Most parents tend to HATE fundraiser time at school. Trying to sell a $15 tub of cookie dough or a $20 book of coupons that people are never going to use strikes terror into parents, especially those with multiple children.

People who buy these products have repeatedly said that they would rather just donate $5-$10 to the school rather than buy something that they don’t want or need. There is good news though: there are more effective ways to raise funds for your school or organization.

  • Penny Wars- This is a great way to raise funds. You can make a contest to see who can raise the most money: Boys vs. Girls, Grade vs. Grade, Department vs. Department, Students vs. Teachers, Employees vs., Employers, etc. Whoever wins the contest wins a prize, such as, a free day. This works especially well if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the reward. It’s pointless to host a fund-raiser if you only break even after the reward is handed out!
  • Raffles- Local businesses are usually willing to donate certificates to non-profit organizations for fund-raisers. You can also raffle off services, such as, carwashes, yard work, and free passes on a school assignment or a casual dress day.
  • Rummage Sales- Just think, if you have a school with an average of 700 students and at least half of the students participate by bringing in 1 bag of donations, you will have 350 bags of items to sell. If you talk to surrounding businesses, you may be able to get some of their employees to participate!
  • Car Washes- These are more traditional ways to raise funds. Find a location where you will have enough space and advertise your car wash on Craigslist, local newspapers, etc.
  • Create and Sell Student Art- Another great way to get the kids involved in raising funds is to have them create art and have an “art gallery” where the community can come in to browse around.

The more that your organization makes a positive name for itself in your community, the more people will want to help you succeed. For example, a local high school in my area makes a great name for themselves by being active in their own community and doing volunteer work for others. People, and businesses, are more likely to donate money to them because your organization is a positive influence. Not to mention that volunteering is a great way to teach your children about the importance of being a part of the community.

If you are trying to raise money for a school, encourage your students’ parents to get involved. You never know what talents they have, or who they know, until you start asking.