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Schools are always in need of crucial money to make up for budget shortfalls and pay for extra supplies and resources.
Often these extra funds can mean the difference between a good education and a stellar one.
Want to raise funds for your school? Say no to another bake-off and try these super-charged school fundraising ideas designed to minimise effort and maximise profit.
They're super fun, simple and effective.
Putting on a talent show is a sure-fire way to raise some money. Parents, relatives and friends will be eager to buy tickets and the kids will be eager to put on quite a show.
Primary and high school kids love exploring their creativity and have an abundance of wonderfully unique ideas.
An event that lets them show off their skills and speak their minds a little will be popular.
To ensure nothing too controversial slips through the cracks of the Talent Show, be sure to write up some clear guidelines on what’s acceptable and not acceptable at the event.
Being clear and direct is better than suddenly formulating a policy in the moment.
The good news is that parents and teachers are more united than ever in their efforts to raise extra money for the kids and provide the best possible advantage for all children in their care.
They'll understand the need for such an event.
With low or no overhead (as it’s an event that can be held in school), every ticket sold for a Talent Show is pure profit – and it’s a fun night out.
It may involve a bit more planning than other fundraising ideas, but a fun run (or walk or cycle) event promotes a healthy lifestyle and gets the whole community involved.
The major drawback of the most popular fundraising activities - the sponsored walks, runs, or biking events - is the complex logistics of setting up the event itself.
However, their scale and visibility to the community as a whole often makes them more effective in raising funds than other smaller-scale events.
Additionally, the competitive and athletic aspects make them popular among the students.
The concept, at least, is simple. Teams gather sponsorships then walk, run or cycle an agreed-upon distance.
Teenagers are quick to decide that something is dull or boring, and getting their ‘buy in’ to something like fundraising for their school can be a bigger challenge than raising the money itself.
To make an event fun, give it a theme! Let the students decide.
Onesie fun run? Superhero walk? Tutu cycle? The options are endless.
A voucher system like our Big Hearted Canvas fundraising program removes the need to tend to an inventory and has an incredibly high profit margin while offering buyers superior value. Everybody wins.
Voucher systems have been growing in popularity in schools around the world.
Canvas Factory's Big Hearted Canvas fundraising program is fantastic for schools as it offers value to purchasers, requires very little set up, and is super easy to explain.
And our program is better than traditional voucher systems because it's all online.
We give you a free fundraising web page with a unique link/URL to share with your school and local community. For every customer who makes a purchase, your school receives 20% commission on the sale.
People are always looking for bargains which makes a school garage or 'bring and buy' sale an event with low or no overhead that can be quickly organised and result in pure profit.
Whether it's old clothing, games, workshop tools, sporting equipment or computers, the 'Bring And Buy Sale' is a school classic.
For this fundraising activity, students are your greatest resource as they come from homes with store rooms and garages crammed full of old stuff they no longer use or want.
Often easy to go from conception to an event in just a matter of days, these fundraisers can be implemented in conjunction with local markets when the school’s budget needs a little help.
Different from sales of specific fundraising items, the traditional bring and buy sale can be an effective short-term and emergency fundraiser.
It has a high profit potential as the inventory is cost-free and sales are 100% profit.
It's not something you can run all the time as you'll eventually exhaust the supply of unwanted items. Success is dependant on donations.
It’s popular with the community as well because, as ever, one person’s trash is another one’s treasure.
The age-old classic became a classic for a reason: It’s a no lose situation for the fundraising host.
Raising money for your school isn’t just a matter of coming up with great school fundraising ideas – ideas are the easy part.
Making those ideas work in a practical sense and walking away with a profit is where the real work begins.
The classic 50/50 cash raffle is a no-brainer and always makes money, though it may not always be the amount desired.
Still, cash raffles are so simple to implement and guaranteed to always make some profit, so can be rolled out as needed.
The other option, which requires a few more resources, is to find sponsors to provide prizes to raffle off.
When running a cash or prize raffle, the most important thing any school should keep in mind is that parents and community members can become easily fatigued when fundraising is incessant.
Careful planning to avoid year-long requests for money is key. When emergencies come up creative ideas can keep everyone excited – and sympathetic.
Schools have been mobilising their student body as a sales force since the dawn of time and chocolates remain a popular choice.
Still effective after all these years, the traditional sale of chocolates remains a popular school fundraising activity.
Companies now exist solely to supply schools with fundraising inventory and systems, making it very easy to plan and execute a sale with a high profit margin.
While there are a range of products now available to sell, chocolates remain at the top of the list.
