Need Fundraising Ideas for a Preschool! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-06-2006, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello! This is my first post in this forum. My son is only 2 so we're just getting ready to go to preschool in the fall.

Anyway, I am the Managing Director of a non-profit arts preschool. As is pretty much universally true of schools, tuition doesn't begin to cover our operating costs. I am in the process of writing our '06-'07 budget and really need fundraising ideas that are school friendly.

What fundraisers does your school do? How successful are they? What do you love/hate about them?

All ideas are GREATLY appreciated.

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First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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#2 of 10 Old 08-08-2006, 02:17 PM
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Our daycare/preschool does sales things like other regular schools do as well as Scholastic books. Not sure how successful they are. Why not just a bottle drive, if you have return deposits in your state? One preschool we looked at has parents write letter for Valentine's Day to 14 relatives and friends asking for money for the school. Actually one of the reasons we didn't choose it.

Personally, as a parent, I don't feel comfortable having to sell things or having my daughter have to sell things. I'm happy to give extra money when it's asked for though. You say the preschool is arts based could you have a "gallery" showing or music or dance performance and maybe ask people to donate if they come to that or sell tickets? Parents could maybe contribute refreshments. The preschool we are choosing does have potluck types fundraising dinners too.
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#3 of 10 Old 08-09-2006, 11:31 PM
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One year my sons school had a calendar sale from thinkbin (see I do not know how much money they got from it but it was sure a hit with the parents. The last 2 years I have had to order them on my own thru the website since I love them so much and they didn't do the fundaiser again. I highly recommend these calenders. Other ideas are see if any of the moms do any type of home business or something like tupperware (get that one every year), pampered chef, partylite, mary kay, numerous scrapbooking places, childrens books, discovery toys, etc. Our preschool always sells flower bulbs but I can't think of the company. They also do sell tote bags, t-shirts and sweatshirts with the school logo just prior to the holidays. One year they also held an event at the school one night and had many of the above mentioned business set up tables for a small fee and the vendors donated a percentage of sales. This worked pretty well since many of the moms got more business that way in the form of show bookings. You can even look these places up on-line using your zip code and call up local consultants to see if they are interested and ask parents if they know any friends who would be interested. I beleive they just advertised it with flyers at local shops and the grocery store, plus a flyer sent home from the school to pass the word. They used the preschool rooms to set up the tables (basement of a church) and many of the parents contributed refreshements that they set up in the hall. That is all I can think of at the moment. I hope this helps.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-10-2006, 02:28 AM
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If your preschool has a performing arts component. Have you considered putting on shows or hosting an artist or musician and charging for tickets?

If you made sure that your ticket price was high enough and your school families understand that it is a fundraiser it could do well.

Good Luck

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#5 of 10 Old 08-15-2006, 01:30 PM
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Can you participate in the Scrip program?
An auction for donated items.
Partner with another organization in your community. The arts department at a local college or university, for example.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-16-2006, 02:11 PM
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Quite a long term project but when I was at school a couple of the parents volunteered to collect all the lables, tokens etc for all the free offers. (you know send in the box tops for 4 packs of cereal and get a free mug)

They had the whole school collecting the tokens and several people volunteered to have things posted to them. Then each time there was a school event there would be a raffle or lucky dip stocked with all the free mugs, lunchboxes etc.
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#7 of 10 Old 08-16-2006, 05:50 PM
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pre-mommyhood, i was a social worker and involved with non-profits and grants administration. i recall reading some study that showed that the most effective to get money was to ask for it as opposed to fundraisers which can often require extensive time and, often, an initial cash expense. given that, i would tend to agree with lisalou. a local private school does exactly as she indicated; they have parents write letters to 5 people requesting a donation. i like that idea.
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#8 of 10 Old 08-17-2006, 10:09 AM
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i think the biggest fundraiser for our co-op playschool last year, and in years past, was a silent auction. the parents organized it all and the moms and dads who did it got tons of donations from the local community ranging from theatre tickets, dinners out, artwork (some created with the help of the kids), spa days, ceramic painting, golf packages, and i think i remember a vacation package, too. my sister (different school) bid and won on a vacation to france at her child's public elementary school (a parent orig from france had a chalet near a ski resort).

our playschool also had a big consignment sale in the fall (like a yardsale, but pickier about the stuff being in primo condition).

we also had scrip programs with the local grocery stores and whole foods and local coop and other programs like "make a plate", school pictures (one of the dad's took them), make your own pizza kit and cookie dough (through little caesar's), usborne books (a mom was a distributor). we did scholastic, too, but i didn't think that raised money for the school, but got points for the teachers or something. i'm sure i'm leaving something out, but by far i think the biggest fund-raiser was the silent auction.


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#9 of 10 Old 08-17-2006, 09:10 PM
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I truly hate fundraisers and generally don't let my kids participate in them. If they didn't have the kids out peddling garbage it would one thing.. but cookie dough and wrapping paper?

Here are some things I wouldn't mind participating in and they might have been mentioned but I just skimmed.

Buying tickets for a "Halloween" carnival. If holidays are a no no, just do a regular carnival in the early fall.

Buying those plates the kids make for relatives for Christmas or what not is also a good one.

A spaghetti dinner (although I hate spaghetti) or something to that effect would be good.

An ice cream social with home made ice cream.

A Christmas bazaar. A bake sale... umm thats all I can think of right now.

Oh yea.. and a rummage sale!
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#10 of 10 Old 08-21-2006, 02:33 AM
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I organized a fundraiser last Spring for a nearby elementary school. The school's cut was over $8,000.00, and they raved about how easy it was. Best of all, the kids are offering something of value, not overpriced crap.
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