Pretty much every school has some type of fundraising event throughout the year, to support sports teams, extracurricular activities, or even the school itself. School spirit apparel might be sold to help with updates or construction, while other school fundraising might support a class trip or extra educational opportunity. Apparel is definitely one of the easiest things to sell for school fundraising events, whether it’s a sweatshirt or sweatpants, a tank top, or t-shirt. Parents are easy targets — in the 2005-2006 school year, the majority of parents (nine of out 10) bought a product to help support a fundraiser their kids were doing. This was according to a survey done nationwide by AFRDS. We’ll discuss why school fundraising is so important, what you should consider when running a fundraiser, and why promotional school items are so popular.
Why Do School Fundraisers Even Exist?
The cost of education has increasingly been put on families over the last few years, since the Great Recession. Almost 35 states give out less fundraising per student than before the Great Recession and almost $1.5 billion worth of field trips or class trips, sports teams uniforms, computer labs, playground equipment, and other services, products, or programs that benefit students happen because of product fundraising programs. That’s huge. To keep the quality level of education high (and improving), schools and parents are picking up the slack.
Indeed, a surveyf rom 2007 from the National Association of Elementary School Principals reported that over 75% of schools have as many as five fundraisers a year, while 20% have betwen five and 10. Almost 65% of schools said they would get rid of the fundraisers if it was possible, but they unfortunately can’t.
Fundraising also can teach important life skills — coming together for a common cause, learning how to make a sales pitch, and knowing that your hard work makes a tangible difference. It’s also a great way for children and their parents to spend time and work together on something for the school.
What Should I Know When Putting a School Fundraiser On?
Think about the demographic for the area you’re fundraising. What might people be attracted to? Apparel — especially school spirit wear — is usually a safe bet and there are lots of options to choose from. People like wearing school pride apparel since it gives them a feeling of belonging or inclusivity — and depending on the school, a level of prestige. (Think about how many college logos you’ve seen on sweatshirts and sweatpants, for example.)
Smaller items, like bumper stickers, keychains, mugs, and magnets are also usually popular items, and useful too. They can also usually be placed at a lower price point, making them more accessible to people who might not want to (or can’t) spend a lot of money, but still want to support the student or the school.
It’s also important to advertise well and be sure that you’re clear about what the money is going towards and how it will benefit the school and students. People want to know where their money is going. Sending informational flyers home with students to show their parents is always a good tactic, as is putting up flyers at community hubs like libraries, churches, PTA meeting places, post offices, and grocery stores.
Why are Promotional School Items So Popular?
As mentioned before, promotional school items are a great way to build school spirit and a sense of community. Almost 90% of principals thought it was extremely important to build school spirit at their school, citing that higher levels of it are connected to higher student achievement. School spirit helps build pride in the school and a sense of wanting to succeed and compete at higher levels.
This benefits all the students and they can take pride in not just their academic work, but affiliated extracurriculars as well.
School fundraising has become a crucial part of the educational experience. It allows our schools to offer better programs (both academic and extracurricular), make spatial and staffing adjustments, and extra educational experiences for our children.
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