SYTA Scholarship Opportunities

SYTA Youth Foundation also offers various scholarships student travel!

Vamonos Tours Inc. is not affiliated with any mentioned parties or companies and does not receive any form of commission or compensation for sales. This list is a starting point for group leaders and should be used as a spring board to generate what fundraisers work for your group.

    • A Color Run: Host a 5k, Fun run or Color Run. These are very popular now with many people trying to stay fit. Check with your local running club for ideas and even volunteers. Have pre-registration, timers ready, finish board for results and plenty of water and Gatorade to stay hydrated.
    • A-Thons: Dance-a-thon, walk-a-thon, knit-a-thon, jump-a-thon, rock-a-thon (rocking chairs) will all get sponsored participants bringing in money for each hour or minute they participated.
    • Cardboard Vessel Race: Host a Cardboard downhill sled race or Cardboard Regatta in a nearby pond or lake. Have pre-registration at a discounted rate or walk in registration and offer concessions for added fundraising. Get creative with a different theme each year and allow families or teams show off their pre-constructed vessels or else offer cardboard, tape and knives to create on the site. Offer prizes for fastest vessel, most creative design etc. Keep safety first and ask a paramedic to offer their time or if doing a regatta have a lifeboat at the ready.
    • Tournaments: Either use an existing location like a miniature golf course, tennis club or bowling alley or create your own tournament. Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball, and Chess tournaments are often a crowd pleaser as they gather competitive groups. Don’t forget to sell concessions!
    • School wide Auction ideas: Have each class donate a theme basket with items donated by local, regional and national businesses or items to match the theme. Have additional items for auction like a school T-shirt quilt made of current school club and sport t-shirts donated by each team and quilted together in a beautiful blanket. Auction front row seats at Graduation or a school concert. Auction special seats or even a VIP “sofa” section to sports events near the sideline.
    • Service Auction: Look around the community and get donations of 1 hour of professional service for your auction. It may be landscaping, an eye exam, cleaning, babysitting, painting, decorating, car repair or whatever professions are represented with your parents. Start the bids just above the going hourly rate. This is paired well with a fundraising dinner.
    • Flamingo Flocked: Unsuspected friends will be “flocked” in the dead of the night finding that members of your group have placed flamingos all over their front yard. Supporters will pre-order and pay for a flocking to happen for specific friends. Each of the flocks will have a note delivered explaining how a friend paid for them to get Flamingoed. Your group will remove the flock in a few days but explain that if they pay a donation the flock will be removed earlier and sent to a friend of their choice. Sell Anti-Flocking insurance as an alternative for some. You may want to order enough flamingos to have several flocks going at once.
    • Kiss the Pig: (Any safe barnyard animal will do) Have a few voted staff members campaign and raise funds for a time. The one who raises the least amount has to kiss a pig during a school assembly. Trust me, they will get creative with their campaigns and you will just need to track the funds!
    • Car Wash: This traditional fundraiser is usually a great money maker as well as a memorable team building event. Use your school grounds, a local grocery store or church parking lot that has an outdoor water hookup. Bring dual hose attachments and plenty of hoses, sponges, squeegees and drying rags to do a good job. Give kids an instructional course to make sure your donations are well invested. Always have an adult inspect each car. Have signs up 1 wk. in advance and also posters to hold by the traffic to draw in a crowd. This is well paired with a bake sale.
    • Christmas Clean up: Offer services to remove Christmas lights or decorations outdoor or indoor. Be sure to get specific instructions from the homeowner and instruct your students to be cautious, respectful and safe having at least 3 working together. A flat fee or donations could work.
    • Recycling and Clean up: Have a collection event or roadway clean up. In a roadway clean up your students will get sponsors and of course will need safety lessons and vests. For a recycling, announce and publicize a collection for recycling electronics, devices, ink cartridges, textiles, magazines and anything else your local collection company will accept to turn trash into profits. Google the best recycling companies. Here are a few that provide free shipping and no cost set up.,,
    • Yard Service: All seasons bring yard work! Rake, shovel, mow or pull weeds to your financial goals. Be sure a responsible adult guides the team on how to properly, safely and effectively do a good job. Have a signup sheet to suite each schedule and charge an hourly rate per student.
    • Post a Service Board: Set up a bulletin board where members of the community can post odd jobs or services with the price they would pay for the job. Students can then sign up to do the tasks for the donation.
    • Cow Pie or Chicken Drop Bingo: I know this is unique but some rural schools have found success with this event. Set up squares on the football field and sell numbered tickets. If the cow makes a “cow pie” on your square, you win a set dollar amount. One particular organization made $6,000 off of this event. Be sure to have the animal owner there at all times keeping it safe. They will need to feed the animal just before Bingo time.
    • Car Smash: This event can be combined after a school game or held as a solo event. Contact your local junk yards, auto dealer or auto insurance co. to see if they will donate a car in fair condition with at least the body intact. Be sure that all of the fluids and other hazardous materials are completely removed from the vehicle. Have safety equipment like safety glasses and proper outerwear in addition to a hammer or mallet to swing for $3 per swing. Contact your local fire station or paramedics for suggestions, tips and possibly volunteering to be present at the event.
    • Rerun Prom/Homecoming Dress sale: Advertise this event well in advance around the school and extended community. Have dresses donated and include this in your flyer. Use a large room at the school with separated dressing rooms and full length mirrors. Have plenty of hangers on hand and borrow strong clothing racks to display. Sell concessions to keep shoppers happy.
