Fundraisers are critical to provide after school programs, health lunches, classroom grants, and more, but typically money from the state or tuition is not enough, so here are a few ideas to help your school fill the gap in funding.
Request donations of product and services from local businesses, school parents, administrators, and even from people in the community. Each donation is shown online or on a piece of paper with their estimated value and people then write in their bid for the item. Popular donations include music teachers that offer private lessons, school aides that offer baby sitting nights, or a home-cooked meal from a parent.
Over a 2 or 3-week period, students read as much as they can and gather donations to encourage them to complete their reading goals and to support their school. Read-A-Thons can be one of the highest value fundraisers since the cost is close to zero (ForOurSchool.org can help you run it for free!) and friends and family love to support students’ love of reading. Win-win!
SEE ALSO: 8 Read-A-Thon Do’s and Don’ts
Every school has students, parents, teachers, and administrators with hidden artistic talents and Craft Fairs can be a great way for them to get some publicity, as well as earn a little extra money. Each artist gets their own table to show off their artwork. They then sell it for any price they choose with the school keeping a percentage of the proceeds (e.g. 20%).
DID YOU KNOW? ForOurSchool.org offers free printable flyers, award certificates, and reading logs
Fun Run (aka Jog-A-Thon or Walk-A-Thon)
Similar to Read-A-Thons, Fun Runs can be a very high value and low cost fundraiser that encourages students to get more exercise. Students ask friends and family for donations and then over a set amount of time (e.g. 1 hour), students run or walk around a track as many times as they can. Donations are often in the form of a few dollars per lap.
IT’S A SECRET: ForOurSchool.org will soon be able to be used for any activity based fundraiser, such as Jog-A-Thons, Dance-A-Thons, and others
Prom can be something that students look forward to for years, but school hosted dances do not need to only be for high schoolers. Elementary schools can consider hosting dances in their outdoor spaces and kids can enjoy it just as much. All you likely need is a large speaker, a DJ to play the music and amp up the students, and plenty of space. Asking parents for a few dollars to cover admission could be a great investment in a very fun day.
FUN FACT! Students can choose whether they want their ForOurSchool.org experience to be competitive (e.g. leaderboards) or personal (e.g. work towards achieving reading goal)
No fundraising list would be complete without at least mentioning bake sales, and most schools and PTAs have hosted them or at least considered them. Typically parents and students will spend the night before baking cupcakes and cookies and then sell them in school for a $1 a piece the next day, but to increase the amount you can earn, don’t limit yourself to baked goods. Consider also selling coffee and tea, or even books that include family recipes from some of the teachers and staff in the school.
Car (and Bicycle) Wash
Car washes can provide a great service to the community all while earning some extra money for your school, but consider also offering the option for people to bring in their bicycles (training wheels optional). Bicycles are smaller than cars, so won’t take as long to clean and you will increase the number of people that could be customers!
Any event that offers to watch your kids for you while you go out is money well spent and movie nights are probably the easiest to host and manage. Offer parents the option to send their kids for free if they help out for the night and consider selling pizza, popcorn, and snacks to make a little extra money.
Performances can be one of the more expensive and time intensive events that a school can host, but they can also be one of the most enriching for the students. If your school has the infrastructure to host a performance, Talent Shows can empower students to show off their skills. Talents usually include singing and dancing, but can also include magic, comedy, miming, or really anything!
TRY THIS: You can reset ForOurSchool.org leaderboards so that there can be weekly and grand prize winners
Similar to Talent Shows, Gala events can also be one of the most expensive events to host, but they can also earn your school the most amount of money. A Gala event is often a night of dressing up (maybe black tie only) and drinking, eating, and dancing for parents. Depending on the event, tickets can be $100 or more and consider offering parents the option to “Sponsor a Teacher” to increase the amount you can earn.
Stoop (or Backyard) Crawl
Stoop or backyard crawls are adult only night outs that can be a chance for parents to meet new families and mingle with old friends. While it requires some organizational talent and families with stoops or backyards willing to host that are close proximity to one another, these events usually require no upfront cost (unless the alcohol will be provided by the school rather than the hosts).