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With limited funds for education in most states, teachers often find themselves and their students wanting to do more as a group than school budgets will allow. Teachers also are often "sponsors" for different classes and may need to help them raise money for senior trips. Where can this money come from? Here are a few great fundraising tips for teachers who might find themselves in this situation.
Most importantly, a teacher should make sure that he or she understands the rules regarding fundraising in his or her school. There are often many restrictions placed on fundraising, and any money collected will need to be handled carefully and in accordance with school guidelines. It is important for teachers to speak with their respective school administrations and understand the rules and the teacher resources for fundraising available before moving forward with any fundraising plan.
Once teachers understand the rules, they can begin putting together a fundraising plan. First, they need a plan for how to gather and deposit money. This needs to be done in accordance with school regulations. When that is set, they need to come up with some fundraising ideas. This is a great time to get students and parents involved. Students will be more excited if they feel they have ownership of the fundraising idea, and if students are excited about the fundraising plan, their parents, extended families, and friends will be more likely to give to something the students are passionate about. The students are also more likely to work hard on fundraising if they are excited.
This does not mean that the teachers cannot come up with the fundraising idea. In fact, it is probably best when discussing fundraising with students and parents to bring a list of several ideas and have them pick from one. This gives them ownership of the idea while allowing the teacher some control over the method of fundraising. This also allows the teacher to compile a list of fundraising ideas that he or she can get pre-approved by the administration. It can be damaging to morale, or worse, cause a fight, if students pick an idea only to find out that the administration will not allow it.
There are a few specific fundraising ideas that seem to be perennially successful. For example, a bake sale allows parents and students to put together items that students can sell with no cost to the school. Many students and parents are willing to buy items from bake sales, as they usually only cost 50 cents or less. Car washes can be great successes as well, especially when done on a Saturday in an area close to a busy road.
A newer option that has become popular in recent years is discount cards. This sometimes requires some work on the front end, but can result in significant returns. A discount card is typically a plastic card about the size of a credit card that can be used at restaurants and other local businesses to redeem discounts. This requires students, teachers, and parents to procure discounts from local merchants, but typically, many are willing to oblige. Once the discounts are compiled, many local print shops can print the cards for the students to distribute.
These fundraising tips for teachers can get teachers and administrators on the right track to gathering funds for their classrooms.