Fundraising Ideas for Teens

Most of today's teenagers have had some form of access to the Internet for their entire lives. The tech skills that older generations had to go out and actively seek are as intuitive to many of today's youth as brushing their teeth. Teens are more comfortable and advanced with social media, and many spend the majority of their days connected via smartphone. A 2015 study conducted by Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., found that “92 percent of teens report going online daily—including 24 percent who say they go online 'almost constantly.'” What's more, 76 percent use social media, with that number jumping to 81 percent for older teens.

Smart, Savvy and Social

When it comes to crowdfunding, today's tech- and social media-savvy youth are uniquely equipped to spread information quickly online. Their social media connections allow them to reach hundreds—sometimes thousands—of their friends, relatives and acquaintances at once. Many are both acclimated with technological tools and passionate about social causes and contributing to make a difference, making them ideal candidates for charitable crowdfunding. Most importantly, crowdfunding with the help of parents or teachers, especially with YouCaring’s free, easy-to-use online fundraising platform, is good for teens.
  • It forces them to develop transferable skills that will serve them in a variety of contexts later in life.
  • They gain experience pitching an idea, budgeting, multimedia marketing, and developing humility by asking for help and tending to others’ needs.
  • When teens get together to support a cause as a group, they learn the importance of teamwork and cooperation.

Six Great Fundraising Ideas for Teens

  1. Raise Money for a Summer Enrichment Program

    Possibilities include pre-collegiate academic programs for the ultra-motivated, remedial or compensatory programs to help students catch up and arts or special-interest programs for youth who have a specific passion but lack the resources to pursue it. For students who’ve already had a life-changing experience through one of these opportunities, setting up a fund to help less-fortunate peers can be a special way of giving back.
  2. Set Up a Campaign to Fight Bullying

    Bullying is a huge issue in the lives of too many teens. But young people can take steps within their community by speaking up when they see a peer targeted or by contributing to organizations that already combat bullying. If a student notices that it's a widespread problem in her own community, they can crowdfund for money to set up an educational organization that spreads the word about its serious psychological effects. In order to truly address the problem of bullying, though, we must acknowledge the disproportionate experience of gay, trans-gender and queer teens who experience bullying based on sexual and gender identity. According to NoBullying.com, 82 percent of LGBT youth were bullied in the last year about their sexual orientation, and 64 percent felt unsafe at school because of it. Teens who see and experience this kind of behavior don't have to sit back and accept it. Through a crowdfunding campaign on YouCaring, a single principled teen could pave the way toward a more loving school community.
  3. Fund Life-Enrichment Trips

    Some teens need help with travel expenses. They might wish to improve language abilities, experience a new culture, or gain an appreciation for a different way of life. Oftentimes, these trips have a volunteer element that helps the traveler immerse themselves more fully in the culture and forge meaningful connections with locals.
  4. Raise Money for Summer Camp

    Adults who attended camp grasp how significant the experience can be in a young person's life. It provides the camper with a rare opportunity to unplug, spend time outdoors, and meet peers from outside their immediate communities. Camp can be especially meaningful to teens who struggle with shyness or feel socially isolated at school. Friendships come easier in the playful, low-pressure atmosphere of camp. It helps teens build confidence, get out of the house for a while, and cultivate values of cooperation and respect for the environment. YouCaring is a great resource for families who wouldn't normally be able to afford camp or concerned individuals who want to give the opportunity to low-income teens.
  5. Help Pay for College Tuition

    High schoolers who are worried about college tuition or have special needs that aren't being met by their local public school might turn to crowdfunding in order to pay tuition. Crowdfunding helps you connect with people in your life as well as acquaintances and strangers who care about your academic future.
  6. Support an Important Humanitarian Cause

    Encourage the teen in your life to think outside the box! There are countless nonprofits and worthy organizations currently struggling with funding or in need of some other help. Starting a crowdfunding campaign for a cause close to his or her heart is an empowering experience that can both build the young person's confidence and create a tangible, positive impact in the community.

Safety Comes First

YouCaring is a completely safe, trusted crowdfunding platform. Parents can ensure teens have a rewarding and safe experience with crowdfunding by employing many of the same privacy standards they use for other online practices, in addition to some other suggestions.
  • Accompany teens or have another adult chaperon for you when the fundraising campaign incorporates any offline activities.
  • Allow your teen to create and run the fundraiser, but review any content they or any other teen involved in the effort, wants to publish on the campaign page.
  • Have regular check-in sessions with your teen to make sure everything is running smoothly and determine areas of improvement.
Note: To register for a YouCaring account, you must be at least 18 years old and by registering you represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years old.

Ready, Set, Make a Difference!

With a little parental guidance and encouragement, young people can make huge social changes within their community and beyond. By utilizing one or more of our fundraising ideas for teens or coming up with great strategies of their own, teenagers can look forward to successful and rewarding campaigns on YouCaring while learning the importance of being compassionate. Take advantage of our great ideas above or create a few of your own with your teen.