It's been a lot of work, but it's been worth it. Since we're raising a substantial amount of money (five figures), we've had to do several different fundraisers.
If you're interested in how to raise money for something like this, here are some of the avenues that worked for us. The best thing you can do is plan ahead and start early.
- 50/50 tickets. We sold these for five weeks this fall. One parent was in charge of this fundraiser and handled all the tickets and money. We made up forms for each parent to write down the names of people who bought tickets, how many they bought, and how much money the parent collected.
The parents then turned in the stubs, money, and their forms to the one in charge, who counted the money and double-checked it against the form. (Trust me you want the form AND the tickets. You'll have no way of knowing if you collected the correct amount if you don't have the form, especially if you have different prices. We sold one ticket for five dollars or three tickets for ten.)
- NFL Squares. You have to sell exactly 100 squares for this to work. Each square costs the same amount (we charged $25). One NFL game each week was selected in advance, and we paid out for halftime and the final score of each game. Again, one parent needs to be in charge of selecting the games, assigning the numbers, scrambling the boards, collecting the money, and paying out the winnings each week.
- Concessions. We contacted a fall sport in our area where we knew the concession stand was idle. We were able to negotiate a deal where we ran the stand for the fall soccer season and we could keep a large percentage of the profits. All of the parents were responsible for selling concessions two shifts (or one full day). Two moms headed this up, and it was a big job. They had to purchase our supplies, get there early to set up the trailer, and come back that night to lock up. We all felt this money raiser was worth it even though it meant a substantial time commitment from each parent. Low pressure, good payout, and finished in six weeks.
- Corporate sponsors. We contacted businesses for cash donations. Again, this was lucrative, especially for parents whose employers generously gave money. We could not meet our goal without corporate sponsors. We made a handout with sponsor levels of $100, $250, $500, and $1000. You'd be surprised at how many businesses helped out.
- College football rivalry game squares. The Ohio State/Michigan game will always be a money maker!
- Our biggest fundraiser is coming up. We're holding a reverse raffle night. People who buy tickets get a steak dinner. We have a deejay, pay-to-play games, and silent auctions. Each parent was responsible for donating one gift basket for the silent auction. Several parents asked for donations from local businesses, and we were blessed with fantastic items. We made a flyer, contacted the newspaper, and badgered co-workers and family members to purchase tickets.
Fundraisers I've done in the past:
- Harvest party for church. For a low ticket price, kids played games run by parents, had a costume contest, and trunk-or-treated. We also asked parents to paint pumpkins which were raffled off. Since the prizes and candy were donated, this was a low-cost, super fun night.
- Auction night. At our old school, we held an auction every other year to raise money for classroom needs, sports uniforms, and such. All of the auction items were donated. Classrooms came up with huge baskets by having parents donate theme items. We also had a potluck lunch. For this to work, hire a professional auctioneer and have a wide array of items to auction off. These events are tons of fun, too!
- Selling magazines/pizza kits/you-fill-in-the-blank. These are my least favorite money makers. It's hard on the parents to try to drum up sales.
Fundraising is a lot of work, but if you have committed parents, a plan, a financial goal, and patience, it pays off. And this summer when I'm watching my son play baseball in Cooperstown, I'll be thrilled we took the time and effort to raise the money for them!
What fundraisers are you familiar with? I'd love to hear how you do it!
Have a terrific weekend!
*Update 03/14/2017: If you'd like to create a corporate fundraising letter but aren't sure where to start, I've created a sample letter you can download and use to type your own. Go to my website, http://jillkemerer.com/books/game-on/, and scroll down until you see the Free Printables section!
A GAME PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN PARENTS
For years I couldn't escape the anxiety that came with my children’s sports. The competitive atmosphere prevalent among parents often left me anxious, upset—even bitter. But all that changed when I defined why I wanted my kids playing. Instead of fretting about their performance, I saw opportunities for them to grow. Now I enjoy watching them play without letting politics, other parents, or my own unrealistic expectations get in the way.
Join me in exploring the realities of sports, the reasons parents get caught up in unhealthy competition, and strategies to keep the big picture in mind when we're too close to the game. We can be composed and confident while our kids are in sports.
Interested in Game On? Click HERE for purchase links, free printables, and reviews!