I have been in the fundraising business for long enough to know that when students reach middle school results go down. Good middle school fundraising ideas are more difficult to come up with for a few reasons.
When students are in elementary school and even earlier fundraising is quite easy. There are a couple of obvious reasons for that. The top reason is that the kids are not really selling or responsible for selling. It is the parents. In fact, most middle school fundraisers tell kids to not sell door to door any more which limits their potential market.
It’s the parents and their newness to fundraising that also makes a huge difference. The parents are not soured on fundraising yet and they happily call all their friends and families as their kids participate in the fundraisers for the first time. They bring the products and brochures to work and talk to everyone about helping their child in the fundraiser. That effort produces results.
In middle school, a couple of dynamics happen. First, the kids are now older and have less desire to raise money for their school. They have not fully developed passionate pursuits that will ultimately lead them to join clubs in high school and are therefore not motivated to sell for a club as much as they will be. Parents now look at their kids as young adults and most no longer take the initiative of selling for their children. All those factors lead to the worst school age for fundraising.
By high school, most fundraising is concentrated on clubs and sports where kids have a need and passion to raise money. All of a sudden you get some of the best fundraising results from the now more mature sellers who now understand they will benefit from fundraising programs.
So middle school fundraising ideas are very important. If you are in charge of fundraising for a middle school group you should poll the students to see what they would enjoy selling. You should offer as many incentives for participation in the fundraiser as possible as opposed to rewarding the top seller as elementary schools seem to focus on. In middle school you want the largest number of people participating. The top sellers will still sell well.