How to Raise Money For School: Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

Check out these great elementary school fundraising ideas to raise money for school the easy way! There’s a lot we can do for our school by simply signing up for programs that already exist. And there are way more than just the “known” programs we’ve seen. 

elementary school fundraising ideas, how to raise money for school

Over the past two years, I jumped onto the parent teacher organization bandwagon and joined my son’s school’s PTG board (a variation of a PTO). As someone who has made social media and this blog her job over the past few years, I decided to use the skills I’ve learned – networking, promoting, and marketing myself essentially – for something good. And with that, I stepped up into a brand new role for the school – the sponsorship coordinator. Basically, I would reach out to local and national businesses and ask for their support.

But in addition to reaching out to local businesses for donations, there’s a lot we can do for our school by simply signing up for programs that already exist out there. And there are way more than just the “known” programs we’ve seen.

In an effort to make things easier on me, I decided to do a little research and ask fellow parents and teachers to share what programs their schools are using – public and private – to raise funds. And, of course, I’m sharing that with you! 

Below is a list that I’ll continue to add to and update with ways schools – teachers, parents, students, the community – can raise money easily and with little effort. If you have any other tips or tricks that can help, they’d be warmly welcomed! 

How to Raise Money For School: Elementary School Fundraising Ideas

eScrip –

eScrip is a simple and easy way for schools to earn money by selling gift cards and receiving rewards by having parents and individuals register their reward cards and their debit/credit cards. Every time a purchase is made, depending on the retailer, a percentage of the sale is given to the schools. An added bonus? You can buy a gift card to the store you’re using your rewards card at and receive double the bonus (rewards for buying the gift card and then rewards for using your rewards card). You can find out more on how to register – like less than 5 minutes and you’re done – by going to their site here.

eScrip also has a program called ForgetMeNot™ that you install on your computer to remind you when you visit one of the shops online that gives back. You can also click when you see the ForgetMeNot™ reminder to activate your earnings and to access all available coupons & offers. Save money while earning for a great cause.

Box Tops for Education –

Now most schools are already utilizing this program but it does take a little extra work. If someone on the PTG or PTA board isn’t already in charge then this might be someone you’d want to reach out and find to act as the Boxtops coordinator. Once the school is set up, its as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

  1. Find Box Tops on hundreds of products.
  2. Clip Box Tops from each package. Do the school a favor and make sure you follow the edge carefully and trim all Box Tops before turning them in. While doing this check to make sure the Box Tops haven’t expired.
  3. Send the Box Tops to your school.
  4. Box Tops are each worth 10¢ for your school.

Fore more info, visit the Box Tops website.

Campbell’s Labels for Education –

Labels for Education a fun and easy program where families and members of the community work together to “Earn Free Stuff” for their school.

By collecting UPCs and beverage/sauce caps from many participating products and supplementing your earnings with bonus offers, your school earns points that can be redeemed for Arts, Athletics, andAcademics merchandise.  Explore the online catalog to see what your school can earn.

If your school or organization is not one of over 60,000 registered with the Labels for Education program, you can help your school enroll by contacting your school principal and asking them to appoint a coordinator, or you can volunteer to be a coordinator. The school coordinator helps by managing the school’s account, program communication, point collection, and redeeming points for merchandise for the school.

America’s schools and organizations have earned over $114 million in merchandise over the Labels for Education program’s 42 year history. You can find more info here on their website.

Please note: You will need to choose between enrolling in Labels for Education OR Box Tops for Education. Your school cannot currently participate in both. 

Target REDcard Take Charge of Education® –

I don’t know what it is about Target but every time I go in, I come out at least $100 poorer. Sure I *needed* that dollar spot notebook, and those throw pillows for the couch, but if I could also be benefiting my son’s school while shopping there too I’d feel a LOT better about the amount I spend there. If you have a Target REDcard, choose your kids’ elementary school, the neighborhood middle school or any other eligible K–12 school and they’ll donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target stores in the U.S and at Target.com. More info can be found here to find out how to sign up.

* Since first publishing this article, Target has decided to end this program

Amazon Smile –

Do most of your shopping online when you’re not shopping at Target? Amazon has a program that’s just for you! By shopping through your school’s Amazon Smile link you can help earn 0.5% of the purchase price for your school. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the eligible charitable organization of your choice. More info can be found here if your school isn’t already signed up.

