The new school year is just around the corner, and while we don’t yet have a clear picture of what that will look like for many of America’s schools, given the current COVID-19 health crisis, we can start to plan for the things that we do know. And one of the things we know for sure is that school fundraising will be just as indispensable as ever – if not more so.
If in-class teaching resumes, the need for equipment and supplies will remain the same, and as for school outings, emerging safety protocols stand to make things like transportation and admission even pricier. And in the event that schools remain shut down, there will certainly be expenses related to online learning, such as purchasing software and outfitting students with tablets or other equipment.
But how does fundraising work in a time of social distancing? How do you maximize your profits while keeping your students healthy? How do you maintain morale when everything is topsy-turvy?
We’ve compiled a list of 5 fresh school fundraising ideas to help you take your fundraisers into the 2020 school year safely, and profitably.
1. Look for School Product Fundraisers With Lower-Priced Items
Money will surely be tighter for many this upcoming school year, so you might consider partnering with fundraising companies that offer products at lower price points. Having more affordable options will help you attract more supporters, while giving those with more financial flexibility the option of doubling or tripling their purchase.
JustFundraising.com, for example, has a vast array of low-cost products, such as $8 Nuts & Snacks, featuring an assortment of nuts, chocolates, gummies, and trail mix, perfect for everyone from sweet tooths to health nuts. And they’re one of the only companies out there to offer $10 cookie dough. That’s right, your supporters can get their hands on a 2-lb tub of the good stuff for almost half the price of traditional cookie dough fundraisers.
2. Attract More Donors With $1 Items
What’s better than spending $8 for 1 treat? Spending $8 and getting 8 treats! Fundraiser products have improved by leaps and bounds since you were in school, and now there are loads of delicious $1 gourmet options that look like they came out of an artisan candy shop.
From chocolate and candy-dipped pretzels, to healthy fruit snacks, to protein-packed beef sticks, $1 snacks pack a punch without putting a dent in your supporters wallets. Our fave? Chocolate and candy-coated fortune cookies. They not only look great and taste amazing, they also contain uplifting messages, which, let’s face it, we can all use right now.
3. Share Inspirational Messages With Candle Fundraisers
People need a pick-me-up more than ever these days. Offer your supporters a reminder of better days to come in the form of a beautifully-scented candle-in-a-jar. Some are simply labeled with inspiring quotes and positive messages, while others have a more faith-based theme, with uplifting bible verses adorning the label.
Each candle has its own unique scent, and boasts a long burning time. Plus, candle fundraisers are usually priced lower than the popular retail brands, making them a great value for your supporters’ hard-earned money. Pro tip: try to look for brands that are hand-poured in the USA for the added benefit of putting money back into the economy.
4. Promote School Spirit and Safety With Custom Face Masks
Face masks have become the latest fashion accessory, with the crucial side effect of keeping people safe and healthy. Your school can raise money by selling custom masks with your school or sports team’s name and logo. Some fundraising companies offer a wide selection of custom or generic masks in all sorts of fun styles and colors.
Parents, teachers, and students alike will wear your school colors with pride, especially if it helps keep the community safe and healthy. You can get custom face masks too!
5. Take Your Fundraiser From the Streets to the Web
In spite of these tumultuous times, we are fortunate to be living in the information age, where online commerce is already commonplace, and where virtually all transactions, financial and social, can be done online.
The fundraising industry is rapidly catching up, with crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising soaring in popularity. Now you can still offer your supporters the same great products – such as the ever-in-demand cookie dough – without the traditional face-to-face transactions by partnering with a fundraising company that has an online sales option.
The process is similar to most online stores, with many accepting all major credit cards and PayPal. Items either get delivered directly to your supporters, or to a single location for you to distribute, either by drive-thru pickup, or driveway drop-off (to maintain that personal touch).
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is that humans are adaptable, industrious, and resilient, and that we rise to the challenge in adversity. This is a lesson that will stick with students through the end of the pandemic, all the way to graduation, and beyond.