Great Fundraising Ideas Needed - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS starts K next year at a public charter which is underfunded. All public schools in my state are grossly underfunded but the charter school is underfunded + has to pay rent. Fundraising is important. I am hoping to come up with new innovative fundraising that hopefully raises money outside of the school, i.e. most parents already donate monthly and donate as needed. Population is primarily caucasion, hispanic, and Korean-American. Mixed-socioeconomically with 40% qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Would especially like ideas that are inclusive of all of the groups and communities; a lot of the fund raising takes place among and sponsored by the higher income community. Very motivated involved parent community. Schools makes really great use of the funds. Great stewardship.

 

I particularly would like to expand the feeble library collection.

 

The school already has:

 

craft and bake sale (mostly savoury dinners these days)

jog-a-thon

garage sale with an ebay and Craig's List "picker" who picks through to sell on ebay for higher prices

art auction + silent auction

music night

book fair through scholastic

 

Ideas? What works well for your school or chairty?

 

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#2 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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We do magazine fundraisers and movie tickets sales, which are pretty low maintenance and mostly take advantage of things people are already buying.  We also do a meet the teacher BBQ and a family dance, which don't raise a ton for the school considering the effort it takes but don't do too badly and are a good community events.  Other schools locally do frozen fruit, citrus fruit, sports team ticket bulk buys, garden bulbs, and plant sales.  It sounds like you guys are doing quite a lot already tho, I don't know how big your school is but you might want to consider how much time you have to dedicate as a group before you get too much on your collective plate.

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#3 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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Our school (public elementary, also in L.A. area but more Valley-ish than you, I think) did a really successful fundraiser with this eco bag company last year:

http://fundraiser.mixedbagdesigns.com/

Their phone covers are fantastic! I'm still using mine a year later and get compliments all the time.

 

We also do "dine-out" nights once a month. CPK and Islands are probably our two most successful. We made $600 last month at our Islands dine-out.

 

Finally, every fall we do a big picnic on the school grounds on a Friday night. There are a few food trucks, everyone brings a blanket, and each grade level does a booth (bake sale, photo booth, colored hair spray, etc.). Then each class donates a basket that you can put raffle tickets in to win. Baskets range from family game night, to various studio themed ones, video game basket, gourmet chef, artist, movie night, etc. To make things easy, we sell tickets at a $1 apiece, or 25 for $20. Then everything (except food trucks) is paid for with tickets. I think we made around $10,000 last October.

 

Good luck! We also keep an updated library wishlist on our school website, and we've been pretty successful getting specific books donated by various families.

-e

 

p.s. Our school has a policy against doing any fundraisers that reward kids for reaching goals, which I really appreciate. You either sell some or you don't, and there's no recognition either way.


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#4 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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A used book sale attached to one of your other fundraisers might be good. People donate their old books and then buy up new ones for a dollar or so a book. This is not only a fundraiser but a service to families.

 

If you have an "early out" day of any sort, you could sell after school snacks on a weekly basis. It's small money but that 50 cent bag of popcorn or snow cone does add up and a fun thing for the kids. 

 

DS's elementary hosted an international fair each year that soon became a community favorite and a huge money maker. They had carnival style games with tickets you bought, drinks, food vendor, craft vendors, each class at the school did a performance, choirs/bands/orchestras from other schools in the district performed. The trick is making an event that OTHERS want to participate in so you aren't constantly tapping your own population.

 

You might also consider a supply drive. It doesn't bring in money but it helps build up that supply of copy paper, notebooks, pencils, tissues, dry-erase markers, ect. Beginning of the year is best as that is when the supplies are their cheapest.

 

Talk to your local Kiwanas, Optimists type clubs. The ones in our area will often donate hot dogs, chips and sodas, cook them up AND give the school all the money. This is a great way to add a little extra to science night and such.

 

When you do your silent auctions, consider adding school things. For example, one year the school auctioned off pinatas that each class had made, one year they did flags. One of the biggest sellers was a reserved parking space at 5th grade promotion. 


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#5 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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Another thought is to approach area buisnesses and see if you cen get them to donate a portion of their sales (for a day/week/month, for specific items, for an event etc) if you help advertise for them - this can be successful for all kinds of things from ticket sales to grocery stores. 

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#6 of 17 Old 03-08-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Oh, Jen Muise, you reminded me -- if there's a Fresh-and-Easy in your neighborhood, they do an easy and fantastic fundraiser where you save receipts for a few months. We netted around $3000 from that.


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#7 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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http://www.equalexchange.coop/equal-exchange-fundraising

 

Organic, fair-trade consumables that won't sit around collecting dust.  Everyone loves good coffee/tea/chocolate!  We did this last fall (=pre-holiday) for my kids' preschool and made a lot with little effort. 

 

Equal Exchange is a fabulous company that was founded to show that a company can make a profit while using fair trade and sustainable business practices.

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#8 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 02:37 PM
 
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Our school sells a "school" themed calender for 25.00 limiting the quanitity to 1,000  . There is a ticket attached to every calender that has a number that gets assigned to each person that  buys a calendar...every day "winning numbers " are pulled and that person wins 25.00 except on holidays and sundays and then it is 50.00...winning numbers also get tossed back in the pot to potentially win again ...this has gone over really well for gifts as well 

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#9 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post


We also do "dine-out" nights once a month. CPK and Islands are probably our two most successful. We made $600 last month at our Islands dine-out.

 

 

our school does these too, and I really enjoy them. We always end up talking to other families and it's a lot of fun.