* I must note that when shopping on Amazon through eScrip, it looks like Amazon donates 1.2% of your purchases back. So I’m not sure if it’s better to go through Amazon Smile or eScrip when shopping on Amazon. Maybe it’s possible to take advantage of both? Please comment below if you have any experience!

Shoparoo –

Oh yes, there’s an app for that. Shoparoo is a quick and easy way for schools to earn money by having the user scan receipts from any store, big or small, that sells grocery items to earn Roo Points (cash donations) for your school. Whether you’re shopping at a supercenter, dollar store, or local convenience store – it doesn’t matter where you shop or what items you buy – Shoparoo will make a cash donation for every receipt! Submit up to 20 grocery receipts within a rolling 7 day period. Here are some examples of grocery retailers:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Convenience Supercenters
  • Club Stores
  • Drug Stores
  • Liquor Stores
  • Dollar Stores

There’s even a program for non-grocery stores. For more information, check out the Shoparoo app website and download the app today!

Do you know of a different program that supports schools or offers funding?What are your best elementary school fundraising ideas? 

This post was originally shared on Aug 12, 2015

Tips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser

Today we’re sharing tips on securing volunteers at your next fundraiser with help from our sponsor, VolunteerSpot. You can read on to find out our success at our most recent Fall Festival fundraiser. 

Tips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser

As I’ve mentioned, over the past few months I’ve worked on the committee to plan and run the Fall Festival at my children’s school. Over the span of 6 months we worked hard at finalizing all of the details about the festival, including how to secure volunteers for the various game booths, food booths, and more. From the beginning we knew that our volunteers would make the event a success.

And they did! From the parent volunteers who manned the booths, to the church volunteers helping to sell raffle tickets, to the teacher volunteers who helped sell tickets and everyone else in between. Our event was a success because of those supporting and helping run it. Along the way we learned a lot about what we did right, what we did wrong, and how to make next year amazing.

Tips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser - make it easyTips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser - checking in

Tips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser

1. Make It Easy –

It all starts with signing up volunteers. And that needs to be easy. Early on into our planning our Volunteer Coordinator set up a VolunteerSpot account and was able to set up shifts for all volunteers for each day of our festival. We were able to share the link via email, posters, social media and our website to allow volunteers to choose a shift and sign up. It also allowed us to keep track of each volunteer and send them reminders before the event. Plus? It’s easily accessible on mobile and desktop!

2. Have A Point Of Contact – 

At the event we printed off our volunteer list from VolunteerSpot and as volunteers came to the event they checked in with our Volunteer Coordinator 10 minutes prior to their shift start. By having the Volunteer Coordinator share her contact information (email) with the volunteers, she was able to field questions, pass along information, and create a smooth and easy experience for all. She was also a friendly face to check in with at the event. For those who were new to volunteering at the event, they didn’t have to search for yet another person they might not know when they arrived.

3. Give Clear Instructions – 

Communication really is key so we would also give the volunteers a run down on how each booth was running and if we ran into anything in the previous shift. Along with checking in, each volunteer was given written instructions on what was expected and how the area they were in was being run. We not only had clear signage at each booth sharing how to play each game but also instructions for the volunteers on how to take care of game tickets coming in as well as what prize tickets to give out.

4. Provide Childcare – 

One bit of feedback we had received in years past was that our parents could not volunteer their time because they lacked the proper childcare for their shift. So this year we reached out to the preschool staff to ask if they were willing to provide childcare at the event. Not only would we be able to help our parent volunteers, but we were also able to market our preschool to potential families looking to send their little ones to our school.

5. Thank Your Volunteers – 

After any fundraiser, there’s nothing more powerful than a heartfelt, handwritten note. Now while it may sound like a lot of work, thanking your volunteers personally will let them know just how important they are to your cause and how much you appreciate them.

Tips On Securing Volunteers At Your Next Fundraiser - offer childcare

Have you had success when recruiting volunteers? What are your tips?

How to Make a DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey

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How to Make a DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey #BackToSchool

My oldest will be heading to kindergarten in just two short weeks. And while I’m definitely ready for this next step in his adventure, I want to make sure to capture as many memories as I can.

