School Budget Crisis: Fundraising Ideas

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As I posted earlier this week, New Jersey is going through a very large budget crunch with includes taking away funds from our schools. So now, more than ever before, we who are involved in student activities need to get involved in fundraising.

In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I am also the Sophomore Class Advisor – a position I’ve held for the past 11 years. One very large fundraiser our students participate is the Battle of the Classes. It is a culmination of many events that collect food or clothing and also raises money for charity through class competitions. The grand finale just took place this past Friday evening with three hours of relay races, lip sync competition, pie eating contest, and theme decorating of the gym. It is the highlight of my year – it is enjoyed by everyone. Each class wins money for their class which moves with them through high school. The money is used by the Juniors to defray some of the cost of the Junior-Senior Prom and by the Seniors towards the cost of a class day trip.

In addition to the Battle of the Classes, the students participate in the town’s Country Fair. Each class creates a game according to a theme chosen by the Chamber of Commerce who awards prize money to the best youth group design. In addition, they are able to charge $1 for playing the game.  The students leave at the end of the day with a great feeling of accomplishment.

Past fundraisers included selling baked goods and candy, but now sugar based foods are prohibited. Our students have found it more difficult to come up with successful fundraisers where they won’t lose money. Now with so many resources easily accessible through the Internet, at least the researching of fundraising ideas has become easier.

The school band has always successfully held holiday wrapping paper and magazine fundraisers. I don’t think that will ever become obsolete.  Other classes have sold poinsettias, T-shirts, and discount cards. For the past 10 years, my sophomores sold frozen cookie dough but this year’s group chose not to. Perhaps after coming in third in their Battle of the Classes, they’ll rethink that choice and look for other ways on how to make money.

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