View Full Version : School Fundraisers

02-19-2008, 02:03 PM
Do any of you have any good ideas or proven fundraisers that work. My daughter's school is looking for fundraising ideas. I have suggested Market Day, Spirit Gear sale(sweatshirts and sweatsuits). Any ideas...please help. Thanks.

02-19-2008, 02:17 PM
I do most of the fundraising organization at my kids school and did it for 5 years for my son's cub scout pack.
We are a very small Lutheran school so I'm not sure if all ideas will work for you. Some of the things we do or have done in the past is: Market Day, Spirit Wear, ink cartridge recycling, Campbels Soup Labels and Box Tops (these 2 are very successful for us). We also have done Dutch Mill Flower Bulbs (great company and 50% profit) Graceful Greetings, Frankenmuth Fundraising (I'm in MIchigan). A new thing I have seen recently is School Cards, you get local companies to offer discounts year round and tehn you sell the cards (they look like credit cards) you get a % of the profit and the customer gets deals all year round. We just wrapped up our Auction which is our largest fundraiser and made over $11,000.00 which is huge for us.
Feel free to PM me if you want more ideas or links. I love fundraising.

02-19-2008, 02:34 PM
We do a highly successful reverse raffle at our school yearly. We sell 125 tickets at $100 each that includes dinner for two from a nice italian restaurant in town. They also sell 125 $75 tickets.(the reason the do the 125 is our gym will only seat 250 comfortably.. we do rent nice tables and linens for the event, cash bar) The night, they put all 250 tickets in the pot.... the first one picked wins $500... then each 25th ticket gets $100... when it gets down to the last 5... they can all chose to split $5000... or if evenone says keep going, they keep drawing..... then after each draw, they reask. It is really a fun evening and I think we made $16,000 on it. Minimal upfront costs and the ticket sell quickly. The first year, it may have been harder to get tickets sold.. but everyone such a great time... now people rush toget them.

02-19-2008, 03:01 PM
I don't know your daughter's age, but my mom has been working on a bunch of fundraising for my sister's Project Graduation party. Some of the things they have done:

- Dinner with silent auction of donated items (gift baskets, gift certificates, pro sports game tickets) -- a pretty big fundraiser
- "Dedicated" nights at restaurants -- the restaurants donate 10-20% of sales from everyone who dines on a specific night and mentions the school. They also have done this with batting cages, putt-putt places, etc.
- 50/50 raffles at football and basketball games -- 50% of ticket money goes to raffle winner, 50% goes to fundraiser
- Smoked sausage wrap and baked good sale outside Wal-Mart (sausage wraps are popular where they live)
- Seniors make breakfast tacos in the home ec room before school and sell to other students for breakfast
- A local Italian restaurant agreed to donate food and servers for a spaghetti dinner, during which the seniors are providing entertainment

02-19-2008, 03:24 PM
Be sure to check your state's bingo/raffle laws if you want to do a raffle (especially if you have a high-value prize).

One of our local elementary schools sponsors a 5K race each year (starts and ends at the school). I get the impression they make something like $25,000 from this event.

02-19-2008, 03:43 PM
Hi-Our 7 yr old dd goes to a private school. Our main fundraiser is www.glscrip.com. You buy gift cards in advance of a purchase and a percentage comes back to you. Even Disney has gift cards through there and they can even be used at Disney World and that is how I slowly save for our trips. I try to buy a couple cards a month in different denominations and then I don't feel such a dent in my wallet on vacation and it helps my daughters tuition also. Also, we make and sell subs and right now we are selling Hot Stuff pizzas. Also all the mothers take turns in a rotation and bake different kinds of cookies. A local business then sells them for us. We use the kitchen in a church here to bake and mix them so it really works well.

02-19-2008, 04:13 PM
I work at the local Chuck E.Cheese here in WIlmington DE as the birthday Coordinator and we have school fundraisers all the time there during the school year.THe school gets a certain percentage and the kids get a sticker at school that they bring that night and get 10 free tokens.All the Chuck E.Cheeses do it.You would have to get more info on the web page.Its a different way to build up money for the school.

