Time for some heavy lifting
Before your trip becomes a reality, some homework has to be done. Don’t worry, Educational Destinations is here to help.
For boosters and extra-curricular support groups, fundraising is essential to providing and maintaining educational opportunities and travel for students. Drastic cuts in school budgets have forced everyone (even athletic teams) to depend more and more on alternative sources for funding. Here are some proven fundraising activities. We hope one or more work for your group. If you don’t see your favorite fundraiser listed here, please email it to us, and we’ll and add it to our list. If you have questions about how some of these fundraisers work, please call or email Educational Destinations for answers.
Suggestions from Teacher and Educators:
Fundraising…oh the fun. I am not a big fan of fundraising, but understand it to be a necessary evil of my job in order to financially sustain a quality program. I try to steer clear of small change fundraisers or fundraisers that don’t offer at minimum, a 50/50 split on the return. I’m much more excited and willing to do fundraisers that are able to make thousands in revenue rather than hundreds. Here are some examples of what we do that make thousands and help sustain our program. Like many other programs, we are constantly looking for new and great ideas.
We run a 4-day fireworks booth in our city July 1-4. It makes about $11,000 to $16,000.
At the start of every school year, the go door to door in our community asking for their support. If anyone makes any sort of donation (1 cent to whatever), we give them a “decal” that says “I Support the School”. This sticker can go in any window. If people aren’t home, we leave a letter and envelope. This fundraiser makes us about $13,000.
Car Wash Marathon:
A spin on your typical car wash. We select five sites within the city and presale tickets. We divide up the students among the five sites and wash cars all day… because there are five sites, it makes a whole lot more money than one site earning up to $3,000.
Most restaurants will have a “eat out” fundraiser. Patrons bring a flyer with them on a specified date and time and when they eat, turn in the flyer. A certain percentage (15 % to 20%) is given back to the organization. Typically about $200 to $300 per event.
We have also done our fair share of cookie dough, discount cards, Christmas trees, candy… and a whole lot more.
I refuse to do any fundraiser that I could potentially lose money on. I know it’s kind of a “no-brainer”, but there are way too many “Buy this candy up front and sell it for twice what you paid!” deals out there.
We raise a majority of our money using a scrip program. It is steady income that makes planning much easier. www.scrip.com
In Michigan, you can get 10 cents for every can you recycle, so we go door to door asking for cans. We make about $600 an hour when we do this.
I prefer to use “event type” fundraisers as opposed to selling items. The best “go out and sell something” fundraiser we have is a fruit fundraiser. We also sell Avon, cookie dough, and have plenty of car washes throughout the year.
We have a large and small fundraiser. The large fundraiser is a fruit sale. One small fundraiser is Smart Cards. We give the students five cards that they either sell for $12 or a donation of $35 which is our profit on smart cards. We do the same thing with Applebee’s or McDonald’s for breakfast.
Magazine subscriptions work well, especially in the younger grades; the company bills the customer so the students/parents never collect money or deliver items.
Annual Rummage Sale:
Another great project is our Annual Rummage Sale. Students label items to sell with their names and asking price; we set up early at a high traffic location, advertise in papers, and generally earn several thousands of dollars in one day.
Car Washes and Restaurant Nights:
We earn a nice amount and the students have fun working together so it is good for team building as well.
We hold a silent auction at a big showcase concert in the spring. The concert features a variety acts. We charge admission for the concert and ask for merchandise and/or professional services to be donated by local businesses to auction prior to and during the concert. We usually earn $2,500 to $3,000 on this.
Here is a funny story (wasn’t funny at the time) of my first year teaching. The Band Boosters scheduled a barn dance/BBQ dinner on a Saturday night. I walked in and discovered that they were selling beer by the mug from a keg. I thought that I would be fired for sure, and then the principal and superintendent walked in – I thought I would be fired that night! No, they bought their beer and BBQ and sat down to enjoy the evening. That sort of fundraiser was acceptable in the community; however, I would not recommend it as a fundraiser in most towns in the USA!
In Arizona, we are able to use tax credit money that parents can pay into a school account for most of our needs. Parents get a dollar for dollar credit on their state taxes. Any other fundraisers that I do I try to have them be “non-product” so if a parent is paying $10 we get all $10. It is always bothersome for parents to pay the $10 and we only keep $4 as an example. That is the direction my program goes. My boosters sell concessions at the varsity football games and generate large dollars for our program as well.
I use state tax credits (most of our funds $50,000+), Navajo taco sales (earns $3,000+), and our jazz benefit concert/dinner/auction (earns $12,000). Our boosters run our fundraisers and they are very dedicated to getting results. We only do a few but we make sure that they are all big money makers.
Here is a list ED has compiled over the years:
- Operate or work concessions for school events
- Operate or work concessions for professional sports teams or arenas
- Sell flowers and mulch
- Pledge Car Wash – collect pledges before the date
- Sell cheese, sausage, candy or fruit
- Rent a kid
- Discount Cards
- Rechargeable Merchant Cards (supermarkets, gas stations, big box stores)
- Rummage sale
- Free throw, 3-point, full court shot contest
- Bag groceries
- Sell group concerts for corporate parties
- Auction group concert on ebay
- Sell radio ads
- Leaf raking
- Breakfast with Santa or Easter Bunny
- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
- Craft Fair
- Take over a restaurant for a night
- Daisy Drop
- Children’s Carnival
- Charity Golf Tournament
- Miniature Golf Tournament
- Bowling Tournament
- Clean up a race track or concert hall/sports arena after a big event
We hope these insights prove valuable and profitable to you. Educational Destinations stands ready to help with advice, experience and the ability to easily spread fund raising money quickly into each traveler’s trip account.