So after seeing a lot of printables floating around, I decided that instead of finding something someone else made, I’d make my own DIY first day of school sign.

With the help of PicMonkey it was not only easy to do, but it came together very quickly! And it cost nothing for me to make. I simply used a picture frame we hadn’t hung yet and handed it over to him to take a few photos.

And you can make one too! Here’s how:

How to Make a DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey

Step 1: Choose a Size under Design –

Since I planned on framing my sign, I chose an 8×10 canvas. If you have specific dimensions you want to use you can specify them by selecting the custom option (or use one of the other canvas templates available).

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 1

Step 2: Rotate if you prefer Landscape orientation

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 2

Step 3: Click on Themes (apple icon) and Select School U –

You can really use any of the fonts, overlays, etc but I found everything I wanted under the School U theme making it easier to edit and add all from one location.

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 3

Step 4: Add Text –

Using the School U Penmanship you can write in your child’s grade, the school year, and if you prefer, your child’s name. Feel free to change up the fonts, colors, and sizes to your liking. Here I used Learning Curve for the “First Day of”, Sketch Block for “Kindergarten” and Freshman for the school year.

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 4

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 5

 Step 5: Add Overlays –

Still, in the School U Theme, click on any of the Overlays options and select what overlays you want to use to add more to your printable. After playing around a bit I added an apple found under School Supplies and a line of ruled paper found under Dashed & Lined.

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 7

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 8

Step 7: Save, Print, & Frame!

If you’ve chosen the 8×10 size there’s no need to change the size of the document but if you’re looking for a lower resolution/size file feel free to make the size of your printable smaller. You can also change the file format and save as either a .jpg or .png. When you’ve named your printable go ahead and save to your computer.

When printing out make sure that your printer isn’t automatically printing a full page photo and stretching your image. You want it to print out at an 8×10 size to fill an 8×10 picture frame (unless using a different size). Once printed, frame and snap away! Just be aware when using a glass frame that glare may be an issue when taking photos.

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 9

How cute is this little guy?? Definitely growing up way too fast!

DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey step 10

 What grade is your child going into?

Don’t want to deal with the hassle of making your own and have a kindergartner? Use my printables for free! 

First Day of Kindergarten 2014 - printable

First Day of Preschool – Date

First Day of Preschool – No Date

First Day of Kindergarten – Date

First Day of Kindergarten – No Date

First Day of 1st Grade – Date

First day of 1st Grade – No date

First Day of 2nd Grade – Date

First day of 2nd Grade – No date

First Day of 3rd Grade – Date

First day of 3rd Grade – No date

First Day of 4th Grade – Date

First day of 4th Grade – No date

First Day of 5th Grade – Date

First day of 5th Grade – No date

First Day of 6th Grade – Date

First day of 6th Grade – No date

First Day of 7th Grade – Date

First day of 7th Grade – No date

First Day of 8th Grade – Date

First day of 8th Grade – No date

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Preparing for Kindergarten with Preschoolers

This post on preparing for kindergarten is sponsored by Gymboree.

Preparing for Kindergaten with Preschoolers

With two kids in preschool and one who’s going to start kindergarten next year we’ve started to think long and hard about how we’re preparing for kindergarten.

From crafts to worksheets to exploring our city and different areas of town, we’re pinning down all of the great ways to enjoy our kids and help them learn the fundamentals they’ll need to take with them to kindergarten.

Over the next year we’re going to ramp up our lesson plans and use the excitement of play and exploration to help ready our kids for grade school.  And, of course, a back to school photo session with Tessa of Grin & Share It Photography is a must for us to document the momentous year ahead of us.

Here’s how we’re preparing for kindergarten with our preschoolers! [Read more…]

5 Teacher Gift Ideas for Back-To-School

teacher gift ideas for back to school

School is almost back in session and everyone is preparing to head back to school. With the rush to get all of the essentials needed for our kids sometimes we lose sight of the one who’ll be taking care of our kids once they arrive at school.

Here are a few great teacher gift ideas for back to school. Some practical, some cute, but all are great ways to thank your child’s teacher before the beginning of the school year. [Read more…]



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