10 Unique Fundraising Ideas for Your College Student Organization


May 21, 2021
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There are so many classic fundraising ideas for clubs in college. From car washes to carnivals, these events allow your club to raise money for a project or a good cause. Fundraising involves a whole committee, and when your club endures through the commitment to raise those funds, you feel accomplished, and your club can continue to grow.

While those fundraising classics never fail, sometimes, they’re overdone, and your club might want something fresh and exciting that will bring in more income than ever before. Here are 10 unique fundraising ideas for your college student organization. 

1. Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae Night

What college students wouldn’t love creating their own ice cream sundae? For this event, try to plan it either at the beginning of the semester, near midterms or just before finals week. These are the times throughout the semester when people will be craving those sweet treats, whether from homesickness or stress. 

Set a standard price for each sundae and even charge extra for those who load up on toppings. Make sure you have everything you need for a sundae — ice cream, bowls, spoons, waffle bowls and toppings upon toppings. This will be a hit for the whole campus. 

2. Finding Corporate Sponsors

Finding corporate sponsors is a great way to fundraise year-long for your organization. The more sponsors you can find, the more money you can bring in for your club. A corporate sponsor is typically a business that will give you money in exchange for publicity.

All you have to do is promote the business and market them, and they’ll sponsor your club! Find a sponsor that has good recognition in the local community or even on campus and who has a desire to help you. 

3. Sell Customized Water Bottles

It seems like everyone nowadays has at least one refillable water bottle. Many college students use reusable water bottles throughout their days to stay hydrated. Plus, they often customize them so they can quickly identify that a water bottle belongs to them. 

Drinking water is crucial to health, and it’s something that everyone has to do. Your club can create and sell customized water bottles to the student body. Find a company where you can purchase wholesale bottles and hire a student designer to make designs. You can hold a presale for students and ask what kind of customizations they want, like their name, sports team number or major. 

4. Stress Relief or Pampering Day

Students deserve a day to rest and relax from studying, so why not host a stress relief event or pampering day? This one will work best if you host it right before finals or another big exam week. Students all over campus will be stressed, so a day where they can relieve stress will bring them in. Fill the day with massages, soothing music and scented oils, as well as information pamphlets on how to relieve stress.

If you’d rather have the event geared towards pampering students, then you can do that, too! Students and faculty can purchase a manicure, pedicure or makeover in advance by donating to your organization. Participate with local salons for this.

5. Surprise Snack Box Deliveries 

Anytime during the semester, allow students to purchase a snack box to send to a friend! Create various snack boxes, like sweet ones, salty ones or a mixture of the two. If your organization has the funds, you can have students create custom snack boxes to send. 

You can either have various sizes of snack boxes or make a standard one. Charge multiple prices depending on the types of snacks. Then, members of your organization can put them together, add a bow, personalized note and deliver them to students’ dorms. 

6. Campus Wide Photo Contest

You probably see your peers taking photos around campus all the time. They may not be professional photographers, but everyone likes to try their hand at their photography skills every so often. Create a deadline for photo entries and have students send all of their photos to an email address.

Once the deadline is up, you can print them and display them in a common location for students. They can vote on their favorite photo using coins or cash. Those funds will go to your organization. Announce the winner and provide them with a small prize. 

7. Obstacle Course Event 

Everyone loves a good challenge. Obstacle courses test people’s endurance and strength. Your organization or club can set up an obstacle course or find a local obstacle course to host and invite people to participate.

You can set up online registration for anyone who wants to be part of the challenge. People should have the option to participate as an individual or to gather a team. All of the proceeds will go to your organization! 

8. Moonlight Breakfast

Do you ever get those midnight snacking episodes? If so, you’re not alone. Many college kids have varying schedules and tend to stay up late at night to either visit with friends or to ensure they finish their assignments. 

One of the unique fundraising ideas for college clubs is to host a moonlight or midnight breakfast. Sell tickets in advance to the event. When students present their tickets, they can grab a plate and enjoy a breakfast meal at midnight! Make sure you have the whole breakfast spread — pancakes, toast, waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruits, coffee and tea. 

9. Battle of the Bands

People often have hidden musical talent. Hosting a battle of the bands would invite local bands and even entertainers on campus to showcase their musical talents. Sell tickets for the event well in advance, and you can even have people pay extra for better seats! 

Ask faculty or other organization leaders to be judges for the event. If you want, you could have a raffle event during intermission or sell snacks and drinks before the event. The winner of the battle should receive a small prize. 

10. Guided Hikes

Guided hikes have the potential to bring in quite a bit of extra income for your club or organization, especially if your campus is near a mountain range. Plus, the event would promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

Charge participants a fee to join you or a tour guide on a hike through a mountain range or nearby national park. While you’re hiking, you can have members of your club explain more about why you’re raising money to those who aren’t in your club, which could bring in more members as well!

Fundraise for Your Organization

When you’re able to gather sufficient funds for your organization, the whole club benefits. Collecting income allows your club to participate in activities and promote themselves and provide for future club members. Try out these unique fundraising ideas for your next fundraiser! 

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