No one needs to remind teachers, students and parents of the struggles faced by an unprecedented pandemic hitting the classroom, and hitting it hard. Though it has not been easy to adjust to on-line learning, and then back to in-school learning combined with the fears of COVID, school life goes on, even though it looks a quite different.
Also, unfortunately affected, are after school activities, sports and dances that are being postponed or altogether cancelled. What is not being postponed, however, is the need to fundraise and assist schools with funds and resources to continue educating and supporting our youth. But how do parents go about fundraising with new COVID rules and mandates? How do you creatively and effectively raise money in this new climate? The old ways of fundraising may not be optimal choices now, but there are some new, fun and innovative ways of banding together for a great cause.
Virtual Cooking Class
Contact a local restaurant for on-line cooking classes (live stream or pre-recorded) for the entire family. Learn how to make healthy and delicious family meals and with a little tech savviness, the chef can take questions via text during live sessions.
Sponsor a Virtual Run/Walk
Much like a read-a-thon, students document and log their steps and or other athletic activity and collect money from family and friend sponsors that donate a specific dollar amount for every step, minutes or miles.
Live Stream a Talent Show or Concert
Students miss seeing each other and their teachers and staff, so why not create a one-night-only virtual event to showcase your school’s talented individuals? In home viewing parties will only add to the excitement.
Always a traditional fundraising resource, students on-line sell products to family and friends. Popular items such as school themed COVID masks and personalized hand sanitizer bottles will only add to the already popular items found in so many on-line catalogs.
Yard Sign Sale
Nothing says school spirt and support like a colorful and decorative yard sign. Now, more than ever, with so many having to spend more time at home, a fun shout-out to your favorite student or teacher will make being home a treat.
Pizza Day Fundraiser
Pizza always makes for a popular fundraiser and teaming up with your local pizza place (and supporting local business at the same time) is an easy and successful way to raise money. Dine-in, take-out and a percent of sales goes to your school for an entire day.
Michael Nolan, President of Sam & Louie’s Italian Restaurant that specializes in New York Style pizza, is active in his community and supports local schools. A father to two young students, Nolan knows well the struggles facing parents and schools looking for ways to raise funds. “We are happy to help schools with their fundraisers,” Nolan said. “We can quickly and easily set up a day-long fundraiser and when customers dine-in or carry out we’ll donate a percentage back. We even provide the materials to help promote the event.”
Nolan takes his role as a partner with his local schools seriously and donates gift certificates for raffles and as silent auction prizes and he encourages other local businesses to do the same. “It’s a difficult time for all of us,” he said. “We are a community and helping each other is what we do.”
There really is no end the creative, safe and effective ways to raise money for our schools. Parents and teachers need to make sure that all fundraising events are safe for students as well as COVID safe for all involved. It is also prudent to reach out to local government to ensure all fundraising activities follow local guidelines.