Season’s Greetings: How to Raise Funds for Your School This Holiday Season

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The holidays are the perfect time of year to raise funds for your child’s school. Since it is already September, now is the perfect time to start planning your holiday fundraiser. Be creative and don’t feel compelled to put up the same old card table to sell homemade treats for 50 cents apiece. There are more lucrative ways to raise money these days besides bake sales! With a little planning and preparation,  you school can end the holiday season in the black – with funds for that school library makeover or new computers for the tech lab!

Go the traditional route with a twist!

It’s up to you and your school to decide what product is best for your students to sell. Perhaps you want to focus on calendars, greeting cards, gift wrap or gift tags, since these are items many parents will be picking up for the holidays anyways. It can be tricky deciding what to sell but remember that seemingly small items can add up to a lot of money! School groups raise more than a billion dollars every year selling items such as cookie dough, calendars or coupon books. Don’t miss your opportunity to get in on the action and raise funds for your school.

Once you decide on the best product to sell be sure to advertise your fundraiser. You can put up customized posters throughout the school and in your local libraries, churches, grocery stores and shops. You could also create customized postcards with your fundraisers information – these could be sent home with the children and even mailed to local businesses or given out at community events.

Take your fundraiser online! Most people these days will appreciate the opportunity to shop online in the comfort of their own home. Not to mention this type of fundraiser works great for family or friends at a distance that still want to support your school. Your school most likely already has a website, so just dedicate a page to use to collect funds via PayPal, so grandparents and family that don’t live locally can still donate to your child’s school. Don’t forget – this holiday season is the perfect time to remind people that all donations made to the school are tax deductible.

 

 

 

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7 Ways to Fundraise for Breast Cancer Awareness All Year Long

Breast-Cancer-AwarenessIn the U.S. alone, more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Chances are you or someone you know has or will be affected by Breast Cancer making Breast Cancer Awareness super important to all women in our country. As a community we can help by raising funds to further cancer research, support those currently affected by the illness and boost awareness for women everywhere. While Breast Cancer Awareness Month may not happen until October this year – you can raise funds for this very special charity all year long. Read on for 7 of my favorite ideas for banning together with members of your family, friends and community to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.

#1: Dinner Club

A wonderful way to stay connected with friends, family and neighbors is by hosting a monthly dinner club. Each family within the club takes turns hosting a dinner at their home or desired location for the rest of the club members. You can turn this amazing experience into a fundraising machine, by asking each family to donate a specific amount of money to join the dinner club. You could order personalized place cards for each person who joins the club and they could turn their card in at the end of the night to the family who will be hosting the next dinner – almost like a dinner r.s.v.p. card. All of the proceeds from the dinner club are then turned over to the Breast Cancer Awareness program of your choice to further their efforts.

#2: Healthy Bake Sale

Bake sales are always a fun way to raise funds for your favorite charity. Since a healthy lifestyle is based on healthy living – why not host a healthy bake sale at your church, gym, office or other place where you can offer your healthy baked goods to a large group of people. You could gather volunteers to bake up batches of healthy treats that are packaged with personalized gift tags and ready to be sold. This is also a fun event to do with your children – instead of a summer lemonade stand, they could host a healthy bake sale at the entrance to your neighborhood. You could advertise your healthy bake sale with personalized pink ribbon posters too!

#3: Partner Up

If you are a member of a yoga studio, gym, pottery studio or other establishment, talk to the owner about partnering up to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness. You could work out an arrangement for each new person that you refer to their studio, they donate a % of the membership fee to Breast Cancer Awareness. You could offer to help host a “visitor’s day”, where people from the community are offered a yoga or pottery class with all of the proceeds going to the fund. Many businesses love to donate funds to charities and you will be surprised at how many of them will say yes – just ask.

#4: Drink for Pink

Whether you host a tea party at home with only close friends and family or invite all of the women from your church, book club or mom’s group to a tea party – the fundraising opportunities are huge. This is a fun activity in general but you will definitely have a great turnout when the charity is so important to all women. You could arrange to have guest speakers, workshops or classes incorporated into the event as well. Remember to send out beautiful, personalized invitations to your tea party – asking for a donation with their r.s.v.p.

#5: Race for the Cure

October is full of Race for the Cure walkathons and marathons – however, you don’t have to wait until October to start raising funds. There are several different races available throughout the year that you can sign up for today. You can even create your own Race for the Cure by collecting donations independently from your own sponsors and then turning the money over to the charity of your choice. You could thank your sponsors by sending them all a personalized Breast Cancer thank you note complete with the number of miles that you that you covered.

