Need opinions on school fundraiser

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Posted 6/20/2012 by LippyMans in NSBR Board
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LippyMans
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Posted: 6/20/2012 7:50:18 PM
For the last two years we have done the normal catalog of stuff (wrapping paper, gift sets, calendars, chocolates, etc) as well as frozen cookie dough.

This year we are trying to decide what to do for the up coming year. Can you ladies give me your opinion on what you would like to sell/buy from your kids school. Doing a donation only fundraiser isn't an option because we tried it this year and didn't get much. Not doing a fundraiser isn't an option either because the PTA needs the money (yes I know parents hate them....so do I, but we have to get funding LOL)

Does it matter to you if the company offers prizes to the kids that sell stuff?

I am hesitant to change things because we had one year where the fundraiser flopped and we really had to pinch pennies to get by. But at the same time we want to offer something the parents like and would actually buy. Thanks for your opinions!
Amber
I would rather sell/buy.....Results
Lehi Roller Mill Mixes (prices start at $2-$9 for premade mixes (waffles, brownies, rolls, etc))
Yankee Candles and Frozen Otis Spunkmier cookie dough (prices start at $6 for car jar and up to $30)
Regular Catalog of Stuff (lowest cost is about $6 and goes up over $40)
Cookie Dough, Flower Bulbs, And Little Cesar Pizza Kits ($10-$30)
Chocolate Bars, Jerky, Catalog of stuff, mini deal coupon book (start at $1 and go up from there)

TravelAgent
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Posted: 6/20/2012 7:55:35 PM
None of those excite me. I'd rather participate in a program where I buy a coupon card and get monthly deals at the merchants who paid to be listed there. Or eat dinner out once a month at various restaurants, where 10% of my meal is donated to the school.

Candy, prepared foods, candles and little junky gift items in a catalog have been done to death, and fundraising isn't the only time I'm hit up to buy them. My friends soured me forever on candles with her Partylite! business. I just bought a bunch of food from Tastefully Simple. The Schwann man knocked on my door yesterday trying to put me on his sales route.

Julie

myshelly
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:01:43 PM
I have never seen any school fundraiser items for sale that I actually wanted to buy. None of those options gets a thumbs up from me.

I'd be happy to do a school night out at a restaurant. I might buy a coupon book or discount card. I would probably just flat out donate.

I'll tip your kids if they work at Sonic for a day.

But I don't want to buy crap.



peaterpumpkineater
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:17:44 PM
Could they hold some sort of service fundraiser? You know, bagging groceries or washing cars? I see sports teams doing this a lot.

Heather17
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:27:13 PM
We have sold Entertainment Books and Cookie Dough (2 times each year) and done a Walk-A-Thon for the last 3 years. This year in addition to the Entertainment Books & Cookie Dough we revamped our Walk-A-Thon. Instead of having it kids only during their PE class time we turned it into a family event on a Friday evening. We added a silent auction. We said if we met our goal ($10000 to maintain the minimum of what our PTO does) we would not have another fundraiser till spring 2013 when we do it again. Each family was asked to donate $30 ($50 for more than 1 child.) We also got corporate sponsors for about $4000. We met our goal & passed it a little. Our families are thrilled that they don't have to sell a thing!

dizzypea
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:27:26 PM
Our school did away with the catalog fundraiser and now hold a "Dawg Walk" (our mascot is bulldogs) in the fall- it is an event where the kids all do a short walk, there is a DJ at the end who plays music and they get to "party" for a little bit. It has been wildly successful. Each kid that raises $50 gets a special edition tie dye t-shirt to wear to the walk so it pretty much guarantees that most kids raise $50 or more. There are prizes for the kids who raise the most $ at each grade level and the two kids that raise the most are honorary cheerleader and football player at the High School homecoming game. Last year we raised $80,000. Its for grades k-5.

People were so sick of selling and buying the crappy catalog stuff, and planning the walk event is so much better than sorting and distributing the junk.



gritzi
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:27:41 PM
Honestly, none of those items thrill me. I'm tired of the over-priced fundraisers and have vowed no more after this year. This school year DSs came home with a frozen cookie dough fundraiser at $20 per cookie dough. Ridiculous!

