23 Booster Club Fundraising Ideas and Their Profit Margins
Fundraising events can be as cliche or as creative as you want to make it. Nailing a well-run, enjoyable and of course, very profitable fundraising event can bring recognition to your booster club and build deep relationships with your community; not to mention the revenue that will create a real impact on the students at your high school.
To help your booster club achieve the most success, we’ve compiled this list of tried and tested, high-performing fundraising project ideas which will hopefully serve as inspiration for your next booster club fundraising project. More importantly, we are estimating the profit margins for each project so that you can get the most bang for your bucks.
However, there are many other factors that you probably should keep in mind when deciding what projects to execute. For example, the skills of your booster club members and existing resources you have may make certain projects easier to implement than others. This blog only serves as a reference for you in your decision-making process.
Ideas that don’t need too much work 😎
1.Revenue share — This is a quick way to fundraise without much logistics or manpower. You can set up a revenue share deal with a restaurant like Chipotle or a local pizzeria. For every customer you direct to that restaurant you will get a percentage of what they spend on their order. All you need for this fundraiser is marketing to get the word around: you can utilize social media (creating a Facebook event), posters, emails and word-of-mouth to get as many people to your partner restaurant as possible.
Cost: The cost would primarily be marketing cost to spread the word about your profit share initiative. If you're taking a digital-only approach (i.e. social media posts, email newsletters etc.), the cost is practically zero. If you want to print out posters or even set up booths on campus to spread the word, the cost could go up to $100.
Profit margin: Depending on how much revenue you can generate, you can pretty much keep all the revenue as profit. That's a pretty good deal.
2. Sponsorship — If you or your booster club members have exceptional persuasive or selling skills, try to convince a local business, or even a chain business, to sponsor your fundraising efforts in exchange for a prominent ad spot at your fundraising event. When making your ask, definitely prioritize businesses that will likely reap the most benefits from exposure to the crowd that will show up at your fundraising activities: such as restaurants that are frequented by students, or sportswear shops looking to get more traffic from the community.
Cost: That depends on how much you're willing to offer your sponsors. A typical high school will likely put up a banner which costs about $60. (Fun fact: FanFood offers a variety of in-venue marketing assets that we can co-brand with your sponsors. We can even help you find local sponsors so that you can make more money for your booster club!)
Profit margin: Depending on how much your sponsor is willing to offer, it can range between 100% up to 3000%! One of FanFood's partner high school actually sold $10k in sponsorship with FanFood's co-branded sponsorship assets. Speaking of a win-win situation!
3. Crowdfunding — No, it doesn’t have to be the fundraising tool for those looking to sell homemade candles or granola bars. But, your booster club can totally open an account on Kickstarter or GoFundMe and encourage community effort for donations towards specific projects.
Cost: Again, the cost would really be up to how much you're willing spend on marketing. Digital marketing will involve very little cost (besides labor, of course), unless you want to run a paid social media campaign. If you want to print out posters or even set up booths on campus to spread the word, the cost could go up to $100.
Profit margin: Depending on how much you can raise, you can pretty much keep all the revenue.
Ideas that require selling things 💰
4. Holiday postcard sale — This is not only great for fundraising, but also encourages the act to show appreciation for people in our lives.
Cost: The cost of a postcard could range from $0.50 to $5, depending on whether you're ordering them in bulk and allowing for customization. And the mailing cost would be about $0.35 if you're mailing the cards on behalf of your customers (which we recommend! So that you can charge a handling fee.) So let's assume the total cost for each postcard would be $1.35.
Profit margin: Let's say you charge $8 per postcard and $2 for the handling fee, that's a profit margin of 640%. Gotta say that's pretty sizeable.
5. Concession sales — A timeless classic. What’s a sports game without concessions🌭🍕🥤? (And to a different point.. what could a sports game be with concessions you can order from your phone?)
Profit margin: Do know which concession item has the highest profit margin? Cotton candy. Followed by shaved Ice, popcorn, funnel cakes and nachos. However, you can sell concessions throughout the season and keep making profits at each game, unlike many other one-off events listed here. In addition, you can increase your profit margin with FanFood, which allows you to charge a convenience fee for express pickup and help you sell more items without needing more staff.
6. Bake sale — Or, if you want to put in extra effort, maybe host a baking workshop where people can sign up to bake together!
Cost: Bakery margins vary widely, and data on average margins is not available. This means a baker must start by figuring out their cost per cake. After you know the cost to produce a single cake, you can set the price. Pricing will fluctuate, based on the individualized effort and customization required for each cake, as well.
Profit margin: A standard 50% - 100% markup typically works for a bake sale. However, you can increase the profit margin when allowing for additional donations on top of the price point.
7. Artwork sale — You can source artwork from students, or even tap into the art classes offered at your kids’ school and sell some of the student work.
Cost: $0. It's most likely you can get the artwork for free from the students.
Profit margin: Whatever the price you charge, you get to keep all the revenue as profit.
8. Lemonade stand — Another classic. And you can always recruit students to help you out with this.
Cost: Let's say for each cup of lemonade, the cost is $0.30 (which is an over-estimation especially if you buy all the ingredients and materials in bulk).
Profit margin: If you sell each cup at $1, that's about 233% per cup. That's excluding any additional marketing you'd be doing to get more people to your stand.
