How Do You Raise Money for Your Group?

Updated on March 06, 2012
K.N. asks from Frisco, TX
17 answers

So, aside from a traditional fundraiser (cookies, popcorn, cookie dough, etc), what does your organization do to help get money?
I know with work and daycare and school, there always seems to be a bookfair, or candy sales or something, but what have you found that works?
Does anyone use like grocery store rewards or coupon programs to help as well?
I am trying to find ways to supplement the funds for our non profit with out raising dues, or killing the parents.

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answers from Dallas on

I have a friend who belongs to an organization that sets up "poker night" for fundraisers. They only get paid for expenses, and all the rest of the money goes to whoever hires them. They can host up to 200 people. I think you only need to find a location. IM me if you want me to connect you :)

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answers from Austin on

Sell tables at a 'rummage sale'. That way moms can sell whatever--cookies, homemade items, garage sale stuff, etc. Sell tables for $20 each.

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answers from Dallas on

This is kind of traditional but a bit more work. Have an Auction. Get local businesses to donate auction items. If this is a school ask the teachers to pony up. In elementary school often the teachers auction a night a the movies for 2 kids, bowling with Ms. Smith, that sort of thing. If you and a friend are really good cooks, then auction yourselves for a party of 12. Cook a great meal for 6 couples for a sit down dinner party.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Our preschool would partner with local restaurants and a percentage of your bill would go back to the school (it was anywhere from 15% - 85%), if you brought in the flyer. It was a win-win for everyone - we got an excuse to go out and eat and they raised funds.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Silent auctions work GREAT!! have local companies donate items or services - you will get a good amount if you catch them early enough in the year and put the items aside for when you are having the fundraiser.

Movie baskets
Restaurant baskets
Outside play baskets - the best we ever got was a SMALL play structure by the local company that makes the wooden went for $750!!!
Massage Therapy
Chiropractor visits

you will be amazed at what companies will donate - you just have to ask. If you don't - the answer will always be no!!

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answers from Bloomington on

Throw a scrapbooking fundraiser. Find a place with lots of space and tables (church, daycare, school, etc). Pick a day without a lot of competition (other events scheduled) and host an all day scrapbook event. You can charge up to $50 a person if you feed them a meal or two, provide some snacks and drinks, and do a couple of give aways (free from local vendors). You can outsource the jobs to other parents (food, organization, running the event, and clean-up). You can also run a silent auction at the event. Are there local scrapbook vendors in the area? Moms who sell Creative Memories? Ask them if they would like to be a vendor if they give a small portion of their proceeds to your organization.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I agree with the silent auctions. When my daughter was in elementary school we had to do the cookie dough, wrapping paper and trinkets that nobody wants.

When she moved to middle school the wonderful principal just wanted a check....loved it!!!

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answers from Tulsa on

I ask people for a donation. I have gotten anywhere from one dollar to three hundred dollars from individuals.

Babysitting on Valentine's Day and one Saturday in December so parents can go shopping earns $20 per child($40 family maximum) minus costs.

Carwashes with college girls earned $1400 and almost $1200 for a cancer group. Some were Hooters Girls in uniform so maybe that is why.

Target gives 1% cash to the schools on redcard purchases, but the parents have to specify your school. Uniform companies kick back more to the school if parents order through the school. I prefer to get $40% off of uniforms, then donate later.

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answers from Dallas on

Silent Auctions seem to work well around here.

The biggest fundraiser is the write a check campaign so you don't have to go sell things you don't want to sell and people don't want to buy.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm a middle school teacher and coached cheerleading last year. To raise money for uniforms we sold coupon cards from Papa Murphy's (it's a take and bake pizza place we had in California... not sure if you have the same in TX). The local branch will GIVE you the cards to sell for whatever price you set (suggest 5$). It' s a credit card sized magnet with 10 peel off coupon stickers ($5 off order of $15 or more, 20% off any purchase etc.). The girls sold them pretty easily because even just ONE coupon pays for the card at that price.

The other thing we did with that store was to pick a date where they would profit share with us. You pick a slow night like a Tuesday so they appreciate the extra business, then pass out flyers etc. to get people to go get a pizza that day and the store agrees to give you some % of the sales that night.

Both of those things worked really well for us and were great because there's no cost to run it and it's easy on parents. They just go get pizza or ask their friends to etc.

If you don't have PapaMurphy's I'm sure a local business would be happy to arrange something similar. Give them a call.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my son was in preschool, they did a trike-a-thon. They got sponsors for a flat amount, or per lap, and then rode their tricycles for a set amount of time to see how many laps they could do. There were games and other activities set up for the kids to do inside the school, and they rode in shifts around a course in the parking lot. Older kids could do a bike-a-thon, or run-a-thon. This also can tie into promoting health and physical fitness. Or, you could do a read-a-thon. Kids can get sponsors for how much time they read in a week, or how many pages they read in a week. Or, ask for donations of used books, and have a used book sale. My kids' school district and the public library both do this annually. It is kind of labor intensive to sort and set up, plus you have to have the storage capacity.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son's baseball club has had some pretty cool fundraisers...the latest being a Poker Night and then one of the parents owned a restaurant and they donated a whole day to the team and the kids 'worked' and the club got 50% of all tabs for 1 whole day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I hate the fundraisers that have the candy-cookies--wrapping paper. I feel like I get cheated everytime I buy. I can get more quantity and quality at the dollar stores.
That being said....
Contact your local homesales people ie Tupperware-Avon-Mary Kay - Fuller Brush-Party Lite ect. Ask them if they would be willing to set up a table for a flea market type fundraiser for the school. Anything they sell or book that day the school get a 20% donation. You have time now to set up a sale for Mother's Day. You can also invite local artists, crafters -- I did one as a psychic/medium doing readings. This may sound silly but in one day we raised $1500 for a High School Dance Team.



answers from St. Louis on

Our local arenas that does basketball games, concerts, and other events is set up that all the workers at the stands are from different organizations and you have a certain amount each group will make depending on your group size and if your stand has more sells then the projected amount you will get more money for the day. I would call around or look online at your different sports arenas and see if they have a similar program.



answers from Dallas on

I know you said you don't like the cookies, popcorn,etc. but there is one my son's preschool sold that is wonderful! Butter Braids!
They are the most delicious pastries out! They come frozen so you have to have freezer space available (tell the parents unless they can deliver them asap) but they are sooo good!! I have friends and customers asking when we'll be selling them again! Check them out! I'm going to check my deep freezer to see if I have one now....


answers from Chicago on

Parents spend the same money, just a tad differently. I buy 500 in walmart/sam's club for April in March and same for my gas card, itunes, gamestop etc - I did it slowly but now I pay for everything a month ahead, get the cards and I hardly have to use my debit card anymore! Plus the school gets money!



answers from Kansas City on

My son's baseball team has sold grocery store coupon books for a couple of years, and that works really well. The books are $5. each, but the first coupon is for $5. off a purchase of $50. or more so it's a no-brainer. I think the team pays $1. for the books, so we make $4. on each book sold.


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