Meeting the needs of a community or school requires some research and effective projects. This could be a fundraising project to support a school’s needs, planting flowers at a nursing home or making cards for sick children. Whatever service or fundraising projects a club chooses, there are many resources to help.


Service Leadership: Leading by helping others

Kiwanis International empowers people at every stage of life to become competent, capable and compassionate leaders by helping them learn to help others. Through its Service Leadership Programs, Kiwanis teaches leaders new ways to change the world by serving one child and one community at a time.

We define service leadership as a vital step in service learning. Once a person fully understands the concept of learning by helping others, he or she begins to grow personally as a leader.

The service leadership concept is based on the philosophy of “servant leadership,” a term coined by Robert K. Greenleaf to define a leader who is servant first. “It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first,” Greenleaf wrote. “Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Community service resources: 

Philosophy of Servant Leadership

Kiwanis One Day

Suggested projects


Teaching members the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community is another aspect of service. Hosting a fundraiser is a way for members to participate in a philanthropic activity-and have fun doing it. Clubs can plan, organize and execute a fundraiser to help a local charity, a Kiwanis preferred charity, to cover some of the club’s expenses or to support the Kiwanis Children’s Fund’s efforts.

To have a successful year in fundraising, consider organizing a committee and appointing a committee chairman. This allows a team of club members to devote its attention to developing and carrying out fundraising projects.

Steps for effective fundraising: 

  1. Define the fundraiser’s purpose. Clearly describe the cause or community need your club wants to address and which charity or organization works on the need that your club will donate to by raising money. 
  2. Set goals and a budget. Determine how much money you want to reaise for the cause. Determine if you’ll need items/supplies to carry out the fundraiser and make a list. Determine from whom and where to fundraise and gather donations. Make sure to account for expenses in your budget. Also, if you’re hosting and event, decide how many members and parents/adults are going to be working at the event and who will invite adults to participate.
  3. Identify the audience. Decide who will be interested in supporting the cause and giving to your fundraiser and how to best reach them.  
  4. Set a timeline and deadlines. When will the fundraiser be held? When will you need to start advertising? For an event, when will you need to finalize event logistics?  
  5. Assign responsibilities to club members. Decide who will lead/be primarily responsible for sponsorships, advertising, getting supplies, recruiting volunteers. If you’re holding an event, who will take the lead on the day of the event?   
  6. Get donations. What will you need for your event? Are there any local businesses who might be willing to donate to this fundraiser? Would your sponsoring Kiwanis club be interested in this cause and be willing to help get donations and supplies?   
  7. Advertise. Where can you hang or distribute fliers to attract people who can donate money? How can you use social media to get the word out about the fundraiser?  
  8. Execute. It’s time to put on the fundraiser. Before getting started, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and, for an event, that the location is set up properly. Point out the main contact for the fundraiser activity or event to members and volunteers.   
  9. Thank everyone. A successful fundraiser only works if everyone helps so make sure to thank all members, volunteers, chaperones and the people who donate!  
  10. Track your earnings and success. Report to your club, the sponsoring Kiwanis club and the school/organization how much you raised from the fundraiser, how the funds will be used and how the event went.  

Looking for some ideas for a fantastic fundraiser? Here are some to get you started.

Talent show
Host a talent show at your school. It can be a school-wide event in which everyone is invited to participate. Incorporate a television show theme, recruit fun judges and award prizes at the end. Be sure to check with your school’s administrator for approval.

Miracle mile of quarters
Determine the cause that will receive the funds donated and advertise the project. Make paper quarters or use tokens to represent each 25 cents donated. Create a line of paper quarters or tokens, starting at one end of the school building making its way to the other end of the building. Be sure to tell everyone the goal for the project and the end date. This is an easy project to do on an ongoing basis.

Pancake breakfast
Reserve the school cafeteria to serve a pancake breakfast on a weekend. Sell tickets ahead of time and advertise early. This can be a high profit fundraiser and is a great event to work together with the sponsoring Kiwanis club or local Kiwanis-family clubs. Be sure to check with your school’s administrator for approval.

Aluminum Cans
Collect cans and flatten them in a race to see who can collect the most for the recycling center. The money from the center can be used to treat contest winners to prizes and to purchase recycling containers for the school.

Provide recycling containers at the cafeteria exits so students can discard aluminum cans. Once a month, take the cans to the recycling center. Store the cans in a trailer or bin outside the school.

Birthday Kits
At the beginning of the school year, send a direct mail order to students’ parents, selling “birthday kits.” The Builders Club can deliver birthday cakes, donuts, cookies, balloons or something similar to students celebrating birthdays. If the club does a one-time sale, it alleviates an ongoing problem of accurate ordering. This project would require strong committee organization and reliable volunteers.

During sporting events, sell buttons with pictures of athletes in uniform.

Want more ideas? Download our Fundraising Tips and Ideas Guide that has over seven pages of fundraising ideas!