A local private school has a very successful fundraiser by selling various sized trash bags for $10 or pretzel kits for $10. Their trash bags sell so well that they keep them in stock throughout the year because it's a product people use, it doesn't cost a fortune and it's for a good cause.

If there's a Longhorn Steakhouse (I think) near you they offer fundraisers by selling their rolls. It seems that the prices are reasonable.

makingmemorieslast
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:32:20 PM
I used to like buying from this one catalog company the school used. It had a great selection. The wrapping paper was FANTASTIC - good quality, fun prints. The other items were really nice too. But then the PTO switched companies in order to support a local catalog company, and the stuff is such JUNK. I am not a typical Pea because I don't hate the school fundraisers, I think they're fun and I don't mind shopping for things while raising money for the school, overpriced or not. But, everything I got (I bought 7 or 8 items) from this new company's catalog was horrible. And I was so embarrassed to give the items to our extended family that they had ordered from my kids.

I think the catalog can bit kind of confusing when selling to extended family. If we're at a birthday party and people are passing it around, they have to take too much time to figure out what they want. Sometimes there's a main catalog, an insert for food items, another insert for magazines, etc. Personally I think it would be easier if they sold one item, i.e. magazines, candles, candy bars, or wrapping paper.

Anyway, to answer your question, I would go with the Yankee Candles. People know they are good quality and they can buy them for themselves or to give as gifts. There's no wondering if it's going to be a catalog of junk or a catalog of "good" items.

My second choice would be candy bars IF they are good quality and a known brand. We have schools around here that do a certain candy bar from a local candy place that everyone loves. They sell like hotcakes. Why? Because they are only a dollar or two, so even the cheapest people might buy one or two. And because everyone knows they will like them because they know the brand and they know it's quality.

Personally I don't like a lot of the other food items to buy - the mixes and the cookie doughs and such. I don't really know what I'm getting or if it's going to be good. I wonder about the expiration dates, etc.

And I don't like all the different coupon books and certificates and gold cards and special deals. All of that is annoying to me to try and keep track of. I'd rather just buy a simple item to support the school. Half the time with those coupon books the waitress doesn't even know how to enter it into the register, or it can only be used on certain menu items, or no one knows if they expire.

Flower bulbs - I would think that would exclude a lot of people that don't plant flowers. People in apartments or condos may not even be allowed. I would have no use for them even if I wanted to support the school.

Jerky - I would think a LOT of people don't like it!

ETA: Other ideas: Our school's biggest moneymakers are an annual Jog-a-Thon, an annual spaghetti supper/family night, a majorly big basket raffle with amazing baskets, and a Candy Bar Bingo night (bingo with candy bars as prizes). There is one more that I'm forgetting, will add if I think of it...

Cupcake
BucketHead

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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:35:57 PM
Our elementary school, about 600 kids in K-5, just tried a "Money Madness" fundraiser the last week of school. (I've also seen it called "Penny Wars". Each class "competed" with other classes in the same grade. Basically, you send in loose change with your kids: on day 1, you send only pennies and dollar bills for your child's classroom. Day 2, you send silver change and the kids run around to other classes in their grade and "sabotage" their earnings--because silver coins count AGAINST their total points! Day 3, you send in pennies and dollar bills again. Day 4 is anything goes, send it all in! The winning class for each grade had a Popsicle party. The take for this first time fundraiser was $3700! All we did was empty out a few coin dishes and pockets. Not too shabby! (In comparison, a more traditional catalog type fundraiser was also held this spring, selling flower bulbs. That only made about $600).

I loved it because it was easy, inexpensive, and I didn't have to buy any crap.

I hope you find something successful!

Lisa B.


