Monday, February 2, 2015

Five fantastic fundraising ideas

Everyone has to do it. No one particularly likes to do it, but everyone has to do it... FUNDRAISING. Fundraising can be one of the hardest parts of any school job, especially a theatre teacher who is needing money to fund the next school production or competition. As a theatre teacher, my biggest fundraiser each year is my Musical Production.

This year I set a new high by raising $10,000 with my production! Say what!

If you read my posts on Thursday you know I am doing a weekly step by step guide to how to put on a productions. Productions are not easy and they require a ton of prep-work and expense. So while I love using a production as a fundraiser, it is often good to have a few easy fundraisers as well. These are also great because they work well for the entire school or a club (we have actually used these to help raise money for Relay for Life and other charities as well). These  fundraisers also take very little prep time and expense.

Penny wars

This is one of my favorite fundraisers. All you need are some teams and a big jar per team. In school, teams are easy. You can either have grade levels compete against each other, boys vs. girls or club vs. club.  What ever works. You then need to have large jars somewhere. (We were a little worried about the jars running off so we drilled milk-jugs to a large wooden plank and placed the plan in the library_ much harder to run off with a huge plank).  The rules are simple.  For every penny that is put in your team jar, your team gets a point. For every denomination that is not a penny, your team looses that many points. The team with the most points wins!

For example if we are having a boys vs girls penny war. One girl  puts 50 pennies in the girl jar. The girls now have 50 points! Then a boy comes and trows a quarter in the girl jar. The girls now loose 25 points (quarter= 25 pennies). The girls now only have 25 points!

This is a great game because kids get the change to sabotage the other teams. It also is great because it helps reinforce money concepts which our students struggle with. This game can be played for any amount of time you want. I once knew a school that played all year, but declared a winner each month! For the winning team you can choose any number of prizes: Free dance party during specials, pride, a sign over their hallway declaring them the winners. Try to think of something cheep but fun that the kids would love.

Flock of flamingos

 Flock of flamingos is a great fundraiser but you must have a very awesome staff and administration to pull it off. The whole concept is that students can pay money to send a flock of flamingos to different teacher's rooms. This fundraiser is hilarious but if your staff is not amused with the flock it wont work. To prepare for this fundraiser all you need to do is cut out a ton of flamingos from pink paper.  Or if you staff is really awesome_ go buy a few plastic flamingos at the dollar store/ goodwill. I would pick one week that was "Flamingo Week" during this week students can pay (see suggested prices below) to flamingo someone's classroom/class door. Teachers then either have to live with the flamingos all week or can get flamingo insurance to have the flamingos removed from their door at the end of each day.  Once the week is over, all the flamingos fly on and life returns to normal.

Suggested pricing:
1 flamingo is $1.00
1/2 flock (6 flamingos) is $5.00
Full Flock (12 flamingos) is $10.00
Flamingo insurance is $10.00

If you are using the plastic flamingos you might want to change the number of flamingos in a flock. If you are using paper you could increase the flock size. Also remember that if you want, more than one flock can go to a teacher's door (and even if they buy the insurance, the flock will still land for one day).

Jar of shame

You also need an awesome staff to pull off this fundraiser. Find a few awesome teachers who don't mind embarrassing themselves for a great cause. Have them each declare one embarrassing thing they will do if they win (or loose depending on how you look at it). Use the same jars as from the penny wars. Take pictures of each teacher are put a picture and their embarrassing stunt of the jar. The teacher who has raised the most money by the end of the week, must perform the embarrassing task. Everyone loves this fundraiser, it is fun and the kids get a kick out of watching teachers humiliate themselves. The only warning I would give is make sure the teachers are comfortable performing their tasks. You don't want someone to pack out at the last minuet.

Shameful ideas :)
dye you hair a funny color for the day
shave your head
eat a bug/worm
kiss a pig
get duck-taped to a wall
dress like a _______(something silly)____ all day
eat some weird food
do a crazy dance

Pay to wear

If your school has a strict uniform this is always a great option. On special days, allow students to pay money to break uniform. This fundraiser is great because it takes no effort on your part and you make some super easy money. We have had hat day, pajama day, sports day, silly day, book character day.  Any type of day you can think of is a great theme for this type of fundraiser. Make sure you get permission from your administration before hosting this event (some school systems wont let you pay to wear). Also make sure you have a plan for those kids who wear but do not pay. Do they have to call home and get a change of clothes or are you just going to ignore it. This fundraiser is no prep and no cost so if you are allowed you should definitely add it in to your rotation.

Face painting/ temporary tattoos

This fundraiser costs a little more on the front end, but all the kids love it. First invest in some face paints or temporary tattoos that you can sell.  Then on any day you get approval, sell face paint and temporary tattoos. You can make a ton of profit from this type of fundraiser. There 144 tattoos in a pack @ $5.00 a pack. If you sell the pack for even $0.25 each you will make $31.00 a pack (you can make $62 if you sell at $0.50 a tattoo). This is a great easy fundraiser for a club. You really need several people helping you sell/paint faces. If you have a ton of talented kids in your group let them paint faces one day. It is amazing how much money you can make for such a simply process.

Well these are just a few of my ideas on how to help raise money for your school, club, or class. Did any of these ideas work for you? Were you able to make any money off of them? Also what other fundraisers have you tried that have been very successful? Leave me a message I would love to hear from you!

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