at a new school? Maybe your family is moving or going on vacation. No matter what the occasion, crowdfunding can help you fund your next big adventure with your kids!

Crowdfunding is a fundraising solution in which you collect many small donations from a broad audience.

Use a crowdfunding platform that allows you to customize your page with a photo of your child or your family; then, write a short description of your cause. Market your campaign on social media to reach out to your online network for donations. You’ll be amazed at how many gifts come flowing in!


Make a snake is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

5. Make a Snake

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Make a snake fundraisers are perfect for classrooms, Sunday school groups, or even community center sports teams.

To start one of these top fundraisers for kids, tell the whole group of children to collect spare change from around their homes. Then encourage them to form this change in a “snake” shape on the ground.

Try making this fundraiser a competition! Whatever class, team, or group of kids makes the longest snake, wins. You can reward the winning group with a pizza party or maybe even a small trophy.


A bake sale is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

6. Bake Sale

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Bake sales are a classic fundraiser for kids that can raise a surprising amount of cash when you have access to the right resources.

First, you need an excellent product. Do you have a famous chocolate chip cookie recipe? Are your brownies out of this world? Dig into some of the old favorite recipes. Maybe this is when you tell your kids about age-old family baking secrets!

Second, you need some of the cutest sales and delivery workers around. Luckily, you already have access to that! Kids will love bringing these amazing goods to neighbors and friends.


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7. Teachers in Jail

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As much as your kids love their teachers, putting their teacher in jail for a good cause will also put a smile on their faces.

Of course, the teacher isn’t actually going to jail. If the kids raise enough money, the teacher will, however, be locked in the classroom or teacher’s lounge for a period. Then, the kids could have some free time in the gym, on the playground, or in another communal area.

The teacher will have some time to catch up on planning or grading, kids have some extra free time, and you’ll raise plenty of cash.


Trivia night is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

8. Trivia Night

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Trivia nights are a perfect and educational way to get kids involved with your next fundraising event.

Ask questions about popular television shows, books, and pop culture. Include a kids category to ask about kids’ favorite movies or sports teams!

Sell tickets and invite the whole community to attend. If you host the event at a local restaurant, you can always ask if they’d be willing to share a cut of the profits for your cause so you can earn a little extra cash.

Bonus! You can also ask the host if you can include a shoe drive collection box, which is located in the corner of the event. Then encourage people to bring their old, gently worn, used, and new shoes to donate during the event.


A talent show is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

9. Talent Show

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Host a talent show to let kids show off their incredible skills to the world!

All you need for this kids fundraiser is a stage, tickets, and some incredible performers. Sell tickets to family members so they can come to watch their kids wow the crowd.

To make some extra cash during this event, try selling concessions to hungry performers and audience members. You can also videotape the performance for families to buy once it’s over.


A 5K race is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

10. 5K Race

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5K races are all the rage today! These handy fundraisers encourage kids and adults alike to get out and be active while raising money for an incredible cause.

All you need to host one of these popular events is a place to run, registration forms, and a timer. For some extra fun, design custom 5K race shirts to sell at the event.

In addition to raising money and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, you’ll also be helping kids burn off some of their seemingly never-ending energy.

Bonus! Set up a shoe drive fundraising collection box at the race for the athletes to toss their shoes in once they cross the finish line.


A family picture day is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids and the whole family.

11. Family Picture Day

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It can be a real hassle to take a good picture of the entire family. Between kids squirming and finding someone to take the picture, most families do without it. Hosting a family picture day will give families these keepsake photos while raising money for a great cause!

Offer a professional photo shoot for your supporters to come and get a group or individual picture. You can then sell these pictures to them in the form of framed or wallet-sized photos, custom mugs, or any other personalized item.

All you need for this fundraising idea for kids is a good camera and a location to take the photos. So easy!


 An art auction is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

12. Art Auction

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An art auction is a perfect fundraiser to show off kids’ creative abilities!

Encourage kids in an art class to work hard and create paintings or pottery. Then, set up an art “gallery” to show off their work. Invite family and friends to come along and bid on their child’s artistic creation.

Make it an event by combining this fundraiser with others (like a carnival). Also, try investing in mobile bidding auction software so families can bid while enjoying other activities. And don’t forget your shoe collection drop-off location at the event.


A class cookbook is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

13. Class Cookbook

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A class cookbook is not only a great fundraiser for kids but a perfect resource for meals that will be treasured for years to come.