 

One of our events every year is a "book breakfast."  The price of admission is a new book for the school library. Families and can something they think would make a nice addition and the teachers also make a wish list. The teachers and staff serve breakfast to the parents/kids. This is how our entire school library has been built over the years.

 

Our biggest $$$ event is an auction in the spring. Businesses donate items, people make items, families put a weekend at the cabin up, etc. It's a dinner event and they also make money off the food and drinks. We make thousands of dollars from this every year.

 

One of the charter schools in my city sponsors a 5K every year. I don't have any idea how much work that is or how much money they raise from it.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 17 Old 03-12-2012, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are all great ideas.

 

Does anyone have any other ideas, especially those that would resonate with our Histpanic and Korean-American families?

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#11 of 17 Old 03-13-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

These are all great ideas.

 

Does anyone have any other ideas, especially those that would resonate with our Histpanic and Korean-American families?


We live in an area with a very high recent immigrant population (namely hispanic and caldean.) I have found that in general, they respond most to fundraising events where they can work as opposed to give money or they can cook items to donate. They come out in large droves to any sort of performances. A lot of these families aren't strong English speakers and so feel left out when it comes to the PTA or working in the class but at the same time, are heavily invested in the education their child is getting. Having events where they can give time, offering translation, even offering adult English classes really pulls them in. Selling merchandise, not so much. Donating chunks of money, no.

 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#12 of 17 Old 03-13-2012, 07:52 AM
 
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For the Korean-Americans, recruit parents to make Kimbap (Korean sushi), to sell either bake sale style, or by advance ordering.  It's the ultimate fast food.  My teacher asked me to figure out how to make some so that her class could try it, and I was astounded by how much the children loved it.

 

For the Hispanic families, a tamale sale, where the parents make them in advance, freeze them, and then parents order them?  You could also sell sauces to serve the tamales with.

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#13 of 17 Old 03-13-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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Do you have an Applebees nearby?  The don't advertise well but the ones near us will host an all you can eat pancake breakfast.  For us it was $7 for 2 sausage, 2 pancakes to start and coffee, juice or milk.  Only the manager and cook were there and our hockey team did the rest of the work.  they got $3, we got $4.

 

This is fabulous www.unitedscrip.com .  You but gift cards at face value and depending on the company they kick back a certain percentage.  So say you know a birthday is coming up - and mom likes a certain company you can either buy and give her a gift card from that company or you can buy the gift card and then buy her a gift at that company.  You need a pretty organized administrator for the program but you can do well.

 

 

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#14 of 17 Old 03-14-2012, 11:47 AM
 
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Our most successful fundraiser is a knowledge-a-thon. The teachers in each grade identify a core skill they want the kids to master by the end of the year. They then put together a study guide and send it out. They test the kids on this skill on a specific day. The kids collect pledges for each right answer. So in our school the K teachers had the kids identify their letters, 3rd was multiplication tables, 4th was vocab words.....

 

We loved it because everyone felt like they could contribute something. All kids studied for the test and took it and participated even if they didn't get pledges. This fundraiser raised a lot of money through very small pledges. So even if each child only got a couple of cents per correct answer and only collected a couple of dollars if the majority of students participated those few dollars added up. Plus it's all pure profit for the school. We liked that even relatives who lived far away were happy to contribute to the fundraiser and they felt like they were contributing to my kids education. My brothers were thrilled to contribute to my son if for no other reason than to give them a connection and something to talk about on the phone as they checked in with him on how he was doing and what his goal was.

 

The other fundraiser that has been surprisingly successful is selling food on conference nights. Many families are pressed for time in their already busy evening and love the opportunity to buy a hot dog and some chips for a couple of bucks. The vast majority of the supplies were donated from local grocery stores so once again it was mostly profit.


Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
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#15 of 17 Old 03-14-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Our school only does one fundraiser a year, they do a river clean up in our town. The students ask businesses or people to donate money to the school, in return the school spends a day and cleans up 7 miles of a very popular river trail through town. This is a small school, probably 100 kids and they always make at least 15K on this event. 

 

Other things they've done over the years, have been bake sales, fruit sales where they get huge shipments of a local fruit (Peaches) and then sell them by the side of the road and soup nights. They've made minimal money compared to the effort when the river clean up does so well. 


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#16 of 17 Old 03-14-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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Our school sounds similar to yours (mixed race, low income) and we made over $10,000 from a walk-a-thon this year (though the river cleanup Peony's school does sounds awesome too - we have a couple lakes in town).  The PTO pledged that if they raised enough from that they wouldn't do any other fundraisers, but the former president said she had been approached by a company for a backpack fundraiser - they sell backpacks at the end of the year filled with supplies for next year.  I thought that was cool.


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#17 of 17 Old 03-15-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Our school sounds similar to yours (mixed race, low income) and we made over $10,000 from a walk-a-thon this year (though the river cleanup Peony's school does sounds awesome too - we have a couple lakes in town).  The PTO pledged that if they raised enough from that they wouldn't do any other fundraisers, but the former president said she had been approached by a company for a backpack fundraiser - they sell backpacks at the end of the year filled with supplies for next year.  I thought that was cool.



It works really well. I think this is about the 10th year they have been doing this. Local people have come to expect the fundraiser, the radio stations cover it, the newspaper always does a picture or a feature on it which really helps to get the word out. They strongly advertise it as a fundraiser that benefits the town AND the school instead of just selling stuff so people donate that do not have their children at the school. 


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