Though Fundraiser-Ideas.net generally publishes one comprehensive description of a fundraising idea at a time, we know that many people are looking for ways to integrate their passion for art with their fundraising efforts and thus we decided to post a long list of art fundraising ideas.  Most of these ideas would be great as elementary school fundraisers or as preschool fundraisers, but they can be adapted for other settings, of course.

One of the most common art fundraisers involves having students create their best works of art and then having images of those pieces of art transferred onto items that parents and relatives of students can buy.  There are many types of items that can be customized with student art, including plates, clocks, blankets, stamps (that you can actually use to send letters) and Christmas ornaments.  There are two items that particularly stand out for fundraising purposes:

  • Custom t-shirts, which we’ve written about before (click the link to see that post).
  • Custom postcards and stationery.  Creating custom postcards and stationery with student art would make a great fall fundraiser, as many parents would love to transform their child’s art into attractive holiday cards that they can send to family and friends.

The best part about raising money by transferring student art onto different types of merchandise is that these items can be created after you gauge demand for them, which means that you only have to order as many items as you know you can sell.  As for finding suppliers, there are many companies that you can find via Google that customize items.

Though transferring student art onto merchandise might be the easiest and one of the most profitable art fundraising ideas, here are a number of other fundraising ideas involving art that your group can successfully carry out:

  • Art Class/Preschool Keepsakes: In the same vein as the examples above, you could easily have books printed (again, there are many companies that can be found online that offer such printing services) which contain a photograph of the best piece of art produced by each student in the class.  Many parents would buy this as a keepsake.
  • Community Mural: You could start a community mural project in which members of the community each paint a portion of the mural.  To raise money with this idea, you could charge people to participate in the event, auction the mural when it has been completed or both.
  • Live Art Auction: You could have high school students create pieces of art to be included in a live auction.
  • Teach an Art Class: If you and your group members cannot teach a drawing or painting class, try to convince the high school art teacher or a local artist to lead a class.
  • Gallery Opening: Host a student gallery opening with a 50-50 raffle.  You could also turn the gallery opening into a silent auction fundraiser by auctioning off the art.
  • Parent and Child Art Classes: While you could host art classes focused on learning specific skills and taught by experts as suggested above, you could also host parent and child art classes in which the focus is on parents and children working together to create a piece of art.
  • Paint a Van: We have seen this work very well as a creative church fundraiser, but it could be an excellent fundraiser for other organizations as well (particularly in an elementary school setting).  Basically, find someone who owns a large white van (ideally a white van that belongs to a member of your group) and allow kids to paint the van with washable paint for a fee.  Make sure participants know that the owner of the van will continue to drive the van with the paint on it for a certain amount of time.
  • Family Portraits: Recruit a talented student photographer or painter to create and sell family portraits in support of your group.
  • Etsy.com: Etsy.com is a wonderful website for selling crafts.  You could have each of the members of your group produce a few items to be sold on Etsy.
  • Host a Film Screening: You could host a screening for film art your group has produced and charge an entry fee.
  • Art Supply Store Shopping Event: Work with an art supply store to have the store offer a special discount during a particular time (certain hours on a particular day).  It would be your job to get as many people to shop at the store during this time as possible.  For every customer that shops during this time and brings your group’s flyer announcing the event or shops during this time and mentions your group, your group would receive a portion of the value of their sale.  Everybody wins; the art supply store gets increased business due to your promotional efforts, the customer gets a discount (due to the store’s discount for your group during the specific time period); and your group receives a portion of the purchases.
  • Create and Sell Custom “Art Yearbooks”: At the beginning of the school year, ask parents if they would like a photo album of all of their preschooler’s or elementary school student’s artwork over the course of the year.  Of course, this is a lot of extra work for the teacher, so you would have to price the art scrapbooks appropriately.  Essentially, for an appropriately high price, the preschool teacher or a PTA volunteer would take a picture of every piece of art a particular student produces over the course the year and then assemble those photos into a scrapbook that would be delivered at the end of the year.
  • “Children at Play” Photos: This art fundraiser would best be carried out by high school photography students after getting permission to photograph elementary school students playing at recess.  Have photography students or your group’s best photographer take photos of school children during class and recess (again, with the school’s permission, of course).  Later, display the photos either online or at a school event, so that parents can see the photos you’ve taken and can order professionally developed copies of the photos they like.  Note that this fundraiser can be modified such that instead of selling photos, you sell paintings.  The fundraiser would operate in largely the same way, but instead of having parents select photos of their children that they would like, they select photos of their children that they would like to have turned into paintings.

Art Fundraising Ideas for Town or County Fairs:

  • Tie-Dye Station: Kids love to tie-dye.  If you have white t-shirts, smocks and tie-dye supplies set up during a town fair, you can raise quite a bit of money for your cause.
  • Caricature Station: Recruit someone who can draw well to sketch fun caricatures at a town fair for a fee.

Other fundraising ideas that we’ve written about that could easily be adapted to become art fundraising events:

  • Depending on the level of art knowledge within your group, you could host an art trivia night fundraiser.
  • A film art group could raise money by converting home movies from VHS to DVD format.
  • Your art group could raise money by creating artwork and then having people vote for their favorite pieces using dollars.
  • Your group could paint for 24 hours.  This is a variation of a common sports fundraiser in which athletes compete for 24 hours.
  • You could invite local artists, art teachers and university-level art historians to participate in an art speaker series.
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2 Responses to The Top 22 Art Fundraising Ideas

  1. Carolyn Disser says:

    I want to publish written works and art submitted from elementary students. This is for a fundraiser toward our community united fund. I have not found much on line. Could you give me some assistance?

    Thanks!

  2. Luke says:

    Absolutely, Carolyn. What questions do you have? Thanks for writing!

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