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Raise Money and Promote Wellness with a Gardening-Based School Fundraiser
Is your school organization looking for a new fundraising idea? Have your neighbors, co-workers, and other backers tired of the typical candy/magazine/soy candle sales? Would you like to institute a program that will help your group reach its financial goal while promoting healthy, active lifestyles in your community? If so, consider a seed sale.
There has been a resurgence in gardening as a hobby in recent years as people seek ways to reduce their food budgets, eat locally, and live more healthy lifestyles. Community and school gardens are budding across the country as initiatives like First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign and Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution have raised the public's awareness of the need to promote nutrition and healthier eating in our schools and communities. Your school organization can benefit from these trends during its next fundraising cycle.
Here's a look at two options that are available for a gardening-based fundraiser:
For more information:
- Seed Savers Exchange - Seed Savers Exchange Fundraising
Learn more about the "Seeds to Grow" program.
Seed Savers Exchange's "Seeds to Grow" Program
Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Decorah, Iowa, that is dedicated to the preservation of heirloom seeds and plants and our country's garden heritage. Through its catalog and on-line store, Seed Savers Exchange offers flower and vegetable seeds and seedlings for sale to the general public. It recently developed the Seeds to Grow program to promote heirloom gardening through school fundraising. The organization believes that selling heirloom seeds will create student interest in gardening, nutrition, health, environmental sciences, and culinary arts while benefiting the school and the gardening community.
How it works: There are six different seed collections for sale at a cost of $10 per collection. Each collection contains four seed packets. Customers may choose among "Big Salad Bowl" (lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers), "Container Magic" (silver fir tomato, rainbow chard, nasturtiums and purple basil), "Kid's Favorites" (popcorn, sunflowers, pole beans and watermelon); "Pizza Party" (sweet peppers, basil, tomatoes and oregano); "Heritage Garden" (heirloom varieties of lettuce, morning glory, squash and beets); and "Flower Passion" (cosmos, marigolds, nasturtiums and sunflowers).
Customers make payment directly to the school organization at the time of sale. The organization compiles and submits the orders, along with payment of 60% of the total orders. The organization keeps 40% of whatever is sold (or $4 from each collection). Seed Savers Exchange sends all seeds to the organization to distribute.
Seed Savers Exchange recommends that school groups take orders during the months of September, October and November. It will ship out orders between December and February. Groups should make sure all seeds are delivered to customers by March 15 in time for spring planting.
For more information:
- Seeds of Change
Learn more about the "Healthy Fundraising" program.
Seeds of Change's "Healthy Fundraising" Program
Seeds of Change is a certified organic seed company committed to preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. It not only preserves endangered heirloom seed varieties, it develops new varieties that are suitable for farm-scale cultivation without sacrificing flavor. Seeds of Change contributes 1% of all sales to organic agricultural initiatives worldwide. It's Healthy Fundraising program seeks to raise money for schools while encouraging gardening and healthy eating.
How it works: The Healthy Fundraising program has three fundraising kits from which to choose. All three kits include a school garden starter kit containing 25 seed packets to help participating schools create their own gardens and provide plant-based education to students. There is free shipping on all orders.
The Starter Package includes 25 each of four seed collections: "Italian Kitchen" (roma tomato, basil, spinach and orange bell pepper); "Kids Fun-to-Grow" (carrot, pumpkin, sunflower and cucumber); "Salad Starter" (mesclun mix, orange bell pepper, cherry tomato and edible chrysanthemum); and "Zesty Salsa" (jalapeño, cilantro, roma tomato and sweet onion). The school organization purchases the kit for $600 and sells the collections for a recommended retail price of $10 each, for a profit of $400. Unsold collections may not be returned.
The Full School Package includes 375 collections (100 Italian Kitchen, 100 Kids Fun-to-Grow, 100 Salad Starter and 75 Zesty Salsa) at a cost of $2,250 for a potential profit of $1,500. Custom kits with any combination of the four seed collections also are available at a cost of $6 per collection with a $100 minimum order.
Raise Money the Healthy and Green Way
If your organization is looking for a new way to raise money while making a positive difference in the community, consider whether one of these fundraising programs is right for you.