Dakota Rose
02-19-2008, 04:52 PM
Most of the home-based businesses offer fundraising packages and 40-50% profits. Plus most people recognize the brand and then buy more. Avon and Tupperware are two that come to mind that always do well. One preschool in my town does an annual Avon fundraiser and they net $5000+!

My son's school partners with a local nursery and sells wreaths/pointsettias at Christmas and lillies/azaleas for Easter. Ends up being very profitable for the school.

See's Candies also has some great fundraisers, both holiday driven and non-holiday.

Another really popular thing up here is to do a giant rummage sale. Everyone donates their rummage sale items to the organization who then holds a giant rummage sale.

02-19-2008, 04:55 PM
I'm really not a fan of fund raisers. I really and truly favor...the sell or "donate" system. Where if you don't want to sell parents can donate a $$ amount towards the "goal".

The fund raisers I don't mind so much are baskets that are collected as a class and then sold through a silent auction (we did ours during a school carnival). They've also had yard sales at the school you can charge "vendors" so much per table. Many garage sale enthusiasts love this because it's a lot of free advertisment and "traffic".

02-19-2008, 05:29 PM
I am the fundraising committee chair for our daughters travel softball team. We also do scrip sales through glscrip and make about $100 a month for our little group with about half the families actively participating (about 6 families). It is an on-going fundraiser that doesn't cost the participants a dime of $$ they weren't already going to spend on groceries, gas, etc.

We also do the occasional car wash and try to get the Auto Zone or Pep Boys to donate the supplies, garage sales, bake sales, auction goodie baskets, 50/50's, etc. We have done the dedicated restaurant night with Applebees (15%) and Rubios (20%). There is always the dreaded cookie dough/wrapping paper/pretzel dough/candy/popcorn sales as well.

If you are near a large sporting venue (ball park, Nascar race track, etc) you can sometimes 'volunteer' a group to work selling concessions or beer, etc, and they will either donate a flat rate per person or a percentage of the sales your booth does for the event. (As an example, the vendor at California Speedway donates I believe 8% of your sales and the Anaheim Stadium vendor (Aramark) donates $70 per volunteer/per event).

We are fortunate enought to be close to LA and just recently found a very neat fund raising opportunity. It seems that some companies that provide audiences for tv show tapings will donate money 'per person' for a group that sends people to watch the taping. Just Friday night we had a group of 29 parents/family/friends that went and watched a taping of "The Moment of Truth" and they paid us $25 per person to sit and watch and clap when they said to clap. We had a lot of fun and earned $725 just like that. So cool and so easy! We definately want to do more of these and less car washes. :thumbsup:

02-19-2008, 10:51 PM
The very easiest way to make a lot of money fast is to have a 50/50 draw. Get people to buy a ticket. 1 for $3. 2 for $4. 3 for $5, or however you want to work it out. You end up with a big wad of cash and you do a draw. You split the money with the winner. Works EVERY time, trust me. Very little effort goes into it and everyone is really happy ;)

02-19-2008, 11:38 PM
I'm currently the PA president at my son's school and fund raising is always hard. Though I know I'm tired of it, our biggest fund raiser is still the Fall catalog sale. We've been trying to implement a scrip program, though it's been slow to catch on. We end up doing too many "little" fundraisers as we can't seem to make enough at one big one to see us through the year. Our second biggest fund raiser is our basket raffle - each class puts together a themed basket and they are raffled off at our Holiday concernt. We make about $1,000 on that one.

