School Fundraising Plan

Here is a sample school fundraising plan that you can use as a template for your PTA or PTO fundraisers each school year. This plan applies to elementary school fundraisers, but will work for middle schools as well. The main idea is to do two big events, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, and have other fun fundraising activities going on that are either year-round or seasonal.

School Fundraising Plan

The first step of any school fundraising plan is to set your budget. It’s always a good idea to look at the last several years fundraising results for a baseline number and then adjust that based on the current year’s projected needs.

Once you’ve got your PTA or PTO budget set, then select two major fundraising events as your primary school fundraisers for the year. For example, let’s say you have 500 students at your school and you need to raise $50,000 this year or $100 per student. There’s a list of the best school fundraising ideas right after the outline of the school fundraising plan.

You’ll want to set a goal of getting 80% of your school’s fundraising dollars from your two big fundraisers or about $20,000 net from each. The other 20% of your annual budget can be produced from smaller fundraising activities during the school year.

Your plan will work best if you choose the school fundraising programs from the top school fundraising companies. That said, your school fundraising plan should look something like this:

  1. Stealth Fundraisers – Every school should be doing these four stealth fundraisers: Box Tops For Education, Campbell’s Labels For Education, Tyson Project A+ Labels Fundraiser program, and recycling small electronics for cash or technology (cell phones, printer cartridges, etc.)Put these in place before school starts with drop boxes or decorated mailboxes in the lobby. Include flyer describing these fundraising activities in each student’s welcome pack. If promoted correctly with the parents, these stealth fundraisers can easily bring in $10,000 per school year with 500 students.
  2. Fall Fundraising Activity – Pick a small scale activity to raise some funds without a lot of effort. You can do a Pumpkin Patch fundraiser, Restaurant Night, Karaoke or Lip Sync Fundraiser, Talent Show, or other fun activity. Aim to raise $1,000 to $2,000 with this effort.
  3. Fall Major Fundraiser – This is one of your two major fundraisers for the year. Pick a fundraising product, event, or challenge with a goal of raising $20,000 from it. See the list of recommendations below. An event with a silent auction does best near the holidays because people are buying things for Christmas.
  4. Winter Fundraising Activity – Pick another small scale activity with the aim of raising another $1,000 to $2,000. Again, keep it fun and low key. It could be something simple like a children’s art fundraiser where their art goes on coffee mugs or decorative coasters. Or a fun event like a Zumbathon, Spelling Bee Fundraiser, Game Show Fundraiser, or a grocery shopping spree raffle.
  5. Spring Major Fundraiser – The second of your two major fundraisers. With warm weather, you can do a Spring Carnival or Rubber Duck Race, both of which do a great job of raising funds.
  6. Spring Fundraising Activity – A yard sale or rummage sale fundraiser is easy to do one Saturday. Or you can do a Spring Home & Garden day and offer flower bulbs, seeds, pine straw, mulch, etc. Aim to raise $3,000 or more.

For your major school fundraisers, you can choose to sell fundraising products or do some large-scale events or challenges. Both approaches will produce the needed funds if done correctly. The list below are all easy fundraising ideas for elementary school fundraisers.

Best School Fundraising Events

  • Fall Festival  – Family fun day with carnival games and bounce house. Do this in conjunction with Pumpkin Patch and have kids wear Halloween costumes.
  • Holiday Festival – Celebration of the holidays. Silent auctions do great at this time of year. Use consignment items to boost revenue. Also offer poinsettias, holiday wreathes, etc.
  • School Carnival – Spring carnival is another great family fun day that you can also tie in with  Home & Garden offerings or an attractive raffle.
  • Rubber Duck Race – Very easy to do as long as there is a nearby river or stream to float the ducks downstream.
  • Reading Challenge – An online fundraiser where students get pledges of $1 for each book read during a month. Averages well above $25 per student.
  • Fitness Challenge – Similar to the reading challenge, the fitness challenge has students get pledges for completing various fitness tasks like running laps, completing obstacle course, President’s fitness competition, etc.

Best School Fundraising Products

There is nothing wrong with schools selling fundraising products if they deliver good value to the customer. Most parents will tell you that they don’t want to be involved with products that are overpriced or of poor quality.

So what product deliver good value, are easy to sell, and will raise the necessary funds?

Here’s a list of top school fundraising products to sell:

  • Mixed Bag Designs – Catalog sale of very stylish tote bags, beach bags, grocery bags, etc. Very high revenue and 50% profit margin.
  • Pizza Discount Cards – Retails for $10 and costs only $2. Customer gets 2-for-1 pizzas for a year. Available from all major pizza chains including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Little Caesars.
  • Restaurant $100 Fundraising Gift Card – Fabulous deal for all involved. Customer gets $100 worth of restaurant gift certificates for $20. Card costs schools just $10 each, so its 50% profit. Card never expires and customer goes online to get gift certificates to local restaurants as needed whenever they want.
  • Spices & Seasonings Fundraiser – A fundraising product that moms love with top quality spices and seasonings at prices well below grocery stores. Profit margin is 45%.
  • Bags For Bucks – Selling trash bags to raise funds sounds difficult, but its not. And there’s a lot of money in it if you sell to local businesses as well as to individuals. Profit margin is 40%.

So, there you have it. An annual school fundraising plan to raise money in multiple ways, all of which parents will love and the kids will enjoy as well.