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School Fundraising Ideas

Auctions can be great school fundraisers. Not only have auctions proven to be a tremendous fundraising potential, they are also a great community builder involving people from your school in a meaningful way (including: those who donate time, talent and items to auction, volunteers, parents, students and school administrators) Whether live, silent or even online, auctions provide a nice incentive for parents and community members to support your school.

The first step for hosting a charity auction is to reach out to the local community, celebrities and any and all networks to receive donate items, talent or treasures to auction off. Examples of items include autographed CDs, movies, pictures from famous people, sports-team memorabilia, antiques, dinner donations from local restaurants or time or talent from local community members such as free piano lessons, knitting or other crafts lessons, handyman for a day, baked goods, etc.

How are the items auctioned?

There are three ways to auction items: via an online charity auction, live auction or silent auction. All three types of auctions can be very successful fundraisers. You don't have to choose only one option either, you can combine auction fundraising types for your event.

Online Auction

Our favorite type of auction is an online charity auction where the auction takes place online prior to the actual event. Event announcements invite attendees to visit a web page to view and bid on auction items. This type of auction allows for more detailed information about the organization hosting the event and the purpose of the fundraiser. It also allows for more information about each item including: product images, starting bids, detailed product descriptions, item values, reserve amounts, bid increments, links to the donator's web page, optional "Buy Now" pricing and more. In addition, it gives people who are unable to attend the actual event a chance to bid on items. If conducting an online auction, we highly recommend sending an email invitation with a link to the webpage (making it much easier for people to access)

Live Auction

A live auction is another option, however it is probably the most labor intensive as it includes hiring additional staff to assist with assigning bid cards to participants, hiring an auctioneer, gathering event attendees together in an atrium-like setting to showcase auction items and take bids, and setting up a system for processing payments. A live auction is often best utilized in combination with another event, such as a parent open-house, pep-rally, or sporting event (like a golf outing) where people are already in a festive mood.

Silent Auction

A silent auction is similar to a live auction, however there is no need for an auctioneer. Items are simply displayed on tables with a sign-up sheet for event attendees to bid on throughout the event. The minimum bid and raise amounts should be noted. Bids are closed at a set time with an announcement being made that the bidding is ending to encourage one last round of bidding. Once closed, the winning (last) bidder is notified and can collect and pay for their items.

How do I manage all the details?

Auctions have a lot of moving parts - so choosing an auction management system for charity auctions is your best bet for hosting a successful event. Download a free trial of our recommended Auction software!

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School Fundraising Resources

School Fundraising Ideas

Product sales are a great way to get students involved in raising funds for your school or organization. Many schools sell candy, magazines, holiday items, and gift or discount cards. All of these items can make for a successful fundraising sales contest, especially if sold during seasons where the item is in high demand (i.e. holiday gift paper). And, the added incentive of competition and awards for top fundraisers may allow your school to raise more money for school programs.

Our top recommendation for a school sales contest is selling discount cards. There are many benefits of selling discount cards. They are small and portable with a low overhead cost, and can be easily mailed at the cost of regular mail because of their size. These cards are not only great tools for raising fundraising dollars, but also for spreading awareness about your cause as they allow for customization with your school logo and tagline. Lastly, discount cards are very appropriate during hard economic times. People are looking for great deals and ways to save money. Why not give them an opportunity to save while also contributing to a good cause?

What exactly is a discount card?

A discount shopping card is a wallet-sized card with a selection of prearranged discounts at local and national merchants in your area. Each card sells for around $10 and provides for unlimited usage of special offers for one year. Your school can set a card price or allow buyers to select a donation amount in exchange for a discount card. Require a minimum donation that covers expenses and a small donation, yet allow donors to donate more per card.

How do you manage and track sales for the contest?

