As a superintendent, you want your schools to organize the most profitable school fundraisers, which will result in more money to fund school projects.
The 7 most profitable school fundraisers
1. Sports event fundraisers. Sports events and programs typically occur in most schools. Your schools use sporting events to raise money because most students, teachers, and other school staff attend these sports events.
Ticket sales are the most obvious way to raise money from sporting events. With technology advances, tickets can now be sold online and taken up “digitally” at the event. How does this help you raise (and retain) more money? While cash may be king, most people don’t carry it anymore. Encourage more sales by taking credit cards and debit cards. It will eliminate “counting change” mistakes or worse yet, cash disappearing from the cash box. There is no need to use paper tickets anymore – reduce burden, increase sales and reduce loss through an electronic ticket platform (LeanStream has an “events” platform that includes e-ticketing if you are looking for one).
Your schools can also print programs and sell them to attendees to fundraise. Business sponsorships on banners, field signs or scoreboards are also a great way for your schools to raise money.
Schools can also stage other fundraising opportunities in conjunction with sporting events. Participation will be through the roof! An event before or after a ball game is a great way to leverage attendance by a broad crowd. It is a good time to sell school related items or even conduct a “contest” at halftime. Of course, the school should encourage people through announcements on public address systems to make their donations online for quick and easy support.
Does your school sports field have a running track marked out? If it does, set up a fun run and encourage learners, parents, teachers, and other people in the school community to run for a specified distance. Let all people who participate in the runs pay a fee.
2. Organize talent shows. Talent shows are a great way for schools to fundraise at very little cost. Schools can either use their own facilities to host a talent show school fundraiser or can use local event spaces, which are often donated for the event.
Schools will need to plan carefully for how people at the show will be organized. Will spectators watch the show while sitting? Will they watch it while standing? That will all depend on the resources available for the talent show.
Schools can advertise the talent show on school notice boards, use flyers and brochures, promote the event on social media, send newsletters to school email subscribers. This will help increase awareness of the talent show.
The attendees should pay a fee to enter the talent show fundraiser. Local businesses can also be invited to sponsor the show and inform all attendees about the talent show's purpose as a fundraiser. Although talent shows can be profitable on their own, they can also be coupled with additional fundraisers such as silent auctions, raffles, and bake sales to incorporate in the talent shows.
Besides in-person talent shows, the schools can also arrange for virtual talent shows. Here the contestants get votes for every donation made on them. The contest winner is the person with the highest total raised. These virtual talent shows need to be intensely promoted to get more viewers who can fundraise more money.
3. Set up an online shop. Online shop school fundraisers are an excellent way to raise more money today. 8 out of 10 Americans do their shopping online but our schools are often still selling the “old fashioned way.” Each of your schools should be have an online platform to sell school spirit wear and other branded merchandise (a good choice would be the LeanStream marketplace!). Other items to sell online can include candies, clothes, make-up, face masks, snacks, popcorn, smoothies, among others.
Schools should promote their stores by sending out their online store links to friends and family, the school email list, on social media, and on other platforms. Items can be shipped or picked up. Pick up campaigns may be a great option as this presents an opportunity to thank these customers for supporting your cause and encourage them to spread the word about your school's fundraising campaign.
4. The 80s/90s party school fundraiser. This is a profitable school fundraiser. It is an excellent option for high school teens and adults. The adults get to relive their olden golden years while the teens have a good laugh at how silly the adults look.
You can raise funds on such parties by charging all participants an entry fee. You can also incorporate other activities on the 80s/90s parties such as selling drinks and snacks, game competitions to increase the inflow of income for your fundraising campaigns.
5. Movie night high school takeovers. High school students will love this idea. When you arrange movie nights, use the auditorium or a theatre with some snacks and drinks sold either inside or outside the “movie theatre.” An outside event is a great option so families can maintain social distance and stay safe.
You can raise money by charging everyone who enters the movie night an entry fee. You can show different movies on different nights. Make it a weekly or monthly event and watch your profits soar. Just make sure that there are no other school activities that would compete on the same nights.
Besides students, feel free to invite other supporters, family, and friends. This can allow you to offer child care services at a fee in a separate kids’ theatre to raise more money.
6. Stage a school market or “bazaar” fundraiser. Hold a school market at the school premises. Invite friends, family, and the entire school community to the bazaar. Encourage entrepreneurial students to bring their items to sell on the school bazaar. You can also ask people to donate items that are still in good shape and of high-quality to increase the quantity of merchandise for sale.
You can organize your market indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather conditions. Or you can make it a 21st Century event and go virtual using social media to promote and an online tool like the LeanStream marketplace as the virtual “bazaar”. If you've collected some high-end items from donations, you can earn more money from them by selling them in silent auction-style.
You can amp up the fundraising by including other potential sources of revenue such as local food trucks, vendor tables, lemonade stands and the like. Get them to donate a portion of their sales to your school fundraising cause.
7. Reverse raffle school fundraiser (where raffles are ok). 50/50 raffles are a tried and tested profitable method of school fundraising that is quick and easy. The reverse raffle provides a twist on the traditional game, making it more interesting, beneficial, and exciting.
Here, you sell raffle tickets as you would normally and have supporters follow your school's Facebook page to see the contest outcomes. When your number gets called, you are out of the game. The winner is the last person standing – that is, the last ticket in the pot.
As you may attract a huge number of participants in the reverse raffle, you can drag the raffle out by removing between 5 to 10 tickets per day. Post all the numbers you’ve removed on Facebook. Continue doing this until only one ticket remains and you have a winner.
To raise more money, you can add an extra twist by giving the participants an option to pay a fee to have their ticket thrown back in the pot. After reaching your revenue target, you can stop the buybacks and announce the winner.
Always make your school fundraiser memorable to the participants to boost its profitability chances.