by Alan Haskvitz
It isn't a secret -- schools always need additional funding for activities. What isn't well known is how to raise funds without stepping on the toes of community businesses, taking away from class time, and tying-up human resources best used elsewhere.
With that in mind, I have found some exceptional fundraisers. Remember the keys to a good fundraiser are: good bookkeeping, motivation and thank yous. And if you can get something inexpensively and sell it for more, you are champion fundraisers.
My favorite fundraiser is the No Bake Sale - Bake Sale. It is easy, all profit, and the parents appreciate it. First, create a list of baked goods and complete cards with the item names and prices, for example, "Carrot Cake, $5." The parent selects this baked item NOT to make and sends $5 instead. You respond with a note thanking them for the carrot cake. Offer a variety of baked goods from "First Marriage Wedding Cakes" to "Crestfallen Angel Food Cake." The students can name the items and research how much they would cost to make, so it is educational as well.
Send the list home and have parents decide what not to make. You can also send the list to others in the community. Obviously, it is all pure profit and pure fun, especially the "Oops I Burned the Turnovers" which usually go for $10 and the $15 pan of "Brown Knees."
And the best part is, think how many calories aren't consumed!
Other fundraising ideas
Selling candy, cake, discount books, etc.
A taste of "your school name" with food from parents
Rent out space for toy exchange, sale
Guess the weight, number
The school band plays a street concert
Putting flags on people's lawns for special days. Students do this early in the morning of significant days such as July 4th and retrieve them that evening. Do this for five holidays and charge appropriately.
Online fundraising resources
A to Z of Fundraising Ideas
Can & Bottle Drive
A how-to guide
Ask celebrities to donate something to be auctioned
Curbside House Numbers
Custom Town Calendars
Fundraising Yellow Pages
Leave Your Mark
Using commemorative brick pavers
Ideas for commercial and non-commercial fundraisers
Large link site to tons of ideas
Target's Take Charge of Education
Teacher funding raising ideas
Ideas for everything from walk-a-thons to art-a-thons