fundraising in low-income schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 5, 2013

    As some of you may have read, Chicago Public Schools are in chaos. 50 schools are being turned around or closed all together. The remaining schools were handed MILLIONS of dollars in budget cuts. My school was cut $275,000 alone.

    In my past life, I hustled for non-profits and raised a lot of money, so I am trying to find a way to fill in some gaps at my school. Problem is, we don't have the families to make a "Friends of School" type non-profit that raises a ton of money. My school is 97% free and reduced lunch. I am watching some of the wealthier schools pull in $30,000, $50,000, etc. with galas, silent auctions, blank-a-thons, and whatever else.

    Do you work at a low-income school that has attempted to compensate for this gap? Any successful ideas? We don't have wealthy parents...but we have a LOT of them. My school serves 1,500 kids and I think we have underestimated our family power. I'm just not sure where to start....
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    Jul 5, 2013

    My last school held an annual trivia night. Anyone and everyone in the community and surrounding areas was welcome to participate. It was probably half and half school families and outside community members that participated. It was low-budget - mostly staff and the few parent volunteers we had that helped with it. Not sure if it would work in Chicago, but it's worth considering.
     
  4. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Many teachers use Donors Choose.

    http://www.donorschoose.org/

    It's primarily used for funding individual projects. I've known teachers who have had a great deal of success with it.

    It won't replace schoolwide funding that's been cut, but teachers can use it to compensate for what the school will no longer provide them.
     
  5. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Comrade

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    I teach at a low income school. We are around 98% free and reduced lunch. We do lots of little fundraisers that usually add up to $10,000-$15,000/ year. We do a "fun Friday" every Friday after school. Parents pay $2 for their child to stay after school from 3-5. Teachers volunteer and show movies, open the gym, etc. We also do "Tuesday treats" where teachers or community donate ice cream and kids pay $1 for a treat to eat at the end of school. We do raffles/give aways for things that the community donates and our parents need, like computers and printers. We also have a teacher take the group class pictures every year and print them ourselves, selling them to parents for $10. The only other thing I can think of is that we do a change drive every year. Parents and kids bring in spare change and the teachers collect it. The class in each level with the highest amount gets a party.
     
  6. Sunshine47

    Sunshine47 Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Donors choose is amazing. I have received almost 3000 worth of materials. It is an amazing website :) It is also easy to get your project started:) good luck
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 6, 2013

    I've used Donors Choose as well - but you run the risk of not being funded. Are y'all Title I? I know that there are lots of Title I grants out there - my P stays VERY busy writing grant applications.

    We only have about 300 students, but here are some of the fundraisers we have done:

    $1 Jeans on Friday (if you - student or teacher - want to wear jeans on Friday, you pay $1 and get your hand stamped) (we are a uniform school)

    Pizza Day (Dominoes or Little Caesars) One slice $3, Two for $5

    School Sock Hops (PBIS) at which snacks are sold for $$ (pickles, sodas, etc.)

    Cake Walk

    Spaghetti (or Red Beans or Gumbo) Night - Meals are $5

    Boxtops for Education (they don't bring in much, but every little bit helps!)

    Of course, the requisite candy sales for grades 3-5
     
  8. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Habitué

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Our School Carnival has baskets put together by each classroom and they bring in some $$ with a Chinese Auction.

    Families donate for their class's basket (like a Gardening Theme or a Baking Theme, or Chocolate, or a Sports Team (Ohio State around here!) )

    And were are a High Poverty school, just on the rural end of things.
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I just started my first DonorsChoose project, so we'll see how it goes! My school is pretty low-income (although we're not having nearly the issues Chicago is!) so I'm really hoping this will allow me to buy some new equipment. It's worth a shot!
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2013

    Thanks so much for the replies.

    I have done DonorsChoose 3 or 4 times for my classroom, but I was thinking BIGGER. Like we need to find $1,000-10,000 at a time. :whistle:

    I looked into doing a "school night" at a local restaurant too. Like we would get a percentage of what people bought.

    Keep the ideas coming! I'm writing everything down. :)
     
  11. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2013

    I'll PM you with more details possibly.

    McDondalds will allow you to do restraunt nights, but I am not sure how much you really raise, it is my understanding that once someone does the training you can go multiple times.

    I know your school is predominantly low income, but if you have a situation where families can take things to their work and sell to their coworkers etc that is where you can benefit. Look at the taffy apples (they're localish.)

    I have to clear out my inbox, but I will PM you with more details soon.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2013

    I don't know if they do anymore- but I looked in a Barnes and Noble book fair once. It actually seemed like it might be better than Scholastic. And I'm pretty sure online purchases can go towards your school too so you could have friends and family of teachers and/or students anywhere helping out. I also think it includes their DVDs (at a lesser % than the books.)
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 7, 2013

    Raffle off stuff?
     
  14. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 7, 2013

    Other people told me the Barnes and Noble bookfair merchandise is a higher price point than Scholastic. This may or may not be true.

    Another idea that worked at two very low income schools was photo sales. The idea is many families cannot afford school photo packages or mall Santa shots. Have the photo enthusiast on campus take photos, develop 4x6 prints and sell them. This can occur several times a year, with a volunteer Santa claus or more secular setup, with Easter bunny, with school sign in the background, etc. oriental trading has seasonal foam frames available. The total cost of frame and print is a buck and they sell like hotcakes at five bucks.

    For larger profits, I would look into grant options and corporate sponsership.

    I wrote two grants this spring. They take a lot of time, but I'm hoping for the best.
     

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