by Lori Barnum
The key to successful fundraising on campus is finding quick, easy and fun activities that the students will want to participate in. I have found that utilizing trends is a great way to raise money.
Jumping in on trends has been quite profitable. When my children were in elementary school and those little tiny butterfly clips were REALLY popular I bought them in bulk and repackaged them at 5x the cost and made extra cash for the PTO. Then, as a teacher, when Flash Mobs were a huge trend, I organized a Flash Mob at my Junior High School for the American Cancer Society. We did a mash-up of 3 songs and choreographed an easy dance for the students. I posted the dance and encouraged the students to get their parents and siblings involved. We practiced during our lunches and though, at times, it was an organizational nightmare with the amount of students involved, the kids had a great time together. The day of the Cancer Walk the weather was horrible. It was 45 degrees out and with the wind factor – it felt like 20. I was standing at our local high school’s football field absolutely sure no one was going to show. At 11:00 a.m. I put the music on and to my surprise the kids and their parents came out of the crowd and filled half the track and stopped the Cancer Walk in its tracks. People were shouting, “It’s a flash mob! It’s a flash mob!” Everyone came running snapping pictures and my students and their families loved it. We raised several hundred dollars for the American Cancer Society and made memories doing it!
I made very easy money organizing a Mannequin Challenge for Wreath’s Across America. A great organization that honors those who have served by placing a wreath on their grave during the holidays. I charged $3 for the students to be in the video and we filmed it during our long Homeroom/Advisory time. The students wanted to be part of a trend so the majority of the school participated along with teachers and administrators. It was a blast. I put it on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IldysdNxiuQ) and our students now have a fun memory from middle school. It raised over $1,950.00 in 1 hour. My effort was a little advertising, getting parent permission slips out to the students for photography authorization and some instruction for the teachers on student release and video upload. I gave the filming and editing to the Media Arts Class so the the video is entirely student made.
That was it. It was eerie to have so many students around me not making a sound and it was awesome! This would be great if you have a “theme” week at school.
Yes, watch trends! Try and think of ways to utilize what is popular. It’s a money maker.