12 Charity Clubs To Start In High School: Quick & Impactful

charity clubs to start in high school

Wondering what charity clubs to start in high school? Want to make an impact and drive change but are clueless about the type of clubs to start?

At the outset, understand that starting charity clubs in high school doesn’t have to be challenging or overwhelming. With a bit of strategic planning coupled with fundraising for your school club (as and when required), you can not only start a charity club in school but also make it massively popular and impactful.

In this article, we will share the types of charity clubs that you can start in high school including ones where you leverage the goodwill and logistical support offered by established non-profit organizations as well as ways in which you could harness the popularity of common high school clubs for charitable impact.

12 Charity Clubs to Start In High School: Quick and Easy Ideas

With an endeavor to make the charity club setup process quick and easy, we would be adopting two approaches

  1. Aligning with recognized charity clubs
  2. Starting a popular type of high school club and including charitable agenda in its working

Let’s explore each approach in more depth below

A. Aligning with Recognized Charity Clubs and Non-Profits

Charity clubs to start in high school by partnering with existing clubs

To make the set-up of charity clubs for high schools quick and easy, it is best to partner with an existing non-profit organization. This cuts down on the setup process and costs like

  • Coming up with a compelling vision and mission for your charity club
  • Building administrative processes and standard operating procedures
  • Developing disclosure mechanisms that are legally compliant and in line with school policies
  • Devising a marketing and promotion campaign to get students to join the club and participate in its activities.

Some of the clubs that you could start in school by tying up with existing nonprofit clubs are

1. Leo Club

Leo Clubs, a youth organization of Lions Clubs International, provides a splendid opportunity for high school students to ingrain themselves in community service. It is one of the best charity clubs to start in high school. The club’s mission revolves around nurturing leadership through practical experience and exposure to social issues, empowering youths to serve their communities compassionately.

To establish a Leo Club in your high school, initiate the process by visiting the Leo Clubs’ official website. Navigate to the ‘Start a Leo Club‘ section and fill out the club interest form. The Leo Clun Alpha membership allows students between the age of 12 and 18 to join the club.

Once you fill out the form, a representative from the Leo Club to get in touch with you and guide you through the remaining steps of the application. It’s a straightforward process designed to engage interested parties easily and effectively.

Once you’ve established your high school Leo Club, you can look forward to conducting a variety of charitable events. This could range from organizing charity walks or runs to generate awareness and funds for specific causes, initiating environmental clean-up drives to help preserve your local environment or scheduling visits to elderly care homes to bring cheer and companionship to the residents. The events conducted by Leo Clubs not only bolster community service but also create a platform for students to develop important life skills like leadership, project management, and empathy.

2. Operation Smile

Operation Smile serves as a beacon of hope for children suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities across the globe. Their mission is to ensure that these children, regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic status, have access to safe, effective, and timely surgical care. By aligning with Operation Smile, high schools can play a substantial role in improving the lives of these children.

Starting an Operation Smile Club in your high school is a fairly straightforward process. Head to the official website of Operation Smile and look for the ‘Schools+Clubs‘ section. Here, you can find a ‘Register a Club’ button, clicking on which will direct you to an online request form. Fill it out, detailing your interest in starting a club at your school. Once the form is submitted, Operation Smile will review your request and, upon approval, provide resources and guidance to help you establish the club.

When it comes to the kind of charitable events an Operation Smile Club could organize, the possibilities are immense. Fundraising concerts showcasing the talents of students, auctions of art pieces or other donated items, or a Smile Day at school – where everyone comes together to raise awareness about the work of Operation Smile and the difference they make in children’s lives – are all viable options. These events not only contribute to the cause financially but also create a better understanding among students about the challenges faced by their peers across the world, nurturing a global perspective and empathy.

Related: 13 Excellent School Fundraisers for Senior Class

3. Interact Club

Interact Club, an initiative of Rotary International, offers a unique platform for young people to connect and contribute to their communities and the wider world. The mission of Interact Club is to foster leadership skills and personal integrity, encourage helpfulness and respect for others, and advance international understanding and goodwill. It allows the participation of children between 12 to 18 years and is thus a perfect idea for a charity high school club.

To begin an Interact Club in your high school, the first step involves securing sponsorship from a local Rotary Club. You can find potential sponsors by using the ‘Club Finder’ feature on the Rotary International website. After securing sponsorship, the next step is to complete an organization meeting and then submit the ‘Interact Club Certification Form’ to Rotary International. Once approved, you will receive official recognition and materials to help you launch your Interact Club.

