Usi-Schools.Org: Student Fundraiser Programs

Many parents become involved in school fundraising drives through organizations such as the Parent/Teachers Association, or PTA. Heading up such a fundraiser can be fun and challenging at the same time. You will find very little glamour, a lot of hard work, and the need to remain flexible yet tough in very demanding circumstances. To assume the difficult job of a fundraiser displays a parent's commitment to his/her children's school and schoolmates. Other parents learn from your example, and you become a role-model for the community.

Each year across the country, thousands of elementary and secondary schools hold fundraising events with the help of parent/teacher groups. The funds raised help not only to support the school's educational efforts, but also to make available valuable resources to the student population. Think of all the ways your school would be helped by additional funds: extra microscopes for biology class, better food in the cafeterias, after-school sports programs, special mentoring for challenged and/or gifted students, teacher appreciation awards - the list is endless.

Just as there are many good reasons for putting on a fundraising event, so too are there many different types of events to choose from. Let's review a couple of the all-time favorites:

  • Bake sale - children love cakes and cookies (and we've noticed that parents are partial to them as well!). The prerequisites for a bake sale include a small to medium size auditorium or gym in which tables and chairs can be laid out; copious amounts of paper plates, cups, plastic cutlery, and paper napkins; a large adult component to supervise; and sufficient waste barrels and cleanup volunteers. One person should have overall responsibility for all money collected. Often, a ticket scheme is set up so that students buy tickets first, and then redeem them for snacks. One should plan to have an award ceremony for best dessert, funniest dessert, etc. And always make sure that security and first-aid personnel are on-hand.
  • Peeler fundraiser - a very popular alternative in which students use a bargain-rich card peeler that contains local business discounts and special deals. Students fan out across the community to sell cards to family and friends. Cards typically have 1 to 4 panels and up to 16 or more different peel-off coupons. Local merchants underwrite the products and services featured on the cards, and the school makes a profit on each card sold. Competition among students is encouraged, and the top seller is usually recognized in some manner.

Other popular fundraisers include auctions, candy sales, and clothing drives. Whichever one you choose, plan to work hard and have a ball!