School Fundraising through the years

School fundraisers are needed throughout the life cycle of education: from grade school, through high school and even at the University level, schools have a need for additional funding to bring in educational resources, support development projects, and fund extracurricular activities. Yet, just because school fundraising works for students of all ages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same fundraisers will be successful for each group. Be sure to consider the age of the students participating in the fundraising event, to help you determine the right type of fundraising campaign for your group!

If you are organizing an elementary school fundraiser, take advantage of children’s genuine enthusiasm. Elementary students are wonderful fundraising participants, and as long as the fundraiser is positioned as a fun event rather than a task, they’ll be sure the embrace the activity! With elementary fundraising, you’ll need to find something that not only engages the students, but also the parents. It’s parent involvement that makes for the most successful fundraisers, as they end up taking on much of the workload. So, encourage parents to be proactive by reaching out to co-workers, church groups and other social networks.

A high-school fundraising campaign has different considerations. School students are busy with homework, sports, and friends. You may want to consider planning a fundraising event, such as a school carnival or school walk-a-thon, where students can raise funds while gathering with friends in a social environment. You may also want to consider utilizing an online fundraising software program where students can personalize their own fundraising page, upload a photo, set goals, and track their success against other students. When teens aren’t at practice or running around with friends, chances are they are checking email, downloading iTunes, or updating their Facebook page. This is when they are most attentive, and they will likely enjoy the fun, interactive environment.

For university fundraising, you may want to capitalize on the fact that most of the people you’ll be reaching out to (i.e. alumni, other students, and businesses within the campus community) all have one thing in common…a dedication to your University! Consider selling keepsakes such as annual calendars with highlights from the school year, or merchandise with your school logo. Another successful fundraising idea is organizing networking events where students, faculty and alumni can mingle while supporting a great cause. Offering a silent auction event may give you a chance to raise large dollars from auctioning off one-of-a-kind school memorabilia and/or autographed items from celebrity alumni.

For more school fundraising ideas, “how to” guidelines and tips, plus free downloadable forms and templates, visit our School Fundraising Resource Center.