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School Fundraising in Canada (& How To Do It for Free)

School Fundraising in Canada (& How To Do It for Free)

School fundraising in Canada used to be something done occasionally to fund an outing or special event. But for many cash-strapped schools, ongoing fundraising has become a necessity. Without it, they cannot offer extra-curricular activities such as music, drama, and sports programs that are important to kids’ development.

So, let’s dive into this article, where we explore fun and profitable school fundraising ideas tailor-made for Canadian schools.

How Is School Fundraising in Canada Done?

Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) do most school fundraising in Canada. PACs are parent-teacher forums that inform parents and give them a say in their children’s education. Over time, cuts in funding have increased the demand for PACs to fundraise. Many now see it as one of their primary roles.

School fundraising can be done through product sales, hosting fundraising events, offering services, and sponsorship. School events involving the students, parents, and surrounding community are a favourite for school fundraising in Canada.

Fortunately, fundraising has kept up with the times, and online fundraising activities or events allow schools to reach a larger audience. Today, many Canadian schools host virtual fundraisers to buy laptops and items necessary for distance learning.

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Software for School fundraising in Canada

Canadian School Fundraising Ideas

When considering fundraisers, remember that every school is different. Consider your school’s location, fundraising requirements, and the time and hands available when choosing the best fundraising idea for your school. Here are a few unique and profitable fundraising ideas for Canadian schools and PACs to consider.

Hold a Charity Auction

Successful charity auctions are popular school fundraising events that can take several forms.

Live Auctions

Live Auctions are popular events for school fundraising in Canada

This semi-formal event has an element of glamour that appeals to parents. Instead of seeing friends at the morning drop-off, get done up and have fun in style! Leave the kids at home or set up a babysitting service as part of the auction experience. To host a live auction, approach local companies to donate items for the auction. Popular auction items include dinners, theatre tickets, spa visits, and gift certificates or services from local businesses. You can sell tickets online and provide a cash bar if school rules allow it.

Online Auctions

An online auction is similar to a live auction but relies on an online auction platform and takes place entirely online. Participants can browse items online and then place bids and outbid others. Online auctions are a great way to fundraise, especially when an in-person event is not possible.

Online Auctions

Organize a Community Craft Fair

Hosting a craft fair helps raise funds for the school and assists the wider community of local artists and craftspeople. Have the PAC committee publicize the event and sell tables to craftspeople at a set fee. On the big day, parents set up the tables for the crafters and can also have food and beverage stalls at the event to raise additional income. The crafters keep the proceeds from their sales, and the school keeps the proceeds from the table sales.

Community Craft Fair

Hold a Games Night and Charity Raffle

This fun event is held at the school and involves the entire family. Parents plan the games and get prizes donated for the fundraising raffle, and older children volunteer at the game booths and sell raffle tickets. Younger children and those not volunteering participate and enjoy the evening. The school raises funds by charging admission to the games and selling raffle tickets and refreshments.

Raffles can be done online or in addition to any school event and are a fantastic way to raise additional funds.

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Sell Candy and Treats

Candy and Treats sales are great school fundraising ideas

Fundraising product sales offer endless options, allowing your group to find something popular in your community. A bucket of frozen cookie dough is an easy sell, and the school makes 40 to 50 percent of the sale, making this a popular fundraiser. What about chocolate bars or popcorn? Traditionally, Canadian fundraising companies provide the order forms, and parents and students take orders on the paper forms. The school then sends a master order to the fundraising company. When delivered, purchasers pick up the cookie dough at the school, or the kids deliver the goods.

Today’s product sales can be done online. Who wants to go door-to-door selling when you can easily send a link via email or social media? DoJiggy’s free online stores make selling products for your school easy. Students and classrooms can use peer-to-peer fundraising pages to track sales and award top fundraisers.

Start a Coin Drive

This fun fundraising idea is a week-long event that builds class spirit. It is easy to do as most people don’t mind parting with loose change. The top-earning class gets a group prize like a pizza party or ice cream sundaes and extra recess time.

Here’s how it works:

  • On Monday, kids bring pennies to school
  • On Tuesday, nickels
  • On Wednesday, dimes
  • On Thursday, quarters;
  • And on Friday, anything goes

Host a Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Shoe drives are becoming one of the most popular fundraising options for schools. They are simple and effective and an excellent way to engage your community. Children quickly grow out of their shoes, and many parents are happy to have somewhere to donate shoes in good condition.

With the help of a shoe drive facilitator, your school collects slightly worn, used, and new shoes. The shoe drive facilitator will often provide the needed materials and collect the donated shoes in exchange for a cash donation.

Shoe Drive Fundraisers work in Canada

Hold a Pledge-Athon Fundraiser

Athon fundraisers involve students getting sponsorship to complete units of a particular activity. With this type of fundraiser, you collect the funds once the event is complete.

For example, sponsors pay for every lap a student completes within the allowed time limit at a school walk-a-thon. Pledge fundraisers are fun and engaging, and you can get creative. Some favorite pledge fundraisers for schools are Fun Runs, dance-a-thons, read-a-thons, and even spell-a-thons.

Organize a Scratch Card Fundraiser

Scratch Card Fundraisers for schools

This fundraising idea is fun for the whole community and helps a school reach its fundraising goals fast. Students ask friends, family, and community members to scratch two circles off their fundraising scratch card. Under each circle, there is a small donation amount from $1 to $3. Once the person has scratched off their circles, they donate the revealed amount.

A student’s completed scratch card raises $100. The school purchases scratch cards from a scratch card fundraising company for a much lower amount. Scratch card fundraisers return an average profit of 90 percent for Canadian schools.

Have a Dress Code Vacation Day

This fun fundraiser is very popular with students who enjoy the change in routine. On a special day, they bring a dollar to school and can wear whatever they want. You can also have themed Dress code vacation days such as pajama day, crazy hair day, or pop star day. Some schools host a school spirit week where students can dress up every day for a $1 donation to the school.

Pick an idea suitable for your school and community, and remember to have fun while fundraising for your school!

Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett