7 Ways to Turn Your School’s Spring Fling into a Fundraising Machine

Spring-Fling
Springtime is right around the corner and with it comes Spring Fling. Spring Fling is a fun social event celebrated by many colleges and universities. It consists of a series of events organized by different student groups or Greek Life members. The activities range from sporting events to carnivals and usually culminates with a big dance at the end of the day. If your school is planning to celebrate Spring Fling, it is the perfect opportunity to raise funds for your school or a local charity. Doing so is easier than you might think, read on for my 7 favorite ways to turn your school’s spring fling into a fundraising machine this year.

#1: Get Donations

To start, I recommend connecting with local businesses and school sponsors to collect donations. The organizations can either donate funds directly to your charity or they can provide items that will be essential to the success of your Spring Fling. For example, they could donate paper supplies, food, items to give away at raffles or even a space to host the Spring Fling.

#2: Sell Tickets

A great place to internally start to raise funds is by selling tickets to the Spring Fling. You can choose tickets with stubs to be used for a raffle later on in the day, plus they make fun keepsakes. Or, if your school is hosting a carnival as part of Spring Fling, you could sell roll tickets for not only admission but food, beverages or carnival rides or games.

#3: Marketing is Key

A great way to market your upcoming Spring Fling is through goal posters. You can customize each poster to include the name and date of the event, along with the day’s activities and the goal amount that you are trying to raise for your school. Posters can be hung all over the campus and in local shops, inviting students and the community to the big event!

#4: Announce Your Goal

A great way to show students, facility, staff, and the community the amount that your school is trying to raise during Spring Fling is with a giant thermometer. It could be displayed in the main entrance of the campus or outside where everyone passing by will see the progress. Just remember to update the dollar amount as your donations start to roll in.

#5: Special Delivery

When I was in college, a sorority offered a paid gift delivery service to raise funds during Spring Fling. For a certain dollar amount, you could have either a rose, candy bar or balloon delivered to that special someone by a girl in the sorority. You could take this idea a step further and personalize each gift by allowing the person who is sending the delivery to customize a gift tag to go along with the treat.

#6: Silent Auctions and Raffles

Whether you choose to host a silent auction or a raffle is completely up to you. Silent auctions are great for big-ticket items that will be popular, causing a bidding war. Raffles are great because almost everyone can afford to purchase a raffle ticket or two. Both of these activities will equal big bucks for your charity at the end of the event. By using a stubbed ticket for your silent auctions and raffles, you can collect the individuals names, phone numbers and email addresses to add to your mailing list.

#7: Make a Loud Statement

If part of your Spring Fling is a sporting event, consider selling customized megaphones in the bleachers. Not only are they a lot of fun for everyone (kids and adults alike!) but they will yield a pretty penny when it comes to raising funds for your charity. Plus, it’s just a fun keepsake  from what is sure to be a memorial college activity!

How does your school celebrate Spring Fling?

photo image credit Nathan Greenwood via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Simple, Fun Ways Teachers Can Create a Motivating, Inspiring Classroom

Motivating-StudentsGrowing up, my favorite teachers were always those that inspired and motivated me to work hard by creating a classroom that was fun. One classroom in particular belonged to my 4th grade teacher, she was known for making learning fun – that is just who she was. So I was beyond excited when I found out that she would be my teacher that year. She made going to school every day an adventure, as you never knew exactly what she would have up her sleeve.

By taking pieces of a classroom that are typical and giving them a twist with simple, fun techniques, she was able to create a classroom that wasn’t just fun but motivating and inspiring too. Even now as an adult it is a fond memory that I hold dear and think of often when examining my own child’s school experience. Read on for these 6 simple, fun ways teachers can create a motivating, inspiring classroom for their students, I hope it inspires you too.

#1: What’s in a Name?

The first thing I distinctly remember about our classroom that year was the pretty, personalized placecards that were taped to the top corner of each desk. These weren’t your run of the mill name tags, but rather personalized ones that included fun information about each student including our birth-dates. It really made me feel like the desk was my own personal space and it was a great way for my classmates to find my desk easily to leave notes or to find out when my birthday was.

#2: Reading Rainbow

Our teacher was very passionate about reading and she would spend a few minutes every afternoon reading aloud to us. We each had a copy of the book that she was reading so we could follow along. She created bookmarks for each of us that were very much like the placecards on our desks. Again, it was just a little special added treat to have a personalized bookmark with our names that we could use each day.

#3: Make a Goal

Our teacher was very goal oriented and found fun ways to motivate us to reach daily goals. One wall in the classroom was covered in numbered posters, each one contained a different activity that she would switch out each day. Each morning, we would start at the first poster and work our way through the list. We each had a goal poster located at the front of the classroom where we would keep track of how far we made it through the list each day. It was a visual that worked really well for competitive kids like myself, I worked really hard each day to reach my goal.

#4: Kids are Visual

Along with the numbered posters of daily activities were also giant wall stickers that she had made for parts of the schedule that didn’t change from day to day. For example, one of the activities (believe it or not) was to quietly jump on a miniature trampoline for 5 minutes. I remember that being my favorite activity and I was so happy to have the opportunity to do it each day. These fun activities were sprinkled throughout the work posters, giving us a little motivation to work through the hard parts to get to a little fun.

#5: Journal It

Another activity that we completed daily was writing in our journals. Again, these were personalized journals with our name printed on the front. Each day we were to jot down a few memories and over the year we each filled one of these journals with our thoughts. It was a fun keepsake to take home at the end of the year, and my favorite part was our teacher would jot here own little notes into the margin of our entries. For example, when I wrote about how exciting it was to have a new little brother, she wrote how fun that must be for me as a big sister!

