Keeping the "Fun" in Fundraising

While Complying with Alabama School Fundraising Regulations

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Fundraising Should Support a Healthy School Environment

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) School Health Policies and Program Study (SHPPS) reported that 47.3% of schools sold chocolate candy and 52.7% sold fatty baked goods for school fundraising activities. Selling less nutritious food items for fundraising contradicts nutrition messages taught in the classroom and as part of the Child Nutrition Program, which emphasizes healthy meals by requiring schools to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than ever before. Fundraisers should not give the impression that schools care more about making money than about student health. In contrast, healthful fundraising gives consistent, positive health messages. Fundraising strategies should not be limited to the sale of foods, but should also include non-food items and other activities. Focusing on healthful fundraisers is a public demonstration of schools' commitment to promoting healthy behaviors among students, families, and the communities at large, while helping schools meet their financial needs.

The New Alabama School Fundraising Regulations

Beginning in School Year 2015-2016, every school has a responsibility to follow the new Alabama School Fundraising Regulations to build a consistent environment that helps foster healthy eating behaviors during the school day. The regulations focus on reducing the amount of less-healthy food items , or items that do not meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards, that students have access to throughout the school day.


Alabama School Fundraising Regulations allow 30 "exempt fundraisers" per year, which is defined as the sale of any food item that does not meet the Smart Snacks Standards. Any food item that does not meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards and is sold during the school day is counted as one exempt fundraiser, which can last for no more than 1 day in length.

Recommended Non-Food Fundraising Options

Be Active Fundraisers

  • Dance marathon
  • Jog-A-Thon
  • 5K - try silly themes like "Superhero Race", where everyone wears a cape!
  • Jump-Rope-A-Thon
  • Teachers/students sport competitions - volleyball, basketball, etc.
  • Zumba, Pilates, or other exercise class (recruit qualified instructors to volunteer to teach classes)
  • Family obstacle course
  • Sport camps
  • 30 day fitness challenge

Do It Yourself (DIY) Workshops

  • Dream catcher workshop
  • Christmas ornaments workshop
  • Mason jar fairy light workshop
  • Canvas art workshop


*Older art students could donate their time and teach the workshop!

School “Fun” Raising

  • Dress up days - students bring money to wear hats, pajamas, favorite character costumes, etc. on designated days
  • Principal on the roof - principal spends a day on the roof when donation goal is achieved
  • Buy a brick - bricks are engraved and used for paving a patio or other area
  • Dunking booth - students purchase chances to throw a ball at a target to dunk teachers, principals, etc.
  • Pie in the eye - students purchase chances to "pie" a teacher, principal, etc.
  • Penny wars - See instructions below

Giving Back to the Community Fundraisers

  • Car wash

  • Lawn care
  • Housecleaning
  • Parents Night Out - provide babysitting at school so parents can have a night out
  • Serve-A-Thon - rake leaves for the elderly, clean up a local park/ beach
  • School recycling program
Recycle Rally Highlight Reel

Seasonal Plant Fundraisers

  • Spring Season - bedding plants, sun and shade, ferns, rose bushes, etc.
  • Fall Season - pansies, mums, etc.
  • Christmas - Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettia, etc.
  • Fruit and fruit basket sales

Raffle Ticket Fundraisers

  • Gift certificates - donated by local stores
  • Gift baskets/Theme Bags
  • Yearbooks, class rings, etc.
  • VIP parking spaces
  • School event tickets
  • Sport activities tickets - ice skating, rock climbing, bowling, etc.
  • Sport equipment - tennis rackets, badminton rackets, basketballs, etc.
  • School t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, etc.

Team Spirit Fundraisers

  • Lanyards, pennants printed with the school logo
  • Spirit/booster badges
  • School cookbooks
  • Decals, bumper stickers, temporary tattoos, etc.
  • Apparel - t-shirts, hats/visors, sweatshirts, sweatpants with printed school logos, etc.
  • School souvenirs - key chains, calendars mugs, koozies, etc.
  • Stadium blankets and pillows
  • Stationeries
  • Frisbees, jump ropes, footballs, baseballs and bats, etc.

Other Non-Food Item Fundraisers

  • Mattresses
  • Sheets sets
  • Candles
  • Gift wrap
  • Coupon books
  • Holiday wreathes
  • Y-Ties - very popular with kids!
"Y-Ties" Fund Raiser

For More Information, Please Visit:

Alabama State Fundraising Regulations

USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Action for Healthy Kids

Nonfood Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising Ideas for Schools