9. Book sale — If you are like most people, you have a collection of books that you haven’t touched in years. Why not organize people in the community to donate their books for sale and use the revenue to fund school projects?
Cost: Let's say you can get all the used books for free through donation. Then the cost is $0.
Profit margin: Again, you get to keep all revenue as profit.
10. Valentine’s Day gift delivery — If there’s one day that people feel obliged to spend money on, it’s Valentine’s Day. But if they are spending for a good cause at the same time, there’s probably greater willingness in making those purchases!
Cost: If you can get a bunch of volunteers to help you out with the delivery, the cost is essentially $0.
Profit margin: Keep everything as your profit!
Ideas that are pretty sporty 🏈
11. Fun mini Olympics — Here’s a complete guide on how to go about hosting one, including an array of game ideas.
Cost: You might need to spend some money on equipment and prizes. Let's make that $50-$100.
Profit margin: For a turnout of 100 people at $5 each for the ticket, that's about 700$-900$ profit margin.
12. 5K run — You can have a special theme for the run, or even encourage costumes if you want to make it extra fun!
Cost: Let's say you spend about $70 on miscellaneous materials and prizes.
Profit margin: For a turnout of 100 people at $5 each for the ticket, that's about 700%-900% profit margin. Or raise the ticket price for a higher margin!
13. Dance marathon — You can get participants to pay to participate in a 20-hour dance marathon, and even have several costume themes throughout the marathon. Definitely a fun and trendy way to raise money.
Cost: You might need to spend more on this one, considering that you'd need sound equipment, a venue, snacks and drinks. Perhaps you'd need to budget for $800 - $1500.
Profit margin: Maybe you can get hundreds of people to attend and the ticket is $10 each. That's about 900% profit margin.
14. Color run — It’s also known as the “happiest 5,000 meters on the planet.” Basically you can have the participants pay an entry fee to take part in a 5k run during which colored powder is tossed all over their faces and bodies.
Cost: Your cost would mostly be the paint, a sound system, prizes and some strings to mark out the beginning and the end of the course. Let's say that costs you $800-$1,000.
Profit margin: For a turnout of 80 people at $20 each for the ticket, that's about 100% profit margin.
15. 3v3 Basketball Tournament — You can either have the audience members pay to watch a match (maybe between the coaches and athletes), or have community members sign up to be in the game.
Cost: All your money would be going towards marketing and prizes probably. Let's set the budget at $50-$200.
Profit margin: Depending on how much you charge and how big the turnout is, you can probably reap a profit margin of about 400%.
Ideas that involve your community 🙋♀️🙋♂️
16. BBQ night — A delicious way to fundraise. Make sure you have a variety of menu options for vegetarians/vegans and people with allergies.
Profit margin: It will likely be similar to the one for concessions, though the margin here would likely be thinner since the ingredients would cost more than many concession items. Another downside is that it's not a recurring event like concessions. But you can still likely make about 70%-100% profit margin.
17. Block party — It’s always a good time, provided the weather is nice.
Cost: Definitely going to be higher for this one, since there's a lot of planning, food, activities, marketing and prizes that you have to get ready leading up to a block party.
Profit margin: Again, the margin could be similar to that of concessions since a lot of the revenue would come in from food. It could be slightly higher than that of concessions though, considering there are other revenue streams from activities or even just the entrance ticket price, if you decide to charge that. The profit margin for this would probably be around 80%-100%.
18. Battle of the bands — This would also be a great opportunity to get those student bands out from their garages and onto a bigger stage.
Cost: You definitely want to invest in a good venue, a good sound system and some marketing for this one. Let's say your budget is about $400.
Profit margin: If you charge a $5 entrance ticket, and even sell food on top of that, you can get a profit margin of about 90%.
19. Movie night — Get the popcorn ready! And don’t forget the toppings. Maybe some cookies too? The options are endless.
Cost: Practically zero! Unless if you need to rent a projector and a screen, that would be about $80.
Profit margin: If you charge a $5 ticket and sell snacks on top of that, that would be about 200%-300% profit margin.
20. Release the hostage — If the principal (or the coach or any high profile school leader) is so kind and willing to be “taken hostage,” people can donate money until the amount required for a “bail” is reached and the hostage can finally be released.
Cost: Practically $0 besides some marketing cost, if you plan to spend on marketing.
Profit margin: Keep everything you make:)
21. Talent show — Real talents, hidden talents, talents that aren’t really talents…all are welcome.
Cost: Again like any other event, you'd need a venue, a sound system, some prizes and some marketing. Let's set the budget at $300-$600.
Profit margin: If you charge a $8 per entrance ticket, that would be about 180% profit margin.
22. Trivia night — The trivia can be themed and even recurring every month with a different theme. The winner gets a little prize (or free school swag!)
Profit margin: It would probably be similar to that of a talent show, which is about 180%.
23. Wine tasting — Students aren’t invited, of course. This is for parents in the neighborhood with an affinity to wine (which is, let’s be honest, is most people).
Cost: Hmm wine could be costly, especially if you go with the higher-end selections. And you may need more marketing efforts since you'd be marketing to mostly parents, which is a more scattered audience than the students.
Profit margin: Typically wine tasting events charge about $50 per person, with a profit margin of about 100%.