We are doing Spirit Wear this year, which is going terribly. We alternate each year between that and a "Display my Art" fundraiser - that one involves working with the art department, picking a theme and having the art teachers work with the kids on their projects. Projects are then sent to the organization where they are turned into magnets, which are sent home to keep, and you can then order that same art work in various other items such as mugs, tote bags, note cards, etc. It's pricey to buy the stuff, but the parents love seeing their kids artwork and knowing they'll have it for a long time. I have my napkin holder, key chain and note cards from Conor's Kindergarten year (they had to draw pictures of their houses) and my tote bag, etc. from last year's which was a self portrait!! :thumbsup:

Oh, and the Scholastic Book Fair is another big one for us - we made around $1,500 this year, not including the vouchers we still have to spend! :thumbsup:

02-20-2008, 05:14 AM
I agree with a lot of the previous posts. The Scholastic Book Fair is great and if you sell over I think $3000 you get 30%. I run the book fair in an urban school and we make a lot on this as there is not a book store in the community. Also, check into Kidstuff Coupon Books and Joe Corbi's (I see you are in PA and so are they). They make incredible pizza and cookie dough which sells itself. We make a lot of money on this.
Good luck and let me know if you need any info!

02-20-2008, 08:47 AM
Our school has a few community ones that really raise a lot
1) There are a couple of restaurants in town that dedicate one Tuesday night a month to that school . A certain percentage of their sales for the night (10-20 I think) go to the school. Just put out flyers letting everyone know which night to get more people to come out.
2) Linking your grocery card to schools. I have my Food Lion MVP card and Harris Teeter VIP card linked, and whenever I use it, money is donated to the school you have your card linked to.
3) The box top and soda can tab programs
4) Book Fairs as mentioned above
As far as ideas that are in house, there is
1) a silent auction held at open house that always does really well. People bring in either baked goods or crafts or offer services and people bid on them. It rose several hundred dollars last year, if not close to a thousand
2) a fall or spring festival every year with bake sale, inflatables, etc.
3) the usual raffles, 1.00 a ticket- businesses may donate winning items or you could do a simple cash prize

Here we go again...
02-20-2008, 09:48 AM
We do a highly successful reverse raffle at our school yearly. We sell 125 tickets at $100 each that includes dinner for two from a nice italian restaurant in town. They also sell 125 $75 tickets.(the reason the do the 125 is our gym will only seat 250 comfortably.. we do rent nice tables and linens for the event, cash bar) The night, they put all 250 tickets in the pot.... the first one picked wins $500... then each 25th ticket gets $100... when it gets down to the last 5... they can all chose to split $5000... or if evenone says keep going, they keep drawing..... then after each draw, they reask. It is really a fun evening and I think we made $16,000 on it. Minimal upfront costs and the ticket sell quickly. The first year, it may have been harder to get tickets sold.. but everyone such a great time... now people rush toget them.

Our church does this every year. All tickets sell for $100 and includes a plate lunch since it takes a couple of hours.
When you come in they have donated gifts across the front of the room and they sell $1 raffle tickets for them. In addition they auction off any large items that are donated.

In the back of the room they have sweets donated by the parents for sale from $1 to $25. One of the moms makes big beautiful cakes for what ever holiday it is and sells them for $25... all money goes to the church. She did superbowl teams this year and they sold VERY well. We collected over $1,000 on sweets alone. I have no idea how much was collected through the raffle and $100 tickets.

Some of the fun things that were raffled off are things like the priest cooking dinner for your family. How fun would it be to win a car wash from your principal? Of course they would have to be the fun type that would be willing to do something silly.

All I have to say is PLEASE stop selling cookie dough and food stuff. I am one of those moms that never say no because I know my daughter will be selling stuff soon enough. My upright freezer is so full of cookie dough, pizza and pretzels that I can not fit food in it. And we do not even eat the stuff!!!

Sell me something with a good mix... candles, jewelry, household items or even those gift cards someone suggested and I will be happy.

I am going to suggest the gift card to my DD's school. I am all for that.

02-20-2008, 10:12 AM
We used to do a "Cash Calendar" We had a calendar printed with art work from classes (which is nice by itself) but every month there were names drawn for cash prizes. A larger monthly winner and lesser weekly winners. It was real popular and our biggest fund raiser. We sold thousands at $20 a piece and gave away 1/2 the money...
As mentioned check your state laws on fund raising or gambling.

02-25-2008, 03:47 PM
We run a very successful Silent Auction/Wine Tasting. We raise about $14000 after all the expenses. It's a lot of fun and some of the highest bid items are:

1. Baskets donated by each grade K-5. Some are filled with lottery tickets, another grade does family games. Each grade decides what they want their basket to be.

