Elementary School Fundraising Ideas That Work
Readathons, Fun Runs, Online Sales Contests, Community Service Projects and More
Elementary School Children Get Excited by Prizes and Themed Fundraising Campaigns
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Why Is Elementary School Fundraising Important?
Elementary school fundraising is a great way to raise extra funds to support the development of educational and extracurricular programs, sports, music, arts, and more. It can also be a great way to teach children about teamwork, school spirit, and working to accomplish a goal. With hard work and cooperation, anything is possible for your school.
Not only can elementary school fundraising efforts bring in financial support for school programs, but these initiatives also have the ability to teach children about how good it feels to give back. Children are wonderful fundraising participants when given the right direction and incentive. They are enthusiastic about almost everything they do, after all. They learn so many new things every day and they are genuinely interested in the activities offered through their school, including fundraising and being active.
Elementary School Fundraising
with Crowdfunding & P2P Websites
To make your Elementary school fundraising ideas a success, you need to engage your students and parents in the effort. This can best be done by awarding prizes, sharing progress on your fundraising website, and making the event easy and fun for your families. The best elementary fundraisers that we see are active, fun events such as Fun Runs, Color Run Fundraisers, and readathons; all of these events encourage the activities that you want to see in your Elementary school children.
With the implementation of a peer-to-peer crowdfunding website, these events are easy for volunteers to run and more successful.
- Students have their own fundraising page where friends and family make secure donations, view progress, and more
- Classrooms have fundraising pages which include all students’ combined fundraising progress
- Leaderboards, fundraising thermometers, and top fundraisers are tracked and displayed on your website (if desired)
- Student privacy features can be enabled, so that last names do not show on your website and student pages are not indexed in Google
- Students (or parents) can add images, videos, and text to their personal pages
- Off-line funds and check donations are easily tracked and entered at no cost
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Awarding Prizes for Your Elementary School Fundraising Initiatives
Let’s face it, your elementary school fundraising campaign will be much more fun, engaging and successful if you offer prizes. As parents and teachers know, children are motivated by prizes or incentives for doing a good job. Having a well-planned and enthusiastic fundraiser kick-off and establishing attainable goals and prizes or rewards can be very effective to motivate students and parents alike to raise more money for your school.
Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even very small prizes. We recommend that prizes for elementary school fundraising are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participate 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 on your crowdfunding website.
- $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a 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.
See more on our blog on fun run and jog-a-thon prize ideas and how to encourage your peer-to-peer participants to fundraise.
Parents are Key to Success for Elementary School Fundraisers
One factor to consider with elementary school fundraising is that parents must be heavily relied upon for much of the workload, so gaining the support of the parents is key. If you are a parent, you already know this! It is also important to note that parents are usually most enthusiastic about fundraising during the elementary years. They are not yet burned out on school fundraising programs as they may be once their children reach high school (but here are some tips for high school fundraising to avoid this). Their children are new to school and parents tend to be much more involved and willing to volunteer when kids are at this age.
It’s parent involvement that makes for the most successful elementary school fundraisers. So, encourage parents to be proactive and engaged by volunteering for a committee or event. Not only should students talk to friends, family, and neighbors, but parents can help by reaching out to co-workers, church groups, and other social networks. Our social media integration makes this easy for busy parents.
Often elementary school fundraising is managed by Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) groups. We find that these fundraisers are the most successful since parental involvement is so key at this age. If your school has a PTO/PTA or booster club, be sure to approach them with your fundraising ideas and initiatives. Read more on PTO fundraising and how to motivate parents for PTO fundraising campaigns.
10+ Creative Elementary School Fundraising Ideas
While cookie dough and candy sales fundraisers are still proven to be successful methods for school fundraising, other alternatives are gaining in popularity. Many schools are looking to add an element of environmental awareness and health consciousness to their fundraisers and therefore, activity-based fundraisers have become more and more popular. Doesn’t this sound like a good idea for your little ones? They certainly can benefit from fundraising ideas that don’t involve having sugary treats around the house. These creative elementary school fundraisers should be positioned as fun events rather than a task, and as something children can enjoy working on with their friends and family.
DoJiggy recommends the following Elementary School Fundraising Ideas:
- Color Run Fundraisers – A color run fundraiser is run similar to a walkathon fundraiser in which crowdfunding participants collect donations in an effort to raise money for your fundraising campaign. A Color Run is a non-competitive Fun Run or running event where volunteers and observers throw brightly colored paint on the runners. All participants should wear white to start to make the most of the colorful splashes. Kids love color run fundraisers and by using paint that is non-toxic, all age groups can participate.
- Student Serve-a-thons – A serve-a-thon is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that not only provides fundraising money 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. Schools may partner with a local non-profit organization for ideas and assistance.
- Obstacle course fundraisers – These can be used in conjunction with our instead of a Fun Run. Students run, jump in the mud, and play for your cause. Some Obstacle course fundraisers have parents and siblings joining in the fun and separate courses may be designed for these participants.
- Fire Fighters Picnics – Hold a picnic on your school grounds or a beautiful city park and team up with your local fire department. Virtually all elementary-aged kids love firefighters and they will look forward to this day well in advance. Add a firetruck and firefighters for them to experience and ask questions of and the day is sure to be a big success! Sell tickets in advance online via our event management software.
- Readathons – Read-a-thons and Reading Fundraisers are a great elementary school fundraising idea as they promote literacy and a love of reading for children. It’s easy to get parents and teachers excited about a readathon, as it’s a healthy fundraiser with an academic challenge that kids will enjoy. With readathons, kids aren’t spending time fundraising instead of studying or learning, instead, learning is key to this fundraising event.
- School carnivals are always popular for elementary kids and their families. Create or rent games and have at least one bouncy house. These events are easily combined with fundraising raffles and a silent auction to raise more money.
- Car washes are great fundraisers for student councils or older elementary school kids. Add student made sandwiches, a bake sale, and cold drinks or coffee for sale as part of the car wash to increase funds.
- Merchandise sales are always popular elementary school fundraisers. If you decide on a sales campaign, consider a coffee fundraiser or other utilitarian item to sell. Many schools now sell trash bags and necessities that are still high-profit items and aren’t just junk food sales. Year-round school spirit sales can also be successfully done via an online merchandise store.
- Pancake breakfast fundraisers are an elementary school fundraising idea that always works – just be sure you have enough parents on board to ensure success.
- Finally, Just Ask Campaigns are great for elementary schools where many parents work and feel that fundraising is not a priority. Use our free donation websites to take donations for specific classrooms or initiatives.
DoJiggy Fundraising Websites and Resources for Schools
We have helped hundreds of schools raise money online with healthy, active fundraisers. We are dedicated to your school’s success! See more details on hosting a school walk-a-thon, the best fundraisers for schools, and more creative school fundraising ideas. Or contact our dedicated Sales team to learn more about our fundraising software and how we can help with your events – without taking a percentage of your fundraising profits.
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