Guest Writer: Anica Oaks
Raising enough funds to bring additional materials and activities to the classroom isn’t always easy, and the traditional routes don’t always work. This is especially true if you’re teaching in a non-“core” curriculum subject like art, theatre, or sports.
Educators, it’s time to think outside of the box. When it comes to classroom fundraising, getting extra creative and utilizing digital resources can make a huge difference in terms of how many donations you pull in. Here are five tips to help you get creative with classroom fundraising.
Kick Off Some Crowdfunding
A lot of teachers are coming to rely on crowdfunding websites like Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and KickStarter for garnering funds. You’ve probably seen friends and family share these kinds of links on their social media pages.
Crowdfunding is a great way to reach people across the world—many people you otherwise wouldn’t reach at all. Crafting a crowdfunding site with a specific (and realistic) goal and time-frame can pull in a lot of attention from a wide array of social media users. This method of teacher funding might be new, but it’s proving to be effective for many teachers in need.
Host a Scavenger Hunt
No matter the grade level, students love to hunt for clues! Make it educational by including aspects of your current curriculum. Allow students to form their own small teams, and each team must pay an entrance fee before the day of the hunt.
Make it a school-wide event and get other teachers in on the action. Bring families in on it, too. You can even set up a donation table to add on to the proceeds from the entrance fees.
Create a Superhero-Themed Event
Superheroes (and super-villains) are totally in right now. If you’re a band or choir teacher, consider putting on a concert in which you play songs from DC and Marvel soundtracks. You can even encourage your students to dress in their favorite character’s attire.
Get some of your school’s best athletes, actors, and even some parents or guardians in on the action by having them dress up as Marvel and DC characters and have a Marvel vs DC “battle.”
This is especially fun for middle and high school students. Pick a Friday night and host a movie marathon. You can host the watch party in your school or even contact your local cinema and see if they’d be willing to sponsor the event. A percentage of the ticket and food sales could go toward your classroom or school’s needs.
Start a “Seed” Money Challenge
Start by giving each student in your class a small amount of money (even $1 will do), and ask them to come up with creative ways to turn it into more than that. Not only can you generate classroom funds this way, but you can get your students thinking with entrepreneurial mindsets.
Getting funds for your classroom doesn’t have to be hard, and it certainly shouldn’t be boring. Invoking your creative side and allowing your students to have some input can really take fundraising to the next level.
I am, once again, partnering with Angela Watson to help promote her 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club. It’s an online professional development program that has already helped more than 32,000 teachers take control of their time and stay focused on what matters most. The next cohort is starting this summer, and the Club has been updated to cover emerging best practices for the changes ahead. Click here to receive a reminder email to sign up for Early Bird Access on June 8.