With the state of the economy, fundraising is probably at its height of importance; at least in the 18 years that I have been teaching. If you want to take a field trip many schools have made fundraising the only method to fund trips. Entire sports and athletic budget depend on fundraising efforts in order to survive.
The main problem we run into these days is that everyone is fundraising just to get by. People are getting tired of giving or they simply don’t have the funds to share with the community. In times like these we need to be more clever.
Are you looking to raise money for your school or an organization? We have some great ideas on our Website from other teachers that will let you know what they are doing to raise money. The wonderful thing about fundraising is that it allows you to participate with your students, and teaches them the importance of caring for and supporting a greater cause.
Our local elementary school helps raise money by selling Joe Corbi’s Pizza, which by the way is really delicious! They also sell fresh cookie dough by the same company. Another way our local school helps the community is by collecting cans of food for the homeless. It is estimated that one out of 50 homeless people are children. What could be a better fundraising idea than to help feed the homeless?
“My school did a ‘penny war” with the classrooms competing against each other. Jars were placed out side of each classroom at the start of the day and end of the day, with someone monitering of course.For every penny added to the jar a classroom would receive one point. Every nickel, dime, quarter, added and the class lost points according to the value of the coin. A dollar in the jar and the class lost 100 points. Kids were allowed to place coins and dollars in any jar they wanted, so they could make a classroom with the most points that day lose points by placing everything but pennies in the jar. Points were posted every day and the money collected in the office at the end of the day where student helpers wrapped pennies, nickels, dimes and so forth.
At the end of the nine week period, the class with the most points won a popcorn/movie party. This can be done in elementary schools but for secondary, it works best if the competing classes are all homerooms. Easy way to raise money for the school, no out going expense!”
American Heart Association
Every year I coordinate the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser. The fundraiser can be a one-class participation or held throughout each grade level or on a building level. The students love the energy involved in the program and enjoy the participation. Aimee Bolger, at the American Heart Association, is the contact person in Dutchess County for the event. Classroom discussions are held about the significance, difference and contributions the students are making to the community with just a little bit of time and energy on their part. The students are instructed not to go door to door to obtain sponsors, but to ask family members and relatives. The AHA provides the entire necessary sponsor forms, permission slips, and materials needed for the event. You select the date and time.
Dress Down Day
A fundraising event that is currently tied in with our schools spirit days/dress down days is this. Each Friday is designated as a particular day, such as tie die shirt day or hat day for the students. Each Friday is also dress down day for the teachers. All students who participate in the spirit day contribute $.10 and each teacher that participates in dress down day contributes $1.00. The money is collected and donated to a different local charity each year (or whatever time period is decided). For example, last year the money collected went to the Leukemia Society. This year, the money is being donated to the American Cancer Society for the fight against breast cancer.
“We started a tradition years ago, called Royal Pasta Night at my school. The gist of it is that on one night of the year we have parents and children come in at night for pasta dinner. This is no ordinary pasta dinner though, you must pay four per 3 oz. plate and which ever boy, girl, mother, father, and the family eats the most gets a wonderful prize which was donated by town store owners. We usually end up making $2000 on any particular night.”
Fight Against Hunger
You can organize a walk that allows students to get sponsors for “a walk against hunger.” Give students cards that they can use to elicit sponsors starting at $1.00 quarter mile. Arrange for students to walk during a weekend so that families can participate in this event. You can also arrange for the walk to take place at a large mall (during earrly hours before business begins. This is an event that is worthwhile and that also communicates good health.
Tips For The Frugal Teacher
A major concern educators have is the amount of funds that are being removed from the education sector. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars each year on classroom resources, materials, and teaching supplies. Here are a few cost saving tips and tricks that you can use.
- Need some new ways to organize your students work or another project? Tangerine crates work well. Make some new friends at the grocery store. Those people in the produce department can be really helpful. Tell them what you are going to use the crates for and ask them to save some for you. I received 32 crates over 3 weeks from the local Loblaws store, for one class project.
- Do you know a new mother? Ask her for baby food jars or baby wipes boxes. These are great for storing paint and other odds and ends in the classroom.
- Looking for another way to store those odds and ends or a class project? Ask your pharmacist for empty pill bottles. They are great for buttons, erasers and small things that get easily lost in a classroom.
- Is your classroom too noisy from chairs scratching at the floor? Make some friends at a tennis club. Ask for the old tennis balls, split them in half, and glue them to the bottom of the chairs. (A glue gun works the best.)
- If you teach small children and your classroom has a linoleum floor, visit your local carpet store. They have square carpet samples that your students can sit on.
- Need an inexpensive desktop organizer use paper towel rolls. Take four or five rolls and cut them into varying heights. Glue them face up onto the cardboard.
- Spruce up your old memo pad. Glue it to a heavy piece of cardboard that is covered in wrapping paper. You can also make some really neat shapes out of the cardboard for an added effect.
- Create pencil and pen holders to help organize your students desks. Have them cover juice tins with paper or paint. Use larger containers for bigger materials.
- Do you want a safe place to store your scissors? Turn an egg carton upside down and cut holes in the cups. You can decorate it and then place the scissors in the cups.
- Cans are great to store all those odds and ends in a classroom.
- Make a note holder. Glue a paper towel roll to a piece of cardboard, face up. Slit the top of the roll. This is where you can place the note. A great tool for reminding students about classroom routines.
- Use Styrofoam and wood pieces to make stamps. Cut out your design and simply glue it to the wood, just like a rubber stamp. Your students will have a lot of fun making stamps.