Hate ’em or love ’em, school fundraisers are a staple ingredient of being a mom. For some of us moms, we try aimlessly to dodge them. For others, who live and die by the fundraiser, it means the smell of freshly baked brownies wafting through the air. Whether you’ve been dying to get more involved or hoping to just fly under the radar, this one is for you. Here are some practical and creative ways to help out with a school fundraiser.
The classic bake sale. Bake sales are great events if you are in need of ideas of how to raise money for a school event. The great thing about bake sales is that they are so versatile. Bake sales can be used to drive specific events. For example, if you are trying to raise money for new cheerleading outfits, hold a bake sale. They can also be incorporated into repeat events like football or basketball games. However you choose to incorporate bake sales on your quest of how to raise money, one thing is for certain; no one can deny the yummy goodness of a homemade brownie. So bake away!
Speaking of baking, one of the trendiest events in school fundraising right now is hosting cake walks. For those of you who have not taken part in this latest school fundraising craze, a cake walk is fairly simple. Parents, faculty, staff, or even students provide a cake or baked good to the fundraiser. Often times it’s not uncommon for local businesses to donate baked goods either. Once the cakes are collected, they are put on display in an open space like a cafeteria or gymnasium. All fundraiser participants will get the chance to walk around and purchase a ticket for each cake or baked good that they want. They can purchase as many tickets as they would like because this will increase their chances of winning that cake. At the end of the evening, a winner for each cake is selected by a lottery process in which a drawing is held for each cake.
Fundraising sure has changed since your parents were last in grade school. With the ease of technology and the connectivity of social media, crowdfunding may be a budding trend in school fundraising. Popular sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indigogo are great platforms to launch online fundraisers. Unlike traditional fundraisers, online crowdfunding is a great way to raise money when school is not in session. It’s also a great method when you are trying to reach a large number of people at once. In addition to this, crowdfunding is a great school fundraising idea because it reaches families and community members who may not always attend traditional school fundraisers
If you are not up for the technological leap just yet, then you can never go wrong with the traditional fundraising events. One of my favorite fundraising events is educational family nights. Different content departments like the Math or English department can host a different family night throughout the school year. Events like reading to therapy dogs or Math bingo are great ways to entice your community to come out. The cool part is, you can sneak in bake sales and concession to help generate funds so that the events (like Math bingo) can be free or cheap for families who attend your fundraiser.
Visit Your Local Businesses
One of the greatest ways to help out with a school fundraiser is by helping school teachers and staff solicit donations. Local businesses love supporting the schools in their community. Unfortunately, not many schools take advantage of it. If you are a parent looking to help with school fundraising, a great way to start is by going around your community and asking for donations. A great way to do this is by typing up a letter introducing your school and how their donations will help make your mission come to life. Chances are, your school already has such a letter prepared. You just need to go out and distribute them.
Remember, don’t be shy going out to ask for donations. Not only will your local businesses be happy to donate, but there are perks for the businesses as well. It’s not unusual for a school district to advertise a local business as a way to say thank you. Check with your child’s school to see if this is something that can be implemented in your next school fundraiser.
Join The PTA
Nearly every school has some parent-teacher association or organization. If you want to help create great fundraising ideas or be apart of the fundraising events at your local school, then this is where you need to start. Parent-teacher associations are where teachers and staff can give feedback to parents about what they want to see happen in their schools. The great thing about parent-teacher associations is that parents get a say in what happens in the school as well. Along with this, lots of school fundraising ideas are born from PTA meetings. And if you want to help out with a school fundraiser, what better way to do it than by creating and organizing the fundraising events from the start.
Take Your Fundraiser To Work Day
Some call it a cop out, but if it generates sales, then hey why not! If you’re in need of ideas about how to raise money for a school fundraiser with minimum effort, then this one is for you. If your child is selling a product (think chocolate, cookies, or something tangible) consider taking the product to your workplace. Unless your co-worker has a child that also attends your child’s school (chances are not that many), then don’t let this idea slip you by. You have a range of customers who may not even be aware of your child’s school fundraiser. An even better way to generate sales is by letting your little one pitch sales. Sometimes the best marketing technique for getting the job done is a cute little cherub face.
Advertise Early And Often
If your school’s fundraising events are not seeing the turn out you would like, then there might be an issue with the advertisement. One of the best ways to help with a school fundraiser is by helping spread the word. A great way to do this is by including your local businesses in the process. Consider spreading the news about your school’s fundraiser by going into local businesses and spreading flyers about the event. Don’t forget to leave out the social media aspect of advertising. Circulating digital fliers of your school’s fundraising event online is a great way to reach a wider audience.
When you’re thinking about how to raise money for a school fundraiser, you need to consider the timing. If you are helping plan a fundraiser, then you want to make sure that your event does not conflict with other events that are happening in the community. The best turn out for a school fundraiser happens when your event is the only major event happening around town that evening.
Also, consider the day of the week. Try and schedule your fundraiser during Friday evenings or weekends. These days tend to generate more sales because the kid’s don’t have to worry about staying out too late on a school night.
The great thing about fundraisers is that everyone can participate regardless of effort level. If you don’t have the luxury of time to give, then the digital aspect of fundraising still enables you to be a part of the process. However you choose to participate in helping with a school fundraiser, one thing will always remain true. Teachers, staff, and students can never have enough helpers when it comes to school fundraising. As a member of the school community, I have to say that whatever way you choose to help, my colleagues and I thank you!