The Best College Fundraising Ideas - GroupRaise

The Best College Fundraising Ideas

Posted by Katie Tincello

When it comes to college fundraising, there are so many ideas to choose from and it can almost be overwhelming knowing where to begin. With so many different clubs and groups competing for fundraising, you’ll want a fundraiser event that stands out from the crowd – something a little different, fun, and exciting that will make your college fundraiser even more successful and get more people involved.


Choosing the right fundraising ideas for college is the most important step for hosting a successful fundraiser. Think about what resources you have available, the kind of activity that might attract a big crowd, the best time and place to host an event, and what will be easy to organize. 

Whether you’re a small college club, a big fraternity or sorority with lots of resources, you will find all the college fundraising ideas you need in this article. We’ve put together the best ideas for college fundraising, as well as tips and tricks on how to host the best event possible, so that you can find what works for you and organize an incredible event.


Top fundraising ideas for college

So you’re looking to hold a college fundraiser but not sure where to start? Perhaps you’ve done a Google search and it has come up with all the traditional ideas like bake sales or donation boxes. Sometimes, the traditional ideas work well, but the most successful college fundraisers are those that are a little different and exciting – something that everyone will want to take part in!


Consider your fundraising aims – alongside raising for your cause are you looking to entice new members or build stronger friendships in your community? There are different college fundraising ideas for both.


If you’re looking for good fundraising ideas for college that will attract a lot of new-comers at the start of the semester, why not take advantage of your campus and choose events that you can host outside? An activity such as an outdoor movie night, scavenger hunt, or photo competition are all creative ways to explore the campus, enjoy the outdoors and fundraise!


Alternatively, a college fundraiser can be a great opportunity to socialise and meet new people, so perhaps choose an activity where people can chat and get to know each other at the same time? Something like a restaurant meal or team challenge are both fun options that allow for socialising too. 


If you’re a smaller group or an individual looking to fundraise, then there are still plenty of great college fundraising ideas that require minimal effort and expense. A restaurant fundraiser or games night can be great options as they require little planning or little to no cost. A restaurant fundraiser is one of the most versatile college fundraising ideas and a great way to quick off the new year at college.


GroupRaise partners with a range of local restaurants that will donate a percentage of all sales back to your cause when you dine with them. You can choose your favourite cuisine and also decide whether to dine-in or use takeout or delivery.


In the rest of this article you’ll find more details about each of our college fundraising ideas as well as some tips, tricks, and examples of how other college clubs have hosted an incredible fundraiser. 


Fundraising ideas for clubs

Fundraising ideas for clubs vary a lot in terms of size, cost, and organization level. It will largely depend on what kind of club you are, as to which is the best college fundraiser for your group to host. Here are a few of the best college club fundraising ideas:


Campus Photo Competition 

Celebrate your campus with this creative college fundraiser that everyone can enjoy! Photo competitions are great college fundraising ideas for clubs of all sizes. Invite club members to submit a photo of the campus, perhaps with a particular theme like ‘fall’, and then invite members to choose a winner. All participants pay to take part, or you could collect votes with dollar bills. You could even turn the photos into a calendar at the end!


Restaurant fundraiser 

What’s not to like about food fundraisers? Restaurant events are a really great fundraising idea for college clubs. Eating out at a restaurant provides a welcome change from the Campus cafeteria, and it’s also a great opportunity to get together with club members.


GroupRaise partners with a range of local restaurants that will donate a percentage of all sales back to your cause when you dine with them. You can choose your favourite cuisine and also decide whether to dine-in or go for takeout or delivery!



For some tips on how to make your restaurant fundraiser extra successful, check out this blog ‘How to host a successful fundraiser’.


Two hands holding white plate with foods photo. College fundraising ideas

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash


Stash Sale

Create some club stash for your members to wear and raise funds at the same time. There are loads of sites where you can custom design t-shirts, caps, water bottles, and more, such as Bonfire or Design some club stash and sell to members to raise funds for your club!


Club challenge

A club challenge is one of the more active fundraising ideas for clubs in college and is particularly good for sports clubs. Choose a fun sports event and challenge club members to take part. It could be a 5k or 10k run, a marathon, a group hike, or anything that your club would enjoy. Charge a participation fee or get everyone to ask for sponsorship if it’s a particularly impressive challenge!


