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Fundraising is practically a must-do these days as school budgets require departments to find funds to fit their growing needs. This can cause fundraising to feel like a burden, a chore to be done year-in and year-out. The keys to reducing the stress and fatigue are to inject fun and, at the same time, get as many people interested and engaged so that everyone gets passionate about your cause.

Here are 4 FUNDRAISING IDEAS that can get everyone involved and how Store 4 Schools can help you achieve a successful fundraising effort:

#1 Get Rid of Your Old Inventory

This is a two-fold way to refresh your store’s inventory and at the same time contribute to the non-profit or a school sports/music/arts program of choice. During your yearly inventory audit, identify old items by going through your stock shelves and running a report in Store 4 Schools. These include things that you may want to toss at the end of the year, discount, or give everything to charity. Mark them down and have a great sale.

#2 SAVE THE EARTH!!!

Here’s another great idea!

As the saying goes, “hit two birds with one stone” and both reward students and help the environment at the same time. Since everyone pretty much has a printer and old mobile phones somewhere, this is a great way to get A LOT of involvement from parents and   guardians, faculty, or even neighbors close by, that don’t have kids.

Get HUGE contributions with minimal effort!

It goes like this: for every one ink cartridge, the student earns X points and for every phone, he/she gets Y points. These points can go towards either as school spirit points or as a specified monetary value, like $0.50 per cartridge, as an example. Students are acknowledged for their participation, and the points are converted into credit on the students’ accounts. Students can use them to buy any product in the Store, including tickets to the dance, school musicals, or even home sports events.

After the collection period is over, the cartridges and phones can be dropped off to your  local Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot. Make sure to check each retailer’s respective recycling program rules first, prior to drop off.

Alternatively, check out various online recycling programs such as Recycle4Education and Inkjets For Education where schools can receive money according to each organization’s accepted list of printer cartridges and their corresponding monetary value.

Schools often have a rooms choc-a-bloc with old computer equipment. Maybe it could go to e-waste; but there are folks who will pay to take it off your hands!

#3 Silent auctions / Online auctions

Auctions have always been VERY popular fundraisers. Hosting an online live auction makes for an interesting and entertaining event. Charity Auctions Today provides great tips on how to run a silent auction.

The MOST important takeaways are:

    • Establishing an auction committee with a strong core leadership group mixed with creative, inspired, and enthusiastic volunteers.
    • Seeking item donations – Decide on types of prizes, from small to big ticket items,  basket items (in each classroom, students decide on a theme, each family donates an item based on the theme, pools them and wraps them nicely in a basket). One-day real life school experiences (principal for the day, librarian for the day. Grand prizes are usually travel and experience-related like a spa getaway, flight and hotel package for two, and ski resort package for four.
    • Collecting, organizing auction items and preparing them for bids – You can easily set up event in Store 4 Schools. On the Product page, add each item, completely fill all fields including description and select Price on Demand.
    • Managing the Auction itself –  Check out the link for affordable auction software such as Charity Auctions Today and 32Auctions. Both offer free versions and paid with add-on versions to manage the auction itself, including the latest live bids of each item, and price target bids of each item. Once the final and winning bids are in, ring up the payments using Store 4 Schools.

#4 Battle of the Bands, Lip Sync Battle & T-shirt Fundraiser

Lastly, hosting events like a “Battle of the Bands” and “Lip Sync Battle” encourages participation from everyone in school. Performers and non-performers alike can help as backstage crew, designing signage in school, and cheering his/her favorite acts.

For Battle of the Bands and Lip Sync Battle based on the hit TV show: Enlist students to perform, the high schoolers for the bands, the middle schoolers and perhaps teachers and the principal/superintendent, for the lip syncing. There are two events: the first is the tryouts, where all the bands and lip syncers perform and the finalists are selected; the second event is the finals and the winner is chosen by a panel of judges.

On the flip side, the students themselves can decide on the winner. Each band has their own collection box; the kids and/or audience put money in the box. The organizers determine the total amounts for all of the boxes and the band/box that has the most money is declared the winner. All of the collected funds gets donated, a win-win situation for everyone.

Items associated with the Event can easily be set up on Store 4 Schools. Pre-sell admission tickets prior to the event at the store. On the Add A Product page, you can enter different price points like early bird admission only and regular admission only.

Additionally, on the day of the event you can sell t-shirts and other accessories, or even snacks and beverages to further augment the fundraiser. A separate booth is created with sales staff and Store 4 Schools setup as well.

Conclusion

Summing it all up, successful fundraising hinges on three important things, committed and enthusiastic people, fundraising ideas that are fun, passion that everyone can rally around, and reliable user-friendly technology tools like Store 4 Schools that would make tasks easy to complete. Try a couple of these ideas on your next fundraiser and see what works best for your school.

We welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing from you!