Fundraising: How to get a ton of money for YOUR classroom today!
If your school is like mine, we are always doing fundraisers. I am very grateful for the resources that this brings to our school, but I hate constantly asking the parents for money. Read on to find out how to get big corporations to help YOU!
Every spring our school has a Bazaar. Each classroom puts together a basket to auction off. Normally, we ask the parents to donate the items for the baskets (ranging from gift card baskets to spa baskets to legos...). Then, we invite them in to bid on the baskets and give us more of their money. (Are you seeing a trend?)
This year, everything clicked! I discovered that there are a plethora of companies out there that will DONATE items for you to auction off (instead of asking parents), and you can put in your request online with a few simple steps!
Staycation and Vacation Baskets
The theme of my basket this year is "Staycation"! I love this idea because their are so many amazing things to see right here in Nashville. I'm thinking that they might could use these resources to take their kids around town, a special date night for just the parents, or they could also purchase them to treat out of town vistors!
Where to get started
For me, I actually started on pages like Tripadvisor or local websites that review local attractions and restaurants. Local news sites and newspapers often review these as well. After finding inspiration on the top attractions in the area, I went directly to their webpages. Scroll to the bottom and look for "Community Relations" or "Contact Us". Most had a form for a donation request; it only took a few seconds to fill out!
I started with:
- Sports: Major/minor teams including football, hockey, baseball, basketball, etc.
- Children's Attractions: Science Museums, Water Parks, Minigolf...
- Unique Attractions to Your Area: Tours
Breaking it down
If your basket is worth a huge amount, you may want to split it up into smaller themed baskets to ensure that they sell for the maximum amount.
Continuing with the Staycation Theme, I'm going to break it down into:
- Romantic Staycation- I'm going to include gift certificates to: a performance at the Symphony, a local hotel, a fancy restaurant, and a trip to the spa
- Ultimate Kid's Staycation- Zoo, Science Museum, Minigolf...
- Sports Staycation- Any donated sports memorabilia, tickets to games
- Staycation with Company- any leftover items that could be added to this basket
THEN I found THIS!
Did you know that MAJOR companies all over the country will donate items for you to auction off?
I'm putting in a request for DISNEY TICKETS (4 four day park hoppers!).
You can get donations from: Walmart, Royal Caribbean, Universal... But you may want to get started really early! Most companies want at least 6 weeks to process your request; some want as much as 6 months! You will need your school tax exempt number to fill out most forms; sometimes you may have to fax them your request on official school letterhead.
The National Center For Education Statistics can give you demographics on your school that you may find helpful when filling out the forms.
An example of a community outreach page (Photocredit Titans Website)
PTO Today Forum included the Ultimate Donation List of 2013 that lists pretty much every corporation that gives to education along with a direct link to their site. Great timesaver!
I use Google Forms, specifically, Google Spreadsheet to keep all of my information. I love that it is collaborative, so if I need to send it to a parent they can edit the document in real time. I can color code my donations: who has sent in their item, who needs more information from me, who has declined, etc. Get started using Google Drive today by clicking here.
A screenshot of my Google Spreadsheet
Check out these Pinboards for more inspiration!