The obvious outcome of any fundraiser is that it raises money. However, there is no reason you should not aim for something more when looking for fundraising ideas. Here I look at some ideas which have extra benefits for your group, in addition to cold, hard cash.
Publishing your own book encourages a love of the written word, and by asking students to write and illustrate their own stories or recipe books you are assisting with literacy and creativity as well as raising money.. There are a number of companies who provide the software and assistance to make the process relatively pain-free, such as Schoolyard Stories who streamlines the process online, so all you have to do is upload stories or recipes. You can even have personalised covers for every student. Learn more here.
Read-a-thons are basically sponsoring kids to read as many books as possible within a certain time frame. Students seek sponsors to pay them a certain amount of money for each book they read, and like a fun run, the more books they read, they more money they earn. Apart from raising money, the obvious benefits are encouraging kids to read more, improving literacy skills and promoting reading and books as a fun activity.
You can easily design your own read-a-thon or join an established program such as the highly successful School Read-a-thon which provides all the promotional and fundraising materials as well as incentive prizes for children in return for a cut of the money raised.
Health and physical activity
Fun runs or lapathons can be as simple or as involved as you want them to be. Working on the same principle as a readathon (or any of the –athons) children are sponsored for each lap they run, with the money raised going to the school (or charitable project). The health benefits are clear, and you can always encourage lunchtime ‘practice’ sessions to encourage even more physical activity. Or you can run your fundraising event over a fortnight, with children running laps each lunchtime to earn money. There are companies which will come and organise the entire event for you as well as provide incentive prizes or click here for simple instructions on how to run your own event.
Jump Rope for Heart is a classic fundraiser, although it should be remembered the funds go to the Heart Foundation, not the school. After 30+ years it is still popular and a great way to get kids outdoors and doing fun, healthy activities. Learn more here.
Cooking and nutrition
Get Kids Cooking is a fun way to teach children essential cooking skills, and while your school earns money from selling subscriptions to the monthly club, other benefits include having dinner cooked for you and enthusiastic helpers in the kitchen at home. Learn more here.
Living Fundraisers are a wonderful way to teach children about where food comes from and the joy of raising plants and flowers. Money is raised by selling packets of seeds (fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs) and the other benefits include having fresh, home-grown food to eat as well as encouraging children (and families) to go outdoors and get busy in the garden. Learn more here.
Eco Switch is a simple tool which enables you to turn off appliances easily, saving you (and the earth) all the electricity that is wasted by having equipment such as TVs on stand-by. Funds are raised by selling the eco-switches and added benefits are saving power and money, reducing emissions and raising awareness. Learn more here.
Re-usable food pouches are a great way of cutting down on all the plastic wrap, containers and paper bags that go into the rubbish bin every day at school. The school benefits from the money raised from selling products designed to encourage healthy eating, while the school (and planet) also benefits from less waste being thrown into landfill. The food pouches are particularly good for yoghurt, meaning parents can also save money by buying large tubs of yoghurt rather than the very expensive individual serves, which just get tossed in the rubbish bin. Learn more here.