#6: Color Their World

For me, the one thing that definitely makes a classroom is the use of color – the more the merrier. I love a classroom that is a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes and images that gets the gears in a child’s head cranking! Something as simple as a little color can really boost the moods of the children and teacher alike. I have to admit I have picked schools for my son over the years based on my first impression of the classrooms. To me, a colorful, inspiring classroom is one that I feel will motivate my child to want to learn each day.

YOUR TURN: Are you a teacher or a parent who finds inspiring and fun classrooms motivate your students? How has this been true in your experience?

photo credit stock images via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Creative Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, No Cooking Required!

St.-Patrick's-Day

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, which means now is the perfect time to start thinking of fun ways to celebrate. Whether you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser at your child’s school, having friends over for a fun pot-LUCK, or simply celebrating quietly at home with your children – it’s all about shamrocks, rainbows, leprechauns and that ever elusive pot of gold!

While St. Patrick’s Day is a lot of fun, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a lot of work. There are many fun ways to celebrate this day, from sharing lucky messages and hosting relay races to surprising friends with simple treats and sharing a rainbow with someone you care about. The best part, you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen because my 5 favorite creative ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day don’t include any cooking at all, read on to get started and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

#1: Send a Lucky Message:

Want to surprise your child’s classmates, soccer team or even your co-workers on St. Patrick’s Day? Purchase lucky messages customized with your favorite Irish graphic on the front and your personal message (maybe a sweet poem or fun limerick!) on the back. Then, tie each message to a bag of gold candy or rainbow skittles – leave these little surprises on their desks or tuck them inside their gym bags for a St. Patrick’s Day surprise they won’t forget. In fact, they will think they have been visited by a leprechaun!

#2: Host a Shamrock Relay Race Fundraiser:

St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to get outside to have a little fun under the rainbow. You could host a shamrock relay race at your child’s school to get the kids outside while raising funds to support your school. Before the big day, invite the children to decorate the fence surrounding the sports field with laminated shamrocks and metallic gold and green garland. During the relay event, you could sell green balloons for a dollar, inside each balloon is a surprise note and treat – (remember, to have a jar of push pins for everyone to pop their balloons.) Also, don’t forget to keep track of your fundraising efforts so everyone can see how this fun event is also supporting your school.

#3: Share a Rainbow:

If there is one symbol other than the shamrock that signifies St. Patrick’s Day, it a colorful rainbow. A fun activity to enjoy with your child’s classmates is to create a large colorful rainbow chain to hang from the ceiling of the classroom. Offer rainbow colored slips of paper to each child, let them write their name on along with their favorite poem or quote. Then, work together to create a loop chain by combining each piece of paper to the next. You could even connect all of the chains from all of the classes in the school for a larger than life rainbow chain. It would be fun to take a picture of all of the school children together holding the chain, then give the framed photo as a gift to the principal!

#4: Top of the Mornin’ to Ya:

It never fails, some children will find themselves at school on St. Patrick’s Day morning having forgotten to wear green! Oh no, let the pinching begin! To avoid those nasty pinches, fill a basket full of green ‘no pinching’ buttons or green wristbands and place them in the front office. You can sell them for a quarter to any of the child or staff member who forgets to wear green that day. You could even announce the sell of the buttons/wristbands during the morning announcements or set up a table at the front entrance of the school.

#5: Reading the Rainbow:

St. Patrick’s Day is another great holiday to inspire more reading in youngsters. Get with your child’s teacher or librarian to create a list of 6 books that are St. Patrick’s Day themed. Label each book with a color; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Encourage the children to read all of the books by offering them a pot of gold at the end of the reading rainbow. Every day a child finishes reading one of the books, they will receive a sheet of paper in that corresponding color. At the end of the week, the children get to engage in a St. Patrick’s Day craft using the colorful sheets of paper they have collected. Then, they can turn in their masterpiece for a bag of gold chocolate coins, candy or other small trinket!

What creative ways do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your children and their classmates?

How Your Event Ticket Stub Can Save You Money While Building Your Mailing List

Dance-Party

When you purchase  admission tickets for an event, chances are these tickets come with a stub. The ticket itself is used to gain entrance into the event and the stub is either utilized in a creative way or tossed in the trash. If your organization is tossing the stub, you are missing out a great way to save money while building your client list.

Each  ticket and stub comes numbered  along with an area to customize. If you do not have a raffle or giveaway consider printing lines on the stub for individuals to write down their contact information. Using the ticket stub to collect this information is an excellent way to build your mailing list.  Collecting these stubs will generate a list of people that you can invite to upcoming fundraising opportunities and future events, so you will need to get creative to encourage people to leave you this information.

A great way to encourage people to give you their contact information is by offering a reward when they use the stub or giving this part of the ticket a value. For example, you can alert your guests that they can redeem the ticket stub for a free drink, sweet treat, entry into a  raffle, or a free event t-shirt. If your event is specifically for the purpose of fundraising, you can use the ticket stub to collect the individuals contact information and donation amount.

If your organization is selling tickets for a relay event, you can have the individual use the ticket to enter the race and then use the ticket stub for a raffle at the Family Day Event that the race sponsor hosts after the race. If your organization can offer a chance to win a large prize, it will boost the attendance at the Family Day Event because people love the opportunity to win something amazing!

If your school’s PTA is going to be selling tickets to the upcoming dance, graduation party or art exhibit and can only sell a certain number of tickets due to the size of the venue or chaperone ratios, tickets are a great way to go. You can encourage utilization of the ticket stub by offering students a free slice of pizza, a drink, or party favor bag. This in turn is a great way to keep a record of how many people actually attended the event, allowing you to compare attendance from one year to the next and to adjust and plan accordingly the next year.

Whether you are utilizing event tickets to build a mailing list or to track attendance to save your organization money in the future, they are a great, affordable option that your organization can really benefit from.