Are you a teacher, a PTA member, or a school fundraiser who gets the shivers from simply hearing the word “school fundraising”? If so, you’re exactly in the right place!
Over the last decade, US schools have faced drastic budget cuts, which has undermined their capacity to develop the skills and creativity of future generations. And with a worldwide pandemic underway, US public schools are struggling more than ever before.
“Schools receive nearly half of their funding from state coffers. But with businesses shuttered in response to the pandemic and the unemployment rate already nearing 15% — well above its 10% peak during the Great Recession — state income and sales tax revenues are crashing”, notes Alliance for Public Schools. And making sure public schools are funded is very important.
Increasing funding to public schools can help schools hire and retain excellent teachers, reduce class sizes, and expand the availability of high-quality early education. All of these have been shown to be crucial determinants of students’ success. school fundraiser ideas
Because schools rely so heavily on state aid, cuts to state funding have forced schools to raise revenue to cover the gap. Many more teachers, schools, and PTAs have started running their own fundraising activities to ensure that their students have what they need. By some accounts, many teachers spend more than $500 of their own money on school supplies for their classrooms each year.
But there’s another way: school fundraisers! School fundraisers help pay for extracurricular activities, additional classroom supplies, equipment for art, drama, and music programs, field trips, school clubs, (and so much more!)
This guide sources 10 best school fundraising ideas out there, each selected for its potential to help you raise funds, for how achievable it is (for most schools), and for how enjoyable it is at the same time! Alongside sharing school fundraising ideas, we will be also sharing the best fundraising practices to help you get the most out of your fundraising.
Before you start
Before you get started with any of the school fundraising ideas listed below, take some time to reflect and answer the following questions:
- Consider your context. What are your school’s financial needs over the course of the entire school year and beyond?
- What are your goals? Be specific. Instead of saying “we need to raise funds for our sports program”, create a list of pieces of sports equipment you need (alongside their prices).
- When do you need to have the funds? Are funds needed quickly or are you comfortable receiving them throughout the school year?
- What is the expected timeframe? Is this a one-month, three-months, or 6-month long project (with planning and evaluation included)?
- What are the resources you can commit to raising the funds? For example, how many volunteer hours can your team commit?
- Who’s the leader and who will be helping out?
If you want your school fundraiser to be a big success, this is no time to just wing it! Even if you’re super busy, take some time to consider your goals, ambitions, and resources. A little bit of planning goes a long way. Then, you’ll be ready to get started!