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Tools > How-To > Fundraising
For all too
many teachers, going back to school means another year of fundraising. While
district budgets finance some supplies and equipment, there are often needs
that go beyond these small budgets. Whether you need new computer hardware
and software, supplies for a new craft corner, or are planning a major field
trip, you're going to need cash to get there. When parents just can't dig
any deeper into their pockets, fundraising may be the only option.
Step 1: Contact your administration
Taxes may apply and your office should have the details. Plus, you
don't want to start down a path only to be shut down over political reasons
(like a competition with the PTA.)
Step 2: Put someone in charge
You will need an energetic contact person who can do good PR with students,
parents, and faculty and be responsible for collecting money or order
forms. They will organize the effort to get the word out about the fundraiser.
(See "Your Job as a Contact Person" at right.)
Step 3: Set a goal
If you're working toward a specific purchase or event, determine the amount
of money you need to accomplish the task. Include every expense you may
encounter in your final total. For instance, make sure to include the
purchase of extra cables if you're buying a computer, and don't forget
to figure in taxes.
Step 4: List your options
While having a car wash might be an option for bringing in the cash, it's
probably not all that feasible if your first graders are the ones doing
the washing. Make a list of every possible option you would want to look
into. Take into account previous experience as well - if last year's wrapping
paper sales flopped, you probably don't want to give it another go.
Step 5: Choose your fundraiser
Take into account the amount of money you need to raise. If you need a
large amount of money, a car wash may not be your best option. Put it
to a vote, or have the contact person make an informed decision on what
will be best for the group. Factors to consider are: number of people
available to raise funds, safety (door-to-door is not always an option),
and perishablity of product (like candy sales in the summer heat).
Step 6: Set a deadline
Having a deadline for the project is important if you're doing product
sales. You will need to have all orders and money collected before you
can place a catalog order, or return leftover product in the event of
a candy sale.
Step 7: Keep them posted
For the duration of the fundraiser, keep the momentum going with regular
updates using graphics like a bar graph to chart your success.
Step 8: Wrapping it up
Deliver ordered goods (if necessary) and total up your profits. Compare
your totals with your goal and determine whether or not there is a need
for more fundraising if you fall short, or how to spend your surplus if
you've met with success.
Some options to consider:
- bake sales
- car washes
- candy sales
- flower & bulb sales
- magazine subscriptions
- catalog items such as wrapping
paper, holiday gifts, books
- personalized items for your
school such as t-shirts, school supplies, car tags, key chains, spirit
Options Online: Conduct
your own searches to find more fundraising options for your group. Check
out the companies below to get you started:
sells personalized front auto tags with your school's name and mascot
(or other custom information.) They offer free artwork upon request
and supply you with a free webpage to help spread the word. Profit is
often near 50%.
offers a wide variety of products and a 5% return of your gross sales.
All of their products may be viewed online, and they offer free fliers
and a free webpage to promote the fundraiser.
supplies the good old standbys: lollipops, sports keychains, cookie
dough, and other brochure sales. They also offer a profit of 50%.
helps you organize
magazine sales. (Hey, everyone buys magazines!) A list of titles is
available at their site.