This is where the fun comes in! Students of all ages have immersed themselves in social networking communities. They enjoy being online and therefore may be more likely to participate in an online fundraiser. They love to share photos and stories about themselves with family, friends and peers. DoJiggy offers an online fundraising tool called DoJiggy Pledge that allows each participant to create their own fundraising page with a picture, mission statement, and a thermometer that goes up as they reach their fundraising goals. Students manage and track donations online, and can compare their accomplishments to that of their friends, making for healthy competition.

DoJiggy Pledge tracks total dollars earned, top fundraising individuals and teams, and processes payments securely, making managing the program much easier for the fundraising organizer. Try our Pledge software with our free 14 day trial.

Choosing a card vendor

There are many vendors that produce product discount cards and gift cards. Be sure to do your research and ask questions! We suggest Fast Track Fundraising.

Important notes: Some vendors will design the card for you, while others will allow you to upload your own artwork. Also, some providers assume legal responsibility if there are any errors in the printing process. This should be an important area to pay attention to because if there is a major typo on a card (i.e. a local business is offering 10% off, but the offer accidentally prints as 90% off) - someone has to be responsible for this, and the cards may have to be re-printed. If you have a marketing team that is committed to rigorous proofing and you have your card sponsors sign their approval on final proofing stages prior to going to should be able to avoid these pitfalls.

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School Fundraising Resources

School Walkathons & School Fun Runs

Looking for a healthy fundraising idea that has proven to be successful for schools time and time again? School Walkathons or Fun Runs are the perfect school fundraiser! And DoJiggy has all of the tools you need to succeed - without breaking the bank. We never take a percentage of your donations, unlike most of our competitors. Try our school walkathon software today with a free trial and let us help your school or Parent Teacher Organization succeed in raising more money this year.

As parents and educators, we are interested in teaching children about how physical activity and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall self-esteem, productivity, and enjoyment of life. In our society today there is a tendency for children to make unhealthy choices... eating fast-food, playing video games, and not getting enough exercise. This is a constant topic in the news and a concern with educational institutions and parents. For that reason, we encourage educators and parents to continue to look for opportunities that send the message of the importance of building an overall healthy lifestyle. Cookie dough, chocolate bar and candy fundraisers just don't do that!

This is one reason why school walkathons and Fun Runs have become so popular. Of course there are many other reasons Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and administrators choose walkathons for fundraising events. Not only do walkathons and Fun Runs combine exercise (whether running, walking, skipping, or rolling) and fun for all participants, but they also provide the opportunity to generate significant income without high overhead costs. School Fun Runs are especially great for sports teams and elementary school fundraising, as they support health and wellness, school spirit, and encourage teamwork.

A school walkathon fundraiser or School Fun Run can bring the entire community together. Local businesses get involved though sponsorship of the race and setting up information booths at the after-party. (See our resources on how to get sponsors to support a walkathon.) Parents and volunteers in the community donate their time to help with event details such as online registration, soliciting in-kind donations, setting up the race day pit-stops and hosting the kick-off and post-event celebration, where local restaurants and entertainers can also get involved. Don't forget to include extras - maybe a fundraising raffle, silent auction or bake sale in your post-event celebration to raise more money for your school.

Utilizing School Walkathon & Fun Run Software

Crowdfunding Software

Using peer-to-peer software allows students to easily raise funds online for your school, via their network of family and friends. Features of our walkathon or School Fun Run platform include:

  • Walkers/runners have their own fundraising page where friends and family make secure donations, view fundraising progress and more
  • Classrooms or grade levels have fundraising pages which include all participants’ combined fundraising progress
  • Fundraising thermometers, Leaderboards and top fundraisers are tracked and displayed on your website (if desired) to promote competition between your participants and help you raise more
  • Privacy features are enabled, so that last names do not show on your walk website and student pages are not indexed in Google
  • Off-line donations and checks are easily tracked and entered from a pledge form to the software, at no additional cost
  • Administrators can import students or enable the easy registration for schools page
  • We support per unit of effort pledges for laps or other specified unit (miles, kilometers, obstacles)

Many schools report raising two to three times as much by taking their school Fun Run or walkathon online with us! Try out our peer-to-peer software for your school's fundraiser today.

