Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Monday, April 19, 2010

Elementary School Fundraising Prizes and Prize Programs

If you have been involved with fundraising at your school, you are certainly aware that there are many ways to get students and parents excited about your elementary school fundraising efforts.

The basis for a good promotion of your fundraiser will likely be a student prize program. Most fundraising companies offer these and some are better than others. Schools also can purchase product on their own if they want the extra work.

A student prize program that is cumulative is the most effective. These student prize programs allow students to earn numerous prizes depending on how many items they have sold.


Self-Promotion Warning:

In the following sentences, I tell you how great we are.

Make sure to get the highest quality prize program you can. There are reports of cheap prizes out there and if you purchase them yourself, try to get the highest quality items you can.

Believe Kids fall prize program is very good. If you need a prize program to compare to, let me know. Believe Kids offers 11 cumulative prize levels. There are 4 prizes at 10 items sold and the top item is at 125 items. You won't believe the items being offered either. Please get in touch if you would like to see it. You will get a sense of what a truly exceptional prize program is.

End self-promotion


On top of a student prize program, many times one or more incentives or goal rewards will be offered. These could be really anything that adds to the excitement of the fundraiser because of hitting goals, rewarding top-sellers, daily incentives or group rewards.

Here are a few ideas in no particular order that cost a lot of money:

Lunch Limo Ride
BMX Show
Video Game Truck

In these scenarios, a fundraising company will likely pay these for you and they should not take profit percentage away. I have heard of some companies taking 5-10% of profits for these events. I would recommend that you work it out in terms of the cost of the event instead of a percentage - if your sale does well, you would be spending a lot more than the event costs to host.

If you are hosting your own fundraiser of some sort, make sure that the money these efforts cost do not make your fundraiser profits suffer. I read about a $700 gross fundraiser that a school held where they incentivised it with a $400 estimated limo ride. You really have to be careful about these things. These incentives work best when enhancing your highest-profit fundraisers.

Here is a quick list of a few promotions that don't cost much:

Invite a student to be principal for a day
Lunch with principal or favorite teacher
Movie & Popcorn with principal or favorite teacher
Ice cream social for top-selling class
Ice cream for entire school when goal is hit
Principal gets a mohawk when goal is hit
Principal spends day in tree (or other zany idea) when goal is hit
Duct Tape faculty to wall (be careful with this as there has been some sexual related problem lately. Always cover personal parts with cardboard before taping.)

There are some daily drawings that also work well... Consider these:

Some sort of treat for children who hit their sales goals (yes, I guess I mean candy and yes, my kids eat too much of it already so I am hesitant here).
Have a drawing of an iPod or some sort of popular electronic item
Purchase various prizes and have a drawing every day the fundraiser is going on.

If you put some incentives into your fundraiser the results will follow. You can rely on a fundraising company to help or do it yourself. In the end, anything you can do to build excitement around the fundraiser will help create success.

Thanks for looking!


Jay Moneta is the Vice President of Believe Kids Fundraising and can be reached via comment on any of my blog posts, at www.BelieveKids.com or on twitter - twitter.com/BelieveKids

I wrote this one pretty fast so it is not my best work. I still would love any comments, feedback or suggestions you would like to offer. Thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

Jay, I totally disagree with you 100%. My school did a bmx show this past year and dumped the "junkarrific" prizes program and got more kids to participate and increased our sales nearly $10,000! The $400 we spent as a board on the bike show was totally worth the investment! We as parents are tired of the cheesy prizes and with the big event actually got more kids to participate and had them sell less. Our prize program stopped at 40 items. No parents are selling any more than that and many were relieved that little Johnny didn't come running home bugging them to sell 200 items for a Wii. Instead they ran home and asked their moms and dads to sell only 5 items to go to the event.

For what it is worth...I think you are missing the boat. You don't take profit percentage to the bank, you take MONEY to the bank.


BelieveJay said...

Great comment! I didn't explain very well. If you are going to sell $10k, then a BMX show is great! The reason I wrote this was because I saw a school with sales of $700 offer a limo ride. Seems like they had to lose money on that deal. Thanks so much for posting!