    • Trivia Quiz Night: Prepare well in advance and cover many subjects and topics. Have tables set with pens, paper and sell meals or snacks as concessions. Students can contribute questions and do some research ahead of time. Project the questions for all to see as well as use an MC.
    • Salsa or Ballroom Dance Lessons: With recent success on TV, ballroom dancing has become very popular. Salsa dancing would be culturally thematic and fun for all. First step is to ask your local dance instructor if they are willing to donate group lessons (1 or more) as it is great advertising for them. Have registration and payment prior to event to ensure commitment. Have awards donated and offer this for a competition at the end of the lesson(s).
    • Scrapbook Day: Host an all-day scrapbook event and charge participants a flat fee ($40 or so) and receive 2 meals, plus snacks. Representatives come from various scrapbook companies and sell supplies. These reps. may give a small % of their profit. Hold this in the school cafeteria so that there are large tables for participants to spread out. You may want to have items that have been donated to use in raffles as well throughout the day.
    • Theatre Night: Use your auditorium and with minimal set up offer a creative movie night. You can make it seasonal like classic Christmas movies or get a current film. Don’t forget to sell concessions. Ask your local cinema if they would sponsor a particular showing for your group at a time when they don’t often have business.
    • Talent Show or Benefit Concert: Invite students to show case their talents in a talent show and sell tickets to the event. Enlist parents to donate desserts that can be sold at a concessions stand.
    • Cultural Puerto Rico/Cuban or Spaghetti Dinner: Tap into the flavors around the world. Decorate creatively and use your students as servers and bussers. Keep the music playing and be sure to do a test run if you are using a new recipe. This can be paired well with a talent show if you have a stage, offering opportunities to showcase their talent at a small entrance fee.
    • Chili Cook-Off: Sell tickets for admission and dinner. This is great paired with a baked potato bar fundraiser. Charge an entry fee for chefs to show off their skills. Have them make enough Chili to feed a crowd. Assemble a judge’s panel of local celebrities or staff. Collect donated awards to offer for a variety of winning categories.
    • Iron Chef Throw Down: Similar to the Chili Cook off, charge admission as well as entry fees. Have local celebrities be the panel of judges. Chefs bring their own cooking supplies but offer 1 key ingredient that they must use. You can even limit it to an open fire cook off or BBQ if kitchens are not available. Present an ice cream bar so you can still charge admission even if there are not enough of the Chefs’ creations to share.
    • Pancake Breakfast: All you can eat breakfast buffets provide a low cost high profit if you have facilities and experienced cooks to prepare this. Charge a flat fee and have a donation box at the entry. Have students act as bussers to clean up the tables keeping the turnover clean.
    • Potato Bar: This dinner is a low cost meal and easy if baked ahead even served in crockpots and roasters. Use a large variety of toppings like cheese, broccoli, coleslaw and the traditional. It is also paired nicely with a chili cook off or following a school sports event.
    • Concessions: Sell concessions at your school’s dances or games. Get “dibs” on an annual event so your planning is easy already. Have parents donate as much as they are willing to keep costs down. Favorites are Glow Sticks, candy, chips, soda and gum. Sell Glow necklaces at the home football games. One Group leader buys them online for about .09 each and sells them for $1. She sold them at Homecoming this year, and sold out in 2 hours! They profited over $500. In those 2 hours! (She ordered through Windy City Novelties)
    • Classroom Concessions: Sell candy and gum in class that is purchased using club funds at a local Wholesale club. One Group Leader generally makes about $2,000-3,000/year on this.
    • Dance: Ideas may include a Halloween or Holiday dance. Sell concessions & charge a door fee. Have a parent agree to DJ so it is 100% profit! Have prizes donated for best costume, etc.
    • Photo Booth: This is often a great idea at an existing school event like a dance or game. Either rent one that does the work for you or create your own. Get a photographer with a tripod and set up a backdrop. Prepare a costume closet including silly and wild hats, masks, and outfits that will be sure to create memories and raise funds at the same time. Pictures could be printed and distributed on the spot, at a later date or for a smaller fee emailed to the customer.
    • Baked Sale: This traditional sale is a crowd pleaser. Find a great location with lots of traffic like the front of a grocery store, market or at a school event. Multiple locations in 1 day work well. Request that each item is individually wrapped or a pie/cake as a whole. Get creative with your display and labeling. Presentation sells! Encourage fresh baking so your group is known for quality goods to promote future year bake sale attempts.
    • Cookie Dough: Popular all year long, but especially near the holidays, this one will save your supporters time and effort. Here are 2 suggestions: and
    • Coffee: Grounds for Change – Simple and profitable coffee sales fundraiser. GFC is a family fantastic coffee.
    • Cutlery: Rada Cutlery is a 100% American made kitchen product.
    • Garbage Bags: This nontraditional sale offers something that everybody needs. This company offers 100 % recycled heavy duty material.
    • Hoagies or Sandwiches: Test and find a local deli that will work with you for best profits. This could even be done once a month so supporters will prepare for and expect this easy meal.
    • Popcorn
    • Pizza Kits: Make at home pizza nights offered by Little Caesars
  • There are quite a few online malls that offer services for Charities to use as a portal to hundreds of retailers including, Crate & Barrel, Lowe’s, Macy’s and many more. When your supporters shop through one of these portals, a percentage of the purchase is donated to your group at no extra cost to the shopper. Be aware that most charity malls require proof of nonprofit status to participate.

