5 lessons from a school fundraiser

10 Apr


high fiveOur elementary school hosted their BIG spring fundraiser this past weekend.  Thankfully, we exceeded our goal and everything flowed smoothly.  We had over a dozen parents who helped coordinate this event by owning a piece of the responsibilities, like: Silent Auction; Raffle; Carnival Games; Stage Program; Concessions; Check-in and Check-out and the enormously-important CPT (Crappy Prize Table).

We had another dozen parents and students donate their time and talent to volunteer.   Here are 5 lessons I think will be helpful to others putting together a school fundraiser:

1.  Give them a reason to be there

We had our student play perform a repeat performance for the fundraiser.  This allowed for an automatic audience of kids and their parents and any relatives that could not make the first production.

2.   Have prizes for big kids and little kids


These prizes were connected so we could safely display them without worrying about them walking away.

We had carnival games for the kids and a raffle for big-kid and little-kid prizes.   We had three large prizes and a bunch of donated gift cards for raffle winners.


We asked our parents to donate (gently) used or new birthday party favors that have collected in their homes so we could display it for the kids to redeem prize tickets earned at the carnival games.

did any of these items come from your closet or basement?

did any of these items come from your closet or basement?


3. Determine your currency

We had our guests purchase “bucks” at the front of the event so all of the money would be in one place, and not in different places around the building.  The “bucks” were used to purchase raffle tickets, carnival games and concessions.  This allowed our police detail to focus their energy on keeping an eye on the front of the house where the guests enter and where the cash is kept.


4.  One door to get in, many to get out

We charged $5 for adults and kids were free.   To make sure we collected from all of the adults, we created a bottleneck once they entered so we could make sure they had to walk next to the check-in table to enter the event.


just one door was unlocked for entrance

5.  Collect money before the event

Even though we had baseball, soccer and lacrosse games to compete with – many families were able to squeak-in an hour or so to attend the event.  To protect the income of the fundraiser, we had pre-sold some raffle tickets two weeks earlier so that peeps could participate if they could not attend.   The bulk of the money came in the day-of from the silent auction of donated goods and services from local merchants and teachers.

Quite a production!  It has been said that it “takes a village” to raise a child – well, it also takes a village to raise several thousand dollars for a school fundraiser.  Thanks to all who contributed to the success of the event!




No comments yet

Leave a Reply