Gateway Gazette

The Top Fundraising Events for Your Kid’s School, Team or Organization

Ask any parent of an active child and they’ll tell you that almost everything their kids do costs money.  There are lessons, team fees, trip expenses and much more that can easily add up to the equivalent of a mortgage payment and that’s when parents turn to fundraising to help pay these bills.

What To Do With The Kids polled their followers through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and through whattodowiththekids.com for their top fundraising events and with almost 600 submissions, they created a list of the top 50 fundraising events for your kid’s school, team or organization.  The top 10 have been listed with the entire list being available at www.whattodowiththekids.com.

Sponsorship has always been a great way for local businesses to support amateur teams but those dollars are quickly drying up.  People however are more willing to give money when there is something that they can get in return.  The best example is when those cute Girl Guides show up at your door with those delicious cookies.

WTDWTK has categorized each event as either a “stand-alone event” which is an event onto itself, or as an “add-on to an event” which is a fundraising activity that can be added to a stand-alone event.  A pancake breakfast is a stand-alone event but you can include an add-on event such as a 50/50 draw to it.

As with any event, there are precautions that must be taken such as:

  • Safety and Security:  What are the chances of someone getting hurt?
  • Legal:  Is your activity legal in your area.  Don’t assume anything.
  • Morales:  Yes, your event can be the funniest thing ever created but will it offend people and would you want that type of offence associated with your group?
  • Liability:  Will you be responsible if something terrible happens?
  • Financially:  Will your fundraiser actually lose or make money?

The Top 50 Fundraising Events for Your Kid’s School, Team or Organization:

1.  Bake Sale

What is it?  Sell baked goods and other assorted treats.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Anywhere you can set up a table, preferably in a high traffic area.

What you’ll need:  People to donate baked goods, preferably homemade; tables, chairs and small signs for descriptions and pricing; cash box and people to sell.

How it works:  Volunteers bake treats such as cookies, cupcakes, squares and package them in small servings, usually in clear plastic bags that are sold for a reasonable price.

Tip:  It is important that you note which items contain peanuts or may have come in contact with peanuts.  If people ask and you are not sure, advise them not to buy anything.  You can also offer other add-on fundraising activities to this event.

2.  Candy/Popcorn/Spice/Seeds Sales

What is it?  Items sold at a profit.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Anywhere.

What you’ll need:  A product from a manufacturer/supplier; people willing to sell to their family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

How it works:  People use order forms to solicit sales and receive payment by a deadline.  At the deadline an order is placed with a company that supplies you the product at a discount.  When the product arrives, it is delivered to the people who ordered.

Tip:  Ask for samples before offering to sell them.  It’s also strongly advised to research the company and their product as well before choosing them.  Some companies can supply you with brochures and order forms.

3.  50/50 Draw

What is it?  A lottery with the prize being half of the money brought in from sales of tickets.

Type:  Add-on to an event.

Location:  At any event.

What you’ll need:  Numbered raffle tickets; a bucket; people to sell tickets.

How it works:  You sell tickets for a set amount.  Tear the numbered tickets in half and place one half in the bucket.  When the draw is held, the winner receives half of the amount collected.

Tip:  Check with the proper authorities as this may fall under local gambling laws.

4.  Barbeque Lunch

What is it?  You sell barbequed food between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Anywhere outside where you can set up a barbeque grill.

What you’ll need:  Barbeque with enough charcoal or propane to last 2-3 hours;  Food associated with barbequing; containers for the food and condiments; paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils and garbage bags for cleaning up;  tables and a few chairs.

How it works:  It’s just like barbequing at home except you pay closer attention to the cooking.  You sell the food along with soft drinks and maybe snacks.

Tip:   Find a high traffic area on a Saturday such as the front of a hardware store or supermarket.  Always cook meat well regardless of requests.  You can also offer other Add-on fundraising activities to this event.

5.  Pancake Breakfast

What is it?  Serve breakfast to people.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  An area large enough to accommodate tables and chairs.  Kitchen facilities nearby are also needed.

What you’ll need:  Kitchen facilities with the ability to make a lot of pancakes at the same time.  Pancake batter, coffee, juice and milk, table syrup, plates, cups and cutlery along with people to make the food, serve it and clean up afterwards.

How it works:  Serve breakfast to hungry people in the morning.

Tip:  You can also offer other add-on fundraising activities to this event.

6.  Bottle/Can Collection

What is it?  People have their pop/beer/wine bottles picked up from their home.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Any area where deposit money is paid when bottles or cans are returned.

What you’ll need:  People to distribute flyers to homes on a Monday or Tuesday and people to pick up the items from each house along with a vehicle to put them in when they are collected.

How it works:  A flyer announcing the pickup is printed and delivered to houses.  The flyer explains that the bottles/cans will be picked up Saturday morning and that they can be left on their porch if they’d like.  Once the bottles and cans are collected, they are brought to a location that pays a deposit or recycle fee.

7.  Cookbook

What is it?  A collection of recipes from students and teachers in book form.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Anywhere.

What you’ll need:  People to submit recipes and someone with patience to put it together and edit.  You can have the book printed or available in PDF format.

How it works:  People submit recipes for the cookbook and copies are sold.

Tip:  You can also make it a book of dessert recipes or of summer recipes.  It does however take a lot of time to gather the recipes, organize the book and have them printed and ready for sale.  You can also sell electronic versions if the book is in PDF.

8.  Community Garage Sale

What is it?  People with items to sell gather in one location.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  A large area such as a school yard or church parking lot.

What you’ll need:  Tables

How it works:  Tables are rented to local residents who can sell items that they would normally offer at their own garage or yard sales.  Local artisans may also participate.  You can also arrange to have a portion of their proceeds be donated to your group as well.

Tip:  Promote the event to the local media.  You can also offer other add-on fundraising activities to this event.

9.  Canteen

What is it?  Operate a small food/supply outlet at a tournament or special event.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Wherever an event or tournament is taking place.

What you’ll need:  Finger foods, drinks, lunch items such as hot dogs, chili, sandwiches along with snacks such as potato chips and candy; cash box; people to sell.

How it works:  You set up a table and offer to sell food and snacks.

Tip:  You can also offer other add-on fundraising activities to this event.

10.  Car Wash

What is it?  Wash people’s cars.

Type:  A stand-alone event.

Location:  Usually at a local gas station but it can also be anywhere there is enough room and access to a water hose such as in a church or school parking lot.

What you’ll need:  Water hose and water source; buckets, proper sponges and rags so they don’t scratch the vehicles; proper car washing soap; signs.

How it works:  People stand next to the street with signs announcing the car wash.  People pull up in their vehicles and are directed to a spot where the vehicle is soaked with water, soaped up and rinsed off.  Pricing can be based on the size of the vehicle.  It is extremely important that the vehicles are not damaged in any way.

Tip:  Classic water fights at car washes may look fun on TV but it will in fact annoy everyone else.  You can also offer other Add-on fundraising activities to this event.

What To Do With The Kids is the website that adults go to when they want to know what to do with their kids.  The site features games, crafts, party ideas, a directory of kid and family friendly places to go along with a number of WTDWTK Special Reports like this one.

The entire list of the top 50 Fundraising Events for Your Kid’s School, Team or Organization can be found at www.whattodowiththekids.com.

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