These days, fundraising, or you may call it “funraising,” seems to be an inevitable activity at some point during every year in most schools. This is an opportunity to promote your school’s “green” philosophy by choosing wisely from many possible ways to raise money. Here are some suggestions to inspire you.
- Seek opportunities with your municipality to do a litter pick-up or a battery collection and be paid by the weight.
- Check out district-wide environmental challenges with prize money going to the top schools.
- Connect with businesses in your community. Select only “green” or healthy products to sell.
- During Waste Reduction Week in Canada, recycling councils promote the Waste Free Lunch Challenge and Recycle My Cell, with funds offered to schools that divert from landfill. Next October check out: wastefreelunchchallenge.com and wrwcanada.com.
- The Used Clothing Drive is a fundraiser helping the local and global community while supporting The Salvation Army and thrift stores. The concept is simple—ask parents for clothing and household goods they no longer need and turn these donations into money for your school. School volunteers organize the donations over a period of four to six weeks, and on your chosen date, a truck picks up the items. Cash is offered by total weight. For information visit UsedClothingDrive.com or call 1-877-662-5188.
- This summer the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation hosted a ten part series entitled “What A Waste.” On its e-waste segment they interviewed London, Ontario’s Lindsay Dennis, a volunteer who organized a collection of e-waste which included cell phones, monitors, TVs, old computers and hairdryers. E-waste is basically anything using an electrical cord or a battery. Students and adults alike were amazed at the amount of unused electrical gadgets and batteries they found accumulating in their homes. These volunteers collected 23,000 pounds of household e-waste and sold it to a recycling facility for $3000. The money is being used to re-green the schoolyard with additional nature spaces and the planting of more trees. You can hear the interview on cbc/whatawaste.ca.
- Teachers seeking to promote healthy eating while fundraising, need look no further than sprouts for a product to sell. Growing sprouts is not only easy and fun but also a way for parents to provide their children with essential natural, organic vitamins and minerals. Sprouter advocate, Cathy Nesbitt (cathyssprouters.com), states that she has had great success introducing sprouting into schools as a fundraising concept. Schools can begin with a minimum order of ten sprouters and a large quantity of certified organic mung beans. Students bag the seeds and sell them. Once parents realize their true value, it makes an excellent school fundraiser.
- When it comes to fundraising, the community of Campbellford, Ontario came together for the Campbellford District High School’s breakfast program. With in-kind donations from local businesses, the family restaurant Be My Guest hosts a yearly Thanksgiving dinner by donation with the proceeds channelled to local organizations; for its 7th annual event, restaurant owner, Andrew Papioannou chose the local high school. In addition, he offered leftover food supplies from his morning menu the following day, bringing the total amount received to just over $3800. Business teacher Andrea Vanden Tillaart’s grade 11 and 12 students promoted the event with posters, by sourcing media, and using online techniques. She was pleased that their hands-on experience garnered her students both valuable public relation skills and personal business contacts. Be My Guest is an example of a community spirit benefiting both youth and citizens with limited incomes who enjoy a wonderful meal for what they are able to donate.
- If selling a product appeals to your staff and students, look towards selecting something that is not only useful but also environmentally sound. Froggy Fundraising, a certified biodegradable, non-toxic and hypoallergenic laundry powder would be a wise choice. This product is made from a special blend of all natural mineral and vegetable-sourced ingredients that clean thoroughly and rinse out completely using cold water. It is certified safe for septic systems, for use around streams and small lakes, and uses only one tablespoon of powder for a normal load (less in high efficiency machines). Information about all the Froggy products and the fundraising program can be found at froggyfundraising.com.
- Another green initiative would be Vesey’s Bulbs Fundraising to grow spring flowers that are beneficial for attracting bees and butterflies. For an information kit and supplies, visit veseys.com/fundraising or call 1-800- 363-7333.
- Any company that sells growing seeds could provide a useful partnership. Fashioned after the Compost Council of Canada’s “Great Pumpkin Contest,” the company offers schools seeds, with prize money going to the largest pumpkin(s). Including quality compost into the mix, creative advertising ideas and the possibility of a small but prosperous pumpkin patch, this would be a great Halloween “Eeekoo Fun raiser.”
While politicians are urged to look at the bigger picture, individual environmental decisions are needed at every level. The traditional fundraisers that worked well in the past should no longer apply to this generation of students who are easily motivated to make a difference in their communities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larraine authors the Pee Wee at Castle Compost book series. castlecompost.com.
This article is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2015 issue.