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Does anyone have experience running school fundraisers?

The Home & School Association at my son's school is trying to decide which fundraiser to do first this year. One is Claire's Gourmet which has items priced from roughly $13-$25 and I liveable we get about 25% of sales. The other is Snackin' in the USA which has one price for all items about $7 or $8 each, and we get 50% of those sales if we order enough (and I believe it was a doable number of sales).

Last year our most successful fundraiser only had about 30 families participate. Also, most families in our area have low income. I thought the Snackin' fundraiser might get a few more families to participate & greater sales since it isn't as expensive as Claire's, as well as the higher percentage we earn.

Anyone have experience with this? Insights & input from fundraiser organizers & participators greatly appreciated!

Answer Question

Asked by BubbaLuva at 8:45 PM on Aug. 25, 2012 in

Level 21 (11,315 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • When the girls were little, we always used Market Day. They are located in St. Louis, not sure how far they go. Our school was up near Chicago, if that helps.

    Answer by m-avi at 8:50 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • This is a great resource that I have used in the past.  Best of luck.


    Answer by theMOMmission at 8:52 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • I was president of our county PTA Council. Our best fundraiser was Summer Movie Tickets through our local movie theater. We made thousands of dollars each year on this fundraiser. Another good fundraiser for us was arranging a special night at a local pizza place, bowling alley or skating rink, a percentage of the sales on that night was given to the school pta, we sent out fliers to let people know what night to go and to invite their friends and neighbors to help support their school.

    The best fundraiser at our Junior High School, was our annual Bingo Chili dinner. We got prizes donated from local businesses, sold bingo cards, and served chili for a small fee.

    All of these fundraisers meant parents and children didn't have to go out and sell anything...they got lots of participation, and raised tons of money for the schools.

    Answer by ohwrite at 8:53 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • It sounds like either of the fundraisers under consideration might be difficult if your neighborhood is low-income. I have a hard time with fundraisers that make kids go out and sell overpriced items that nobody is all that excited about, and then the school only gets a small percentage of the money anyway. What about those chocolate candy bars I always buy from kids going door to door? They're only a dollar each, and everybody has a buck. I guess I would choose the Snackin' one between the two of them.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:00 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • Maybe give people an option to simply donate $5, or whatever they can. I know I hate buying all that stuff that I don't even want. We've sold it all from cookie dough to wrapping paper and it's all so over priced.

    Answer by mompam at 9:04 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • We do market day at our school. We also hold bake sales and we organized a huge garage sale. Sent home letters about what could be donated and had three drop off days plus set up day. All proceeds went to the school.

    Answer by Mrs_Harsh at 9:07 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • Our best "in the community fundraiser" was candy and meat sticks...they sold for $1 ea. The candy was made by a company called Hebert. We made 50%. They are easy to sell...just carry them around...and almost anyone will give you a buck.

    You can also make some good money with a spaghetti dinner held the night of Open House..get the food donated...we always got our pasta sauce from Giraldi's..hamburger from a local butcher shop and salad/bread from the grocery store. The meal was free...with a suggested donation of $2 or $3 a person.

    Personally, I would stay away from they type of fundraising you are looking at. It can be labor intensive..unsafe for the kids..and not very profitable. Good luck!

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 9:38 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • All of these fundraisers meant parents and children didn't have to go out and sell anything...they got lots of participation, and raised tons of money for the schools.

    ohwrite, this is what I would LOVE for our school but, the Co-presidents seem to shy away from these types of ideas. Because so many families are low income they avoid activities that have even minimal costs ...yet, the HSA has to foot the bill through fundraiser sales! I think what you are describing is a great way to raise money AND foster community & parental involvement! Since, we have had a difficult time getting parents involved in the past though, I don't know how willing they'll be with ideas like this. BUT, I always mention good ideas to's up to them whether they execute them!

    Comment by BubbaLuva (original poster) at 9:40 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • Ballad, our school doesn't do ANY door to door fundraisers. We only support sales to family & friends & acquaintances like parents co-workers, etc. But, I would LOVE to do a simple candy bar sale...unfortunately it isn't up to me!

    Comment by BubbaLuva (original poster) at 9:42 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

  • The best fundraisers our school does is having things like 'silly sock day' or 'crazy hat day' and letting the kids buy a $1 coupon to wear the silly item to school. You could even make it as low as .50 and do one once a month. Out school raises at least $150 per silly day. This along with things like 'chick-fil-a night' and 'Bruster's night' (Ice cream place) do a great deal because it is either not asking much, $1 here and there or it is something people are already buying from time to time.

    I know for me the fundraisers that ask you tot sell stuff we do not due. Times are so hard for the community around us that I am not comfortable asking people to buy over priced anything. But if our school is going to have a restaurant night I have no problem asking people to support us in that way because I know with planning-they love to go out to eat as a treat especially to help a cause.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 10:13 PM on Aug. 25, 2012

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