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Easy School Fundraiser Ideas to Help Your School Make Money

Updated on April 20, 2012

I had the good fortune to be on the PTA board for over three years. During my tenure, I served one year as the Treasurer and two years as the President. This priviledge gave me a lot of insight into school fundraising, parent-teacher relationships, and other ways to help the students achieve success in their educational career. It was my job to find easy school fundraiser ideas.

Believe it or not, it is actually very easy to make money for your school. Even small schools can make some extra cash to purchase much needed school supplies. And in these tough economic times, these extra dollars can really help out your teachers and students.

In this article, I will discuss the easiest school fundraisers. They are so simple to begin, and they are so simple to maintain. With a few volunteers, your school may be able to balance their budget a little better. So let's explore the easiest school fundraisers.

School Fundraiser

Box Tops for Education are an excellent resource for earning cash for your school.
Box Tops for Education are an excellent resource for earning cash for your school. | Source

Box Tops for Education

With the Box Tops for Education fundraiser program, parents clip Box Tops (special pink promotional items on General Mills' products) and send them into the school. The school can then redeem each product for 10 cents each. While 10 cents may not seem like a large sum, the money quickly adds up, and the school can earn a lot of cash quickly. We found that Box Tops for Education was one of the highest paying fundraisers in our school.

To make your Box Tops program even more successful, follow these tips:

  • Offer a popcorn party for the classroom that brings the highest number of Box Tops for Education during a specific period.
  • At the reception area, offer a collection box to encourage parents to donate.
  • Ask students and parents to have their families collect Box Tops as well. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles love to participate to help their children's school.
  • Ask local businesses to save Box Tops for your school. It's a great community building exercise.
  • If your school is a church-based school, ask your pastor to ask for Box Tops during the weekly sermon. Families could simply drop the Box Tops into the collection plate.

Remember that the company also offers specials throughout the year. Sometimes, the Catalina coupons (the coupons that come from the cash registers) will spit out extra Box Top Cash. This Box Top cash is worth more money than traditional Box Tops but can be redeemed in the same manner.

Throughout the year, the Box Tops school fundraiser will sometimes allow parents to complete a special Bingo-type sheet as shown in the picture. Parents are asked to tape their Box Tops to a special piece of paper, which can be printed from the main website. When the paper is completely filled with Box Tops and the parent has completed all the information, the school receives additional funds.

As an added incentives, parents can shop on the Box Tops for Education website. Once they specify their school, the school will receive a percentage of their purchases toward their fundraiser. And here's the best part: Your friends and family can shop here too! As long as they specify your school as the designated recipient, it doesn't matter whether their child attends the school. They can donate their money to your school, Box Tops receives money from the stores, and your school receives the fundraiser proceeds. It's completely win-win.

For more information and to sign up your school, visit their website.

School Fundraiser From Target

The Target REDcard offers a lucrative fundraiser for schools.
The Target REDcard offers a lucrative fundraiser for schools. | Source

Target: Take Charge of Education

Target stores now feature a Take Charge of Education program, which is designed as a school fundraiser program. This is a fantastic program because parents simply sign up once, designate their school, and shop as they please. Then a percentage of their purchases is simply donated to the school of their choice. In fact, the program is not just limited to parents. Anyone can sign up: neighbors, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone else you can imagine. You simply go online, visit their store, or sign up in the store. All the person needs is a Target REDcard, which is Target's credit card.

When the shopper uses their Target REDcard at Target, 1% of their total purchases are donated to the school of their choice. The best part is that money is still donated when they shop at places other than Target! When the card is used at other stores, Target donates .05% to the school.

The money is accumulated throughout the year, and Target sends a check to the school once a year. The checks are sent in September, which works out fantastically, since many schools are just beginning in September.

Grocery Programs are Great School Fundraisers

Grocery shopping can raise money for the school.
Grocery shopping can raise money for the school. | Source

Grocery Programs

Perhaps the second most popular fundraiser idea (next to the Box Tops for Education program) is the grocery store fundraiser. These are very simple programs that can make money for almost every school. Since everyone shops at the grocery store, these programs can be targeted to every single parent in the school. While these programs will not make you a million dollars, they will certainly bring in a steady few hundred dollars each quarter.

Investigate all of the grocery stores in your area. Since grocery stores and supermarkets vary across the country, it will be difficult to discuss each and every one in this article. I can, of course, discuss supermarkets that are in my area. However, you can easily adjust these tips to your specific area.

I have found that the high end grocery stores offer the best paying fundraising programs. This may seem obvious, since they probably cost more than the other stores, but it is true. Our school made more money from Harris Teeter (a high end store) than we did from any other local grocery store. We received more than a few hundred dollars each time we received a check, and we didn't even have that many parents who shopped at that store. So the bottom line is this: When you sign your school up for grocery store fundraising programs, go to the high end stores first.

On the other hand, don't let that stop you from signing up at all of the other stores. We signed up at Food Lion (before their program changed) and made a little bit of money from them. They may be worth more now, but we didn't make a whole lot of money at the time. At the time, Lowe's Foods did not offer a grocery educational fundraising program, and Kroger was impossible to work with. I don't know if Kroger didn't have a program, or if they simply didn't have knowledgable customer service staff, but we just gave up at that point.

We made it very easy for parents to sign up for the programs. We printed out bar cards and included them in each newsletter so the parents could ask their grocery store to scan the bar code to designate their school. We also created forms so we could sign parents up online ourselves. If you do this, be careful: some of the grocery store cards are tricky and some parents forgot to include all of the numbers. Make sure you include step-by-step instructions: "Parents: Please include all numbers on your card, including the tiny numbers pre-printed in the left corner."

The bottom line is that a little extra effort up front can pay off big in the end. Invest in your school, and you will have some extra money for your students. Your fundraising efforts just may be enough to buy an extra computer, some textbooks, or some library books. You just never know!

Cash for Your School

Earning cash for your school is easier than it sounds. Even small schools can benefit from a little investment of a volunteer's time. The opportunities are available, and the money is out there. In these tough economic times, the money is more important than ever.

My future articles will cover other areas of school fundraising, so your school can explore other ways to earn money with an easy fundraiser. Parents, children, and teachers can get together to support their school. After all, the school is its own community.


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    • pratoocool profile image

      Neha 4 years ago

      Thanks for good ideas and tips...

      There are quite a few companies that arrange for school fundraiser. You can contact one of them and opt for a professional school fundraising campaigns.

      If you are not satisfied with the ideas provided by the professionals you can take help of your little students and put some inspiring ideas together for a satisfactory result. You can create a platform for the little ones through this school fundraiser.

      You can arrange for a play or some competition and let the children show their talents and take part in school fundraising. This will both be fun and educative for them.

    • profile image

      michele malone 7 years ago

      The kroger in our area does a fund raiser with my daughter's school. You purchase a $5 kroger card through the school, then reload and reuse it all year. a percentage of all the money spent on the card goes back to her school. It is my all time favorite fund raiser because you are just spending money you would already spend. we purchased gift cards for other members of the family too, since it works at any kroger and not just the local ones. the money goes back to the school where the card came from.