We are a Pre-K Center with 6 classes. This year each class has taken a month to “pull together” a theme basket. We send home 10 tickets (Wal-mart- $4.00) with each of the 98 students and ask them to sell each for 50. We have a had the following baskets- Relaxation, Coffee and Choc. Super Bowl, Christmas & New Years and Sweetheart. We made $550. on the Sweetheart Basket this month. It’s the way to go.
Have a “Baby Daze” Consignment Sale. Your preschool provides the space and your young parents bring in used baby items, toys and clothing. The school gets 40% and the sellers get 60% of all sold items. Your school can make quick cash! This requires organization but is much cheaper and requires less volunteer staffing than school carnivals and most other fundraisers.
Each Spring we conduct a “Yard Sale” on the front lawn of our campus center. Parents donate items they are no longer using for this sale; we also get a lot of participation from other departments on campus. This works out really well and could net you $500++ with nothing but volunteer time and donations invested. (OOPS, we do spring for the couple of bucks it costs to advertise in the local newspaper).
In the past, we have held a fund-raiser for wildlife! We live near a wonderful nature center and they are responsible for caring and releasing wild birds such as a falcons and owls after caring for them. A few must remain at the center, due to injuries or the inability to live in the wild. We decided it would be a worthy cause to “adopt” a falcon or an owl. The cost would be minimal ($75.00 or so) and in return the center would have the wonderful birds of prey visit us! We decided to do an art auction and bake sale for the parents. The children worked very hard baking at school and doing some wonderful artwork,worthy of framing! On the day of the sale, we positioned the children at the tables so they could be responsible for collecting the donations. No set prices were given, and we were amazed HOW generous our wonderful parents were! How wonderful it was to teach the children about birds of prey and how to help out and take care of a living thing. The children also did “chores” at home and could donate what they made to our donation can! We positioned a bell beside the can and the children could announce their donation drop by sounding the bell during arrival time. We always had a group meeting so we could discuss what wonderful helpers they had been at home We received beautiful photos of the “new members” of our center, and the children are so proud that they could help feed and shelter such beautiful creatures. This actually became a project that lasted for several weeks along with the study of wings,feathers,talons, and even owl pellets!!
In our school we put together a school calendar. Each grade was given a month and we chose the best picture from each class to put in the calendar. It was really fun and the parents thought it was a great idea. We sold ALLOT since everyone needs a calendar.
Kidnap The Director
“Kidnap” the center director on a Saturday morning (with his or her prior approval, of course). Call all the parents in the preschool to pledge the ransom money so the director can be freed. This fund-raiser works great and the parents get a big kick out of it!
Each year we do two fund-raisers. We go for the “big bucks” because I do not like continually going to my parents for more and more money. We make class quilts each year that have the participation of each student and the parents divide up the cost of making the quilt. We then use a silent auction method and auction off the quilts at the end of the school year. We have them open for bids during our graduation/spring program and the entire week following the program. They usually go for anywhere from $200-$800. It depends completely on the size and quality as well as the “art” value of the particular quilt. We have five classrooms so it makes a nice little bit of change.
Our second fund-raiser is a “Trike-a-thon”. It is exactly what it sounds like. The children get donations per lap that they will ride on the trikes on a given day or flat donations. We paint a special trike path in our parking lot and hold the ride during the school day and invite the parents to come at specific times to cheer for their child’s class. One year we did it on a Saturday which is good for all the working parents. Our first year we raised about $1000.00 this past year which was our 4th year we made almost $4000.00 profit.
Kid’s Recipe Book
Involve the whole school in writing a book of the children’s favorite recipes. This is a hilarious and profitable fund-raiser. Ask each child in the school to tell you:
1. What they are going to cook
2. What ingredients they will need
3. How do they make their recipe
4. How do they cook their recipe
5. Draw a picture of what they want to cook
Write the children’s responses down exactly as they tell them to you. Compile the recipes into a book and sell them to parents, friends, etc.
At the parent cooperative preschool I taught at, we had a silent auction/dinner that was very popular. We would go out into the community and ask businesses to donate items or services. Also, we had a requirement that each family in the preschool donated a service or an item.
Finally, each classroom made something to auction off. One year, my class and I made a quilt. Each child created a block for the quilt by coloring with fabric crayons. I then enlisted a parent to do the sewing and quilting. The quilt sold for $200.00. Another year, I collected stories that the children dictated and pictures they had drawn. I compiled them into a book and sent it off to a publishing house who did the typesetting and binding. This book sold for $300.00.
As for the auction, we would sell tickets to the parents and any guests that they wanted to bring for $7.00 per person. We would hold the auction /dinner at a nice restaurant. In addition to raising tons of money for the preschool, we had a wonderful time “hanging out” with the parents in our preschool!