Prom Fundraising...Is This SOP?

Updated on April 21, 2012
☆.A. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
28 answers

I got an email from a mom (friend of mine) stating that her son (a senior) was trying to sell these "lottery" tickets (a deal every day for the Month of May, so 31 chances of winning from one ticket purchase).
The cost is $10 per ticket and it is to reduce the cost of prom tickets from $200 each by subtracting what they sell from the price of the ticket(s).
Is this normal? Standard Operating Procedure now for prom?
(I'm not questioning the validity of the sale, just the fundraising part.)
If you have a kid going to prom--did they do this? Did they have the option?

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So What Happened?

I know-$200!
I think my prom tickets were $30-40 as well.
I have a 9 year old, so I guess I better start an account or something!

Featured Answers


answers from Austin on

Here they start fund raising for their Prom and Graduation night Lock in, beginning their freshman year.

IF they have done a good job, their tickets are not very much and the Prom is held in a beautiful place. The Grad night goal is huge, because they do an all night lock in at the neighborhood bowling Alley , food is served along with breakfast and hire lots of performers and have all sorts of activities and give out prizes all night long. Usually almost every graduate wins some prize. I recall O. class, EVERY senior that attended was given a $100. Gift Card!

At some point they stop the fund raising and work with what they have as the budget. This year their prom tickets are $45.00 each and they have NOT reached their goal for the lock in.. so they are discussing what will be cut from that night.. I heard the kids are all up in arms, but as we know, if you do not plan and do the fundraising before the last moment.. Someone will either have to make up for it or they will need to do without.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My kids were required to extort the money out of their parents. Me being the mean mom told them to take it out of their earnings. Regardless there wasn't any collateral damage to friends and family under the guise of raffle.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow after reading all these responses, I'm glad I skipped my prom back in 1994! And my son better get a part time job his senior year in 14 years, lol.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

There is no prom fundraising here. If you go you pay to go. No insult intended but that sounds pretty tacky.

Girls typically pay for dress, shoes,all their accessories including hair, nails, etc, and boutonierre. They also take the dates out to dinner the night before.

Boys pay for the party bus or limo, prom tickets ($40 each) prom meal, prom tickets, tux, etc.

It can get very pricey... I got bashed a bit on another post regarding prom this week due to the costs. Daughter went to her bf's prom last week and we spent over $1100. Her bf works 2 job and tries hard to make ends meet and he is good to her so we picked up the tab for her portion of the party bus $75, dinner for both of them $80. The group of 32 waited too late to get a restaurant to seat them so I was lucky enough to get something set up with our country club. We made a set menu with prices from $11-$40 a plate, everyone made selections ahead of time and paid for their meal. We picked up the rest of the tab which included gratuity.

They had a great time in a classy place with great atmosphere. They loved it.

Prom fundraising just doesn't sound right to me. It would be like....... I am having a fundraiser so I can get a new car, will you donate? I don't view that as proper etiquette.

There are places here who work all year to provide needs for students who want to go to prom but can't afford it. Girls with nice dresses, handbags, shoes, other accessories donate them to this church in town. Everything is cleaned and displayed during prom season. Girls who have a true need for a dress, etc go here and everything they get is free. It was a tearjerker to watch the news report this year and how appreciative some of the girls were. Now, they didn't have that much for the boys but the boys typically rent a tux.

That is pretty much the protocol in Plano/Dallas

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

$200 prom tickets? What the hell, are they dipped in gold?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I went to prom in 1996 and paid $150 but our prom was at a beautiful venue out of town and it felt very fancy. (Corinthian Grand Ballroom in San Jose Athletic Club) They actually rolled out a red carpet and you couldn't help but feel like a princess walking up the steps to pass through the grecian columns and into the building.

Drinks and tiny hors d'oeuvres you could eat without mussing your lipstick were provided. All the movies from the 80's I used to watch depicted prom as being hosted in the gym with student provided decorations so it was what I was expecting. I was a bit surprised when our prom committee let us all know where and how much our prom was going to be. I went to a regular public high school by the way.

