Teacher's Corner: Ideas for Raising Funds for Your Classroom
Many teachers face the same money challenges year after year. Discovering ways to meet the funding gaps in your classroom budget can be difficult when combined with all the other back-to-school responsibilities you have on your plate. A number of cash-strapped school districts can barely afford necessities, so extras are usually out of the question. Educators often foot the bill for special projects they’ve planned.
Fundraisers can be used to help meet financial needs. Yet, the same old candy sales take a lot of time and don’t always reach the needed goals. Fortunately, there are plenty of innovative methods to try. Educators can use the following project ideas to raise money at the classroom or group level (like for a string instrument trip), to ensure students get the tools they need to succeed.
Technology has made donation giving easier than ever before. There are tons of great crowd funding sites that can boost your classroom budget and many that are specifically designed for teachers. Check out a few like:
- DonorsChoose—This site allows you to post your classroom needs and easily send it out on social media. Friends, family, and your community can contribute in a fast and easy way. If you detail the educational benefits that the materials or trip will provide, the response will astound you. Also, give people as much time as possible to share your page and fund your project.
- ClassWish—Allows you to post your needs and get in touch with potential donors who can help either fund the project or supply the materials. Since local businesses can partner with the donor, you can list your fundraising objective and get help from the community.
- Adopt-a-Classroom—Is a lot like DonorsChoose. On this site, you create a profile for your class. For example, you can explain the need you have for a specific instrument, group uniform, or any other project, and then share your page to existing social media accounts. Your friends and students can share it too.
- Chalkfly—Sign up with this office supplier even if you don’t have pressing funding needs. A portion of every purchase is bestowed on a teacher of their choice in the form of Chalkfly cash. That way, you can earn money for your basic classroom items and get cash back on your own purchases too.
- Freecycle—This isn’t a funding site, but it’s an online platform where people donate items to schools, or anyone. There are tons of great things on the free site such as instruments, music stands and a host of items. You just need to join your state and local group to get started.
- Grant Opportunities—Because the arts are so important, there are a number of educational grants available for teachers. It can take some time to navigate the system, but there are literally thousands of opportunities each year.
- Talent Show—Sell tickets for a show that all students can enter. Speak to local businesses about offering prizes for second and third place winners, and have the audience select the first place performance. This not only gives your students a way to show off their talents, but the ticket sales can fund your upcoming projects. You can also offer student discount tickets to increase audience attendence.
- Garage Sale—Contact families and hold a garage sale (in the gym or on the school grounds, if possible) using donated items. Any leftovers can be donated to local charities, and you can use the money for your classroom funds.
- Recycling Program—Set up bins around the school to collect cans and glass bottles for your local recycling center to start this project. Many schools already have something similar set up, but if yours doesn’t, it’s a great way to garner funds.
- Doughnut Sale—If you have a Krispy Kream doughnut shop nearby, this company offers easy fundraising opportunities. You can sell glazed dozens pretty easily, in the mornings at school, or offer singles for a profit.
Don’t Forget To Do This
Outline a budget to ensure that you’ve covered all the costs of your specific project. A detailed list of items and their true costs (easily found online) will help prevent accidental oversights.
Make sure to advertise your fundraiser. Parents and the community can’t get involved or donate the needed resources if they don’t know about your project. Grab your student contact list and email parents about the idea. Many moms and dads will probably offer to help. Networking with parents will make sure that your event is a success.
Gaining the funds you need to ensure your students get the best possible education is worth the effort. You’ll be surprised at the outpouring of community support.