  • This type of fundraiser generally can provide some finances, usually 10-20% from that nights sales as well as an opportunity to have face to face interaction with supporters where you can promote other fundraiser events and recruit additional volunteers. Typically these organizations will have you hand out flyers (some will even print them for you) to your supporters. When they dine on a particular night you will receive a certain percentage of the profits.

    As always, check with your local restaurant, as some restaurants participate in their national program and some don’t. The links below link to a specific program if available on the website, otherwise, it will take you to a general website so you can find a location near you. Ask around, your local grocery store may offer a food truck opportunity or an ice cream shop may participate in a program, but may not advertise it. Here are 15 businesses that have offered fundraising opportunities in the past. Don’t stop here, search for what is popular in your community.

    1. Applebees
    2. Brusters
    3. Burger King by Heartland Food Corp.
    4. California Pizza Kitchen
    5. The Cheese Cake Factory – gift cards
    6. Chick-fil-A
    7. Chili’s
    8. Chipotle
    9. Fuddruckers
    10. Ninety Nine Restaurants
    11. Outback Steakhouse
    12. Panera Bread
    13. Pizzeria Uno
    14. Red Robin
    15. Friday’s
  • Send us your PHOTOS and ideas of your best and most profitable fundraising SUGGESTIONS. You may be featured here and help others reach their goals!