Fundraising can be a major part of building a successful and supportive learning environment for your child at school. Not only does it help provide learning materials for your child, but it also teaches them about community and working together to meet a goal.
As a parent, you may get tired of the same fundraisers of selling candy bars or coupon books, so what can you do to help bring a more creative fundraiser to your child’s school?
The Basics of Organizing a Successful Fundraiser
The biggest part of organizing a fundraiser is gathering a team of supportive parents who want to help their school so their children benefit as well. Before you start asking around, though, you need a solid plan in place.
You should have a plan that specifies how the money will be spent and what the result will be. If you are raising money for a playground, for instance, have a rough sketch of your team’s vision for donors to look at.
After that, it’s time to get organized. Have calendars and a system to keep track of donations as they come in as well as any other finance opportunities and important deadlines. Next, gather a team to help the fundraiser project and assign responsibilities so no one feels overwhelmed.
Have an account where all the money goes and be sure you are tracking it so you know at any point how close you are to your goal. If you have a fundraiser that will last more than a month, be sure you have a list of donors and interested parties to email to keep them updated on how the fundraising efforts are going. Set up a display inside your school so parents can see your efforts and even donate to the goal if they choose.
You’re also going to need a creative approach to raise money if you don’t want to sell candy bars. Here are a few ideas you can do instead:
1. Parent Parties
This non-traditional approach to fundraising brings the fun back to it all and encourages parents to connect and build relationships outside of school. The way it works is that a volunteer hosts a dinner or similar event in their home and other parents purchase tickets to the event.
The money raised from the ticket sales goes to the school. Sometimes, a local restaurant may even donate the food and beverage component, so the cost of the event can be minimal to nothing.
2. School Garage Sale
A garage sale is a great way to raise some money without costing much to put it together.
You could volunteer to help organize the event or to be helping hands on the day of the sale. Each family could donate items, and all the proceeds would go to the school. Any remaining items that didn’t sell could be donated to a local charity.
3. Sponsored Read-a-Thons
Read-a-thons are a lot of fun because they encourage a love of reading and get family and friends involved in what children are doing at school.
A child asks people they know to sponsor them during a certain time frame, and the sponsor donates a certain amount of money per book that the child reads. This is a great option because outside of organizing the fundraiser and collecting the funds, the effort is minimal.
By letting your child know what they are raising the money for, they may be even more encouraged to read to raise more money for their school. Either way, getting kids away from the television and into a good book is always a win.
4. School Auction
Have an auction at school, and the items people bid on can be services or products various parents and businesses donate. All of the proceeds go to the school, and the person who wins the auction feels like their money went to a good cause — and they receive something for their donation, too.
In addition to raising money for the school, this is also a great way to make the community aware of what everyone specializes in.
Using the Funds for a Good Cause
Remember, it’s a good idea to start a fundraiser with a specific project or cause in mind. If you want to raise money for new school books for next year, for instance, make that your purpose.
For some schools, it’s a good idea to raise funds to build a better playground, while others may focus on getting Smart Boards and computers for the classroom. A new playground can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000, so fundraisers are usually necessary for its construction.
Parents and donors often identify with fundraisers and are more likely to give when they know where their money goes — and as long as the money will help the students, you can’t go wrong in your fundraising purpose.