PTA Leaders

Healthy Fundraisers

Healthy food or non-food fundraisers enable schools to send consistent, positive health messages, reinforce classroom education and contribute to student health. Active fundraisers go even further, providing students and families with opportunities and positive reinforcement for increasing physical activity.

What’s Wrong with High-Caloric Food Sales?

Students’ lifelong eating habits are greatly influenced by the types of foods and beverages available to them. When non-nutritious foods are sold “for a good cause,” students may think that these foods are a healthful part of a balanced diet. Such misperceptions can contribute to development of poor eating habits. PTAs can encourage healthful eating habits by avoiding fundraisers that rely on the sale of non-nutritious foods such as candy and cookies.

Positive Options

RunConsider these activities below for fundraisers that have a positive impact on students, families and the community. This is by no means a complete list. Many additional ideas exist for successful fundraising. PTA leaders should always consult the current California State PTA Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide when planning any PTA activity, especially athletic* activities, and follow
appropriate financial guidelines.

Support Academics

  • Read-a-thon
  • Science fair
  • Spelling bee
  • Geography bee
  • History challenge
  • Workshops or classes

Support the Arts

  • Art show
  • Concerts
  • Dances
  • Plays and musicals
  • Talent show
  • Singing telegrams
  • Rent-a-band, choir or music group

Support Physical Activity*

  • Dance-Dance Revolution, Line Dancing*
  • Walk-a-thon*
  • Bike-a-thon*
  • Jump-rope-a-thon*
  • Five-mile run/walk or another fun run*
  • Golf, tennis, horseshoe tournaments*
  • Bowling*
  • Skate nights*
  • Family picnic games*
  • Swim classes or swim party*

More Activities

  • Garage sale
  • Live auction or silent auction
  • Carnival
  • Giant game of musical chairs
  • Guessing games
  • Car wash
  • Game night
  • Craft show
  • Magic show
  • Fashion shows
  • Movie nights
  • Haunted house
  • Hobby shows
  • Jail auctions
  • Penny war
  • Recycling drive
  • Festivals
  • Bingo night
  • Karaoke competition
  • Chess, checkers or other tournaments
  • Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt

Healthful Food Items to Sell

  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fruit baskets
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit smoothie mix
  • Frozen bananas

Items To Sell Other Than Food

  • Candles
  • Greeting cards
  • Gift wrap, boxes and bags
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Gift items
  • Coupon books or gift certificates
  • Holiday wreaths, trees or mistletoe
  • Cookbooks, cooking oils and spices
  • Balloons
  • Decorations
  • T-shirts and sweatshirts
  • Books
  • Calendars
  • Buttons and pins
  • Bicycle helmets
  • First aid kits or emergency kits for cars
  • School spirit gear
  • Plants, flowers, poinsettias
  • Brick, stone or tile memorials
  • Special parking space
  • Tickets to sporting or fine arts events
  • Jewelry
  • Valentine flowers
  • Videos and CDs
  • Picnic baskets

Summing It Up

School wellness policy model guidelines encourage schools to limit fundraising activities involving food and/or beverages. There are a large number of fun, creative and lucrative strategies to raise money in other ways. Fundraisers that involve physical activity can even be used to send positive messages to students, families and the community about the importance of active lifestyles.