It was the only time I dressed up and went to a dance my entire time in school. Dances just weren't my thing but my mother wouldn't let me miss it. Called it a "rite of passage". I had fun and I have to say I was more dressed up in my whole life that night. (I got married in jeans!)

There was no fundraisers for tickets unless you call kids selling their bag lunches for cash every day at school "fund raising". My parents gifted me the cash as well as the $50 for my senior yearbook.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

$200?! Yikes! My daughter is going to prom in a week. Her tickets were $45, her dress $120.

I've never heard of fundraising for prom, but if tickets are that expensive then its a great idea.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My son is a bit young for the prom :) but his school has fundraising to pay for field trips. This was not SOP when I was a kid! I think it's because in this economy many of the parents simply can't afford to cough up the field trip fee.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It is SOP for a class to raise funds throughout the years, this helps to offset the cost of many events including prom, project graduation, senior day, etc. Our school even charges class dues of $50, you don't have to pay unless you O. to attend these events. Fundrasiing is always optional, however, in many cases if you choose to fundraise the money you earn will be applied directly to your account.

I can't believe the cost is $200 for a prom ticket. My daughter's is $54. What exactly do they get? Just tonight I went to a dinner at our areas most popular and prestrigous banquet hall, the hall costs to our company per person was $58 and included appetizers, open bar, salad, pasta, choice of prime rib or shrimp or chicken, dessert and coffee.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, usually the class as a whole fundraises through the year to keep the cost of the tickets down... but this actually sounds like a more fair way to do it where the biggest participators reap direct benefits from how much they raise. Sounds kinda cool actually.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Jeeeeez! My kid's 6; I guess it'll be $500 a ticket by the time she's ready for prom. I think prom tix were $40 when I went? $200 is highway robbery. Why do they have to make it so some kids miss out? Well, I guess that's where the 'fundraising' comes in ... I think the cost is ridiculous!!

SOP = standard operating procedure

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My daughter is also a high school senior. Her prom tickets are $65 each ($130 for a couple) -- and their prom is at a very nice hotel in downtown Boston. The ticket covers dinner and dancing -- standard prom kind of stuff.

$200 per person is crazy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Tacky, tacky, tacky!! I guess some areas may have their prom in the gym with crepe paper but here they are planned at wonderful venues and are classy events (and these things are not cheap or free!). Kids and their families know what time of year prom happens and plan for it. My daughter's costs were over $1,000 each year (Junior and Senior) and I paid for it without hesitation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I know that our prom tickets were NOT $200 and neither were SD's or SS's. Maybe $60, per couple. Our class raised money for our class activities, including Prom, as a group. Mulch sales and such. The only time I did sales like that was for a whale watching trip which I think was only $350 for the whole thing. I sold candy and kept half the price. Then again, none of the proms I mentioned were anywhere super fancy, either. SS escorted a young lady whose prom was on a boat. His was at a local hotel.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I did not have to fundraise for prom tickets, but mine were 120 for both tickets - prom is expensive these days since you have to have charters to shuttle the kids back and fourth. I understand the want to fundraise to reduce the cost of the tickets when they are 200 each.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't find it that odd, maybe just new. Most classes/schools do fundraisers for the cost of prom, so maybe this is O. where it's more for the individual cost as opposed to the overall cost for holding the event.

$200 doesn't seem too high, depending on where you are. Most proms around here (suburban PGH) run around $150 or so. Costs include the promenade before, dinner, dancing/entertainment, and most importantly, post-prom. Most districts here require your attendance at PP if you go to prom. Most of the schools here do prom at O. of the downtown hotels, the football or baseball stadium, or on O. of the riverboats. Our district does PP at Dave & Buster's, others do them at similar types of venues.