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TXDancermom
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:38:46 PM
I hated all of those catalog fund raisers - and the pressure they put on the kids to sell. After having several fund raisers from various organizations going at one time for two kids I ended up giving each group money. None of the stuff that was sold was ever worth the money that I had to spend on it.

jmho
pat

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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:40:26 PM
Last year, I was hard pressed to buy anything from my son's band fundraisers.

This year they are changing pizza kits & selling Little Caesar's pizzas. My neice sold them this year, so I bought a couple of kits. For something quick & easy, they were pretty good. Plus, I bought the individual pizzas that my son can make for himself in our micro/convection oven. About time we got use out of the convection feature in it.

Also changing cookie dough companies to Otis Spunkmeyer. Is that right? I never bought the other brand. But, will try these.

Another one I like is the Celebrating Home fundraiser. I like their candles. Not like I need another candle though. I'm up to my eyeballs in Yankee.

We have a lot of success with butter braids. I'm surprised they sell so well, as I think they taste like Toaster Struedel.

The pumpkin roll sale was quite successful. I loved those! It was a first time fundraiser. The band boosters spent a couple of days making them. This year, we are taking orders for 2 different dates, as we anticipate a sharp increase in demand. (I was so happy to learn how to make jelly roll type cakes with this one.)

Personally, I would love to see a Krispy Kreme sale. There isn't one locally & I know many people who would buy them. Don't know if the company no longer has a store willing to deliver them or not. The last one was not quite 2 hours away.

We also hold a Walk-a-thon in the summer after band practice. That one does OK & is total profit.

In our area, most people want something for their money. Therefore, straight donations drives are not at all successful.





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Katlaw
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:49:14 PM
We have really struggled to make money with traditional catalog type fundraisers over the past few years. The amount of money made has gone down.

Things that have made money and worked well have been organizing a fun golf tournament. We had a fee for golfers and non-golfers. We had a silent auction and raffle at the club house. The golf course made a lunch. It was held at a 9 hole golf course with golfing from 10-1pm and then a hamburger lunch. We choose the date (June) in the fall and started collecting donations early.

Another fundraiser that worked well for us was Wristbands in school colours with a school saying on them. Wristband fundraiser

We make a lot of money with a good quality chocolate company fundraiser in November. Not junky, waxy chocolate. In Canada we use a company called Purdy's Chocolates and they have really nice product. It is made here, not imported and they are a well known brand so people trust them. The chocolates are the same price as buying them in the store, this way we get to support the school. I wonder if there is a US company that offers something similar?





Kathy





Momof1sweet-lil-lad
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:53:15 PM

We make a lot of money with a good quality chocolate company fundraiser in November. Not junky, waxy chocolate. In Canada we use a company called Purdy's Chocolates and they have really nice product. It is made here, not imported and they are a well known brand so people trust them. The chocolates are the same price as buying them in the store, this way we get to support the school. I wonder if there is a US company that offers something similar?


There is in our area. But, I will not buy from them. There is a local store that my MIL bought from. Ended up with a bad experience with the product. There is no way I'm eating anything made by them ever again.




The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. ~Albert Einstein

obsidian
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:53:33 PM
I like the idea of wristbands, my children like all wristbands. Even those blatantly flogging businesses.

moveablefeast
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Posted: 6/20/2012 8:57:59 PM
Our school does a 5K every year. We run a certified course with a professional timing company, so it is a qualifying race for the big marathons. We get sponsors and have a silent auction. We raise about $15,000 after expenses every year, if we have 500 runners.

Nobody has to buy anything, it's healthy, and we have a family festival on the lawn along with it so it is just a blast for everybody. Huge success - a lot of work, but the return on investment is good enough to justify it.

Just a suggestion.

Momof1sweet-lil-lad
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Posted: 6/20/2012 9:00:27 PM

A local private school has a very successful fundraiser by selling various sized trash bags for $10 or pretzel kits for $10. Their trash bags sell so well that they keep them in stock throughout the year because it's a product people use, it doesn't cost a fortune and it's for a good cause.



Do you happen to know the supplier or fundraising company these are available through?


We had no success with discount cards. It got to the point where we were just hoping to break even with our cost. Oddly enough, this was the sale I had the most success with.




The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. ~Albert Einstein

SweetPeasMom
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Posted: 6/20/2012 9:00:49 PM
We do a Fun Run each year and have raised all of our money through that. They also sometimes participate in the local restaurant donating a portion of that night's profits back to the school.


Wendy



Peal
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Posted: 6/20/2012 9:07:01 PM
I hate the selling fundraisers with the passion of a thousand burning suns. We flat out don't participate in those. I have told the school repeatedly they need to have a donation option for those of us who would like to donate but not sell. That way the school get s 100% of the money I'm willing to give.

Our school did a 5K last year and a Husky Haul for the kids to participate. It did well enough last year to do it again this year. I'll run this year.


Christina

You can't argue with popularity. Well, you could, but you'd be wrong.




gritzi
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Posted: 6/20/2012 9:11:41 PM

A local private school has a very successful fundraiser by selling various sized trash bags for $10 or pretzel kits for $10. Their trash bags sell so well that they keep them in stock throughout the year because it's a product people use, it doesn't cost a fortune and it's for a good cause.



Do you happen to know the supplier or fundraising company these are available through?


Unfortunately I don't because my kids don't attend that school. I send out a few emails and ask for you though.

Momof1sweet-lil-lad
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Posted: 6/20/2012 10:01:41 PM

Unfortunately I don't because my kids don't attend that school. I send out a few emails and ask for you though.


Thanks, Gritzi! I really appreciate it!




The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. ~Albert Einstein

cmcshari
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Posted: 6/20/2012 10:04:59 PM
Our local elementary schools do a variety of things. One has a walkathon, some do scrip, the local catholic school has a huge auction, and the elementary my kids goes to raises 25,000 on catalog sales.(when we went their). Recently, they have a set of parents who own a sign company. They called area businesses and sold signs that they hang in the gym and outside on the fence around the school-I think it was $1,000 for both places-January til Jan. There might have been just a gym option as well. In comparison, another elementary in our same district is trying a similiar program and only charging $350.......we have a difference in economic climate among some of the schools.

Someone on one of these forums suggested that they have an auction and some of the drawings included front row seating at choir programs, etc. Heck, I probably would have paid for that back in the day......I know I would have bid for some primo parking spaces at big school events(carnival night) when I had 4 kids under 6. Totally would have been worth it. Perhaps make it really reasonable for parents- $5.00 for so many tix-bet you would raise a bunch. Sports are huge around here-our basketball team did a fundraiser and you could bid on an opportunity for your kid to be "coach" of the day and that kid got to sit on the high school team bench, go into the lockerroom, etc Things like this some parents would bid on like crazy and your school could benefit!

I don't mind buying from the local kids although I am very annoyed with $20 cookie dough.

shannigan
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Posted: 6/21/2012 12:24:57 AM
My vote is for a "spell a thon" or "math a thon" where the kids write spelling/math tests to earn donations by flat rate or per question. We do this twice a year as well as sell coupon oops and magazine subscriptions in September and made $38,000 this year!

oliver30
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Posted: 6/21/2012 12:39:16 AM
Everyone at our school loves Square 1 Art . Not sure how much money we earned, but parents love it and it's good to do before Christmas or Mother's Day as the items make nice gifts.

heartcat
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Posted: 6/21/2012 6:04:15 AM
I also hate 'ptoduct' fundraisers. And I REALLY hate fundraisers that offer 'prizes'. If I did deal with a company that offered them, I'd try to negotiate forgoing prizes to add money to the bottom line. I hate the message that they send, that you should be 'rewarded' for working to raise money for something that ultimately benefits 'you'. And it's not a matter of who does the most work, it's always a matter of whose parents have the most friends/family/co-workers.

One fundraiser that some schools around here do is to purchase gift cards for one of the supermarket chains. A certain percentage goes to the school. It is an ongoing thing throughout the year, and something that many people actually use.

They buy the gift card for $100 and still get $100 worth of groceries. So it doesn't 'cost' anyone anything. Just time for the volunteers to coordinate.

