8 Top Fundraising Ideas for Kids: Let the Games Begin!

8 Top Fundraising Ideas for Kids: Let the Games Begin!

Fundraising is usually thought of as the province of adults, probably because it’s generally adults running the show – serving on the committees, coming up with the plans, looking for volunteers.

Raising money for a good cause, especially when that cause directly affects the kids in our community, should be a team effort involving everyone – including the kids themselves.

Not only does raising funds for a good cause teach our kids how they can affect the world around them and make things happen just by pitching in, kids are powerful champions – cute, energetic and effortlessly sincere. If this concept resonates with you, be sure to also check out our super useful fundraising ideas for sporting clubs.

Getting the kids involved is a no-brainer and the perfect way to inject energy into your cause while having a great time.

To involve the youngsters, we need fundraising ideas for kids that will appeal to them and get them excited.

For kids, the activities have to be fun – so consider turning it into a bit of a game.

All kids love games and, the opportunity to play a large-scale game with the entire community, will always prove to be irresistible. Here are eight top ideas to get you started.

1. Wait Staff Stratagem

This one requires the cooperation of one or more restaurants in your town. The idea is to have your kids don some uniforms or aprons and spend an evening helping the real wait staff serve guests at local restaurants.

The more venues you can get involved, the better. You can either suggest the restaurant pay the kids a sponsorship for their volunteering work or that they keep the tips.

They will soon figure out that being extra adorable will get them more tips. Run a little contest to see who can get the most tips and the biggest single tip!

You can also organise a steak grill or a pasta night at your local school or church. Mums and Dads can volunteer to cook and the kids can all wear black pants and white shirts and serve the guests for tips!

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Wait Staff

2. Car Wash

Yes, the car wash is a common enough idea, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome.

All you need is a hose, some detergent, towels and a few signs. Set up on a busy street and assign some kids to lure in cars with signs and adorableness at the corners, and the rest to soap up, rinse off and dry cars that come through.

The best part about this idea is that the kids will have a great time! Whenever you put kids and water together, hilarity will ensue.

The other genius part of the idea is the fact that a car wash is the sort of thing everyone needs but few people make time for, so the drivers in your area will be happy to hand over a donation.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Car Wash

3. Handy Kids

Organise your kids into teams of ‘handy people’ and let the seniors – or anybody, really – bid for their services in doing chores around the house.

Need leaves raked? Schedule some Handy Kids!

Need a basement cleaned out or a fence painted, or anything else that requires a lot of bodies but no real skills? Call the Handy Kids!

You can let homeowners set what they’re willing to pay or have a flat fee system.

That said, it’s a good idea to review and approve all submitted chores to ensure the kids aren’t going to be in any danger or out of their depth.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Handy Kids

4. Playground Challenge

If your community has a park with a playground that the kids swarm over every day after school, organise a fundraiser based around that.

Devise an Olympic-style event where kids can sign up to complete in various challenges: Highest swing on the swing sets, fastest across the monkey bars, most slides in a one-minute period.

Any sort of competition – the more creative the better. Let kids solicit sponsorships, sell tickets, get some food vendors – make it into a big event!

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Playground Challenge

5. Town-Wide Tag

Another great charity idea for kids that incorporates games is a town-wide game of tag.

Kids pay an entry fee and volunteer adults agree to participate. The kids all get special stickers that are individual to themselves. For example, one child gets a dog, another a dragon – anything that will be easily identified.

The kids set out to ‘tag’ the targets first while the adults take fun precautions to get away. When all the adults have been tagged, the kid with the most stickers used gets a prize.

As an alternative, adults can also agree to pay a ‘fine’ for every tag they get, encouraging the kids to go all-out.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Tag

6. Art Show

Kids love to be creative and most homes in your community are festooned with their creations stuck to the fridge door. Let’s leverage this creativity by holding an art auction!

Every kid in town gets to spend a certain amount of time creating any sort of painting or drawing they want. Then the entries are displayed somewhere public and everyone can bid on the pictures, with all donations going to your cause.

Be prepared to ‘cook the books’ a little so every painting is sold even if they’re not – although usually parents will quietly purchase their child’s creation if it’s not claimed. Sneaky, but genius trick huh?

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Art Show

7. Video Game Tournament

It’s no secret that kids love video games. And gaming today isn’t necessarily a solitary experience – it’s often played in groups in a competitive way, with every player scoring points against each other.

Setting up a Video Game Tournament will instantly get every kid in your orbit excited. You might need to engage a ‘Kid Advisor’ to help you, but letting the kids set up teams and raise money based on their performance with sponsors is a great way to get them excited and involved.

Teams could proceed through a classic tournament structure until the ‘Super Bowl’ of video games, where a champion will be declared.

It’s easier than you think – consider asking your local school’s computer department to help out with the networking and asking a local gaming store to sponsor everything.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Video Games

8. Kids vs. Parents

The precise nature of this idea isn’t so important. The main thing here is that you organise a competition where the kids tee off against the parents!

This one detail will instantly get both the adults and kids really excited, because how often do the kids get to go up against their parents (and the parents of their friends) in an approved way that won’t get them into trouble?

Whether its sports, a scavenger hunt or something else, the novelty of competing against the older generation is all the hook you’ll need.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids - Kids vs Parents

Game on!

Fundraising ideas for kids need to be fun, but remember kids always tend to find the novel and the unexpected fun, so just about anything qualifies, at least the first time around.

It’s worth implementing ideas that will get kids excited and engaged. Imagine an army of energetic people racing around really working at raising money for your cause?

Getting kids excited can be difficult, but it’s also a powerful strategy you can pursue in your efforts to raise money, If you can pull it off and sincerely pull children into an active role, that success will pay real dividends.

Here at The Canvas Factory, we love making fundraising fun and simple. We’re about to launch a program that could see you looking after your own free Big Hearted Canvas web page.

To register for the opportunity, sign up here.


Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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