Preschools perform a helpful task in the community – they prepare young children for the rigors of school and provide short-term daycare for said children. However, to people who don’t have kids, a plea from a preschool for donations is not going to be high on their list of priorities, and to preschools that run solely on private funds, that can mean the difference between certain activities for the children or paying the building’s rent.
Fundraisers help to support the preschools so that they can take more children and still provide quality schooling and excellent care.
A preschool’s main fundraising problem is trying to attract community members who don’t utilize their services. If the school is part of a church, it may find that appeals to church members will work, even if said members don’t have kids.
Also, parents who already pay tuition may feel that giving more to the school’s direct appeal is asking for a little too much, so the best thing to do is to find fundraisers that appeal to the community. Thankfully, there are quite a few, and many of them don’t involve the use of fundraising companies, which can drain meager resources and come with their own set of pros and cons.
Instead of depending on candy fundraisers, try to involve the kids in your fundraising attempts. Send letters home to parents asking for ideas and volunteers. Although preschoolers are young, they can be involved in dance contests, bike-a-thons, and art shows.
Making your fundraiser a teaching opportunity is also a great way to involve the children – for example, if they’re learning about colors, paintings that they make and then you sell in an “art show” fundraiser (which can be popular with parents, grandparents, and anyone else close to the kids) can earn you money and help them learn.
Fundraising ideas for preschools
Are you at a loss of what to do for a fundraiser? Too busy to try to schedule something that requires a lot of time and planning? There are lots of things you can do to raise money for your preschool that don’t require a lot of planning or extra money upfront.
If you own your building, or have a landlord that will let you sublet, you can rent out the space for groups looking to hold meetings. For example, your building can be a school in the daytime and a martial arts class in the evenings.
You can transform the space into a teen recreation center one evening a week and attract teens that have no other place to go after school. You can offer the space to groups like Girl Scouts and Christian groups so that they can hold their meetings. There are a lot of people who are looking for space.
Why not attract members of the community by holding a movie night or a bake sale? These don’t have to be child-themed, either, although you may attract more parents looking for an activity for their kids to do, especially during the summer or non-holiday seasons.
Most people won’t bat an eyelash if you ask outright for donations for your preschool, but if you’re offering them something in return, they’ll probably be happy to buy a cupcake or sit down to a movie in your facilities. Be sure to keep prices relatively low – it can be tempting to price things high, but people won’t buy from you if they can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Also beware that some fundraisers, like any kind of food sale, are popular among different groups. Try to hold yours at a time when other groups aren’t looking to raise money, if you can. If you can’t, then try to pick something other than a generic bake sale to attract customers.
The truth is, some people just hate to be bothered for money. This is unfortunate for your organization, but an excellent fundraising idea posted on Perpetual Preschool can even help you cash in on people’s hate to donate. You can sell fundraiser insurance, which is basically a wallet-sized card that you sell to parents and people in your community.
It insures them against participating in fundraising activities for a certain period of time. The norm seems to be to sell six month increments for $25.00 or year increments for $50.00, but you can even sell three month increments for $12.00 for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. For those who really don’t want to participate, the money adds up fast!
You can also try a healthy fundraiser, since many of the current fundraisers deal with candy and treats that aren’t always good for kids and parents alike. Try a nut, trail mix or fruit fundraiser that customers can donate to with a good conscience.
Or, you can try an exercise-based fundraiser, which allows you to involve the kids in dancing, biking, or other great activities. Have the parents sponsor the children in a contest or to see how long they can do an activity without stopping.
Lastly, you could host an environmental fundraiser. These involve planting trees, selling flower bulbs, and even a sponsored cleanup somewhere in your community (make it a park or other safe place, to protect the children).
Not only are you staying away from the sweets and treats that can make children and adults fat, but you’re also helping the environment and in the case of tree planting or cleaning up garbage, getting some exercise as well.
Preschools, like daycares, do have it tough when trying to raise money and get the attention of the community. However, with a little effort, you can interest people in your cause. Many people, young and old, once used a preschool, either as a student or for their kids, and some will use it in the future.
Even getting your name out there could mean publicity in the form of word-of-mouth advertising for other parents who are looking for a good educational experience for their children.