We would have liked to do this for our school, but since the minimum was $100, and since they had to be ordered and paid for in advance, many families would not have been able to afford it. In a more affluent area like the one my sis lives in, this fundraiser works very well though and it a huge moneymaker.

Unfortunately, our most successful fundraiser is always chocolate bars, so they keep on doing this. I refuse to sell chocolate bars to people for $3 that you can pick up for .88 at the local store. I don't like selling inflated merchandise so that some company can make money off our attempts to fundraise.

The fun fairs we have done have never been something to raise money. We subsidize them and barely break even, they are just a fun event for the students and their families.



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Juliettie
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Posted: 6/21/2012 6:37:58 AM
We're a small (fewer than 300 kids) public elementary school and we raise over $30k per year without really selling anything.

Here's our fundraisers:
Fall "walk-a-thon" when kids ask for pledges from friends and family and then they walk at noon recess and during an all-day Saturday event. It made over $14K last year.

Great Lakes SCRIP gift cards and grocery store cards. This is an ongoing program (orders placed about once per week, plus the most popular cards like gas cards, grocery, Old Navy, popular restaurants kept in stock all the time). We get between 3-20% of the cost of the cards back. So a parent buys a Land's End gift card for $100 for $100 to buy a new winter coat and we get $18 back to the PTO. One of our grocery stores does 5% cash back to us if people use a rechargeable gift card and debit card. We make a TON this way.

Minor fundraisers: Pancake dinner (we only make about $500, but it's the night we provide dinner for free to incoming kindergartners and have them tour/meet, etc.). Ice Cream Social...end-of-year activity for all. It is designed to break even, but we make a thousand some years and less others.

We also used to have a movie night as a fundraiser. We now don't charge for the movie (only for concessions), but we'd charge $5 per child to come to the gym, watch a G-rated movie and play BINGO with their friends. We get parent volunteers to chaperone. We do it in early December, often the same night as "Midnight Madness" shopping downtown. Parents end up getting about 3 hours of babysitting for $5 (although we now just do it for free, since our grocery store and SCRIP do so well).

The SCRIP/grocery is a great program for schools, but it does take some time to get it up and running well. Parents just need to get in the habit of using them and planning ahead a few days before purchases.

Good luck!
Nieka


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maryannscraps
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Posted: 6/21/2012 6:48:44 AM
I really hate the prizes, too. If it isn't something we're interested in buying or selling, the prizes drive me batty with the whining going on.

The most successful fundraisers I've seen in our schools have been.

Square one art. I still have those cute little pieces of artwork.

An electronics/appliance disposal date. People pay a certain amount ($10-$20) to dispose of old electronics. The kids help out carrying stuff from people's cars to the truck, so it gets them to participate. Last year we offered a pickup schedule to mostly elderly people who wanted to get stuff out of their houses but couldn't load up their cars. We asked the teachers to participate and had a pickup truck in the parking lot where they could leave their stuff and not have to come back on the Saturday. We made $5000 off that one.

Free trade coffee products. The coffee was great, and lots of people buy it anyhow. We made $6000 off that also.

PhotoHorse
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Posted: 6/21/2012 7:00:27 AM
Our local PTA sold Butter Braids a few years ago and cleared $11,000. We're a town of 6500 in central Iowa.

It looks like there is a distributor in Utah.

Butter Braid

Monklady123
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Posted: 6/21/2012 7:00:48 AM
Absolutely none of those things that you listed are anything I would buy. Sorry. And NO prizes for top sellers! I hated those when we were still in elementary school. It awards -- usually -- the kids whose parents go out and sell for them, most often at work. And it penalizes the kids who can't do that.

The only product that gets sold around here for fundraisers that I continue to buy is the winter citrus fruit sale (high school band). The other very successful one is done by the high school crew and football teams -- you can hire a team of teens to come work at your house, doing any number of things -- yard work, cleaning out the garage, walking the dog, whatever. Now I realize that wouldn't work for elementary school, but I'm just mentioning it to show you what type of fundraiser I like.

