If your school is on a tight budget you should go with a pre-sell fundraiser. With a pre-sell program you receive free brochures for each person in your group that will be participating in the prom fundraisers. You sell an item from the brochure and collect the money as you sell. In the end, you tally up all of the orders and send in one payment to cover the cost of the items. The amount you send is less than the amount you charge, so you always have your profits with you. Examples include cookie dough, candles, coffee, etc.
A direct-sell fundraiser is ideal for those who do have a little bit of start-up money for prom fundraising. With a direct-sell, you purchase items upfront and sell them as customers are buying them. Examples include candy, pizza cards, Money Savings Cards, scratch cards, custom discount cards, Warheads, lollipops, etc.
The biggest factor in prom fundraising is advertising. Once you have decided which type of fundraiser you are going to do, the key is making sure that everyone knows about it. Put up posters at school, flyers around town. Advertise on your school website, on the morning announcements; sell during the lunch hour; whatever it takes. Explain what the money is going to be used for and you are sure to have lots of people help out!