Forget car washes, bake sales and all the overused fund raisers tried year after year. Choices for fund raising activities are virtually endless, limited only by your imagination. Instead of falling back on rote methods to raise money, try some more unusual methods that incorporate your school and community as well, and give back in the same fashion as you have benefited.

Penny Jar Contest

Deliver a large water jug to each classroom, and have each class compete to see who can put more money in each jar. Have the contest run for two or more weeks to provide ample time for students and teachers to fill each jar. At the end, count each jar out with a coin counter and throw a pizza or ice cream party for the class who donates the most.

Raffles

Sell tickets to a raffle for one or two dollars each to students and faculty for gift baskets or other items. You can make this an ongoing fund raiser by offering different themes for different times of the year. Remember to set your raffle tickets high enough to cover the cost of the raffle. Once or twice a semester (or trimester), have a raffle for something impressive and charge extra for tickets.

Snack Bar

Correspond with snack suppliers in your area to provide you with milkshake machines, healthy snacks and munchies to sell at school as an ASB-run snack bar. Make sure to sell things that the cafeteria does not, so that you don't accidentally compete with the school. Also consider striking a deal with school administrators to sell school jackets, shirts or hats alongside the snacks in exchange for a portion of the sales.

Spaghetti Dinner

Host a spaghetti buffet dinner one evening for faculty, students and their families. Consider finding a business that will donate supplies in exchange for free advertising during the dinner. Allow people to purchase individuals tickets, and provide a slight discount for purchasing as a family. Leave out a tip jar if you would like to collect additional donations, and make sure to thank students afterward and announce the total donations.

Student Rock Concert

If you have any blossoming musicians or bands at your school, invite them to perform a concert. You can even line up more than one band to play in an evening. Advertise outside the immediate school in your surrounding community, and have people purchase tickets. Price them strategically in order to give each band a small cut of the profits if you like, as well as cover expenses and still make a profit.

White Elephant Auction

Have students and staff members donate items for a white elephant auction, or a mystery auction. Dress each piece up so the wrapping contains interesting shapes and piques the audience's curiosity. Make it clear that all money is going to a specific cause to encourage people to bid.