Does your child's class need new computers?   Could your school grounds use some landscaping?  Is the 8th grade class planning a trip for the end of the year? Other than baking 10 dozen cookies, holding a car wash or hosting a garage sale, what can a parent do to raise money for their school?  That’s the question I asked myself at the beginning of the school year. I set out to find the answer.

Innovative School Fundraising Ideas

  • Flowers. Sell flowers or plants for Valentine’s and Mother's Day.  Look up your local wholesale florist or nursery to inquire about setting up an account for your non-profit.  Then, two weeks before the holiday, pass around order forms to students.  Allow students to sell a product that people are just beginning to think about purchasing anyway!
  • Tiles and Bricks. If you're fundraising for a remodel, sell personalized, engraved ceramic tiles or bricks.  People like to leave their mark, especially at a school.  Tiles and bricks can sell for at least $100 each.  Create various levels of sponsorships so everyone can afford to participate, and generous donors have opportunity to shine with specialty placements for a higher fee.
  • Entertainment Books.  I'm a Krazy Coupon Lady through and through, so the Entertainment Book fundraisers caught my eye.  Students sell books filled with local dining and entertainment coupons — it's a great program, particularly at the beginning of the year!
  • MSN Offers is a daily deal site with a fundraising program.  Their team works with you and local merchants to find online deals. When the deals sell, you make money for your school – and your local merchants make money, too.  Here’s how it worked for me.

1) I contacted the MSN Offers for Schools team through the online form at www.msnoffersforschools.com.  Be sure to provide your name, phone number, e-mail address, city, and the school(s) you want to enroll.
2)  Within 1 business day, Chet, my MSN Offers for Schools Community Account Manager, contacted me and explained the whole program from start to finish.  He took the time to answer all of my questions and really detailed out a plan to help us get going.
3)  After I understood the program, Chet sent me an online digital contract, which took all of 10 minutes to read and complete, all online, no fax or mail needed!   Our group was quickly enrolled.
4)  After the agreement was completed, I received a full welcome kit with detailed instructions on how to sign up merchants to run deals on MSNOffersForSchools.com.
5)  With only a few hours weekly, I was able to sign up over 8 local merchants to run deals!  Then we simply added a notice in our school weekly e-mail newsletter about the deal of the week.  It took a lot less time than our last school fundraiser.
6)  We just received our check (MSN Offers pays quarterly) – a great return on our time, with no cash to track, no lost items, and no delivery dates!

This has been a guest post by Kristen from Sacramento, CA
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How I Helped my School Raise $1000 -- Innovative School Fundraising Ideas.