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After School Sales


Sold 30 minutes past school release bell. Snack Boxes, Concession Sales, Drive-Thru Tri-Tip or Rotisserie Chicken Dinner are just a few examples. Assistance can/will be provided by the Child Nutrition Department Staff at (209) 667-9048.

Fundraiser Gudiance

Excerpt from the TUSD Wellness Policy

“Fundraising Activities. To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, school fundraising activities will not involve food or beverages from midnight to one-half hour after school. Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity. The school district will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.”

Appropriate for Elementary School

Calendars, especially designed by students

Ceramic tiles, hand painted by kids and parents, for a wall or walkway in your school

Similar idea with bricks (could also be done with stepping stones) 

Cookbook, featuring favorite recipes of school families and staff members. This can be done without using an outside company by soliciting recipes, especially of ethnic recipes, from families; typing them up and copying the pages, then collating and binding using binding combs (available at office supply stores); students could also illustrate their family’s recipe page.

Educational games

Greeting cards, especially designed by students 

Holiday decorations

Party bags for kids’ birthday parties; filled with an assortment of novelties (bouncy balls, glitter pens, fancy erasers, toy cars or plastic jewelry, puzzle books, glow in the dark novelties, mini beanies, tiny flashlights); saves time and effort for party-planning parents; novelties can be bought in bulk. Rhode Island Novelty U.S. Toy

School mascot temporary tattoos

Appropriate for Middle/High Schools

Birthday, Valentine’s Day, or congratulations message delivery; students deliver a message to the recipient for a fee

Refillable water bottle with school logo

SAT practice test; many test prep companies contact high school administrators trying to sell their test-preparation courses to students. Some will provide a free administration of an SAT practice test; school sponsors the test, advertises it to students, and sells tickets to take the test (around $20, or whatever the market will bear.) Students take the test and receive their scores within a few days from the company, which also offers guidance on how to interpret the scores.

Students are then free to make an arrangement with the test company to enroll in the test prep course, or simply to walk away with no obligation. Test prep companies vary in their policies, so it would be wise to talk to several to see which offers the most information to students before making them commit to enrolling in the course.

Stadium cup, pompoms, megaphone, foam spirit hand or paw, imprinted with school name. Student Supply

Stadium pillows


Faculty Follies talent show; afternoon performance with cheap tickets for students; evening performance with higher-price tickets for parents and friends of the faculty.

Carnival; an oldie but goodie, featuring games of chance, refreshments, a performance by the school music group, face painting, bouncy house, etc.

Teacher/student dance or sports competition – “Dancing with the Staff”, American Idol Contest, basketball game, baseball, softball, whatever. Tickets sold to watch the kids defeat the teachers/staff (or vice versa).

Dance for adults; a twist on the typical school dance. The students run this one for the parents and teachers. Student jazz band provides the music; students sell refreshments; students chaperone the event. Students can also sell corsages and set up a photo station for parents to have their portraits taken for an additional fee.

Magic show; hire a professional and sell tickets, or have students and faculty perform.

A hybrid "thon” and entertainment event is the dance marathon, in which participants pay to enter and a prize is given to the participant who is able to dance nonstop for the longest amount of time. The last one left dancing wins. This could also be done with aerobics.

Adult spelling bee; just like the kid version, but this time it is the parents, teachers, coaches, and principal who are competing, while kids run the show and sell the tickets.

More lists of fund-raising ideas are available at No Junk Food Creative Finance and Fundraising

Non-Food Fundraising Activities

Auction, live or silent, of donated goods and services; popular items for elementary school auctions include field trip for 3 or 4 children to the zoo, or a tide pool, or a nature hike, led by a favorite teacher; the opportunity for a child to be Principal for a Day (2 hours plus lunch with the Principal is usually enough for most kids); for adults, seats at a 12-person dinner party hosted by a school family and featuring an elaborate menu.

Balloon bouquets for special occasions (birthdays, Valentine’s Day)

Bead jewelry and accessories in school colors

Book sale, especially used books donated by students and resold for $1 each (also CD’s, videos, DVDs)


Car wash; tickets good for a wash can be sold in advance; may be held on the playground at school.

Earthquake kits; among the most useful items are a manual can opener, matches in a waterproof container, a utility knife, and a gas shutoff wrench. This can also include light sticks, 4x4 inch gauze pads, adhesive tape, “space blanket” (to retain body heat), flashlight, and a fire extinguisher (ABC type).

Emergency kits for cars

Flowers or plants, especially for holidays such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day

Glow in the dark novelties (necklaces, earring, tumblers, etc.); these are incredibly popular at high school dances

Graduation Day sale of flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, for families to buy on the spot to give to grads.

“No Bake” Bake Sale  (from the Reach Every Child/Horace Mann web site, by Alan Haskvitz) “My favorite fundraiser is the No Bake Sale - Bake Sale. It is easy, all profit, and the parents appreciate it. First, create a list of baked goods and complete cards with the item names and prices, for example, "Carrot Cake, $5." The parent selects this baked item NOT to make and sends $5 instead. You respond with a note thanking them for the carrot cake. Offer a variety of baked goods from "First Marriage Wedding Cakes" to "Crestfallen Angel Food Cake." The students can name the items and research how much they would cost to make, so it is educational as well.

“Send the list home and have parents decide what not to make. You can also send the list to others in the community. Obviously, it is all pure profit and pure fun, especially the "Oops I Burned the Turnovers" which usually go for $10 and the $15 pan of "Brown Knees."  “And the best part is, think how many calories aren't consumed!” Reach Every Child is a wonderful site and has links to many other fundraising ideas. 


School spirit items – tee shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, lanyards, pennants all printed with the school logo.

School supplies - spiral notebooks, assignment pads, pencils, pens, calculators with school name and logo or just interesting design. Raymond Geddes Atlas Pen Student Supply

Student artwork

Stuffed animals Barry Beanies

Teacher gift shop; set up before the winter holidays and during the last weeks of school, as parents are shopping for teacher gifts. Could sell typical gifts such as candles, soap, note cards, picture frames, gift certificates from bookstores or supermarkets (especially if bought at a discount and sold at a small markup), bookmarks or book covers, bud vases, pretty mugs filled with fancy tea bags, scarves, mufflers, gloves, book lights, travel coffee mugs, disposable cameras, Macy’s scrip, etc.

Shopping Donation Programs

If your school has only one volunteer to organize fundraising, this is the place to start. Check out the links below and sign your school up for all of them. These programs require participants to sign up, but most can be done online. Once registered, a donation is automatically made to the school every time the participant shops. There is no added cost to the participant; the donation is paid entirely by the merchant. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers can all support the school at no cost to themselves by registering with these programs.

Escrip: Supporters register grocery loyalty (like Safeway), debit and credit cards, and participating merchants will make contributions to your chosen group, based on purchases made. Paperwork-free, the purchases are tracked and available online.

Target: The Target school Fundraising Program makes a donation to your school every time you shop with their REDcard.

Office Depot: Sign your school up for the “5% Back to Schools” program and families who buy their back to school supplies at Office Depot can simply give the name of the school to the cashier and 5% of their purchase price will be rebated to the school.

Walk-A-Thons and Other "Thons"

Walk-a-thons have become popular fund-raisers and are a good alternative to food, as they encourage more exercise. Students solicit sponsors to pledge a certain amount per lap for each lap they walk on a set course; those most likely to make a pledge include parents, grandparents, siblings, other family members, neighbors. This can be done on a track, or laps around a sports field. Laps are recorded for each participant and the sponsors are billed for their pledge.

Participants can also solicit a flat donation pledge (set amount not based on the number of laps completed.) Some schools raise additional money by selling a colorful tee shirt designed by students which promotes the event. Variations: bike-a-thon, skate-a-thon, jog-a-thon, jump-rope-a-thon.

Other “thons”, all based on the idea that participating students solicit pledges for each unit they accomplish, include: Math-a-thon; students are given a math test with a set number of problems (say, 20). Pledges are collected for each problem correctly solved. Even kindergartners can compete, writing numbers in correct order from 1-20. Older students solve algebra or geometry problems.

The same idea can be adapted to a geography or science format.

Spell-a-thon; hybrid of a spelling bee and-a-thon; pledges collected for every word correctly spelled; optional bonus pledge collected if student wins the bee.

Read-a-thon; pledges collected for every book (or amount of pages) a student reads in a set time (say, a month).

For more "thons" check out this site.


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