Fundraising can be a bit of a taboo subject for schools. Parents invest a great deal of time and resources into ensuring their kids get a great education. Most schools recognize that. It can be hard to ask for more support during an already difficult time.
However, fundraising is a vital piece in the school ecosystem. Because parents care so deeply about the success of their kids, they’re willing to support schools in any way they can. Fundraising is an opportunity for parents to partner with an organization that they are invested in.
In light of this, it’s crucial that schools provide fundraising opportunities for parents and school supporters. A great fundraiser provides a tangible return to the donor; it should also be community-based and socially engaging. Here are five of the best school fundraising ideas for 2020.
1. Drive-in movie party
Make use of the open lots and fields on your school’s property to host a movie night for students and parents. Setting up an outdoor projector is easy and inexpensive; both the screen and projector could be borrowed from a parent or staff member. In addition to charging for admission, there’s also plenty of opportunities to sell concessions in a safe manner.
Events like these are a success because they’re easy to execute, inexpensive, and provide a real, tangible return to the donor. Drive-in movies are classic and nostalgic; if you want the night to be memorable, don’t hold back with retro decorations. Of course, the movies you choose to screen are just as important. Choose one movie that’s a crowd-pleaser to show first, like an Avengers film. Show a second film that’s a bit more niche but still has roots in pop culture, like a Nic Cage flick.
2. Offer real-time sports photography with Waldo
The pandemic has drastically changed some of our favorite time-honored traditions. Among those is school sports games. Friday night football games are a major touchstone for school communities. Because of legal restrictions on gatherings, most schools have to limit the number of fans that can attend those games. For schools, that means fewer ticket sales and concessions. That drop in income can really hurt the school budget. It also means parents, grandparents, and siblings may miss seeing their favorite athlete compete for one of the last times.
Waldo’s photo delivery platform provides a unique solution for both schools and parents. Schools can implement Waldo’s unique facial and numbered jersey recognition technology which allows photographers to easily contribute their photos to the school’s gallery and then sends real-time photos to families of their favorite athlete. Schools set a price for an annual photo pass subscription which parents pay for the delivery of their athlete’s photos. Waldo charges a flat fee per student and the school keeps the difference.
This can be a powerful win-win fundraiser that keeps the community alive and well during these socially distanced times while also raising monies for Booster, PTA/O, or other school funding initiatives.
3. Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament
Everyone is always looking for a cheap fundraiser, but a free fundraiser is even better! There are few things that students love more than competition; a rock-paper-scissors tournament allows schools to create an easy-to-organize and totally free event that can be easily incorporated into a larger fundraising event.
Charge a small fee (around four or five dollars) for students to enter the event. Match students up and create a tournament-style game. When there are only two or three students left, offer a $5 buy-in to get back in the game. Offer a prize to the winner.
4. Pig kissing?
For most schools, the principal-student dynamic is a constant balancing act. It’s tough to foster a healthy mixture of respect and relatability between school staff and students, and few really do it well. Principal dares are a great way for school staff to become more relatable to students. Students and staff can submit their own ideas for a prank on the principal. It should ideally be something harmless like dying their hair pink.
A popular option is paying the principal to kiss a pig. Principals can also agree to do stunts like sleeping on the school roof for a night. Students can donate money towards their favorite idea. The prank with the most financial support wins, and the principal is subjected to it at the next school rally. The school can also decide on one idea and students can donate money to reach the total amount as quickly as possible.
5. Live-streamed concert
Families and students miss the thrill of live concerts and events. You have an incredible opportunity to bring the fun of a live concert to your student body through a live-streaming service. If you have the budget to bring in a bigger name, go for it! This is sure to make the event both fun for families and profitable for you.
Offer special rewards for donations, like the ability to join the stream with the artist. If you don’t have the budget to bring in a big name, you can hire a well-known local musician that you vet and approve. Many popular artists have more free time as tours have paused, so it’s always worth sending the email and asking if they would be willing to help your event pro bono.
Whichever idea you decide to implement first, make sure that it’s workable for your school community. Photo sharing with Waldo is one of the easiest ways to raise money for your school without the hassle of planning a large event. With a bit of creativity and some great help from volunteers, you can navigate the struggles of this school year without a hitch.
Start fundraising with Waldo now
Interested in fundraising with Waldo? It is completely free of charge for your school — contact us to learn more and get started!