With budget cuts on the horizon for schools after the next election, institutes should consider fundraising as a way of generating the much needed money required to ensure their school continues to provide only the best for its students – whether that’s new equipment, further training for teachers or renovations within the school building.

However, it’s time to ditch the traditional bake sale –  even if the admin assistant’s brownies are worth every penny of their 50p price tag – and taking advantage of special days, fundraising activities need a face lift so that they are not only fun but will generate a substantial amount of money as well.

Fundraising keeps schools running and eliminates the need for great teachers to spend hours on looking for new jobs should their workplace face closure or not meet their needs. It’s a good idea to bear in mind that a good fundraising event requires lots of planning and a little expense to see a real return in the end that can be used to benefit the school.

Here are some innovative fundraising ideas, for a school near you:

1. Teacher’s got talent

The kids will love this one. Set up a talent show but one that only features the teachers. They can put on wacky acts such as magic shows and alternative musical instrument playing or the usual dancing and singing performances and have the kids pay for a ticket to watch the show or donate per vote they make.

2. Multi cultural fair

Our schools are fantastic places where students can learn about different races and languages as we become a strong multi cultural nation. Set up a fair with stalls and have children bring in dishes that reflect their culture for everyone to sample. This could be planned per classroom or as a whole school event but the place should smell amazing and with people paying per serving of food you will also raise plenty of money!

3. Saturday night at the movies

This will require some money upfront for the rental of a large, powerful projector to shine on an outside wall but if you charge each person attending for a ticket you should cover this cost and have profit to keep for the school! Encourage people to bring blankets and garden chair cushions, set up a film and enjoy a summer’s evening of entertainment. You could even sell popcorn and drinks to raise more funds.

4. Teacher torture day

Another great one for the kids to enjoy; let them get their own back on their teachers for the day. Of course don’t plan anything too dangerous, a good idea is to line some chairs up along a wall outside, fill up buckets with water and place sponges in them, then let the kids pay a donation to throw a sponge at the teacher of their choice. Other fun games are a teacher v student quiz on a subject of the child’s choosing and if you can get your hands on some inflatable sumo suits the kids will love watching their teachers bouncing around the sports hall and will definitely donate money to sit in and watch.

5. Dance-a-thon

Everyone can get involved with this one. Encourage students and teachers to ask people to sponsor them to dance for a certain length of time (50p for 30 seconds of dancing is a good place to start) grab the school stopwatches, add up how much time each person has accumulated through donations, set their timers and go! A disco with lights and upbeat music will set the mood and get everyone boogying. Even the guys at Comic Relief loved the idea this year.