It happens to every parent: your child’s first semester of school is filled with little homework and fun days at school – it seems so easy! Until you find the first notice for a bake sale hidden in their backpacks. The first of many, you soon find out.
School fundraisers are part of the everyday ins and outs of having children in school, with many budgets significantly lowered due to various factors. Just like any business, schools need to make up for the shortcomings.
Although this is understandable, school fundraiser ideas tend to put additional stress on families that can’t necessarily afford to participate. It is therefore important to have some innovative ideas and tips handy, as well as knowing what the regulations are regarding fundraisers, before starting to plan one.
A few tips on successfully selling to raise funds, for example, include:
• Proper research on laws and regulations
• Make a list of possible clients, keeping in mind people whom have previously benefitted from your charity
• Have a communications plan ready
• Get personal with your selling strategy, but not too personal
• Have a marketing plan
Some successful traditional fund raising ideas include:
• Having a raffle
• Having a playground garage sale
• Online fundraising
• Academic competitions
• Sell hand-painted mugs
• Dance or talent competition
Due to the different demographic of teachers, students and parents at each school, it may be challenging to opt for a standard fundraising strategy. Instead, consider coming up with ideas that are suitable to your specific group.
The type of fundraiser that will be most successful for your group will depend on its dynamic, the financial situation of a majority of the families (a private school’s situation will most likely differ from a public school’s situation). Other factors that may influence this include resources available, the amount you want to raise and community involvement of the school.
These considerations are also time-bound. An idea that worked well two years ago is not necessarily going to work as well the second time around. A useful place to start is to consider what the goal is. Why raise funds at this time? What amount of money or sponsorships do you need to raise? Is a fundraiser really the best option?
The general feeling between the parents and the school is also one of the most important factors to consider. Keep their preferences and opinions in mind. If you had a fundraiser two weeks or even two months ago, the feeling will most likely be on the negative side.
There is no standard and best choice. The important thing is to keep the above factors in mind and find something that works for your school and community.