Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How To: Leaf Raking Fundraiser

Leaf Raking Fundraiser
Difficulty: Easy
Prep time:  2-3 weeks in fall
Duration: 1-2  weekends
Serves: small groups
Startup cost: Low
Profit potential: Low

What you need:
Marketing Flyer w/ pricing and contact information
Time Sheet or other scheduling method
1 experienced adult per team
2-3 children per team
Tools such as rakes / shovels
Trash Bags
Work Gloves
Truck or trailer to haul leaves


1. Create a marketing flyer and timesheet and get the word out on the fundraiser.  Make sure that you clearly state what you will do and the cost.  If your group offers a tax-deductible receipt make sure to advertise that the donation is tax-deductible.  Price this fairly so you get business ($10-$20 seems reasonable for most small yards but find out what market rate would be in your area).   In the end, offer a good value in order to succeed.

2. Schedule and confirm with every customer leaving enough time to stay on schedule even if you have some delays. 

3. Show up on time and complete the work effectively.  Allow children to only do elements of the job that are safe and age appropriate.  Do not let a child operate heavy machinery unless you can guarantee safety.


1. A leaf raking fundraiser may seem like a great idea but remember that in some areas of the country, there is no market for it.  Also, the season is short.  If you pick the wrong weekends, you may find that the raking is already done or the leaves haven't fallen yet.  Hitting the right weekend is critical.

2. There are safety concerns with yard work.  Rakes although rarely dangerous if used correctly can be  dangerous when used incorrectly.  Leaders should let it be known that horseplay with rakes is not allowed under any circumstances.  Please make sure no children are in danger at any time.

PROS: One of the easiest fundraisers to host.  Requires little more than a rake and determination. Good for small groups.

CONS: Seasonal, time-intensive, low income possibility

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