LeanStream Engagement Team
Fundraisers are a fantastic way for teachers and coaches to raise money to supplement the school's budget. Money raised through fundraisers can help the school provide extracurricular activities, buy necessary equipment, and help complete important school projects.
However, it is common for fundraisers to focus on selling low-nutrition, high-calorie food items. But, who says fundraisers have to involve cakes, cookie dough, and chocolates? We are saying here that it is possible to organize a school fundraiser that promotes healthy living and positive health messages for students, teachers, families, and the entire community.
What better way to demonstrate your school’s commitment to healthy lifestyles than organizing a healthy school fundraiser and helping your school raise some much-needed funds?
You can use the following ideas to promote healthy eating habits and/or physical activities when organizing a school fundraiser. Be unique and try something different with a focus on raising money the healthy way. Let's do this!
School gala or fair
You can organize a school gala where only healthy foods are allowed, following CDC guidelines for large gatherings. These can include toasted sandwiches with plenty of veggies, cheese, and lean meats. Alternatively, you can have the local supermarkets and produce stores donate healthy foods. To add some fun, you may include some fun games in the gala; for instance, have students throw wet sponges or burst water balloons at their teacher, for a fee. Everyone goes home healthy, and the school raises money.
You can host a cultural evening or a talent quest at the school and have parents, teachers, and friends buy attendance tickets. To make it healthier, you can include a healthy food voucher in the ticket price. Alternatively, you can have volunteers, preferably your students, sell healthy snacks at the event as extras.
Host a Walkathon and/or Jogathon
This is a simple yet highly effective idea for raising funds while promoting healthy living. Give students a pledge form to request pledges based on their performance. Students could have their friends and family pledge $1 for a lap or $5 a mile. The event takes place during the normal school day. Students and teachers can walk on a marked course according to their grade levels and jog or walk on the course for a specified period, say, half an hour. The biggest advantage of this plan is everyone gets involved in the fun.
An art auction is a brilliant idea, especially if you can partner with local or even national artists to give your event greater exposure. Ask for materials from local donors, parents, and the community and have students and their parents show off their artistic skills. You can then auction the art pieces at the event. What’s even better is the artwork can be tax-deductible! Learn more about how that works here.
Cultural theme days
A cultural theme day is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity in your community. How to go about it? Simply run a fundraiser selling a range of food from around the world. Emphasis on healthy foods like lean meats and vegetables. Such an event can be organized on Easter, Matariki, Diwali, or Christmas. If held during school hours, refer to the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School Rule for guidance.
You can also request donations for students to wear iconic pieces of apparel from different cultures on cultural theme days.
Another way to promote healthy living while raising funds is by organizing a school barbeque. It would be an excellent way for students, teachers, parents, and the community to socialize and unite towards a common goal. Some of the healthy barbeque foods that can be sold include veggie patties, salads, and grilled veggies.
Sell spirited school items
Who says a healthy fundraiser must involve food? You can also organize a fundraiser that sells items emblazoned with school logos like t-shirts, book covers, and water bottles, among others. Not only do they promote school spirit, but they are also valuable for those who will buy them. It is also a great way of fostering togetherness and pride within the school community. The good thing about school merchandise is that it can still be sold after the fundraising day at the school store and channeled to the school fund. Such merchandise has a similar markup to other stuff like doughnuts and chocolates, but they are healthier alternatives.
Jump rope contest
Another idea to encourage children to be physically active while raising money to help the school is a jump rope contest. Like the walkathon or jogathon, students' pledges are raised by the number of times a student consecutively jumps rope or sets a specific number of jumps per student. Certainly a better alternative to selling candy.
In a duck race, students, parents, and friends adopt a plastic duck for a certain amount (for instance, $5 per duck). These ducks are thrown into a waterway, where they float and race to the finish line with prizes for the winning duck's adoptive parents. This type of fundraiser is not only very easy to organize but you are also guaranteed funds. Remember to remind everyone that 100% of the funds raised from the duck race will go directly to the school, club, or program hosting the fundraiser.
“World record” events
Organize an event where the participants pay for a shot at ‘world records’ set by yourself and other organizers. And no, we are not talking Olympic type of world record. You can think of something like how many pushups the participants can perform within a certain period or how many obstacles they can clear with prizes for the world record breakers. It is a great way to get teachers, parents, students, and the school community involved.
You can auction coaching sessions with your school coaches or the leading sports personalities in your school where parents and students pay a small fee to participate in various exercises under instructions from your coaches. It's another excellent way to get everyone involved in healthy workouts while raising funds for the school. You’ll want to double-check your policy manual to ensure this doesn’t violate any school or district policies.
The above ideas are by no means exhaustive but will no doubt be a good start for a teacher/coach looking to incorporate healthy ideas into their school fundraiser.
Remember, LeanStream is your ultimate partner when it comes to fundraising for your school. Take a look at the solutions that we’ve built for you HERE!