An Interact Club provides a wide scope for charitable activities. For instance, clubs can organize community service projects that benefit their school or community, such as tree planting initiatives, food or clothing drives for the less fortunate, or local clean-up events. They can also take part in international service projects like contributing to Rotary’s Polio Plus program or other initiatives focused on global issues. By participating in these diverse activities, students can gain a broader understanding of the world and their capacity to effect change.

4. Key Club

Key Club is a student-led service organization and a program of Kiwanis International. Its mission is to empower high school students to lead through service, focusing on cultivating competent, capable, and compassionate leaders through the vehicle of volunteer service.

To start a Key Club in your high school, begin by visiting the Key Club’s official website. You’ll find a ‘Start a Key Club’ section, where you can fill out an interest form. After you submit the form, a Key Club representative will get in touch to walk you through the next steps of the application process. The setup is user-friendly and designed to make the journey of club formation straightforward.

As for the type of charitable events that a Key Club would conduct, the sky’s the limit. Key Club encourages initiatives that respond to the needs of the community. For instance, the club might organize community clean-ups to foster environmental responsibility or host bake sales to raise funds for specific causes or charities. Key Club members could also volunteer their time at local shelters, food banks, or community centers, providing hands-on help where it’s needed most. These events not only help the community but also equip students with leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills, essential for their personal and professional growth.

5. UNICEF Club

UNICEF Clubs are part of the larger UNICEF USA’s grassroots movement to support the world’s most vulnerable children. The mission of UNICEF Clubs is to champion children’s rights and channel the energy and dedication of young people to support UNICEF’s life-saving work.

To start a UNICEF Club in your high school, you’ll need to first visit UNICEF USA’s official website. There, you’ll find the ‘UNICEF High School’ section where you’ll find a Start a Club handbook. Follow the procedure and the guidelines listed in the handbook to get your club up and running.

The charitable events that a UNICEF Club might conduct are broad-ranging and impactful.

The UNICEF charity club at high school can plan and host fundraisers, such as benefit concerts or charity runs, to support UNICEF’s programs. They can also organize awareness campaigns about child rights or current global crises impacting children. Engaging in advocacy initiatives is another major activity for these clubs, such as writing to legislators about policy changes that could positively impact children worldwide. These activities not only benefit the most vulnerable children but also instill in students a strong sense of global citizenship, leadership, and compassion.

6. Red Cross Club

Red Cross Clubs are youth-led organizations sponsored by the American Red Cross. These clubs aim to support the Red Cross mission through community service, including disaster preparedness, fundraising, and promoting health and safety.

Starting a Red Cross Club in your high school is a structured yet accessible process. Visit the American Red Cross’s official website and navigate to the detailed instructions and resources for starting a new Red Cross Club. Go through the starter toolkit and fill out an application to get the rest of the club establishment process initiated.

A Red Cross Club in high school can conduct a variety of charitable events in line with the organization’s mission. These activities may range from organizing blood drives, conducting basic health and safety training for the community, or creating care packages for disaster victims. They might also run fundraising drives for various Red Cross initiatives or take part in local disaster response and recovery operations. These activities not only enable students to make a significant impact in their communities but also develop essential leadership, organizational, and humanitarian skills.

B. Starting Popular Clubs and Repurposing Those for Charity

High School Clubs - Science Club

7. Art Club

Start an art club – one that promoted art and brings together students interested in art. Start this club like you would start any other high school club i.e. by looking for interested students by speaking with art teachers, advertising the club in art classes, or sharing information through the school’s communication channels like newsletters, bulletin boards, or social media platforms.

Once you’ve assembled a group of interested students and started the club, you can start introducing philanthropy to your initiatives. Some ideas are

  • Charity Art Exhibitions: The club can organize exhibitions where students’ artworks are displayed and sold. The proceeds from these sales can then be directed to a charity of the club’s choice.
  • Art-a-thons: Similar to a marathon, but for art, these events involve participants creating art for a set amount of time. Sponsors can pledge a donation for each hour of art created.
  • Art Classes or Workshops: The club could conduct classes or workshops in various art forms. A nominal fee charged for these classes can be collected and donated to a chosen cause.
  • Community Art Projects: Creating art pieces for community centers, hospitals, or nursing homes can be a great way to contribute positively to these spaces.