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Don't Forget the Prizes

Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even very small prizes. We recommend that Fun Run prizes are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participant and not leave anyone behind:

  • Participation – Students receive a small prize (ie pencil, sticker or choice from a treasure box of small items) for registering as a walker on your crowdfunding website.
  • $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a free t-shirt, hat or other memorabilia or school spirit award when they reach this level of fundraising. Some schools also include a raffle option here; anyone reaching the goal is entered into a raffle for prizes.
  • Top Student Fundraisers – The top three school fundraisers receive large prizes, like $50 and $100 gift cards.
  • Classroom with 100% Participation – When everyone in the classroom has registered or collected at least one donation, students receive extra recess or dress down day. These are free prizes that do not cost your school any money, but are very popular with kids.
  • Top Fundraising Classrooms – For the top one or two fundraising classrooms, students receive a pizza party or similar luncheon event.

Walkathon Alternatives Are Also Popular School Fundraising Events

Looking for something like a walk-a-thon or Fun Run, but want to make it a unique experience for your students? We have some unique fundraising ideas for you!

  • Many groups now incorporate powdered color paint into their fundraising events for a fun school Color Run fundraiser. Participants wear a white t-shirt and the color flies! 
  • Choose a School Fun Run theme, such as a Pajama Run or Superhero Walk. See this blog for Fun Run theme ideas.
  • We also see a lot of schools incorporating an Obstacle Course fundraiser for middle school and high school fundraising events.
  • Dance marathons or all nigh dance parties are fun high school fundraising events where donors can pledge for the amount of time danced.
  • School service projects or serve-a-thons raise money while offering service to the community. These are often run in conjunction with a local non-profit organization.
  • Read-a-thons and reading fundraisers teach literacy and a love of learning, while raising much needed school funds.

More Walkathon and School Fundraising Resources

DoJiggy is the leader in software and free resources for walk-a-thons and School Fun Runs. See more of our Walkathon Resources and check out great fundraisers for schools or PTA Fundraising Ideas for more inspiration.

Golf Tournament Planning Guide & Checklist

Free Download - How to Organize a Walkathon: A Complete Guide to Hosting a Walkathon

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School Fundraising Ideas

Support Your Community While Raising Money for Your School!

A unique and meaningful school fundraising idea to consider is a student serve-a-thon. A serve-a-thon is a variation of the walk-a-thon theme that not only provides fundraising dollars for your school, but also makes a positive impact on the community. In a serve-a-thon, students and classrooms raise funds by committing to a service project in the local community.

Serve-a-thons work very similarly to walk-a-thons, in terms of fundraising management. Students raise money by reaching out to family and friends and asking for pledges and donations to help their school. People interested in donating go online to a student's personalized fundraising page. On this page the student has the ability to upload photos and videos, explain the mission of the fundraiser, and expand on the type of service they will provide once their fundraising goals are met.

Your fundraising website should provide detailed information about where the money raised will go, so donors know exactly what they are contributing to. For example, they should state that the funding will go towards new books, or building new library facilities, or helping to save JV sports teams from being discontinued due to budget cuts.

Typically, the school selects a specific day for the serve-a-thon to take place. This can be a Saturday or during a regular school day - kids enjoy that. On this day, the students volunteer their time serving various organizations in the community. These services can be customized to serve the relevant needs in your area. Common organizations to assist include:

  • helping homeless and crisis shelters,
  • assisting the elderly,
  • caring for less fortunate children,
  • participating in environmental clean-up and conservation programs and
  • appreciating active duty military.

One of the biggest benefits about a school fundraising program like this is that students learn to become servant leaders while helping their school meet its financial need.

Other Peer-to-Peer or A-thon Resources

Check out our fundraising software to manage your Serve-a-thon, or visit our Walk-a-thon Resource Center for additional information and sample documents for peer-to-peer events including walk-a-thon flyers, walk-a-thon pledge forms, and more.

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School Fundraising Resources