Other Fundraising Ideas (was: GEN: Popcorn sales)
Bruce Harper (bharper@VT.EDU)
Tue, 6 Dec 1994 11:25:30 +0900
My wife (5th grade teacher) sponsors the school Safety Patrol. The Patrol
is rewarded at the end of the year for standing outside in rain, snow, cold,
sleet, etc. with a trip. For many years, they traveled east to Williamsburg,
Va. for a day at Busch Gardens (with a stop in Richmond to tour the Capitol).
The last two years, they have gone north to Hershey, Pa. for a day at
HersheyPark (with a stop in Gettysburg). The kids get transportation (now
by chartered bus, formerly by school bus), two nights lodging, meals, and
admission to the park. Except for a contribution from the PTA, the kids
(with assistance from parents) raise the money themselves.
For two or three months, they sell cupcakes one day a week in school (each
patrol member brings in 2 dozen cupcakes). The cupcakes are sold for 25 cents
Last Saturday was the annual Breakfast with Santa, held in the school
cafeteria. Over 400 people came by to eat pancakes and sausage (orange
juice, milk, coffee, and tea to drink), listen to several classes sing
holiday songs, and to talk to Santa Claus. There was an adult price, child's
price, and family price for the breakfast, plus a photographer would take
a child's picture with Santa for $2.00 (this was optional and parents could
take their own pictures or videos). The pancakes and sausages were pre-cooked,
so they only had to be heated in the oven. The breakfast ran from 8-10:30 a.m.
and netted over $500 in profits. Safety Patrol members also sold "Reindeer
Food" for a dollar a bag, which added to the profits (brown lunch bag with
a couple of handfuls of birdseed, decorated with eyes and attached antlers,
and a short poem attached--I'll track down the poem for those interested).
There have been several "Parent's Night Out" evenings that have been very
successful. The Safety Patrol kids and some parents offer a $5 babysitting
service on a Friday evening for children from kindergarten to 5th grade. For
$5, Mom and Dad get a break and the kids get to play games, watch videos, and
generally have a good time with their friends. This is held at the school in
the multipurpose room and several classrooms. It usually runs from 7 p.m.
to 9 or 9:30 p.m. Expenses are low (mainly for some snacks), so the profit
margin is pretty good. A limit is placed on the number of children that
will be accepted and advance reservations are requested.
For school groups, these might work without much change if one has good
access to the school (cafeteria, kitchen, etc.). For Scout groups, they
could work well if the group has access to good facilities at a school or
church. Here in Blacksburg, the Recreation Center can be rented for several
hours, so that is another possibility for space.
For all of these activities, the children must participate (although they
are not penalized if they don't; if the family is going out of town or has
another conflict or they just flat don't come, they aren't kept from going
on the trip). In the past, parents have asked if they could just make a
lump-sum donation and avoid all the extra effort but my wife has turned that
down. Part of the process involves the children being responsible for
earning the money for their trip (it is suggested that they bake the
cupcakes, with supervision, for the cupcake sales). The activities do take
work, but they are also fun for both the kids and the parents, and everyone
can feel good about a job well done when the activity is over.
Bruce in Blacksburg Webelos I Den Leader, Pack 56
Bruce Harper firstname.lastname@example.org
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