Fundraising is more than just money-making

Fundraising, by its very definition must be about the raising of funds, but it’s something else that is often overlooked: an opportunity to teach and learn.

Long gone are the days when P&Cs ran a monthly tuck shop to buy a new set of books for the library. Today, P&Cs are more likely to run raffles, art shows, and silent discos to raise funds for playgrounds, air conditioners, and computers.

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I think we can all agree that fundraising is a necessity for school life in Australia. Even if every school were fully funded by the government, there is always more we can do. More resources, more staff, more equipment.

But fundraising can and should be about more than just making money. Every opportunity to raise funds also provides an opportunity to teach at the same time.

Ask yourself: what is valued by your school community, or, what do you want to be valued? Physical health? The environment? Music and the Arts? Literacy? A sense of community?

Depending on what you wish to focus on, there will be a fundraising option that allows you to raise awareness and funds at the same time. And we are spoiled for choice when it comes to school fundraising in Australia: if you don’t want to DIY because you’re short on time or volunteers or skill-sets, there are plenty of reputable businesses to do it all for you.

Physical Health

Many a fundraising dollar was raised from a child running around a school oval, and kids are generally in favour of anything that gets them out of the classroom, but you don’t have to stop at running.

Colour Runs

Obstacle Course

Dance-a-thons, discos and silent discos

Fundraise with kites then have a kite-flying event

Laser tag and paint ball

Treasure Hunt

The environment

Trash-a-thon (donors pledge per kilo of trash collected from local beaches or parklands)

Selling seeds or seedlings

Collecting 10c containers

Reusable tote bags and teatowels

Making and selling beeswax wraps

Raising funds and busy bee for a kitchen garden

Music and the Arts

Battle of the Bands

Talent Quest

Karaoke contest

Art Show

Local Makers market

Carols Night


Outdoor movie night



Second-hand book stall

Making story books or recipe books

A sense of community

Community fete

Car boot sale

Pet show or dog walk-a-thon

Quiz night or Bingo

Op Shop Ball

Community Car Wash


Level up your fundraising by not only bringing in much-needed funds but actively working to raise awareness and build community around issues deemed of value to your school. This can also present students with opportunities to learn skills and lessons outside of the classroom, such as communication skills, collaboration, financial literacy, and innovation.

Whether you want your students to become more environmentally aware, improve their fitness and nutrition or reach out to your local community, fundraising can – and should – always be seen as a valuable opportunity to do more.

Shannon Meyerkort

Shannon Meyerkort is a freelance writer and the author of "Brilliant Minds: 30 Dyslexic Heroes Who Changed our World", now available in all good bookstores.

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