For the past several years, I've been supporting our preschool and elementary school wrapping paper fundraisers. I've pretty much had my fill of wrapping paper and have bought enough stuff to wrap presents not just for my kids, but my future grandchildren! I Our other school fundraiser, Cookie Dough Sales, has never tempted me; I wait for the Girl Scouts to bake them and buy them “ready to eat.”
PTAs know that burnout can happen with any school fund raising program; with sales-based fundraisers especially, it becomes easy to say NO when you just don’t need the item. It’s hard to give up or try something new when the school payout is so high – 50% in the case of wrapping paper items – and often represents a significant portion of the school’s budget.
Finding new ideas to replace and supplement our old standards can be tough, but it’s an important function of the fundraising committee to keep trying new things.
Here at VolunteerSpot, we try to keep an eye out for new ideas – and one of our favorite new ones is a program from Worldwise Education called Artwork for Education. This program is a turnkey school fundraiser where each child creates greeting cards. Here's how it works -- kids make artwork at school and the artwork is then submitted to Artwork for Education where they produce it into a beautiful fundraising brochure. Brochures are returned to the school to start the order process and Artwork for Education also posts each design on an online order site, to make it easy for out of town friends and family to participate. The finished cards are sold in boxes of 12 for $20.50 and are shipped back to the school within 3 weeks of order.
This fundraiser offers the chance to get high quality, kid-customized greeting cards for an affordable price -- and returns 40% of proceeds to the school! It also satisfies two of my primary personal concerns about fundraisers – they are selling something I actually need, and something that’s not packed with sugar! I also love the fact that every child has the chance to see their design in the catalog – whether anyone orders cards or not.
Another part of Worldwise Education's business is selling individual greeting cards through retail outlets – currently Whole Foods Market locations in Southern California. These proceeds are returned to schools, many of them low-income schools. Worldwise Education is also launching an online exchange this year where teachers can get free donated school supplies.
While your school fundraising committee is meeting this summer to find fresh ideas that your parents and community will support - please check out Artwork for Education! Your kids will love seeing their work in print and your school will enjoy the proceeds!