Event & School Fundraising Ideas

When it comes to fundraising for special events and schools, the number one goal is to have a high profit margin. We’ve done the math for you and can report that concession foods bring in an average of 70%–80% profits, making it an ideal way to raise money. You don’t have to be an expert to see this kind of a return. Here at Gold Medal, we’re available to give you fundraiser tips from themes to concession choices and more. From training your volunteer staff to choosing the right size popcorn machine, you can browse our site for school fundraising ideas and so much more.


Unique School Fundraisers

What Are Fun Ways to Earn Money for Your School? Find Unique School Fundraisers


With summer in full swing, now is the time to start planning for those ever-popular school fundraisers that are – believe it or not – right around the corner. 

Selling fun foods at your next event’s concession stand can really prove to be a profitable venture. 

Concession stands can turn up to a 94% profit on fundraiser staples like popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy. ​





Fun Ways to Raise Money at School: Why It Pays to Have FUNdraisers

Achieving a level of success at your next fundraiser can be measured by three key indicators:

  • First, making the process simple and enjoyable for the students and volunteers participating is always important.
    • Afterall, some school programs host at least three fundraisers every year.
  • Second, achieving a profit is important, so making smart concession choices is essential to attaining the overall goal of the fundraiser.
    • Keep in mind that cotton candy tends to have the highest profit margin (over 90%) due to its low overall cost (about 13 cents per serving) and significant markup (sells for $1 to $2 per serving).
    • Other great options for getting the most bang for your fundraiser buck are:
      • Snow cones (about an 87% profit margin)
      • Nachos (over 70% profit margin)
      • Popcorn (about an 80% profit margin)1
  • Third, always remember that the more people you get involved with each event, the more they’ll help you spread the word.


Ways to Earn Money for Your School

Once you come to the conclusion that selling concessions is an excellent idea for a school fundraiser, the next step is figuring out how to put your plan into action.

Here are a few fun event ideas that your school can host. You can let your creativity flow free when planning each of these fundraisers, encouraging the student body and local community to help make the event a resounding success:


5 Unique School Fundraisers & Events to Raise Money for School

1. Host a 5K: This can be for a walk or run in a local park or around your school’s neighborhood. Charge a minimal registration fee that includes a voucher for a free Sno-Kone® for runners.  Community attendees can visit the concession stand with proceeds going to the school. For fun, you can sell school-colored popcorn.

2. Host a Quiz Night: These types of events are all the rage and the overhead for an event of this nature is minimal. Simply choose a theme to base the questions on and give prizes to the winning teams. During the event, you can offer an array of tasty treats from the concession stand to both the participants and the crowd. You can even plan to have special themed concessions, like “Pop Quiz Popcorn” to coincide with the overall theme of the competition.   

3. Put on a Talent Show: Invite local talent, students, and especially teachers to take the stage for a few minutes each for a night of laughter and entertainment. Have a concession stand open during the event with freshly popped popcorn to add to the atmosphere. You can also set up a booth selling “Star-grams” for the performers—these would be treats like cotton candy or baked goods that guests can personalize with a congratulatory message and give to their favorite performer.

4. Plan a Seasonal Carnival: A team of local volunteers can help come up with fun outdoor activities for students and their families to come and enjoy. Tickets could be sold at the entrance for the attendees to use for various concession purchases (example: popcorn = 2 tickets; nachos = 4 tickets; etc.) and the food offerings themselves could be seasonally specific and uniquely satisfying. This would enable both students and adults to contribute to the fundraiser and feel as if they are investing in the event and its positive impact on the school itself.  

5. Organize a Yard Sale: Everyone has items in their closets, attics, or basements that they no longer need or use. Sellers can bring their “overstock” to the school and sell in a single event. Ask participants to consider donating a portion of their proceeds or charge a small space fee. Attendees will be more likely to stay and shop if there’s a concession stand serving food and drinks. For example, nachos are an easy, low-prep snack that’s widely popular.

All of these event ideas highlight the way in which a fundraiser concession stand is the perfect route to generate profit in a fun and creative way. Offering refreshments to highlight the event, like hot chocolate in the winter and a Sno-Kone® stand in the summer, is a great way to enjoy the season.

Other options like nachos, popcorn, and cotton candy go great with every occasion and are excellent ways to generate a healthy profit for the participating school.

In the end, each is a win/win opportunity for students and individuals of all ages to have a great time and to make it easier for your school to fund numerous essentials, like supplies, programs, music, athletics and much more.

School Fundraising Made Fun, Easy & Profitable Infographic

School Fundraising Infographic


Gold Medal has a history of helping schools of all sizes build successful fundraiser programs. Take the first step to starting yours today by connecting with one of our trained concession specialists. Just call Gold Medal at 800-543-0862. For more info, check out our Go-To Guide for School Concession Stand Success here.



1 Bizfluent. Most Profitable Concession Stand Foods. Accessed June 21, 2019.