Student projects require money! Teaching those community service lessons and conducting awe-inspiring projects that leave students feeling gifted, talented, worthy, empathy for others, excitement at their accomplishments, joyful about their successful teamwork and so much more… requires both funds and commitment!
Here’s a list of ideas for your fundraising:
Daddy-Daughter Dances (students sell tickets, decorate, entertain, serve)
Banquets (students sell tickets, decorate, cook, serve, entertain)
Car Washes (always fun! In some areas, water resources must be considered)
Product Selling (try to sell products people need, not overpriced, unhealthy items)
Facebook Art Show (local artists contribute work to be featured on an event page, buyers can choose and donate to purchase the virtual work)
Helping Others While Earning (students do the work for the community project and earn while completing the project. Funds can be used for the next project or to more fully support the project)
Candy Sales (um, yeah… we all buy it, but don’t you really hate spending money on that yummy stuff)
Booth Sales (stage a booth to sell donated items from businesses, or sell tickets to draw for those prizes at a local fair or event. )
Cookbook Sales (collect the recipes, publish and sell… host a dinner to sell the books!)
Dress Up Days (encourage businesses to allow employees to wear school colors on Friday in exchange for a donation to your cause)
Cookie Sale – bake cookies and sell outside local businesses. (Be sure to give the owner a special batch all their own) Consider including a copy of the recipe with the cookie so the buyer knows exactly which ingredients are included. This is best if there are only 2 or 3 recipes and everyone bakes from those with no changes.
Penny Line… invite students, teachers, friends, community to add a penny to the line on a specific day. Start your line with gathered pennies at the 50 yard line on the football field and snake it through the yard lines for max effect. Consider “flagging” at the $100.00 marker.
Change Jars – Ask local business owners to allow your organization to place decorated jars near the checkout and collect the customers coin change for your project.
Rent-a-kid – Have participants sign up to perform “jobs” for donations. (Of course, this must be well supervised and it works best when the students are matched with their “job” of choice) Consider working in pairs.
Walk-a-thon’s – Have students acquire pledges of donations-per-mile. Keep accurate records and don’t forget the thank you notes!
Whichever choice you make for your fundraising project, keep good records! It’s important to have contact information at the close of the event, for next year. Jot down a few notes to remind the team of the willing volunteers, the names and numbers of those who seemed to be extra supportive (may want to join your team), any problems that need solving before next time and the total amounts raised, spent and donated. Ask those involved to suggest changes for the next event.
Take lots of pictures. Parents, school boards, regional chapters, teachers, school news, local news and the students will want to remember the day they learned how it can be fun and fulfilling to give back to the community. You may even want to use those pictures when planning the next event.
Use Social Media! If you are in a small town or a large city, the communication can sometimes be a little late in coming or get lost in a busy world. Social media is instant… but remember… never put anything on social media you are not willing to share with your grandmother! ANYTHING you put on social media is there forever! Be articulate, planned and thoughtful. Review each meme and each paragraph for appropriate wording. Remind students not to be too casual. Think about the photos you are posting… get permission! Never post someone’s picture without their permission (it’s polite, thoughtful and some say a legal preventative).
ENLIST the assistance of those in your community who are fundraisers. You know who they are. Everyone has a talent and fundraisers are special people who are very organized, well composed under pressure, and knowledgeable about the community needs and resources. If they buy into your cause, they will likely open doors for you or send you down the correct path, saving lots of time and increasing your success!
Finally, choose your method of raising money wisely. Be considerate of your “customers” when choosing to sell products. Some supporters would prefer to make a donation rather than purchase over priced, unneeded items, just to be apart of your project. Your customers would love saving money, purchasing products they can use for their family and home. Choose with your customers needs in mind. Choosing to sell products that are too heavy for students to deliver will cause issues at delivery time. Choose with students in mind. Products that must stay frozen will cause issues with mom and dad. Choose with the parents in mind. Finally, selling too many different items will cause everyone lots of stress. Keep it simple. And fun! And profitable – for your community and students!