There are abundant ideas for do-it-yourself fund-raisers. The first thing to do before you raise money is to determine how much money you need. This will affect the method you choose, how many people you need to help you, and how many donors or event participants you need. Then you can plan out the steps for your fund-raiser, put those steps into motion and watch your hard work pay off.
Building Night With Legos or Playing Cards
Arrange a contest in which participants construct buildings from Legos or playing cards. First, find a place to host the event, such as a school cafeteria or gymnasium. Send out newsletters describing your event and the reasons for raising the money. Set an entrance fee and tell participants to bring the building material of their choice. The contest should have a panel of judges and an award for the best building. All proceeds go toward your goal, minus the money spent on the event. A variation of this event is game night, in which participants pay a fee to play and the winner of each group advances to the next level until only the champion remains. The champion gets a cash prize, and the rest of the money goes toward your goal.
Parents' Night Out
This is an effective way to raise money if you own or have access to a facility that can hold a large number of children. Rent a bounce house and provide movies, pizza and organized games for kids while parents spend the night on their own and pay you to watch their children. Four hours is a sufficient amount of time for a parents' night out. Plan your dates according to times when parents will need your services. This could be during the holiday season or school breaks, or while parent-teacher conferences take place. Once a month or biweekly could be an option if you own a facility. Send out notices giving parents a deadline by which to register their kids.
Pajama or Hat Day
You can notify students or faculty at school or people in the office that for a fee they are allowed to wear their hats or pajamas on a specific day. Arrange this by sending out some sort of notice. Have the participants pay in advance. Do this fund-raiser monthly or bimonthly to raise money on an ongoing basis. A variation of this is dressing down or in a particular color.
Children's Ornament Sale
Teachers and other school officials who work with children on a regular basis can have their students make simple ornaments that can be sold to others during school hours or at a PTA holiday shop. First, decide what ornaments each class will make. Snowflakes and candy canes are good ideas for preschool through first-grade students. Have each child make two or three. The first sale will be open to the students and faculty. The second sale will be open to the public. This can be done during a holiday concert or play when people are already drawn to the school, or during a separate holiday shop sponsored by the school or PTA.
Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.