Fundraising is a fact of life in virtually every school. School budgets are typically lean, covering the most basic needs of a school. Educators and administrators must be creative when it comes to funding items outside of their budget’s scope. It’s common for schools to fundraise for extracurricular teams and clubs, technology, sports and playground equipment, and even classroom supplies.
Perhaps your school wants to streamline its PBIS program by using PBIS Rewards, but there is no budget available to purchase the PBIS management software. You may even be wondering how you will be able to stock and maintain a school store in the face of a tight budget.
Have no fear – PBIS Rewards has compiled a list of school fundraising ideas to help get you started.
General School Fundraising Ideas
Sometimes you have to think outside of the box when it comes to supplementing your school’s budget. Finding the funds to bring PBIS Rewards to your school will be well worth the effort. Keep in mind that funding programs can vary by state or region, so you’ll need to thoroughly investigate the avenues available to your school.
Most school districts have an employee whose job responsibility is to find grants for schools. Some school districts have the information on their district website or via a pamphlet that goes out to the school. Examples of available grants include:
- Safe and Drug-Free Schools
- Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) — View the REAP FAQ here.
- Toshiba America Foundation – math and science grants for 6-12.
Establish business and community partnerships with local area businesses and ask for donations. You should draft a formal letter about who you are, what school you are with, what PBIS is, and why you need the donations. Some schools create a donor wall or donor walk that allows businesses and individuals to place their company logo or business name on a wall-of-fame-style display.
Invite the media (TV, radio and/or newspaper) on days when you are doing a schoolwide PBIS event, teaching your students your expectations/rewards, etc. Make sure you include items your school needs in the news story. You never know who will want to become part of your efforts. Here are some great examples:
Student and Parent Involvement
The people who will benefit most directly from PBIS – students and their parents – are often a great source for simple school fundraisers. Some of these ideas take advantage of activities families do already, such as grocery shopping, for maximum impact with little effort.
- Collect Box Tops
- Staples Office Supplies recycle ink cartridges for store credit
- Publix gives back with their Publix Partner card
- Schnucks gives back with their My Schnucks Card program
- Kroger gives back with their Kroger Community Rewards program
- Have a fundraiser dedicated to PBIS
- Uniform or Student ID Badge fees – make the badges a mandatory part of your school’s dress code and assess a fee for each badge. A $5 fee could net your school up to $3 per badge, allowing you to fund the entire PBIS Rewards program. Plus, a badge fee confers value to your students, leading them to care for their badges.
Hosting a community event is a great way to showcase your school and create positive interactions between your school and the larger community. Organize a 5K fun run, bike ride, community yard sale, or farmer’s market. Use the school campus as a gathering place for such events, particularly if you have a large parking lot or green space. As a bonus, inviting the larger community to an event outside of school hours is one way to generate neighborhood goodwill.
It may seem odd to turn to the Internet and ask “strangers” to help support your cause, but crowdfunding for schools is becoming more and more popular. Here are a few websites that have great school fundraising success stories:
Some businesses and individuals would prefer to donate items instead of giving money. Kids like items with logos on them, and stocking your school store with these donations also helps to promote your donors’ business. Possible sources for donations include:
- Banks – Banks often have an abundance of logo merchandise; ask if they will donate such items for your school store.
- Radio Stations – Contact your local radio stations to see if they will donate shirts/hats with their logo. See if they will come out to your school and do a live broadcast. (See Public Relations, above.)
Parents are often willing to donate specific items to your school store. Items such as school supplies are useful and inexpensive and give parents a way to participate without overspending. Make a wish list of items and send that list home with students.
Or, your school can follow in the footsteps of other schools and PTOs that host an “alternative fundraiser” designed to raise money without the need to sell gift wrap, cookies, or any other typical fundraising items. A tongue-in-cheek fundraising letter gives parents a laugh while also making fundraising relatively painless.
With a little brainstorming, your school can find ways to fundraise within your local community that are easy, practical, and beneficial for all involved.
Businesses and Foundations That Support Schools
You may be surprised to learn that many businesses have established programs designed specifically to aid schools. Go to any of these websites for more information on the programs established by these companies to assist schools. Or, you can visit your local store affiliate and ask for more information.
Websites That List Educational Grant Information
There are hundreds of grants available to assist in school funding. Local, statewide, national, and governmental grants are all available to eligible schools. Several websites serve as a clearinghouse for this information, including:
- Teacher’s Network
- Kids in Need
- The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations
- Great Schools
- The Foundation Center
We want to hear your school fundraising ideas!
Fundraising is an ongoing activity for most schools, and educators are always on the lookout for new and different ways to supplement their budgets. Do you have school fundraising ideas that we haven’t mentioned here? We’d love to hear about them.