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Fundraising Ideas for Primary Schools

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by Happy Mom (subscribe)
I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published April 23rd 2013
Ideas about how to successfully raise $ for a primary school
It is the first year my firstborn is attending Primary School in Grade 1 this year - what a milestone it is. And because I am a parent who likes to be involved in their children's lives as much as comfortably possible, I decided to be part of the Parents and Friends Association, whose main responsibility is to raise funds which can be readily made available to make purchases in school, etc.

First day at school
First Day at School at Primary School

One of the first assignments I voluntarily took on as part of the PFA was to find out new ways of raising funds that our school had not explored before. As I have friends and relatives with young children attending primary schools in many different parts of the world, my first instinct was to send out an email to them to see if parents are doing any interesting things in different countries, and yes, indeed they are. I thought it would be great to compile a list of some of the fundraising ideas I learnt about, and perhaps the readers can keep adding what their schools are doing successfully:

Some activities at a primary school carnival
Some activities at a primary school carnival

Run-a-thon/Boosterthon fun run: Children can raise money by pledging to run once around the oval at school for every dollar (two dollars, or five dollars) donated. Have the run-a-thon/Boosterthon on Fete/Carnival day so that parents can watch their children run. Also, as the kids collect a higher number of donations, they get to win a present from boosterthon (a water bottle, or a frisbee, or basketball, etc) and the prizes get bigger and better as the # of donations increase to keep the kids motivated as well.

My Junk, Your Treasure Sale: Ask parents to donate pre-loved items (toys, homewares, jewelry, paintings, etc.) and have an indoor "garage sale", maybe after school assembly or just before home time, or maybe on a weeknight/weekend. Have a $1 table with $1 items, a $2 table with $2 items, etc., to make the arrangement of items easy for the organisers.

Book-a-thon: Have relatives, parents, friends of students to sponsor the student to read books. For e.g., if the students reads 20 books in 2 weeks, they will donate $ 20 to the literacy committee in the school to buy books for the library. Promotes literacy AND raises funds. An excellent way to get kids excited about reading (two birds with one stone).

Reading books promotes Literacy
Book-a-thon is a great way to encourage children to read books

International food day: Parents would prepare foods from different parts of the world. On the day of the event, parents/children pay a flat entry fee and get to try food from different parts of the world. Ethnic dresses/displays/dances can also be added to make it more colourful and festive. Can be an indoor or outdoor program, depending on the time of day/season.

Chinese Rice
Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice - A favourite Chinese dish

Art & Craft show: Talented students can make art and/or craft in their classrooms and homes. The school PFA can organise the art & craft show on a weekday or evening. Parents come and buy the art or if a piece is very beautiful, it can be auctioned. In fact, this type of an event can be advertised at a community level and council assistance can be sought to advertise the event (under their arts program). Similarly, adult (parents or community residents) art work can also be part of the same or a different event for raising funds.

Art & Craft created by my son
Art & Craft created by my son

Movie Night: Have a "Movie Night" with the whole cinema theme, with pop-corn, drinks, nachos, bake sale and other items can also be sold. People attending may dress up as their favourite movie star for a top prize. A flat entry fee could be charged as well.

Invite a famous person: A celebrity could be invited to deliver a lecture (for free if possible) and charge the attendees a nominal entry fee.

Peter Pan Show
Peter Pan - a kids' favourite depicted as theatrical performance

Theatre/Drama/Concert: Many schools have a very strong focus on Performing Arts. Why not organise a play or drama or concert, and have the parents and community members attend for a fee.

Organize a theater with props
Organize a theater with props for fundraising

Sell "school" gear: bottles, pencil boxes, mugs, pens, t-shirts, library bags, etc. with the school logo. Requires a bit of investment, but this fundraiser can be implemented as a long-term project.

Other popular fundraisers are "Sausage sizzles", "Raffles", "Funny Hair/Socks Day", "Facepainting" and more.

Facepainting is always a popular fundraiser
Facepainting is always a popular fundraiser

If you have other ideas that you would like to share, please leave a comment.
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Your Comment

I had posted a comment previously (about Gifts4Good an online fundraising platform) but it has not been published, so I can only guess that it was not approved. Are you able to tell me what was wrong with the comment for future reference?

Thank you.

Kind regards
Emily de la Pena
by ems.d (score: 0|6) 1465 days ago
Nice list! Came across your site when looking at ways of letting people know of a new way to fundraise for their school easily using Schoolswop for more info). It's like the idea of your My Junk, Your Treasure idea but all online. And the fees generated to the school are based on listing and commissions to the seller. And you could even combine it with selling school gear via the site. Anyway let me know what you think of Schoolswop!
by yvonn (score: 0|0) 1691 days ago
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