What are the Best School Fundraisers for Millennials?

Posted by Don Carmichael on 11/21/16 5:30 AM

fundraising events for millennials


Have you ever found yourself asking any of these questions?

  • Who are millennials?
  • Why are millenials important to your school and your school fundraising? 
  • What are the best school fundraisers to engage millenials?


If you have found yourself asking any of those questions, you’re not alone!  Many school administrators and parent leaders don’t understand the millennial generation and believe the topic is complicated.  Who are they?  How do they think?  How is this important to a school?  And how is this important to school fundraising?


The good news: millennials can be easy to engage and offer some wonderful fundraising benefits to your school. 


Meet The Millennials


The Millennial Generation:

  • Currently the largest living generation in the United States. 
  • Young people born between 1982 and 2004 – the twelve to thirty-four year olds in our country today. 
  • Those who came of age around the year 2000.


Who are the millennials in your school?  They include your high school students, many of your staff and many of your parents.  Should you have a specific strategy for engaging them in school fundraising?  Definitely – if you want to fundraise successfully.


Broadly speaking, millennials have some very specific qualities – both positive and negative. 


On the negative side, they can be very self-centered.  In May, 2013, Time Magazine did a great job describing the dual positive/negative aspects of millennials.  The cover of Time’s May 20th issue boldly proclaimed the title, “The Me - Me - Me Generation.”  The subtitle of the cover declared, “Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents… Why they’ll save us all!”


So on the positive side, how will they save us all


Millennials love to be involved in meaningful experiences and causes.  Instead of just giving money, they want to also give their time and talents.  They take deep interest in helping advance a mission in which they believe.  They love to be hands-on with projects they believe are important.  They’re savvy with technology; they’re highly connected to their peers through social media, and they want to do things that make a difference in the world.

So what does this mean to your school – especially in the area of your school fundraising?


Best Fundraisers for Schools in Engaging Your Millennial Families

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To best engage your millennial students, staff and families, you need to provide opportunities to make a difference.  Involve your students in activities where they can help other people.  Get behind a mission that makes a difference – both in your community as well as other parts of the world.

Instead of selling products or doing a walkathon or golf tournament to raise money, engage your students in experiences that are purposeful.  Some ideas include donating a portion of your fundraisers to local charities or important overseas needs like drilling clean water wells or providing shoes for impoverished third-world children.  By donating a portion of money to these types of causes, you are broadening the scope and purpose of your fundraiser far beyond the four walls of your school.


Service-Focused Fundraising Events


Even better than donating a portion of your funds to a good cause is actually creating a fundraising event experience that is centered on helping others who are less fortunate.  When your students serve others, they learn great lessons in generosity, gratitude, selflessness and sacrifice.  In fact, those WHO serve benefit much more greatly than THOSE they serve!


Instead of doing a walkathon, why not involve your students in a half-day servathon?  They raise money the same way – through personal sponsorships of each participating student.  But instead of walking around a track or a parking lot, your students are divided into teams focused on providing hands-on service to a variety of community-impact projects. 


Some students will go to nursing homes to sing songs and read books to residents – and give them manicures and pedicures. Some students will go to area soup kitchens and mission shelters to serve men and women who are down-and-out.  Others will deliver cookies and thank you notes to fire stations and police stations, while others will go to the homes of elderly shut-ins to clean yards, paint walls and do a variety of other service helps.


An even more interesting fundraising event is Feed The Need – an event where your students conduct a half-day indoor Packing Party in a gym or cafeteria.  This party isn’t just about fun – it’s about packing 10,000 meals for truly hungry children around the world!  These meals are distributed both locally and to into third-world country orphanages, giving your students an opportunity to literally, with their hands and hearts, make a difference in their own community and globally.

feed the need


Can service-focused fundraising events like these raise money?  Yes.  Some schools of less than 100 students have raised over $100,000 in one-day events, and some larger schools have raised over $200,000 in one-day events.


So what are the best school fundraisers for millennials? 


Best Fundraisers for Millennials

Fundraisers that involve an element of service where students can have a hands-on impact in helping other people, whether in your own community or around the world!

For more information on how Feed the Need can work for your school, watch our webinar by clicking the banner below.


Topics: fundraising, events, volunteers, school fundraisers