6 Tips for Raising Money for Your Kids' School
January 18, 2023
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Schools are constantly in need of funds. Yet as family budgets get tighter, parents may be less willing to spend $10 on baked goods and candy bar fundraisers.
Still, there are ways to bring the needed money into your children’s school. Here are some tips to make your next school fundraiser a success.
1. Offer Virtual Payments
Parents may see a fundraiser they want to support, only to realize that they do not have any cash in their wallets. You should thus accept virtual payments through Venmo or other similar services. Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are also becoming more popular, you could also allow parents to pay via a crypto fundraising platform.
2. Sell Items Parents Need
Most parents do not really need an extra roll of wrapping paper or another container of cookie dough. To maximize sales during the fundraiser, you should provide useful items.
For instance, you can give parents discount coupons for local stores in exchange for their donations. You will have to get businesses in your area to agree to this arrangement. However, this should not be too difficult. After all, the companies will appreciate the free advertising. Many of their employees likely have children who attend your kids’ school, as well.
3. Get the Kids Engaged
If your children are engaged in the fundraiser, it will have a better chance of success. Try organizing a fundraiser around a walkathon or another fun event that will get your kids excited. You should also encourage competition among the students at the school. Use software to track which students bring in the most donations, and offer prizes to the classes that earn the most money.
4. Avoid Going Overboard
You may feel tempted to hold fundraisers every week, especially if your school is low on funds. Yet this strategy will likely backfire. Donors will get tired of handing over their money, and your volunteers will get discouraged and grumpy. Instead, stick to one or two fundraisers each season.
Similarly, not all of your fundraisers need to be huge events. You and the other volunteers should focus most of your time on the large fundraisers that bring in the most money. Yet you should not shy away from minor events, particularly if they require minimal effort. For instance, you could let students chew gum in class for a day if they bring in one or two dollars. The kids will enjoy a break from the usual rules, and your school will get a few extra bucks.
5. Be Social
Parents have such busy lives and rarely get the opportunity to socialize. By creating social events that serve as fundraisers, you can give other parents an excuse to relax and chat with each other. Auctions are particularly popular, but you could also hold a parent night at a nearby restaurant.
You or your kids can then share photos and videos of the event on social media. This will further increase awareness outside of your community. You can then use one of your virtual fundraising platforms to let interested parties donate remotely.
6. Evaluate Your Strategies Each Year
Over the summer, you should take the time to evaluate each fundraiser from the prior school year. Do not just consider how much money the fundraisers made. You should also analyze how much work the fundraisers required, and how easy or difficult the event or product was to sell. Use this information to adjust your fundraising activities for the following school year, if necessary.
Holding school fundraisers can be both fun and effective. If you follow the above suggestions, you should bring in lots of cash. This should help improve classrooms and extracurricular activities at your kids’ school.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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