Don’t Be Silly! These Events Actually Work to Raise Money!

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1. Go with a theme. If you are raising money for the library link your efforts to literacy. Used book sales are popular with all ages and can tie in nicely with the green theme of recycling. Another option is to have a reading challenge where students get sponsors for reaching a monthly goal of reading minutes.

2. Garage sale. If you time your event with a neighborhood garage sale you will attract more customers and potentially reduce advertising costs. While gently used items are your main feature, remember food. Garage sale shoppers work up an appetite and are happy to buy snacks at your stop. Coffee, hot dogs, pop and chips are standard fare but branch out with candy kebabs and other sweet treats.

3. Spirit days can be fun for all. You can host this regularly say once a month, or a few times a year. Declare silly themes such as: crazy hair day, backwards day or come as your favorite author or animal. Have students and staff donate money to attend school in their get up. At my son’s school the class who raises the most money receives an ice cream party.

4. Link to your community. Partner with a local business, such as an ice cream shop or restaurant and establish a special day when a portion of sales goes to your school. Then promote the event to your school community.

5. Art for sale. Use children’s paintings to create lasting art that parents or grandparents can purchase. Images can be used for mugs, aprons, mouse pads or greeting cards. You will need the support of the teachers or you will have to coordinate a painting event to get the process started.

6. Make a cake walk. This works as part of a larger fundraiser or as a stand-alone. Begin with yummy, donated cakes. Display and number cakes. Mark numbered squares on the floor. Participants pay a fee to dance or walk while music plays. When the music stops cake lovers must claim the number closest to them. The person in charge draws a number and the person on the matching spot wins that cake.

7. Get fit while raising funds. At my children’s former school they hosted a “Fit-tastic” program. Using the school gym after hours local fitness teachers offer fitness classes such as boot camp, zumba and yoga. Classes can be for students, parents or community members. The fees are split between the instructors and the school.

8. Host a used sports equipment sale. With growing kids needing new gear regularly this event can help families reduce their budget while you boost your bottom line.

9. Sell useful products. There are companies who will help you sell almost anything. Think about items your family already uses such as family calendars or toothbrushes. One functional fundraiser that many families welcome is customized labels for clothing, sporting, household or personal items. Check out mableslabels.com.

10. International Food. Charge admission and have families bring food representing their heritage. People will enjoy trying the variety of food and a chance to learn more about others. Coordinate by grade to ensure a balance between the various courses.

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