Back To School: Five Excellent Fundraisers For Your School
A couple of my friends are big jerks and have kids that have already gone back to school. We have a few more weeks to plan everything out. What outfit we’ll wear on the first day, what neighborhood kids will walk together, mimosas or Bloody Marys?
Late last year a reader emailed to ask for a few creative fund raising ideas for her kid’s school. School fund raisers are a necessary evil for almost every school I’ve ever heard of because no matter what the school budget there’s always more extras we can give our kids.
Still I’ll admit to shuddering when the Pizza Sale flyer comes home or when the Fresh Orange & Grapefruit sale comes around….I want to help but man do I hate selling Oranges at the office. Our PTA gets a new fund raising chairperson every two years so this summer there’s been a lot of brainstorming about new ideas.
Here are five of my favorite creative school fund raiser ideas. These fund raisers won’t replace the big programs like Market Day, Entertainment Books and Scholastic Book Fairs but they’ll bring in extra cash to build up the PTA’s budget.
A lot of the fundraisers that come are things like cookie dough and chocolates and pizza. At the same time schools are being forced to cut athletic and gym programs because of budget constraints. The Walk-A-Thon (or Fun Run, or Jump-A-Thon) is a great way to get kids moving and make money for the school. Kids collect pledges per lap (or jump) at $1 each for up to 8 laps. If you want to get a little more involved you could also involve the community by organizing a 5K event. Here’s a short “How-To“.
There are two ways to organize a car wash fundraiser. You can either collect pledges per car the kids wash or you can sell tickets before the event as gifts. Ideally the kids will collect tips to add to the revenue even more. To involve more kids, have a food stand set up selling coffee, juice and bagels.
Chili Cook Off
A pub in our area holds a popular Chili Cook Off each fall to raise money for our local Boys and Girls Club. Schools love pot luck events so the Chili Cook Off is an easy stretch. Participants make their best chili, a panel of judges chooses the best and you’re done. You can charge for entries, sell tickets to attend, or both. My local pub charges $10 to each participant, and $10 to attend (and taste all the chili you’d like). The winner of the cook off gets a trophy and the participant pot of money, the money from ticket sales goes to the Boys and Girls Club. You can organize your event and distribute money however you choose.
Once a Month Popcorn Sales
For this fund raiser you’ll need to invest in a real popcorn popper. Once a month, each class is responsible for making signs, selling popcorn after school and assigning parent volunteers to spend about an hour popping all the popcorn you’ll need for the sale. Each box sells for 50 cents or a dollar, and the proceeds go to each classroom to spend as they choose. One class at our school used the money to subsidize an end of the year trip to a movie. Another class used it to help pay for their class camping trip.
Family Fun Night Concert
One of the biggest money makers at our schools is an annual Family Fun Night with a performance by a favorite local children’s band, The Candy Band. Two band members happen to be involved in the PTA so that makes things easy. But you can do it in your area if you can find a local children’s band willing to play your event. Look for a band at local events, concerts in the park or the zoo. They’re often willing to play for free or a reduced rate because they’re playing to a captive target audience.
What fund raisers has your organization tried?