Ask every kid in a class, team, or other groups to bring in their favorite recipe to compile in a cookbook. All you have to do is have it printed and make copies to sell to the families.

For more fun, make it a themed cookbook for a holiday season. Who doesn’t like to try new holiday cookie recipes?


Field day is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

14. Field Day

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Field day is a classic fundraising event that kids everywhere look forward to each year.

Set up games and activities outside for everyone to enjoy. Some of these games may include tug-of-war, kickball, a water balloon toss, a three-legged race, and other fun activities. Charge a small admission fee for kids and adults alike to enjoy the festivities.

Don’t forget to make a rain plan for this event! Check out the website for your local community center. Depending on the software they use, you may be able to reserve the center for your event.


Hosting a carnival is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

15. Carnival

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A carnival is a perfect way to get everyone together for a day of family fun. Plus you can combine multiple fundraisers for one big hoopla!

Make sure you provide plenty of games for all ages during this event. From rides to guessing games, silent auctions to shoe drive fundraisers, and everything in between, your kids are bound to have a blast at the event.

Carnivals are also perfect for schools! They’re even listed as a top fundraising event for elementary schools by Snowball Fundraising.


Pictures with Santa is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

16. Pictures with Santa

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How often have you gone to the mall during the holiday season and seen kids lined up for their 30-second photo shoot with the big guy? But, the mall can be incredibly overwhelming.

You can host your own pictures with Santa event for a better experience for the kids, plus some extra funds for you!

All you need for this event is to get a great camera and some of Santa’s finest helpers. Try including a holiday cookie baking contest at this event. Who’s a better judge than Santa to find the best milk and cookies in town?


Help-O-Ween is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

17. Help-O-Ween

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Get your kids excited for the Halloween season, and also the season of giving!

Instead of asking for candy, encourage your kids to explain your cause to each family they visit on Halloween and ask for spare change instead. Not only will this collect funds for your cause, but it also instills a charitable spirit in the kids.

In addition to raising money, your kids will be spreading the word of your incredible mission to the entire community.


Rubber duck races are one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

18. Rubber Duck Race

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Get your supporters in the competitive mood with a rubber duck race.

Competitions are one of the top ways to get people involved in your fundraising efforts, and it’s just as exciting as other fundraising ideas for kids! What cuter competition is there than rubber ducks?

Gather enough rubber ducks for everyone who wants to join the race, then number each one. Supporters submit a small registration fee to enter the competition, then cheer their numbered duck to the finish line! Remember to provide a small prize for the race winner.


Valentine candygrams are one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

19. Valentine Candygrams

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Valentine’s Day candygrams are the perfect way to show that special someone you care.

People can buy a candygram valentine (a piece of candy and small love note) to support your cause. This token of love is then delivered to the recipient. Try offering an alternative to a monetary donation: if kids would instead donate a pair of shoes for the candygram, you can add it to your shoe drive fundraiser.

For a super cute spin on this fundraising idea, ask kids to deliver the valentines! You can also get kids involved by hosting this fundraiser at your local elementary school.


20. Used Book Sale

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Get your kids excited about reading with a used book sale.

How many required reading books do kids purchase, read, and then never touch again? A used book sale is a perfect fundraising idea for kids that will repurpose this old reading material for other children to enjoy.

Encourage kids to donate the old books that they may have outgrown or don’t read anymore. Then, resell these books to other kids. The donation pile is bound to be full of fun books or future required readings that other parents can get cheaply.


 Penny wars are one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

21. Penny Wars

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Penny wars are a perfect kids fundraiser idea to make the most of the natural competitive spirit we develop at a young age.

Split the kids into teams or encourage competition between different elementary school classes. Kids put pennies and other coins in the jar for their team. Every cent collected is a point toward that team.

The twist is that dollars are negative points. Kids can put dollars in the jars for their competitors to subtract 100 points for that team. Whoever has the most points at the end of the fundraiser, wins! Don’t forget to provide a small prize (like a pizza party) for the winning team.


A read-a-thon is one of our top fundraising-ideas for kids.

22. Read-a-Thon

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A read-a-thon is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids because it encourages kids to spend the day reading with their friends or classmates.

The fundraiser works like this: Kids ask parents, teachers, friends, and family to sponsor their efforts in the read-a-thon. Kids collect donations for however many minutes or pages they read. Remember to give a prize to the child who reads the most during the event!

This event is often used as an effective fundraiser for schools, but it can certainly be applied for any organization or cause.


