All over the country, schools are starting up again and what follows school resuming? Back to School Night (also called Open House). Back to School Night is where parents and students come back to school in the evening to meet the teachers, see their child’s classroom, etc. It’s also a perfect time for school Booster Clubs/PTO’s/PTA’s to earn money for their school to fund things for the upcoming year.
This article will give you a few suggestions on what your school can do (with the approval of the principal of course). I am the Fundraising Chairperson for my child’s school this year and we are doing the following ideas at our own school this year.
#1: Opportunity Drawing
At the school my kids go to, we are not allowed to call a raffle, a raffle so instead we call it an Opportunity Drawing. An opportunity drawing is where you put together some kind of gift basket and sell tickets for a $1 (or whatever amount you decide to sell them for) to parents. You can do this only at the event OR to try to earn more money, send out a flyer with the students to give to their parents that tell about the drawing and has tickets printed on the back. The theme for your basket can be whatever you like. For my children’s school I was able to get donations from local businesses to a restaurant, an ice cream shop and we even got a family membership to a gym. Contact your local businesses, write up a professional letter, include your club’s tax ID and make the requests. If you don’t do gift certificates, other ideas are a movie themed basket, school supply basket, etc.
#2: Back to School Grams
Grams are something that our students truly enjoy so this year we are incorporating them into our Open House. A Back to School gram is something that parents can send to their students in class (or students can send to a fellow student or teacher) with a positive note for the upcoming school year. Use a sheet of paper (or cardstock which is more sturdy) and have fun pictures with the words “To, Teacher/Room Number, Message and From” printed on it. Have lines for writing. To make the gram more fun, we are sending a new pencil with a colorful pencil topper with each gram. Sell the grams for $1 each. Pencils and the erasers are cheap when it’s back to school time so your Booster/PTO/PTA can make some money on this.
#3: School Supplies
In the past our school has done a Scholastic Book Drive when it’s Open House week but our school has discovered that we just don’t make that much money and they are not doing it this year. Instead they are going to sell school supplies at Open House and the proceeds will benefit the library (you could have the money go for whatever you wanted at the school if you are doing this idea). Buy school supplies when they are very cheap and sell them to students at Open House. Don’t mark them up really high. You want the kids to be able to afford them but so you’ll still make money.
#4: Water Bottles or Other Refreshments
Sell water bottles and/or other refreshments. We’ve sold water bottles after school for $1 and made a lot of money. This idea can also be used at Open House. Sell some sort of drinks and/or refreshments. Just be sure to see what your school’s districts guidelines are though so you don’t get into any trouble. For example, our school can only sell healthy stuff so we could never sell cookies or whatnot at our Open House.