2. Principal for a day, Pizza with the mayor, pizza lunch with the superintendent of schools with the child's class.

3. Reserved parking spot in the teacher's parking lot each month for the highest bidder for that month.

02-25-2008, 04:45 PM
Many schools around here do Citipass or Entertainment books. We get one every year.

02-25-2008, 08:31 PM
My son also goes to a small, Lutheran school. Every year we do the Reader's Digest paper sale (which I personally do not like and don't subject my friends/family to cheap merchandise for large prices; I send a check to the PTA for a donation instead). We also sell the "World's Best [???] Chocolate" every year. I don't sell that either, and soon will dump it down the garbage chute and send in the $40. We also sell wreaths every Christmas.

We do, however, participate in the BoxTops for Education and Scholastic Books sales.

You might want to check out UPromise as they have a way of channeling part of your savings to the school of your choice (if the school signs up) and also Pizzeria Uno (if you have one in your area) has a fundraising promotion.

02-26-2008, 12:21 AM
I was PTO president or Vice President for (gulp) 10 years at my kids school! (and, yes, I lost thousands of brain cells during that time period lol) Our hard fast rule was NO kid selling of products! No wrapping paper, no candy, no anything.

Our most popular fundraising events were and probably still are:

1. A Math-a-thon
2. Scrapbook crops for the Moms..very successful and generates great community spirit.
3. Our yearly Cake Auction (baked by the teachers)
4. Silent Auction

We also participated in Walmart's bag recycle program ...for every large bag of plastic grocery bags that we brought to them, we received $5. Believe it or not, we couldn't keep up with the amount of bags brought into the school...everyone wanted to recycle them. Other than storage and transportation, it has been the most mindless fundraiser going!
It is a national fundraising program and should have details on the website.

If anyone would like to email me for details on any of the fundraisers, I would be happy to share how we did them.

Wendy...who is very glad to no longer be PTO Queen !

02-26-2008, 08:57 AM
Our daughter's school doesn't sell anything (hurray!), but instead have a "Fun Run" in the fall. The kids run laps around the circle drive in front of the school. They have 15 (?) minutes to run as many laps as possible, and collect pledges per lap or lump sum donations. They've raised a lot of money (over $25,000/year) the two years we've been at the school.

They also do gift baskets for the fun fair. Each classroom is assigned a theme, and parents donate items for the baskets. Some parents volunteer to put the baskets together. Everyone attending the fair gets about 10 tickets, and they can browse through the school looking at the baskets. You put your tickets in the box that goes with each basket that you're interested in winning (or you can put all 10 in one basket if you'd like, which is what I did last year). You can also buy additional tickets to "vote" for the one(s) you want. Just before the end of the fair, a winner is drawn from the box for each basket. The thing I liked about this was that you weren't going to end up with a basket that you didn't like!

Good luck!

02-26-2008, 09:54 PM
Our girls go to a private Christian School. They do a few fundraisers in each school.
For example the Elementary School does:
Entertainment and KidStuff books which has a 50% profit.
Scholastic, Campbells labels,
Cinderella Cheesecakes at the holidays (which are really good)
this is just for the PTO pot (playground and school improvement fund)
The School Association does things on a much bigger level.
We host a big fundraiser called "Auction Elegance" (the committee which I work hard on). It's a silent basket auction/live auction. Some of the donations are fabulous... week at someone's shore/lake house, VIP seats to various sporting and entertainment, golfing with a pro, etc. last year we raised $57,000. My DH and I were literally in shock last year, as I was not expecting people to bid as high as they did on items.
What's nice about the school association is that our school has been around for 115 years, and many of the older generation who aren't broke sending their children to Christian School come out and support and spend big bucks.

Here is a good tip. If your school is having a concert or gathering of some sort, ask parents in advance for gift card donations (usually $10.00), insert them in balloons(then inflate) and sell them at the function for $10.00 each. It's pure profit, and it's an easy sell because the person is actually getting their donation back in a gift card that was donated.
Good luck fundraising!