The best fundraising ideas for sororities

Fundraising for your sorority can be a lot of fun. Bringing everyone together for an activity, challenge, or event is a great way to get to know new members and celebrate the start of the semester. Here are our top sorority fundraising ideas.


Stall sales

Bake sales, lemonade stalls, and craft sales are really effective college fundraising ideas that are easy to organize and always bring in a lot of funds. The options for a stall sale are numerous: host a bake sale with delicious goods whipped up by your sorority, or set up a lemonade stall at a college club football match and sell to spectators. 


If it’s the start of the semester, get the sorority girls to create some cute room decorations or ask the local garden centre for some plants they may be able to donate to help people make their dorms feel like home!


Pool or House Party 

Get your dancing shoes out and put on your party hats – it’s time to host the event of the year! Get the sorority together to host a party for the new semester, or to celebrate after exams. Choose a theme, grab a karaoke set or some fun games and get inviting. Charge a small fee for people to attend and spread the word for a fun evening while fundraising too!


Restaurant fundraiser

Why not host a restaurant fundraiser to help welcome new sorority members or celebrate the start of a new semester? A restaurant fundraiser is an easy way to raise funds and a great way to socialise. Simply choose a restaurant giving back with GroupRaise and a percentage of all sales will be donated back to your cause.



Fun fraternity fundraising ideas

From game nights to food fundraisers, there are loads of great fraternity fundraising ideas you can choose from to host a great event for your group.


Car wash 

A car wash is a fantastic fundraising idea for college because it is so simple to organize and very effective. Choose a central location on Campus and offer car washes for a small fee. Make sure to publicize your event as a fundraiser on social media to encourage more people to bring their car for a clean and to support you!


Restaurant fundraiser 

Bring everyone together to enjoy some delicious food and fundraise too. A restaurant meal is such an easy fraternity fundraising idea, all you have to do is choose a date and a restaurant! There are so many great options, and you can also choose takeout or drive-thru instead of the dine-in option. 



If you want to add a little more excitement to the evening, why not add a theme, such as Mexican, and all go dressed in sombreros? The options are endless!


Games night

Hosting a games night is a great way to raise funds for your fraternity. It is also a good virtual fundraising idea for college clubs as there are now lots of sites that allow you to play traditional games online. 


For an in-person event, set up a few popular board games and bring fraternity members together for a great evening. Everyone pays a small donation fee for playing a game!


People playing games on a coffee table. Fundraising ideas for college

Photo by Big Potato on Unsplash


Tips to raise money for your college funds

It’s all very well having fundraising ideas for college, but first you actually have to get there! Well do not fear, we’ve got some great ideas for how to raise money for college as an individual too!


These creative ways to raise money for college are designed to be super easy for anyone to do by themselves. They require only a few resources and can be very effective if you let enough people know about what you’re doing.


woman with donate box. college fundraising ideas

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels.


Yard Sale

If you’re going to be moving to college why not take advantage of the time to have a little clear out. You can also get your family involved to bring together anything that you no longer have use for at home but could still have a great life elsewhere. 


Spread the word through your community and with friends and neighbours and set up in your front yard. Sell everything you no longer need and raise funds for your college fees!


Sponsored Challenge

A sponsored challenge is a tried and tested fundraising method, and perfect for college fundraising. Set yourself a challenge – the more creative or difficult you make the more sponsorship you’re likely to get – and ask friends and family to support you. It could be a sports challenge, or perhaps a community challenge such as litter picking!


 Restaurant Fundraiser 

The restaurant fundraiser will never fail. Bring together all your classmates for a final hurrah before you go off to college, or celebrate your exam results with family. Whoever you eat with, you can raise funds for college while you do so! 



The most successful restaurant fundraisers are the ones that have the most people eating out for your cause. Check out this article on ‘How to promote college fundraisers’ for some tips on making the most out of your event.


What will you choose?

So that’s it – our top fundraising ideas for college, including ideas for clubs, fraternities, sororities, and also those looking to raise personal funds for tuition costs. With so many different college fundraising ideas you’re spoilt for choice!


Whichever event you decide to choose, we know that it will be a huge success for your group, and we hope you have fun while doing it! If you’re tempted by a delicious meal out then be sure to check out our list of local restaurants where you can host your restaurant fundraiser:



While you’re here, take a look round the GroupRaise blog for other great college fundraiser tips or for even more fundraising event ideas! And if you want to know how other college groups have done it, check out this success story from CPK


Happy fundraising!