Fundraising Tips: Food is Key to Winning Over Your College Campus

Fundraising. It can be the bane of any Chapter treasurer’s existence. Not only that, but trying to raise funds on a college campus is difficult.

The only simple solution to this conundrum is food. Everyone needs it and it’s an excuse for students to not eat campus food. I can guarantee if you ask anyone if they would rather eat a sandwich from the cafeteria or a sandwich from a local restaurant, they would pick the latter. When I was given the task of fundraising for various organizations I’m involved in, I discovered food was the greatest money-maker. Here are a few successful ideas I have come across in my time in college:

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Pizza Delivery

It’s a college standard that students order pizza on a weekend. Our local pizza joint lets student organizations hold fundraisers every weekend. Instead of hiring delivery people for the evening, students deliver and keep the tips. You can make some serious dough (pun intended). All you need are enough PRSSA members to make it through the night. Ask your local pizza place if this can be arranged.

BIG money-making weekends: Homecoming, Halloween and any weekend that consists of a major sports event.

Puppy Chow Sale (aka Muddy Buddies)

This is not meant to be fed to dogs—humans only. Puppy chow is a dessert that’s a mixture of crispy rice cereal, melted chocolate and peanut butter, then coated with powdered sugar. The stuff is ah-mazing and they sold like hot cakes when I hosted a sale. Fill snack-size bags and sell them for a dollar. Besides the original flavor, also try selling fun flavors like mint chocolate, red velvet and mocha.

Sandwich Sale

We have a local company that specifically does food fundraisers such as selling cookie dough or pies—perfect for the holidays. However, their biggest hit are pretzel sandwiches. The actual sandwich has a set price but the seller sets the retail price to make a profit. Sell the sandwiches to anyone you know—students, professors, family members or even your boss. Collect orders for two weeks, then you’ll receive your order in bulk to distribute among members who sold sandwiches.


These fundraisers can be tricky because they’re off-campus and it’s not easily accessible to students. You have to think about all factors that could affect your turnout. Is it too far from campus? Is the location only accessible by car, or is it accessible by bus or on foot? This could cut your turnout by a significant proportion if the location isn’t ideal. Still want to hold a fundraiser at a restaurant? Applebee’s, Friendly’s, Wendy’s and Arby’s have opportunities for schools and organizations to fundraise. Be wary of the rules though. Some restaurants require a minimum amount of money raised before they give you a cut. If you don’t reach that minimum, the restaurant keeps the money.

What food or other themed fundraisers have you tried that worked? Be sure to consult the PRSSA website and the Fundraising Playbook for more fundraising tips and ideas. 

Alexandra Blessing is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the publicity director for Millersville PRSSA and is the president and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Millersville, an online magazine for college women. After graduation, she hopes to work in a B2B or B2C public relations agency in Philadelphia.

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