#6: Raffle It

It doesn’t matter what type of event you are throwing, a raffle makes any event even better! Whether you are hosting a family reunion, back to school party or beach bash this summer, why not incorporate a raffle for Breast Cancer Awareness. You can sell raffle tickets for a large ticket item that will be raffled off at the end of the night, or you can sell food and drink tickets and throw those in a large bowl to raffle off small prizes. Either way, a raffle adds a level of excitement to your gathering and since everyone loves the opportunity to win something – you are sure to raise a bunch of funds for the cure.

#7: Book Club

Many women are members of a book club – it is a great way to meet new friends, get introduced to great books, and a fun excuse to reconnect with friends each month. Instead of meeting at a fancy restaurant and blowing a lot of money on food and drinks – host your book club at a friend’s home, clubhouse or even a meeting room at the library. Ask your book club members to donate the money they would have spent at the restaurant to Breast Cancer Awareness. As a thank you give each member a special personalized Pink Ribbon bookmark favor thanking them for their donation.

YOUR TURN: Have you raised funds for Breast Cancer Awareness? If so, what type of activity did you use? We would love to hear, please leave your comments!

photo credit Scott Chan via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Graduation Party Themes that Can Also Fundraise for Your School

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I remember my school graduation party being a great example of fundraising while having fun. Our graduation party was hosted in our school’s gymnasium and was activity themed – there was a section for dancing, hanging out with friends, Sumo wrestling, carnival games, movies and more. When you purchased tickets to the graduation party, you were given a small roll of raffle tickets that could be used to “purchase” any of the activities or for food and beverages. At the end of the party, the tickets were placed in a large bowl and used to auction off fun graduation prizes!

Since graduation is right around the corner and chances are your school will be hosting a graduation party for alumni,  now is the perfect time to start planning. Especially if you plan to use your school’s graduation party to fundraise for your school too. Read on for 5 fun graduation party themes that could potentially raise a lot of funds for your school or charity of choice.

#1: Beach Blow Out

A weekend beach bash is a the perfect graduation party since the beach is usually a free location with plenty of space for party games, swimming, and sun bathing. Some beaches will also allow you to BBQ and have music as well. Your school could set up “stations” for different types of activities along the beach, such as; beach volleyball or soccer, an area for food and lounging and an area for beach games. You could send out beach themed invitations, order personalized megaphones for those on the sidelines cheering their classmates on and you could also give out drink and food tickets so that everyone enjoys their fair share. What graduation party would be complete without a raffle or two – enter each student that redeems their raffle tickets for a fun giveaway to commemorate the event.

#2: Picnic in the Park

If your school is thinking of hosting a graduation party where friends and family members of the alumni can also attend, why not consider a picnic in the park. Again, parks are a great location for a graduation party because there is a lot of space, pavilions can be rented out and it us a relaxing, fun setting that everyone will enjoy. Plan to host lawn games, set up a Sumo Wrestling area (where guests can dress as a Sumo Wrestler and wrestle each other), and set up an area of the park with picnic blankets for those that want to relax on the lawn while eating lunch. You could have waterproof posters to direct guests to the appropriate part of the park for the activity that they are interested in, or to direct them to the food and beverages. Instead of selling tickets to the event, sell waterproof wristbands (these would be great for a beach party too!) that can be worn all day since you may have guests all over the park – it’s a great way to keep those that weren’t invited from crashing your graduation party.

#3: Dance Party

Everyone loves to dance and a dance party would be another great party theme for graduation. Keep the dance party light by incorporating a fun theme, such as the 80’s! Decorate the venue with personalized dance party posters, sell tickets for raffles that will be held throughout the dance and giant wall stickers could be used to shout out catchphrases from the 80’s or whatever theme you choose. Since a dance party is so informal, you can advertise the graduation party all over campus by passing out and hanging personalized flyers that include all of the party details.

#4: Rooftop Dinner

If your school has a very small graduating class or you are looking for a more intimate way to celebrate, consider hosting a rooftop dinner. You can either have several tables or one long table that everyone will sit at together. When going formal, a beautiful personalized invitation and admission ticket will start the graduation party off on the right foot. You could sell drink and raffle tickets or set up a silent auction to raise funds for either the school or a favorite charity. Give the dinner a little extra pizazz with personalized place cards to show guests where they should sit.

#5: A Class Act

If you are looking for a graduation party that is out of ordinary and unique, why not book a professional or several to come in and teach the alumni a new skill such as baking, sailing, or yoga? You could even offer several different classes depending on the interest of the alumni and host them on a rolling schedule throughout the weekend, so students could attend as many as they would like. It would be a great way for them to try out several new activities that they may otherwise never get the chance to try and it would be a fun memory making graduation party.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever attended a graduation party that really knocked your socks off? We would love to hear about, please leave your comments below!

photo credit Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net