happy students group study in classroomSchool fundraising (or fund raising) involves raising money to support educational programs by schools or other school related groups.  The term generally refers to fundraising done to acquire funds for a school or its other educational needs.  This is not to be confused with any fundraising done by the school where the funds are to be used for a different purpose, such as disaster relief fundraisers that collect funds inside schools.  School fundraising is undertaken for a variety of reasons.  It allows public schools that receive minimal funding to expand their budget, and allows the funding of school organizations not covered by public funds, such as Parent Teacher Associations.

Corporate Involvement in Fundraising

A number of fundraising archetypes have become commonplace amongst school fundraisers; most of these rely on corporate involvement to be effective.  In some cases this entails donations from local businesses. Other fundraisers are facilitated and run by fundraising companies, which then take a portion of the funds and provide the rest to the school.

Product Based Fundraisers

Product based fundraising is one of the more prevalent types of fundraising in general, and is often used for school fundraising.  A product fundraiser generally centers on the purchase and resale of popular consumer products by a group (in this case, a school or organization affiliated with a school).  The school keeps a portion of the income from final sales of the products to supporters; this portion can vary widely.  In some models, the school or organization will be required to pay for the products upfront, and then allowed to keep all of the income after reselling the purchased products.  Alternatively the school or organization my simply promote the products and take orders from supporters who wish to buy products.  After funds for these orders are collected, a portion are returned to the school.

“Do It Yourself” (DIY) School Fundraisers

School fundraisers run and facilitated directly by the schools themselves are also common; these offer lower overhead costs, but often result in reduced gross income compared to product fundraisers.  Schools often choose to run auctions and raffles.  A school will request donations of merchandise from local businesses in their area, and then raffle or auction these off at an even to raise funds.  This allows the school to retain the entirety of the funds collected.

Works Cited

Napoli, Lisa. “Parents In Santa Monica Raise Money For Schools.” NPR. National Public Radio, 23 June 2010. Web. 08 Mar. 2016. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128024442>.

Nelson, Ashlyn Aiko, and Beth Gazley. “The Rise of School-Supporting Nonprofits.” Education Finance and Policy 9.4 (2014): 541-66. Web.

Rich, Motoko. “Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/us/nations-wealthy-places-pour-private-money-into-public-schools-study-finds.html?_r=0>.