Parenting & Family

School/Parent Council Fundraising/Event Ideas

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[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 8, 2007
1720 posts
114 upvotes
Mississauga

School/Parent Council Fundraising/Event Ideas

Joined my daughter's school council this year - she's in SK, it's my first year, no other experience with school councils.

We do the regular pizza days for fundraising....but looking for new/novel ideas to improve parent engagement and fundraising (lower priority) for next year. We have a lot of two parent working families in our hood thus don't currently a large parent volunteer base. Fun fairs and large events are out of the question.

So what sorts of things has your child's school done that have helped parent engagement at your school and/or raised some funds? What sort of stuff do you dislike? (e.g. selling stuff to my friends/family is not an option for me)
6 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 17, 2013
125 posts
62 upvotes
Ontario
In terms of raising funds, our school prefers activities that don't require a lot of spending upfront in order to maximize the amount of money the school gets. An example is a dance-a-thon or spell-a-thon. Students get sponsors for dancing for an afternoon or spelling a certain number of words correctly. For the dance-a-thon, we get a zumba instructor to dance and guide our students for about 100 minutes, then they have another 100 minutes of regular dancing. They love it. Please avoid fundraisers that require a lot of time input from teachers. Just as parents get tired of too many fundraisers, so do teachers.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
3392 posts
355 upvotes
Toronto
I think one way to look at it, is that parent engagement needs to come before any real fundraising can take place. Having a vibrant school council that is visible, has the ear of the principal, and gets things done, will encourage more participation by interested families. (There will always be families that are not interested / won't come out to events no matter what).

Schools in my area manage to do big fun fairs every year. They are done entirely by large teams of parent volunteers. Teacher involvement is minimal, although many do show up on the day-of. They tend to be big sources of money for the school councils. They're held typically on Saturdays.

I have heard of a school that did cookie dough sales before Christmas (frozen cookie dough pre-measured into cookie sizes that you just put in an oven and bake) and they made a good amount of money doing that. More relevant than chocolate almonds, that's for sure.

Our kids' school does dance-a-thons but I don't think they raise much money, and they don't do much for parent engagement, as they are held during the day when everyone's at work.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
1611 posts
429 upvotes
Woodbridge
Just heard about this from a York Region Public Health official involved in schools. https://brightbites.ca/badge/show-me-the-money/

We're doing themed baskets that will ve auctioned off at our end of the year carnival. Every class chooses a theme, e.g. "Movie Night" and students donate items like movie passes, popcorn etc. Or "Fun in the Sun" will have sunscreen, sunglasses, water pistols etc.
Deal Addict
Dec 11, 2011
1204 posts
740 upvotes
Pallet Town
Just a personal request from someone who lives by multiple schools. Please don't hire one of those companies that makes kids (aka parents) go door to door selling chocolate almonds or chocolate bars for $5. The parents end up having to sell them at work and it's a dread for everyone

Best of luck with the fundraising!
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 8, 2007
1720 posts
114 upvotes
Mississauga
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Much appreciated.

Totally agree that with more parent engagement , the funds will come in afterwards.

We did a Fundraising thing at Chuck-e-cheese a few weeks back. It was well received by parents as there was lots of chance to chat, minimal effort from teachers required and we made some $$.
Member
Oct 15, 2009
336 posts
74 upvotes
Might not be the same for a school, but our daycare has a few different fundraisers throughout the year.

We just had a gardening one where we signed up with a local nursery and families could order either flowers or fruit/vegetable plants and the school gets a cut from all the sales.

During the end of summer and into the fall we have a similar deal with a local farm where families can order vegetables.

We do a wine raffle around christmas where each family donates a bottle of wine and raffle tickets are sold for chances to win them.

Oliver's Labels has a fundraising program where anything ordered with your schools code or whatever gets you a cut. The nicest thing about this one is there's no cost and really no commitment. It's just a passive one that is ongoing. Don't expect to raise a ton of money with it but every little bit helps.

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