Back to School Fundraising with School Supplies

Have you ever seen the Staples commercial with the guy in the pool and the kids playing loudly on the deck? He just presses the big, red easy button—and voila, the kids are outfitted in all of their school supplies!

Wouldn’t it be nice if back to school shopping were really that easy—and cheap?

The reality is that back to school time can be a burden on many low income families – especially those who have to provide school supplies and clothing for more than one child in their household. In this current recessive economy, public schools are being hit the hardest as the provincial government applies spending freezes to already tight education budgets.

As school districts across North America tighten their purse strings, classroom supplies get older and shabbier until there aren’t enough to go around the classroom. With limited school supplies available, teachers and other parents end up spending their own hard-earned money to buy pencils, pens, notebooks, and textbooks for students whose families cannot afford them.

On top of paying for school supplies, teachers also usually end up paying for photocopies, chalk, blackboard markers, posters, and classroom décor out of their own pockets.

So how do we keep our teachers and parents from picking up the slack when it comes to needed school supplies?

We turn to school supply fundraising events such as Adopt-A-Classroom, a site that raises money for classrooms across America, or Parentella, a site that provides a free Web platform for parents and teachers to collaborate on fundraising for schools. Then there’s, which offers free rulers for classroom use.

If you don’t have the manpower in your school or community to throw a school supply drive on your own, never fear. The other option is to organize a catalogue drive. This fundraiser has able families ordering school supplies from a catalog once a month, and the proceeds help teachers purchase supplies for those in need.

So now that you have some online resources and ideas for the type of event you’d like to throw, how do you go about organizing a school supply drive of your own?

  • Get teachers to fill out wish lists of supplies that they need for the year.
  • Create flyers to market your school supply fundraiser. Make sure to post at your local Chamber of Commerce and churches.
  • Send e-mails to school parents promoting your event. Be sure to include clear dates for when collection will start and finish.
  • Write a press release for publicity.
  • Use Facebook to reach out for donations beyond your zip code. Make sure to list the biggest necessities on your signs and online areas. For instance, most schools need things like pencils, crayons, markers, backpacks, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, glue sticks, scissors, and notebooks most of all.
  • Use traditional media outlets—radio, television, newspaper—to promote your event.
  • Ask local businesses that are willing to help to serve as collection sites—try to find, at minimum, two sites so people can drop off items at a site that is convenient to them.
  • Be sure to send volunteers to check the collection sites to ensure that boxes are not overflowing, and that items are boxed and stored until needed. And when the drive is finished, you’ll need volunteers to box up all donations and deliver to the school district.
  • Give thanks for donations when the drive is over—to business owners, volunteers, and those who gave large donations to your supply drive.

School supply drives put on by the local community have been known to collect pencils, pens, rulers, calculators, textbooks, dictionaries, thesauri, index cards, construction paper, markers for arts and crafts, and notebooks.

They have even drawn student essentials outside the classroom—such as gloves, winter coats, winter hats, umbrellas, shoes, boots, backpacks, and even gym clothes—when open donations are accepted from local area residents.

School supply fundraisers really can go a long way in making your school year a happier one for teachers and students alike.


  1. Cleophus and Shirley Arrington says:

    We are asking for donation for our kids in our community going back to school supplies, pen, pencil, school paper , tissues, baby wipe, crayon, notebooks, and back packs. We will like to pass the supplies out August 19, 2017 we would like for every child to have what they need to excel. We are having a back to school block party and games, and donations for give away. Please if you will support this event for our kids .
    Thank you,
    From Block Captain of Zion IL

  2. Nicole Garlind says:

    We are a non-profit 501(3)c asking for donation for our backpack drive that we are having AUG 17 2019. We need paper,f backpacks, notebooks ,binders ,pens ,pencil, planners, a laptop. Please know that any contributions you make will positively impact our organization as well as the people we will be serving in the community. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of our request.

  3. Gwendolyn Sydner says:

    Hello my name is Gwendolyn Sydner, I’m a single mother of three and I’m asking (begging) anyone for any donations of school supplies, backpacks, hand me down old clothes or old shoes for my kids. I have been in the hospital with pneumonia for the pass four months. I recovered and now I’ve been discharged and due to the fact that i was in the hospital, i really couldn’t work so that’s why I’m in desperate need for any donations possible. Please help we really are in need. My two little boys doesn’t even have any shoes to where right now as we speak please help please.

Speak Your Mind


I accept the Privacy Policy