IMO, all of that for $150/couple is reasonable. Some will disagree, but I think it isn't that bad. My prom, in 1996, was $75 per couple, and included nothing but entrance to the event and favors. Ours was in our gym, but I lived in a tiny town with no other open. I'd have gladly paid double to get more stuff at ours!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I can only imagine no O. is able to afford the prom so they are trying to fix the issue but raising money. I would think it would be something that others might need to do too.

I went to my prom but didn't really do all the stuff. I went, didn't know how to dance at all, sat with the other band kids, came home not impressed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I live in a very affluent area and my daughter's junior prom was last month.
Ticket was $95 and included a beautiful venue, dinner, DJ/dancing, casino games and transportation (the kids take luxury buses so that no O. is driving.)
Photos were extra, though most of us take our own photos anyway :)
My goodness, Christine W must be O. of the "Real Housewives of Santa Barbara" lol!!! Like I said, I'm fairly wealthy but $1,000 per kid? Oh my!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

My kids arent old enough for prom yet.. Im not sure how they handle it. I do know that they go around to the local businesses and ask for prom donations to knock down the price.

But for my son's band/ vocal trip they took about a month ago he had to sell fruit and get how ever many people he could to bingo night at the school. What ever his final sale of fruit was, was subtracted from the cost of the trip and every person who played bingo was also subtracted $5 off. His band trip was $150 a kid.

So I can see this as being a way for the students being able to lower their costs for prom.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

I don't have any kids in high school yet, but where we live they do a lot of fundraising for prom. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

we live in a small town, & my son paid $45/couple in 2006. I'm shocked at the $200!

we do Project Graduation...with fundraising year-long. I hope this is still in place in 2015 when our younger son graduates!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

A lot of people don't realize that $50 prom tickets have usually been been subsidized by the class.

Mumble years ago... our class wasn't big on the whole fundraising thing (to offset prom costs) so tickets were 'full price'... aka about $200

It would really depend on a lot of factors and the cost for each O.. O. of my sisters, for example, their class busted tail on fundraising and prom tickets were free.

Prom ticket cost is multifold:

- Venue
- Insurance
- Catering
- DJ
- Decorations
- Off duty police security
- Breathalyzer for Keys program (you had to prove your transportation when entering... either limo recipet, taxi recipet, note from parent, etc. if you didn't have keys to turn over. Not perfect, but it cut down on prom fatalities)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

My school tried to do this my senior year but too many people were against it and they stopped it after like a week. The concept that won out, which I agreed with, was that if prom tickets need a fund raiser, the prom is too expensive and must be planned on a much lower budget. That year the planning committee changed the location from a casino riverboat to the school gym. At first I was upset that the location would be so boring, until I found out the difference in price. I would not have been willing or even able to afford the riverboat prom ticket. A group of more privileged kids chose to do their own pre-prom party on the riverboat with an open invitation to all students but with no fundraiser and no help from the school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Prom can be expensive and I think it is great that the kids are trying to off set the cost. My best friend's niece is going this year and will spend well over $1000. The girls at her school wear O. dress to dinner and another for the dance--so her parents shelled out money for TWO dresses and two pairs of shoes (that alone was over $1000). Plus, tickets, limo, hair/nails, jewelry, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My husband and I were driving the other day and we heard on the radio the average cost per kid to go to prom is $1000.00!!! Of course that would include their attire as well, but still!!

We both looked at each and decided our kids are going to skip that function. :)

But, I have no idea about the fundraising. Sounds pretty nuts to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Prom for me was $75 per ticket.

We had fundraising options but it was to go to the cost of Prom as a whole for the class.

I can not believe that it costs this much now. Well no I can believe it.

Soon this will be the next bubble to bust.....The high cost to extra activities at school....

Prom should be a fun and costless event......Whatever happened to the days where prom was in the gym of the HS and everyone was worried about who would be crowned King and Queen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

What will the clever fundraisers think of next?

I like your idea about starting an account now...Prom or college or bust!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What is SOP?

I don't believe fundraising was an option at my daughters prom 4 yrs ago.

My daughter was required to pay for prom herself. Her birthday is in April and she asked for money to use towards her prom.

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