Just like that, Fall is upon us. The end of the year when everyone is searching inward and giving thanks; and searching outward for opportunities to share in giving.

More than just a seasonal change, there’s a palpable energy and warmth that precedes Winter, and it welcomes creativity with fundraising efforts in your school and community.

We thought carefully about how families spend their time during the holidays, and explore five Fall fundraising ideas to get the most out of your efforts while also giving back to the community.

Have a suggestion you don’t see outlined below? Share in the comments section to help others that could use some inspiration!

Jog & Walk-A-Thons

We’d be lying if we ignored the seasonal treats and meals that accompany our holidays. Whether it’s the candy surrounding Halloween, or the seconds — nay! thirds! — on Turkey Day, there’s always a collective grumble about our indulgence. If the weather or location permits, how clever would it be to reward kids and families for jogging or walking it off for a good cause?

Supporters would be asked to make donations to an individual or family unit who walks “X” amount of laps, meaning: you have a healthier approach to fundraising that incentivizes not only personal but community gain. Whether it’s a per-unit pledge or flat donation, you give everyone an opportunity to participate at a pace they’re comfortable with. Not to mention, a bonding experience that takes action toward possibly establishing better habits as a family.

We can already see the headlines you’re making

Pumpkin Carving & Seed Selling Extravaganzas

This is a two-tiered idea that can be adapted as you see fit.

  1. Imagine gathering your school community — students, parents, and teachers — to enjoy a night of pumpkin carving where there are prizes for the top creations? Beyond gathering funds from ticket sales, you could go a step further by reaching out to farms in your community that would be willing to donate pumpkins to the cause. Or require B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) for participants.
  2. And what to do with all of those pumpkin seeds? Why not gather, clean, season, and bake them to sell to the school community or give back to participants? Yes, there’s lots of ways to make this your own, and get creative, and why we welcome your imagination when planning a pumpkin-centric event.

(check out our article on how to make your pumpkins last longer!)

Baked Good Auctions

The one caveat with food-related fundraisers remains the intricacies of serving a diverse community. Play into these diversities rather than see them as roadblocks. Give cultural and dietary options a place at the table, and people will love you for it. Gather interest from willing bakers — parents, teachers, school staff — and begin strategizing who will bake what. Once you have a solid menu of items to be auctioned off, create an inventory and auction process that’s easy to keep running in the background of everyday school life. Once the dates for bidding close, the winner gets the sweets and you collect the funds.

Winter Dunk Tank Challenge

Yep, we saved the best for last, of course. And who says that a dunk tank is only for summer fun?

Picture this: Depending on your location, the temperature can range from “sweater weather” tolerable to downright freezing. You’ve convinced a willing participant, say, the school principal or PE teacher, and generated a considerable buzz around their misfortune. News cameras rolling, school community cheering, the winner from your fundraiser event — the person who gathered the most donations — gets the throw their three best shots. It’s a hit, and a dunk into the cold abyss below, and the crowd goes wild. You’ve already began planning next year’s event, and have ideas for who will take the plunge.

Congratulations: You involved the community, and everyone is having fun. This is what “fall fundraising” is all about.

Have a question about how you can make these fall fundraising ideas come to life? PTOffice offers a dedicated fundraising platform that is FREE to use and allows you to customize a-thons, auctions, raffles, challenges, and more. It worked for Ashlee and Lake Windward Elementary School, and it can work for you as well.

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