Back to School Fundraising Ideas

It’s back-to-school time…which also often means school fundraising time! Many schools choose to host their school fundraising events at the beginning of the year. Why? Well, for one…students, parents and teachers are all enthusiastic about the new year. There are many forms parents must read and sign…and therefore this becomes a great time to introduce you upcoming fundraising events throughout the school year.  This is also often the time when the school PTA starts recruiting members and volunteers to assist with PTA fundraising campaigns.

iStock_000015090921LargeSo what kind of school fundraiser will you host this year? below we share a few school fundraising ideas that have become a hit at many other schools across the nation.

Annual Fund Drive: Some schools offer an easy fundraising solution to parents. Instead of hosting multiple small fundraisers throughout the year, (which may seem difficult for parents to contribute to all of them) some schools offer an annual fund drive at the beginning of the year encouraging parents to “pay their dues” up front. for example, they request $50 for each student. If you pay the one time donation, you are covered for the entire year and don’t have to worry about participating in other fundraisers! This provides an easy option for parents who want to give-back to the school but may find it difficult to keep up with various fundraiser and sports fundraising events.

School walk-a-thon – a great fundraising event for back-to-school is a school walk-a-thon. What a great way to build community and meet fellow parents and students. Not to mention it helps set the stage for a healthier alternative to fundraising. Many schools are trying so hard to change their health programs…by offering healthier lunch alternatives, yoga and physical fitness classes, etc. Why promote candy sales when you can promote health and fitness while raising money for your cause?

  • With a walk-a-thon (or any other pledge fundraising events) students can really embrace the spirit of fundraising! They are able to create a personal fundraising page where they can upload a personal photo, goal statement, and collect online donations from family and friends. Schools can track progress and highlight / reward top performing students and classes…creating some healthy competition!

Holiday fundraiser – Yes, the holidays are still a few months away, but Fall is great time to get people prepared. Since so many people plan on making purchases during the holidays, it might be a good idea to sell something that people will end up buying anyways! (again…instead of selling cookie dough)  There are some great fundraising sales programs that offer things like holiday wrapping paper, ornaments or candles.  Offer sales during the Fall so people can purchase in advance and receive their supplies early December.

Charity Auction – School charity auctions not only have tremendous fundraising potential, but they are also a great community builder involving people from your school in a meaningful way.  Not only do parents get involved, but local businesses participate by donating prizes. You can also include fun prizes such as “art lessons” or “tutor for a day” – things that are relevant to learning.  By hosting your charity auction online, you make it really easy for the entire school to participate. Simply post all your auction items and descriptions and send people the link to your charity auction website. They can place bids, select “buy now” pricing, pay online and track all their purchases/bids.

Summary: Once you find a school fundraiser that works, make it a an annual affair. After all, why invent the wheel when you’ve found something that works for your school and community? Happy Fundraising!