Learn how to leverage the unique qualities of elementary school fundraisers
School fundraisers—even in the same community—can have dramatically different needs and purposes. For example, an elementary school might have a greater need for supplies and snacks than a high school, which might be more focused on raising money for test prep opportunities.
Most students get their first exposure to product or brochure fundraising in the elementary school environment, and at Big Fundraising Ideas, we love to support our elementary school sponsors in navigating the unique challenges and big opportunities to raise money in these environments.
If you’re a parent, educator or volunteer offering your time to an elementary school fundraiser in the coming year, consider how you can use these unique characteristics to your advantage.
Elementary School Fundraisers Have More Parent Involvement
School fundraising can benefit tremendously from the high degree of parent involvement in the elementary school. Indeed, from kindergarten through fifth grade, parent involvement tends to be at its maximum over the course of a child’s life—mostly because our kids are not “too cool” for us yet. Fundraisers are the perfect opportunity for parents to feel that they are making a positive contribution to their child’s school.
According to the National Education Association, schools have a lot to gain from parent partnerships. When schools build partnerships with families that are responsive to parent concerns, honor their contributions, and share decision-making responsibilities, they are able to sustain connections that are aimed at improving student achievement.
Connect with volunteer leaders and school administration, and talk about how to use fundraising as a way to close funding gaps and enhance parent engagement in a way that directly benefits their child. Offer up small tasks and large projects alike to give all parents a chance to offer their time, talent and resources.
Elementary School Fundraisers Have Attainable Needs
Fundraisers are defined by the “need to fill a need.” Much of a fundraiser’s success depends on the ability to communicate that need in way that gets people to respond positively. Elementary school fundraisers are well-suited for success in this area, because their needs often feel more attainable to potential customers and members of the community.
One of the prominent educational narratives in recent years is a teacher, particularly in elementary school, frequently spending out of his or her own pocket for basic classroom supplies. School fundraisers are often geared toward reducing this burden on teachers and helping make sure classrooms are stocked with the basics.
This need sells well to community members: it’s tough to imagine students not having pens, paper or markers to carry out a simple, but important learning activity. Consider that secondary schools are often tackling much more ambitious projects, like funding a sports team or theatre program. By nature of their need, elementary schools avoid the question of “Why try?” because their needs tend to be simpler and easier to envision, especially when they’re tied to tangibles.
Make the attainability of success a highlight of your elementary school fundraiser.
Elementary School Fundraisers Have High Energy
While getting your younger children to bed can be a task, your fundraiser will benefit from their seemingly endless supply of energy. For students in elementary schools, fundraisers are a chance to win great prizes and put their best foot forward for fun toys or entertaining experiences.
Capture the energy of childhood for your school’s fundraiser by painting a picture of how exciting and rewarding fundraising can be. Incentivize students by communicating how selling items can translate to great prizes, like fun electronics or access to a reptile adventure!
When it comes time for students to get out in the field, their energy will be your best asset by engaging (and endearing) customers to your school’s cause.