That said, it can be quite labour-intensive. Parents often quickly tire of being asked to purchase items they don't need or, in the case of chocolates, often don’t want their children to have.
It's a great activity for long-term budget planning, but not so great for emergencies or any time-crunch scenario.
Organise a tshirt brigade - send students out en masse wearing tshirts of a certain colour to a shopping centre or park with simple cans to ask for donations.
A tshirt brigade might require a little planning, but aside from the cost of donation buckets, there are no other setup costs.
It's a wonderful team building activity for kids who are keen to raise money for a particular school project - for the music, arts or sports department.
The trick is proposing a range of fundraising ideas to the kids involved and seeing what flies.
Just make sure you're familiar with any local council or shopping centre permit requirements before you start.
School dances are not only fun for kids, but they can be an awesome fundraising activity as well.
The challenge to raising funds is finding good fundraising ideas for schools that the students will also love.
School dances are a wonderful opportunity for students to see each other in a different light - disco light!
Any event that makes it easy for kids to interact with each other and enjoy themselves will be popular, so a school dance with a cover charge will help raise funds.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to arrange for chaperones and supervision, something the parents will demand.
Create some fun fines on the night. $2 fine for not dancing. $1 fine for dancing with the same group of friends for too long.
Get the kids to come up with their own fines prior to the event.
The idea of 'authority tweaks' is to shift the power dynamic from teacher to student, giving students control over what their teachers do.
One of the most hilarious and daring fundraising tactics in a high school setting is to auction off some mild rebellion.
Auction off events where teachers are dunked in water or slime, taped to a wall with masking tape, or - where school dress codes get relaxed - think teachers in uniforms and students in free dress.
These daring ideas can often inspire tremendous fundraising results.
Note it's vital to take care that no one can be hurt and that teachers’ dignities are preserved. Even in an atmosphere of relaxed discipline there has to be respect on all sides.
Whether it’s a dance party, a pizza party or a costume party, it's rewarding to plan a party in the name of raising money for your child's school.
In fact, if you leave it to the kids to decide on a fundraising approach, they'll often vote for a party.
Money is raised through ticket sales and refreshment sales at the event.
It's often not a lot of money, but enough to help fund a specific project, program or club champion trophy.
If you keep it simple, parties are fairly easy to plan.
All any party really needs is music, some refreshments and a usable space - schools can usually provide the space.
A fun day, particularly at primary level, will create a buzz making participation effortlessly universal, resulting in plenty of joy and a lot of money raised.
Schools are places filled with rules and regulations.
The idea of a Fun Day provides the opportunity for an exciting event the kids will be enthusiastic about.
It's enthusiasm that often translates into record fundraising numbers, so get the kids to choose a theme that will generate full throttle fun!
As it may be tricky getting parents on board with the idea of a fun day, it's important thier concerns are addressed quickly and sensibly.
The kids may not get much accomplished academically, but the fundraiser means they're giving back to their own school community in a positive way.
It's not a tactic all schools are comfortable with, but often the direct approach - asking parents for funds - can be the way to go.
The trend right now is for schools to do away with complex fundraising schemes and simply send letters home requesting donations and stating clear financial goals.
This may be suitable in a private school context, but in public schools it may not fly at all.
While the direct approach can be effective, you may also end up fielding complaints which can make administration staff uncomfortable.
There's nothing wrong with including it in your annual mix of fundraising activities, but as a substitute for other ideas it's risky business.
Parents want to give back, but sometimes they may also want something in return.
To really supercharge fundraising, announcing that if a specific ‘stretch’ goal is reached the class gets to go on a fun trip usually works.
The trip may be to an amusement park, the beach or a similar popular destination.
The key is making sure your stretch goal is set above your actual needs.
Also, have a backup plan in case you get close to that goal but don’t actually reach it – the kids should still get something or they’ll feel cheated.
Trip incentives can ensure fundraising ideas for high school or primary school will succeed.
It may be a classic, old idea but the car wash is still a winning fundraising opportunity for schools to initiate.
Bringing back the retro car wash is ideal for short-term fundraising for specific goals like uniforms or class trips.
It does require some upfront costs and often the logistics can be a challenge, but overall the commitment is pretty minimal.
You'll be surprised how many takers you'll get for a weekend car wash from parents and the community alike.
Just be sure to publicise it widely in the school newsletter, local newspaper and on local community Facebook pages.
School fundraising should be, above all, fun for all involved.
Remember that it’s a long school year – if one idea fails, move on to the next!