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School Fundraising Ideas

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It’s no secret - parents are the fundraising muscle behind our schools and our kids’ many teams and activities. Whether you’re raising a few hundred dollars to fund a special class field trip, a few thousand dollars to purchase new technology for the classroom, or several thousand dollars to build a new playground – these fab fundraising ideas and tips will help you boost participation and make more money!

Starts with Community!  Before you hear the "cha-ching" of money coming in, you’ll need to hear the voices of parents chiming in as a community.  Plan family social activities – without asking for money; this gives parents a chance to get know one another and gain a shared understanding of your group’s needs and goals. Potlucks, pizza parties, and ice cream socials all make fun socials.

Comes in All Shapes and Sizes!  How you choose your fundraiser depends on how much money you need to raise and how many active parents you have.  For example, small groups raising a few hundred dollars can be very successful with traditional fundraisers like bake sales, car washes and talent shows. Product fundraisers are ideal for teams and larger groups with few active volunteers needing to raise between $3,000 and $30,000. Community-building fundraisers like school carnivals, auctions and walkathons can net $20,000-$200,000 or more, but require scores of parent volunteers to plan and run. 

TIP: Free volunteer scheduling  and signups from makes it easy to coordinate parent volunteers. With the click of a mouse or a tap on a smartphone, parents can quickly choose when to help and what to bring, and automated reminders keep everyone on track.

Is Targeted at Parents! Take a page from marketing experts and focus on the needs of your customer.  Parents will be the ones contributing to your fundraiser, so brainstorm the products and experiences THEY want. Newcomer product fundraisers include luxury linens, organic coffee, and labels for children’s clothing.  Also think about activities that make parents lives more fun - picnics, carnivals, family BINGO nights, you name it!

Is Fun for Kids! Involving kids in family-friendly FUNdraisers builds character and a sense of accomplishment for the entire family - kids will take great pride knowing their actions contributed to their school, team or group.  TIP: Check out this free eBook from VolunteerSpot with fresh kid-friendly fundraising ideas from A-Z!

Is Social! Involve more parents (and grandparents) by using social media to boost your fundraiser!  Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great platforms for publicizing your fundraising goals, selling tickets and products, and for thanking parent volunteers.