8. Debate Club

A Debate club works exactly like an art club. It is a club full of people interested in debating, refining their debating skills, and representing the school in various debate competitions. You can add charity to its work in the following ways

  • Charity Debate Competitions: Organize debate tournaments where the entry fees are directed towards a charity of choice. These tournaments could be conducted within the school or include other schools to draw a larger crowd and raise more funds.
  • Public Speaking Workshops: Utilize the skills within the club to conduct public speaking and debate workshops. Charge a nominal admission fee for these workshops, with the collected proceeds donated to a chosen cause.
  • Community Debates: Engage the wider community by hosting debates on local issues. This not only sparks community involvement but can also serve as a fundraising event with donations going towards a local cause.

9. Science Club

Forming a Science Club in your high school can help stimulate curiosity and scientific inquiry, while simultaneously fostering a spirit of charity.

Start off by identifying students with a keen interest in the sciences. Collaboration with science teachers, circulating information in science classes, and leveraging school communication channels can be effective ways to accomplish this.

After forming an enthusiastic group, hold a meeting to lay down the club’s structure, select leaders, and decide on methods to enhance the members’ scientific skills.

The Science Club fundraising activities can include the following:

  • Science Fairs: The club could organize science fairs, where students can exhibit their science projects. An entry fee could be charged, which would then be donated to a selected charity.
  • Science Tutoring: Club members could offer tutoring sessions in various science subjects, with the fees collected being used to fund charitable causes.
  • Environmental Awareness Campaigns: The club can lead initiatives to promote environmental awareness in the school and local community. These campaigns could also include fundraising aspects for environmental charities.
  • Recycling Initiatives: The club can organize recycling drives and donate any money received from recycling centers to a selected cause. This would also have the added benefit of promoting environmental consciousness.

10. Drama Club

Establishing a Drama Club can cultivate creativity and boost self-confidence among students, all while serving a good cause. Collaborate with your drama teachers and use school communication channels to inform about the club’s formation.

The Drama Club can host several activities with a philanthropic focus:

  • Charity Performances: The club can host plays and performances, with ticket sales going to a chosen charity.
  • Drama Workshops: Members can conduct drama workshops, with the collected fees directed to charitable causes.
  • Costume Drives: The club can organize costume drives, collecting old or unused costumes to donate to community theatres or schools with underfunded drama departments.

11. Cooking Club

Launching a Cooking Club in your school would be a unique way of bringing together culinary enthusiasts from the school.

The Cooking Club can undertake various activities with a charitable perspective:

  • Charity Bake Sales: The club can organize bake sales, with all proceeds going to a chosen charity.
  • Cooking Classes: Members could offer cooking classes, with the fees collected being used for charitable causes.
  • Community Garden: The club could initiate a community garden project. The produce can be used in club activities and also donated to local food banks.
  • Meal Prep for Shelters: The club could prepare and deliver meals to local shelters, supporting the community directly.

12. Sports Club

You could either start a sports club specific to a particular sport or a generic sports club that promotes and fosters the sporting talent of students. Once the club is set up, you could incorporate charitable causes in many ways such as

  • Charity Sports Tournaments: The club can host sports tournaments, with the entry fees and ticket sales directed towards a chosen charity.
  • Sports Equipment Drive: The club can organize drives to collect sports equipment for schools or communities that lack these resources.
  • Health and Wellness Workshops: The club can host workshops to promote health and wellness, with registration fees going to health-related charities.
  • Community Fitness Run: The club can host community fitness fun runs, where the registration fees are donated to a chosen cause.

➡️ Read: 9 Ultimate Fundraising ideas for high school football

Final Thoughts

As we’ve illustrated in this article, the intersection of passion and philanthropy can foster a rewarding and enriching environment in high schools. The club ideas mentioned here are but the tip of the iceberg. They serve as a foundation from which numerous other philanthropic club ideas can sprout.

Consider clubs focused on poetry, chess, photography, coding, or foreign languages. A Poetry Club, for instance, can host poetry slams or publish anthologies to raise funds. A Chess Club could organize chess tournaments for charity. Photography enthusiasts could sell their work or offer classes to raise funds, while a Coding Club might develop apps or websites for non-profits. A Foreign Language Club could host language cafes or cultural nights and raise funds through tickets or sponsorships.

Remember, the potential to couple passion with charitable work is boundless. The key lies in identifying what interests your student community and finding innovative ways to channel that interest toward meaningful causes. Starting a charity club not only enriches the school experience for the students involved but also extends benefits to the community at large. So go ahead, take the plunge, and inspire change – one club at a time!


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