School Fundraising Discussion?

I need to vent about my son's private school parent teacher group and school board. The school burned down about 20 months ago. We are trying to raise funds to rebuild and get out of our temporary building. I spearheaded a contest to win our school 100 "coupon savings books" which when sold will net our school $3500. Only 10 people from the whole school submitted forms to the contest, including 3 from my family. We won the books! But, now the president of the group says we should sell the books for $30 each rather than the $35 value, because we have competition from some other groups selling the same books.


I want to tell her tactfully, "No, we need to sell them at their value", but how do I do this?

Also, we made $15,000 at a fund-raising gala and now the school board wants to pay $15,000 to a professional fund-raising organization to help raise funds for us . I'm feeling like all our work is for nothing. I personally don't see the need for this group - I KNOW HOW TO RAISE FUNDS!

Sandy from Stoughton, WI

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April 25, 20070 found this helpful

Agreed, $15K is a ridiculous amount. do they come with a guarantee? total funds raised or your $$$ back? lol.

here's a link to a grant program being run by Hamburger Helper

hope things work out without too much drama, i know exactly what you're talking about.

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April 26, 20070 found this helpful

Personally, I think you should sell the books for $30, if others in the area are selling them for that price. Also, many of these coupon books are now available online for half price, so that could cut into your sales as well. Maybe you could sell the books with a note saying donations are accepted, and include a self addressed (not stamped) envelope with the address of the school?


I totally agree with you about the professional fund raisers. They sicken me because they take most of the profits that the school needs. Could you put together a website, listing all your fund raising ideas, and submit the url to your school board? Maybe they need to read and see your work for themselves?

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By Concetta Phillipps (Guest Post)
April 26, 20070 found this helpful

Coming from an experienced fundraising group, I can tell you that those firms are meant for raising millions and the communities tend to feel a bit more "sold to" than feeling like a part of the efforts.

Don't give up on your group! It is important to keep the community involved in the fundraising because if the community doesn't feel they "own" the school, it won't be well-protected in the long run (something I learned at work for an architect).


I would point out that if the balance of your fund is only $15K, it wouldn't make sense to spend all of that money on something when they have yet to exhaust the fundraising efforts of the community. Obviously, the fundraising firm is going to ask you to cover their expenses for the galas or whatever they plan on arranging and you're going to be paying out more than you have.

I would strongly advise the members of your group to contact the school leadership and remind them that a professional group is unnecessary when dedicated community volunteers are available. You need a show of numbers in order to be able to make an impression (as in, one call a day can be written off as a nutcase, but one hundred calls a day reckons you may have the right idea).


Good luck! I wish you the very best - fundraising is a tough situation even without people trying to spend all of your money!

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April 27, 20070 found this helpful

Maybe you should have the group take a vote on what price to sell the books for. Then the matter would be settled by a vote without becoming a personal conflict.

Did they not have insurance on the building that burned down? Maybe someone should suggest insurance for the new building.

If things don't work out, you could always send your kids to public schools. I am a public school teacher and so are my parents so I may be biased, but I really believe in public schools. There are a lot of dedicated teachers there who are willing to deal with every student who comes in the door, not just the select few who make it through an application process and whose parents can afford tuition.

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April 29, 20070 found this helpful

Are you familiar with the calender raffle fund raising idea? You sell a calender page,( whatever month you decide to do the raffle) for probably $10.00. Each day you hold a drawing for an amount that is printed on any given day, Each days winning name is put back so each one is able to win every day.


Usually each child in school or each family is responsible for a certain number of calenders to sell. You can print your own calender and have portion on bottom that the buyer fills our to tear off to put in the raffle. You can go to and look up calender raffle fund raising ideas. If you need more info, I can let you know a couple of schools who have done this, Two schools I know of do it selling an all year calender and have a drawing for every day. Lots of chances to win.

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August 12, 20080 found this helpful

You shouldn't lower the price just because you have competition. It can give your potential customer the idea that the coupon books are not worth what you are selling them for and they won't buy.


May I offer a candle fundriaser with Mia Bella Gourmet Candles. Candle season starts with the beginning of school and many people love candles.

If you had just 300 student sell 5 candles each at a profit of $5/per jar, you would raise $7500. Just think of the possiblities if you have more student that sell even more candles.

If you would like more information, please feel free to send me an email:

Wishing you much success!

Patty Reiser

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By Barb in tennessee (Guest Post)
August 12, 20080 found this helpful

Wow! Raising money is often a difficult thing to do.
Our schools were tired of selling wrapping paper, candy, lightbulbs, donuts, and everything else.

We proposed a "Stay At Home Night."
Instead of selling anything, parents could make a donation to the school in the amount they would have had to "fork out" for the things their kids were selling. It was a BIG hit. Even the dad's appreciated not having stacks of donuts,lightbulbs, fruit, candles, nuts or what ever stored in their garage."cuz you know who ends up buying the most product.....the parents do.
Most people gave at least $25 dollars per child enrolled in the school. (this was several years ago, and $25 was a great amount then) The school got to keep the full amount......didn't have to send any to a company for their product. So in effect, the school actually made more money this way.
You might think about this way to raise $$$.

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