I know nothing about the fruit sale but that would work in elementary school. People LOVE fresh fruit and it makes a great change from all the junk food that's sold by these fundraisers.

And also scrip, that I'd buy. We have to buy groceries so why not do it through that program.

Hate, hate, hate selling junk. I was SO SO glad when we moved on from that. The elementary kids who live on my block know me as the scrooge who won't buy anything. hehe.. however, they also know that I'll give them a donation since I'm happy to support the school -- we had lots of good years there. Just don't give me any junk for my donation!



maryannscraps
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Posted: 6/21/2012 7:05:09 AM

I know nothing about the fruit sale but that would work in elementary school. People LOVE fresh fruit and it makes a great change from all the junk food that's sold by these fundraisers.
We gave up the fruit sale two years ago for the free trade coffee. It was soooooo much easier to administer -- coordinating the orders and the pickups were a nightmare for the fruit. And we made $1000 more with the coffee.

We'd been doing the fruit sale for over 15 years, and I think people were getting complacent about it. It was very difficult to get enough help to unload the truck and load up people's cars. Also to make sure all the orders were picked up the day they came in. But it did work for years. I'll say that the coffee weighs a LOT less

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 6/21/2012 7:14:46 AM
None of those excite me.

Car washes are better but I really like the meal type fundraisers - pancake supper, enchilada supper (they usually make stacked enchiladas instead of rolled), spaghetti suppers... a baked potato bar would be fun too (toppings in little ketchup papers or similar)

Monklady123
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Posted: 6/21/2012 7:35:05 AM

We gave up the fruit sale two years ago for the free trade coffee. It was soooooo much easier to administer -- coordinating the orders and the pickups were a nightmare for the fruit. And we made $1000 more with the coffee.

oooh, this is the best idea yet! OP, I'd buy good coffee in a heartbeat!



SDeven
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Loc: Nashville, TN!

Posted: 6/21/2012 8:12:43 AM
The Entertainment Coupon book is the only one I participate in.






PSILUVU
StuckOnPeas

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June 2009
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:18:35 AM
At my ds's school we do a lottery calendar fundraiser. His school has 180 kids and last year made almost $6000.00 on this. Each calendar costs $5.00 and every day for a month you have a chance to win either $50.00, $100.00 or $200.00.

I personally hate buying products and completely detest prizes for fundraising


Kelli


Please ignore the typos..I do know how to spell, I DON"T know how to type



MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Loc: Houston

Posted: 6/21/2012 8:25:28 AM
I hate school fundraisers and we always make a donation rather than participate in them, but if I had to pick one, fair trade coffee sounds like something we would actually buy. I've never seen anyone use that for a fundraiser!



aprilfay21
Mommy to Maximus!

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July 2006
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:34:00 AM
The only fundraisers I enjoy buying from are the candles and the coupon books/discount cards. I'll buy from the others because I love the children doing the selling but I grumble about it and never use the products. Or only buy them to gift. IME, the cookie dough is disgusting. I buy it and toss it.




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WingNut
Best Cat Evahhh!

PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
Posts: 14,109
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:36:40 AM
I get what you're saying about needing the funds and all. Still, I disliked these things so much that I flat out refused to participate. Whether they liked it or not, I donated ~$50 per child per year. It got to a point at my office that sales flyers for these types of things was banned. There would be DOZENS left around littering the office.

I absolutely despise the "sell this much and get this prize!" sales. When my kids would come home all riled up from the rah rah assembly (yes, lets take what little time teachers have to teach to psyche kids up to sell nonsense products to their friends, family and neighbors!) I would ask which prize seem to be their favorite. Usually, it was something pretty nominal in cost. I would just offer to buy the darn thing in return for doing a household chore that wasn't on their list. It was cheaper and easier for me to do that than sell products.

I wish there was a better way and I feel sorry for the folks who find themselves on these boards who have to face the hatred for these things. I promise, that while I had a very strong dislike about it all, I was ALWAYS polite and supportive in other ways.