A dodgeball tournament is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

23. Dodgeball Tournament

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A dodgeball tournament is a fun and exciting way to get adults and kids alike out and about for your fundraising cause.

Require some participation or spectator fee for the tournament. Kids and adults alike will love throwing these soft balls at their family and friends. Remember to offer a prize for the winner of the competition!

Try adding a concession stand at the tournament and putting a shoe drive fundraising collection box in the corner during the competition for some extra earnings.


 A family game night is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

24. Family Game Night

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Pull out your favorite classic board games because it’s time for a family game night.

Encourage all families invited to the event to bring their favorite board games. Then, charge a small admissions fee per family to play.

Don’t forget to thank everyone for coming to the event. Make sure to offer a small prize for the winner of the tournament. It could be a trophy or a gift card to a local restaurant for dinner after the event.


Hat or PJ day is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

25. Hat or PJ Day

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Hat or PJ day is a perfect fundraiser for schools, church youth groups, or any other group that may have a semi-strict dress code.

This fundraiser is entirely free. All you need to do is ask kids to pay a small fee to wear a silly hat or their pajamas to school or Sunday service.

Kids have fun wearing the previously forbidden clothing, while you raise money for an incredible cause.


Parents’ night out is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

26. Parents’ Night Out

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Sometimes parents need a break. The Parents’ Night Out fundraiser gives them the chance to go out on a date night, get some errands finished, or take a staycation.

Essentially parents’ night out is like group babysitting. Gather some volunteers to watch children while their parents take a night off. The event is listed in the top 3 fundraising events for schools by Double the Donation.

Kids love this idea because they get to hang out with their friends. Parents love this idea because they get a well-deserved break for the evening. Plus, by charging a small fee to watch the children, your cause raises money. Everyone wins!


Soup delivery is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

27. Soup Delivery

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On a cold day, nothing tastes better than a hot cup of your favorite soup.

Did you know this delicious soup can help you raise money too? Gather a group of people together to make a huge batch of soup that you can provide to family and friends. Then, gather volunteers (we suggest the cutest volunteers in town—your kids!) to deliver the soup.

Ask for a small contribution in exchange for the soup delivery. You can either ask for a small fee for the soup or open the payment up to another donation type: trade soup in exchange for a pair of shoes for your shoe drive fundraiser.


 Selling cookie dough is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids

28. Cookie Dough

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Cookie dough fundraisers are one of the most delicious fundraising ideas around.

Purchase cookie dough from a wholesale provider, then sell it to your community members. Ask your kids to bring the order form to their school or youth group to expand your network even further.

This fundraising idea is especially effective during the holiday season when everyone wants to make batches on batches of holiday cookies.


Restaurant night is one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.]

29. Restaurant Night

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When was the last time your whole family was able to sit down to a special family dinner? Between the craziness of the kids’ schedules, this time is priceless. Now, imagine you can take this time and help support a great cause!

Many restaurants offer a “restaurant night” to nonprofits and other causes. A restaurant like Chipotle, Moe’s, Zaxby’s or Panera Bread can partner with the cause and agrees to donate a portion of the profits for a single evening to the nonprofit.

This unique fundraising idea allows families to spend quality time together while contributing to a great cause.


Cupcake wars are one of our top fundraising ideas for kids.

30. Cupcake Wars

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Cupcake wars are a great fundraising idea for all the sweets lovers in your family.

Charge a small admission fee to enter the competition. Set up age groups so everyone is competing with others roughly their same age. Then, let the game begin!

Set cupcakes in front of everyone and give them a certain amount of time to decorate that cupcake for the competition. An unbiased volunteer judge passes a verdict to find the best cupcake designer for each age group. Finally, everyone enjoys their sweet treats.


Check out these additional resources to get your kids fundraiser up and running!

Additional Resources for Your Kid-Friendly Fundraisers

Want more guidance about how to get your kids involved with fundraising? These other resources will help get you started!

Continue your research for creative fundraising ideas for kids with this guide to PTO fundraising ideas.

Are you a part of a parent-teacher organization? Continue your fundraising research with these 30+ PTO fundraising ideas! Read More

When hosting your kids fundraiser ideas, use the best event planning software

If you’re planning to host a large fundraising event with your kids, you’re not limited to a single planning software. Check out this article listing Eventbrite top competitors from Double the Donation. Read More

For more fundraising ideas for kids, check out these 45 school fundraising ideas.

If you want more large-scale fundraising ideas for kids to implement for a school, try these top 45+ school fundraising ideas. Read More

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