When your kids’ school announces a new fundraiser, it can be tempting to linger on the sidelines and hope other parents take the lead. After all, most of us already have a responsibility list as long as our arm, especially moms who are also juggling work outside the home. However, part of being an involved parent means assisting with fundraising. The funds you help raise will contribute to providing better-quality educational resources and experiences for your kids. Fundraising might sound time-consuming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we’ve put together a list of four frugal and fun ideas for your next school fundraiser.
Everyone loves a chance to break free from the drag of the usual school routine. While costume days can be costly and require a lot of preparation (usually done by parents once the kids lose interest!), “Pajama Days” make for a super easy and fun fundraising idea that doesn’t require you to buy anything new.
Fundraising professionals from ABC Fundraising advise that the most successful fundraisers are ones that aren’t too hard to manage and that encourage widespread participation. The Pajama Day fundraiser is a great example of that. Simply ask students and interested teachers to come along in their comfiest PJs in exchange for a small monetary donation.
Another (relatively) easy and cheap-to-organize fundraising option is to host a whole school breakfast hosted in the gym. A big breakfast is a great opportunity for parents and children to socialize before school in a safe environment while ensuring everyone also gets a hearty meal to start the day for a small donation. And, unlike week- or month-long events, this one-off breakfast won’t rob you of too much free time. To keep costs and time down, choose breakfast items that don’t require a lot of preparation and have a low cost-per-serving, such as pancakes and sausages. You can also send out a request to parents to donate food in the days leading up to the breakfast.
Most successful fundraisers require the support and backing of your children’s teachers. However, if you’ve got a principal or teacher who is willing to really go that extra mile for a good cause, consider throwing a Principal Participation fundraiser.
For this fundraiser, students and parents just need to reach a set donations goal in order for the principal to do a fun, funny task. Popular ideas include having the principal spray their hair a crazy color or wear socks with sandals for the entire day. The kids will get a real kick out of seeing an authority figure act or look a little silly for a cause.
Penny drives have long been a staple of fundraising, which proves that sometimes the oldest and most simple ideas are the best. To host a successful penny drive, you won’t need to invest a lot of money or time. Instead, you just need to harness the competitive nature of the students. Start by placing a large jar outside each classroom. The class that fills their jar with change first receives a reward. For an added twist, have students decorate their jar with images they believe best represent their class. Some of the best fundraisers are easy to run and cost-effective. By selecting one of the four ideas above, you can ensure your next school fundraiser is a big success without dedicating hours of your time.