Lean Stream

School Contests and Fundraising Incentives

We have put together a total of 8 creative contests and incentives that school principals can use to maximize the fundraising success of their school campaigns. To be mindful of a Principal’s busy schedule, we divided the list into two quick read posts. This is the second post of the series. If you have time, check out the first 4 contests and fundraising incentives here.

Here are the remaining 4 Contests & Fundraising Incentives (from our list of 8) that you can use to Maximize your School’s Success

Recognize and thank all school fundraiser participants. 

The best incentive one can give for hard work is:  Recognition. Most, or all, of your school fundraising supporters want to feel that their efforts are appreciated.

As a school principal, you can motivate fundraiser supporters during your fundraising campaign by highlighting and recognizing the support of your community through social media. You can post a “Fundraiser of the Week” post on social media where you feature a person or organization that has done great work for your school fundraiser. Tell their story and post their picture and encourage your social media followers to like and follow. This will not only encourage more participation but will also generate more exposure for your fundraiser.

While you’re throwing out appreciation, do not forget to thank your teachers and staff for their participation. Instead of waiting until the end of the fundraiser, provide that positive feedback throughout. Everyone likes to be told when they have done a good job and everyone likes to see their name in “lights”. You can set up an actual bulletin board or better a virtual bulletin board on your school website highlighting fundraising activities and participants. Change it out each week to highlight a new staff member. Make sure to recognize specific actions taken by the spotlighted individuals. Not only will this be appreciated by the individuals being recognized, but it will also encourage future assistance with fundraising activities.

Brand your school fundraiser products like t-shirts, pens, books, and bungles.

If you are selling products to raise money for your school, make sure to brand all the school fundraiser products. This will help to make your products stand out and be different from something someone could buy in a store. This will create more eagerness to contribute from those tied to the school through students, as well as those in the local community tied to the school through historical interaction.

After all, most people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Tying them to your school through branded products can make people feel as if they were part of your extended school “family”. A brand is more than simply the text in your school’s name or a picture of a logo on a product, your brand can be the culture that you are building in your schools for student success.

Use branding to connect your school to ideas and to events near and dear to your community. Create branded t-shirts, that make inspiring statements that everyone associated with your school could get behind. Tie your fundraiser to festive seasons, annual, or seasonal holiday favorites that most of your community participates in, thus tying your branded products to these festivities, building a sense of community and togetherness.

A branding strategy as outlined above can incentivize school fundraisers as supporters donate and buy products to become part of something bigger.

Create an exclusive club for high-level supporters and donors. 

High-level donors need incentives, which can match their level of generosity. You can honor their dedication to your school fundraiser by forming an exclusive club for only them.

This club can be a membership program in which members who make a particular donation or sign-up to make recurring donations over a given year receive membership perks from the school. These perks could range from a plaque within the school entryway to invitations to upscale, members-only school events.

Step up a school fundraiser “Weekend Challenge”. 

On Fridays, ensure that all students don’t forget about fundraising over the coming weekend. Announce a unique “weekend challenge” goal with a reward for the class, which can bring in the highest number of donations between Friday evening and Monday morning and watch the friendly competition take overIf your school system is utilizing LeanStream, you can easily track performance in real-time and be ready on Monday morning to recognize and reward students.

Always ensure that all the incentives you offer are fun! A principal who promises an entertaining reward gets everyone, including children and adults, to participate in the group fundraising efforts to raise more money for school developmental activities – think classroom pizza parties.


In school fundraising activities, principals can’t work alone. They need to use different incentive programs to maximize positive fundraiser results properly. Proper planning for principal contests and fundraising activities encourages repeat business, rewards fundraiser participants, and builds community support towards the school’s fundraising efforts.

While summer is fast approaching, soon the next school year will be starting up and fundraising season will be kicking off. To stay on top of fundraising, make sure to visit our blog weekly or subscribe to our blog and get an automated email when we add updates.