Fundraising Case Studies, School Fundraising

10 Fundraising Events and One School

One elementary school has more than 10 fundraising events each year, so dive in and learn by example. Their inspiring school fundraising campaign and concepts make taking new steps in fundraising a real pleasure. The joyful spirit they impart is sure to make you smile.

Fundraising Events and One School

1. Family Fun Night

Booksin’s Family Fun Night is on May 19 year. This good old-fashioned school fundraising event provides its community with the chance to have fun on a Friday night and enjoy dinner, games and prizes for all ages.  Each classroom sponsors a game or an activity booth, and the night is focused on community spirit and the pure enjoyment of each other.

Tickets are sold on their Family Fun Night Website where they were easily able to manage event details on all platforms and process secure payments.

2. Walkathon Fundraiser

Booksin’s Annual Walkathon has been around for 30 years. Their successful crowdfunding event raised nearly $200,000 in 2015 in support of student activities, teachers and programs including arts, music, science and technology, library books, school assemblies, field trips, and classroom materials. Activities held throughout the walkathon include a Silent Auction, Marketplace, Food Court, Teacher Fun Drawing, and Crazy Hair.

3. Dining Night Out

On May 10 this year from 3 to 9 p.m. a scrumptious school fundraising event was held at The Crepevine Restaurant. Everyone was invited to have dinner, eat well and help raise money for Booksin through the restaurant donating 20% of its pretax sales to the school. They even included takeout orders.

Dining nights out is a yearlong fundraising program occurring as often as every other month. The whole school is invited to a specific local restaurant, and occasionally there is a shopping component for added satisfaction and fundraising.

4. Student Council Fundraisers

“Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade students participate in Student Council.  Representatives from each classroom in these intermediate grades help make decisions about campus life, choose a Lifeskill for the school to focus on each month, and plan special events such as Spirit Days, Fuzzy Grams, and Smencil sales.  Through fundraising organized by the Student Council, Booksin students contribute to charitable organizations.  Charitible activities change annually and are unique based upon a theme chosen for the year.”

5. eScrip

eScrip is another easy way the school fundraising team makes available to help fund the children’s education at Booksin Elementary School.  Donors simply register the credit or debit cards already in their wallet, and when they shop with select merchants a percentage of each purchase goes to the school.

6. Booksin Garden Fundraising

Booksin’s garden has plots for each classroom to create the garden of their choosing with a mixture of seasonal flowers and vegetables. Children learn how to plant and care for a garden in an outdoor classroom. Families may adopt plots during the summer months for continued learning and added fundraising.

A grant from the Michael Lee Foundation gave the school garden a fresh new look. They were able to use the grant funds to replace the garden beds and remove Bermuda grass. New pathways were created with decomposed granite to keep the garden and tidy. Families are invited to lend a hand in maintaining and enjoying the beautiful and fruitful garden.

7. Red, White, and Blue Week

“Each year, the second week in February is set aside as “Red, White, and Blue Week”.  Students are encouraged to wear patriotic colors all week, and the daily announcements include patriotic songs.  In addition, a special fundraising event is held to benefit a charity.  In 2008, Booksin students Jumped Rope for Heart to raise money for the American Heart Association.  Pennies for Patients, a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and JW House, a residence for families with children in treatment for life-threatening illnesses, have also been projects featured during “Red White and Blue Week”.

A popular school fundraising idea to consider is a student serve-a-thon. It is a crowdfunding event similar to a walkathon theme that is not only intended to raise money for your school, but generate a positive impact on your community. During a serve-a-thon students and classrooms raise money by committing to a service project in the local community or partner with nonprofit organization such as Red, White and Blue Week does.

8. Food and Clothing Drives

Fall and spring food drives happen in November and March benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. One year children donated their Halloween candy to the Red Cross Operation Care and Comfort serving American soldiers in the Middle East.  Each year the school classrooms adopt families in December through the district’s Healthy Start Program to give and bring cheer to the holiday season. The staff adopts a needy family as well. A spring clothing drive provides donations to San Jose Unified School District’s Healthy Start Program.

9. BIG Week

BIG stands for Booksin Is Generous.  BIG Week focuses on kindness, being inclusive, being healthy, and giving to others.  PTO members can get involved by volunteering to help any day during lunch hour.

  • Kindness is Contagious is Monday’s theme. Kids write down their wish on a paper heart, and are encouraged to do Acts of Random Kindness.
  • Everyone Belongs is Tuesday’s theme…a scavenger hunt in which students look for a variety of students per their scavenger hunt list.
  • Healthy-Get Moving Exercises & Music on the playground are Wednesday’s theme.
  • Giving Feels Good is Thursday’s theme. Kids assemble Activity Kits for the patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.  Students can bring in personal care items for patients and families such as shampoo and soap.
  • Friday is the BIG Party with Music-Limbo, parachutes, and bubbles!

The partnership formed with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is of tremendous value to their school fundraising campaign. By working together, the school forms a potential alliance with the Lucile Packard Foundation as well. The strength of partnerships opens doors to sharing donors, grants, contacts and resources.

10. Volunteer Leadership Program

“The Cornerstone Leadership Program at Booksin is based on the forty-one developmental assets that support children and youth so they can thrive. It is the intention to build these assets with young children, with the focus on sustaining and increasing their optimum relationships/interactions with peers and adults. Booksin students volunteer their time before and after school and at lunch as Big Buddies, Garden Guardians, Library Helpers, Parking Lot Greeters, Peace Monitors, and Safety Patrol Officers to ensure that students have opportunities to serve their school community in meaningful and beneficial ways.”

Planting the seed during elementary education as to the value of volunteerism in the hearts and minds of children benefits all of society. School fundraising campaigns benefit from teaching the joys of this important activity as is clear with Booksin Elementary School. The best fundraising ideas are born from the creative minds of those who are taught that giving is receiving.

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Maureen Peine

About Maureen Peine

Maureen has been writing and marketing for DoJiggy for over 7 years, and has a strong background in nonprofit fundraising. While with The Nature Conservancy for 7 years prior to DoJiggy, she learned the inner workings of marketing to the State of California within the external affairs department. Her heart is in her writing as she believes in the power of change through nonprofit organizations.
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