Joy


MerryMom937
PeaFixture

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June 2010
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:41:28 AM
My son's intermediate school sells Yankee Candles and the sale is timed that you receive the items right before school lets out for Christmas break (sell a lot of Christmas gifts).

This is the only fundraiser they do and they have the highest sales for Yankee Candle for a school.

We live in a small town/rural community and no, this is not an affluent community. The Yankee Candles sell well.

ksuheather
low-information individual

PeaNut 190,373
February 2005
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:45:06 AM
The school I went to growing up did the calendar lottery thing and made bank on it. They also sell trash bags in school colors and scrip for local grocery stores. They also did magazines but I think they finally quit because the others did so much better. That was a small Catholic school in a medium sized town.




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MerryMom937
PeaFixture

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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:49:25 AM
ETA: For prizes, we don't go through the company because it takes away from the fundraiser money. For what you get, the quality of the items is "meh". We give a $100 bill to the highest fundraiser and 2nd and 3rd highest sales got $50 and $25.

We don't do prizes anymore for if you sold at least 1 thing. We just explained in the flyer that it costs X amount of dollars to get a small prize for everyone and we would rather the money go towards the school.

For a no cost prize, you could do that if you sold at least 1 item, you could participate in crazy sock or crazy hat day.

Oh, right now the "survival bracelets" are very popular.

Sparehead3
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 446,722
November 2009
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:49:32 AM
Candy bars and beef jerky. You can sell and get the money instantly(no delayed delivery) and DH can sell them at work. I've tried: cookie dough (twice), plants, entertainment books (three times)and no one wants to buy something they can't have NOW.

I haven't sold candybars but DH says they fly out of the breakroom at work.


Pattie576
BucketHead

PeaNut 224,413
September 2005
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Posted: 6/21/2012 8:50:30 AM
After complaints about selling "junk," our PTSO tried having an auction (BIG flop, even though we had a ton of awesome baskets donated by area businesses). And yes, we advertised and spread the word, and it still didn't work.

We also tried the donation fundraiser last fall, where if you gave $20 and we met our goal, we wouldn't have to have a fundraiser. That also flopped, although those who gave the $20 didn't have to participate in the sales. We ended up selling candles from Celebrating Home and made something like $6,000.

My DD sold high-priced coffee and smoothie mixes for one of her clubs. She was required to sell three. I bought 2 and my mom bought 1. LOL

It's very, very difficult to do fundraisers anymore, especially when ALL of the sports and other clubs are also doing fundraisers. Little League just upped their fee and dropped the fundraiser, which was fine by me.

Pattie

JustCallMeMommy
Magical Pea

PeaNut 62,544
January 2003
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Loc: Brandon, MS

Posted: 6/21/2012 8:51:18 AM

I wouldn't buy any of that...I'm unlikely to buy any product and definitely nothing scented or lacking nutritional value. I do look for someone selling Sally Foster wrapping paper, though last year, they had gotten rid of the paper that came in the large roll, so I ended up at Hobby Lobby.

We participated in the school carnival, and they made about $9K. Each classroom was paired with another classroom and they set up a booth that was manned in shifts by parents. A few local businesses also set up booths. Booth games were included in the admission price, and the kids could buy food and tickets for cake walks, raffles, and the "throw a pie" game.

The PTO also sold snacks and drinks on Fridays, and I think most of the kids brought $1-2 each week for that.

I also saw a fundraiser at Alison's preschool where each class made a group work of art. A local artist helped design the art wand each child participated in some way. These were auctioned off to parents and went for several hundred each.

We're doing something similar at church where the children are all helping make several home sized prayer tables that will be auctioned or raffled off (as an added bonus, these are being made with wood removed from the church during renovation). Something similar could be done at a school with child sized chairs or desks.

We have also raffled off a blank canvas before where a local artist donated her time to work with the winning family on colors for a painting. This one was always a great money maker.


-Jennifer


can_i_pea_2?
We are the Boys of Old Florida

PeaNut 190,429
February 2005
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Posted: 6/21/2012 9:07:11 AM
Out of the ones you listed, I like Yankee Candles the best, because I use them. But none of them really float my boat. I'm a big fan of the entertainment books, but I like the fair trade coffee idea, too.






cajuncandy
PEAing entirely too much!

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December 2004
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Posted: 6/21/2012 9:27:54 AM
Our band did a Tupperware fundraiser and wow was it a success. Sadly, Tupperware couldn't get the order to us before the end of the school year (this was end of March/first of April) so they cancelled since some of the sales were made by the seniors.


*************************************
Candy



prairie sentinel
PeaAddict

PeaNut 57,182
November 2002
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Posted: 6/21/2012 9:37:55 AM
Our parent council does a magazine fundraiser every year, which raises about $7000 (school of 500 kids). I like it for several reasons . . .

1) our school district has a nutritional policy in place, so we are not allowed to sell (or serve for hot lunches, etc) cookies, candy, etc
2) we opt not to do the big "push the prizes" assembly, etc--the kids still get them through the magazine company but our school doesn't promote them at all
3) there is an on-line order option that has saved us hundreds of volunteer hours in tallying orders
4) the entire thing can be run by one person with a minimum of time invested
5) it promotes reading, which is a big emphasis at school
6) there are French children's magazines available--our school is French immersion, and French materials are hard to find in an English province!

The company we use is QSP--perhaps there is an American equivalent?

Emanon
PeaAddict

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November 2011
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Posted: 6/21/2012 9:43:52 AM
We do Great Lakes SCRIP, family night at Wendys once a month (they give us a percentage of the total sales that night from 5-8 pm), City Entertainment books, and a yearly Gala formal that we have dubbed "the parent prom" complete with auctions and games. From those we are able to fully self support our private school. We raise over $100,000 a year through these activities.

maryannscraps
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 75,215
March 2003
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Loc: massachusetts

Posted: 6/21/2012 10:01:11 AM
Just wanted to add a link to Equal Exchange fair trade coffee. They were great to work with, and the products were high quality. No complaints.

finaledition
PeaAddict

PeaNut 409,397
January 2009
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Posted: 6/21/2012 11:28:44 AM
The schools in our district do big, extravagant auction dinners. They raise $50,000 plus (some double), but it is a ton of work. One of the schools alternates each year the auction with a walkathon and they raise the same amount of money for very little organization and effort. These are done in lieu catalog sales.
Another idea which we are looking into is a back to school social. We would rent an inflatable movie screen and show a movie on the school lawn and sell ice cream and of course charge for both. We could probably get the ice cream donated so there's about a $1,000 investment that has the potential for a good profit.

I prefer the activity based fundraisers to catalog sales.

RST
uniquer than you

PeaNut 101,300
August 2003
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Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted: 6/21/2012 11:38:18 AM
Don't like any of your options listed. I hate the prize motivations too -- I think they a) suggest that the "profits" of the fundraiser are not all going to the PTA or whatever is raising the money reflect on whose parents are most aggressive, not which kid has done the most selling.

Why don't you go all outside the box and find a clean eating, gluten free, green and organic fundraiser. That's where the money is these days, not wrapping paper and candles.

RST


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Darcy_Collins
PeaFixture

PeaNut 514,615
July 2011
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Posted: 6/21/2012 11:53:38 AM
I don't know if there are any restrictions at a public school, but our PTO does weekly pizza. At the beginning of the year the families interested in participating pick the pizza (cheese or pepperoni) and the weeks. We found it too much of a headache to allow weekly ordering, and if your kid is sick one week you're out of luck. The local pizza place delivers the pizzas to the school - the PTO marks them up a buck a piece and have volunteers distribute. It's very popular at our school and I'd say 80% of the kids participate. We net almost $10K with "most" families happy that it's a pretty painless fundraiser. The biggest detractors are those who don't really want their kid eating pizza once a week. Now that the local pizza place also offers gluten and dairy free, we've had fewer complaints.




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