I’m trying to find a good elementary school fundraiser for my daughter’s
school to change things up a bit in the coming school year. I’d love to do
one that doesn’t involve that ubiquitous cookie dough or wrapping
paper….and would be thrilled to find one that is green or at least environmentally friendly. -Dina
Having bought my weight in both gaudy wrapping paper and 75-ingredient cookie dough all in the name of fundraising, I am all for spreading the word on more interesting alternatives. Here are some of my favorite ideas that not only do some good, they’re products we may actually want to own. –Christina
Kids Konserve (shown at top) helps schools earn money while also reducing the amount of lunchroom waste. Products range from a stainless steel beverage bottle to an entire waste-free lunch kid. And, during the month of April, they’ve increased the percentage they’ll donate back to schools to 25% in honor of Earth Day.
Smencils pencils and pens are super flexible to sell because the cases are purchased upfront and sold on your own timeframe, with profits of at least 45%. A single Smencil only costs a buck, and although these recycled newspapers-turned-colored pencils smell like root beer or bubble gum, they aren’t another sugar-filled treat.
A great lesson in fair trade, organic products and supporting sustainable farming, Equal Exchange’s fundraising program lets people chose from products they’ll really use like coffee, tea and snacks. Especially the coffee, if you’re in school auction mode.
Immaculate Baking Company is not just another ready-to-bake cookie company–we absolutely love these guys, and even Jet Blue carries their prepared cookies. They use ingredients I’d use if I had the time to make from-scratch cookies. Their school fundraising program isn’t formal, but if you contact them directly they can set up something for your school.
I love TerraCycle’s program that literally turns trash to treasure by collecting used juice boxes and other wrappers and using them to make everything from backpacks to waste baskets. Set up a collection drive at your school and put the earnings to good use.
Giving new meaning to “green,” Flower Power fundraisers make it easy to sell flowering bulbs, plants and vegetables. Plants come from Vermont’s Garderner’s Supply catalog and are shipped directly to consumers meaning you won’t be up late figuring out who ordered the dahlias. Plus, I love that catalog sales can be supplemented with online sales which gives shoppers two ways of helping the school, and lets you make use of social media to do the hard work. (thanks for the tip, Dina!)
For sheer volume of products offered, you can’t beat Greenraising which helps you raise money through both traditional catalogs and online sales. Kids sell some of our favorites like Zebra Cupcake Mixes and Twist eco-cleaning supplies. Oh, yeah, they do sell gift wrap too. But hey, at least it’s recycled.