Successful class fundraising ideas are grounded in some basic principles that can help ensure your efforts result in a high-impact event that reaches a wide audience, creates positive engagement with your supporters and potential donors, and achieves your fundraising goals.
We put together this list of 12 dos and don’ts to help you get started.
Do: Put some Fun in the Fundraising
Where do you see your students and families having fun and enjoying themselves? The more that your fundraising idea taps into what your community already loves the better. If you are a Minnesota community that emerges from winter into the joy of spring sunshine, you’ll love some spring fundraising ideas, but no one wants to go door-to-door selling anything during the deep winter months.
One innovative teacher in Richmond, VA did a writing project with her second-graders to help find forever homes for shelter animals. These students were definitely engaged in this good cause that helped the animals of their local community.
Do: Be Inclusive
It is important that your events be inclusive to your community. It is good for the students in your school to live in a community that shows diversity and inclusion matter. Also, the more someone feels like an included and valued community member, the more likely they are to be a supporter of your fundraising campaign.
Hybrid fundraising events are one way to make your fundraising event more accessible. Learn more: Top 3 Reasons to Build Hybrid Fundraising Events.
Do: Reach Out to More than the Moms
When thinking about parent and family engagement, imagine all sorts of family units. Think about the families in your community – There are more than moms in the local community raising our children, and they are ready to encourage students as well.
Consider engaging with the fathers as a focus of your next fundraising activity or reaching out to alumni to join in your next school event to expand your active school community.
Do: Be Up-To-Date On Crowdfunding Policies
Crowdfunding can be an easy and efficient way to raise classroom funds. Crowdfunding can also open you and your district up to liability. Knowledge is power and knowing best policies for crowdfunding in school districts is a great place to start. Your district may have information about crowdsourcing available online, if not, these sources should give you an idea of where to begin.
Don’t: Ignore Social Media Channels
When looking for fundraising ideas and marketing your fundraiser, reach out through social media. While 40-somethings and up tend to hang out on Facebook and Twitter, remember your community is also found on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. Don’t know how to use some of these platforms? Enlist the help of high-school students. Expand your community reach by casting a wider net via social media.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help! When it comes to fundraising, ask anyone and everyone to pitch in and lend a helping hand. And don’t forget you can ask for advice, resources, donations, and, of course, donations!
Do: Have A Donation Page
Gather all the information about your fundraising efforts in one place. Use a QR code to connect your printed information to your donation page. On your donation page, have a copy of your donation poster, donation letter, and a donate button so your supporters can participate on the spot or when they want.
Don’t: Underestimate The Power of A Small Fundraiser
Schools and parents are cash-strapped these days. Being able to raise any extra money is great. A small donation made at a bake sale could be enough to make an impact, depending on your fundraising goal. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to class fundraising ideas, so embrace the simplicity of this concept.
Don’t: Start Without a Budget
While it’s generally true that it takes money to make money, knowing how much money is available in the budget to invest in a school fundraising idea is always a vital piece of your planning puzzle.
Planning to sell tickets to an event like a silent auction is a solid fundraising plan, but your budget will determine if you host your event at a local business or elementary school cafeteria. Knowing how much money you have to work with upfront will save you disappointment in the long run.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Try Something New
Just because you have always done a spaghetti dinner on the second Saturday in October doesn’t mean you always have to. It may be time to shake up an old event with a new theme or time of year. It may be time to scrap a tried and true event like a dinner for an out-of-the-box idea like a parade where the money is raised from entry fees and whatever donations are collected along the route.
Don’t: Underestimate The Power of School (Or Competetive) Spirit
Friendly competitions like penny wars or who can wear the most spirit gear can bring in donations and give kids lasting memories. Almost every student is game for seeing their principal kiss a pig or watching their favorite PE teacher take a pie to the face as a reward for winning.
Do: Check With Legal
Much like understanding the legalities of crowdsourcing guidelines for your districts, knowing when and where you can fundraise on school property, knowing who is allowed to be in photographs, being aware of insurance policies and restrictions, knowing policies, guidelines, and laws about things like alcohol and raffles are all important when choosing class fundraising ideas.
With these dos and don’ts in mind, you are ready to check out these class fundraising ideas: