Did you just buy another box of chocolates from your kid’s school? With education budgets being slashed to bits, parents and family members (and office mates of parents and family members) are hit up for donations so often that we end up with a pantry full of sweets. And who wants to sell tasteless treats? Sure, those cookies may help fund the library and those brownies may help pay for new uniforms, but it’s hard to raise funds if you’re peddling goods no one is excited to buy. We thought that there must be a better way. Sure enough, we found five.
Online auctions with BiddingForGood are a modern alternative to the classic coupon book. You can place all sorts of items for bidding, such as gift certificates to local restaurants, theme park tickets, and the like. Since the auction is held online, record keeping is a breeze!
BiddingForGood has run more than 7,000 school auctions online with an average yield of $11,000. The site also offers all the resources you’ll need for a successful sale.
Gardening for Kids
We’re all trying to eat healthier these days. Why not teach your kids about nutritious eating and the rewards of gardening with Growums Garden Kits ($9.99 each)? These fun kits include seeds, growing pellets and garden markers for your child’s very own mini-garden. There are several varieties to choose from, such as the herb garden, which contains basil, cilantro, oregano and parsley seeds, and the pizza garden, which contains tomato, basil, oregano and pepper seeds. Each Growums Garden Kit is sold for $10, and 50 percent of the total proceeds earned through the fundraiser go directly to your school. Check out the Growums fundraising page for more information.
ArtStamps is a really cool and creative way to fundraise. Participating students create a unique design using photos or artwork, and friends and family can order postage stamps (or 500 other items featuring the design). Your kid’s school will earn 20 to 25 percent from each item ordered. Plus, these one-of-a-kind items can also be reordered, so the school can continue earning throughout the year.
Everfunds allows your child’s school to fund-raise all year long with minimal effort. The school sets up a free account on the site, and then kids can hand out templated marketing materials advertising their involvement with Everfunds. Interested donors can then shop on the school’s mini-site for an array of high-quality personalized celebratory items, such as holiday cards, invitations and announcements. The school earns 25 percent of every purchase.
There are lots of clever ways to raise money, especially if you offer a service that people need. A great example is this idea from Maryland-based Girl Scout leader Cynthia Calvert: “My troop has raised money in a number of ways, but one of our most successful is to run a Parents Night Out. Parents drop their children off at a local school for four hours of babysitting. We charge $10 per child for the four hours. The kids have a blast (face painting, dancing, playing games, watching movies), the parents are grateful to have inexpensive babysitting and the Scouts enjoy it as well. We hold these events one evening per month for several months each year, and we typically clear $400 to $500 per night.”
Do you have any other alternative school fundraising ideas?