Question: Fundraise in Low Income Community

I am the Discipline Administrator in a very low income community. Our school is 100% free lunch and and about 70% of our parents are non English Speakers, 90% do not have a HS diploma and are on Government Asssistance! We do not have a PTA or a PTO. No parent group period. I have 3 fundraiser's a year that bring in about $3,000 for the year. Our district does not allow any parent to handle money. Our teachers are not comfortable handling money, so that leaves me with the extra job of setting up the fundraiser, trying to get our students to sell to relatives, as it is not safe in our neighborhood to go around door to door and then collect the $$ in a timely manner to pay invoice. It is much for a one person job. I do sound like I'm venting, but need ideas for easy fundraisers. Thank you!

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
I can pass along some links to articles on fundraising that will help:

How to Choose a Fundraiser

Fundraising Success Secrets from the Top Brands

30 Tips for a Winning Sales Fundraiser

Also, it may be worth a try (not to give you extra work!) to consider doing a pot luck event for families -- a get together that isn't about fundraising but an event that helps folks connect. It can really help create a sense of community. Plus, you might find that over time, with parents connecting, you might get a little bit more help with your efforts to support the school.

Good luck!


Community Advice

DJWest26 writes:
If you have Avon Reprsesentatives in your area you can encourage them to participate in the Avon's Tradtional Fundraisers (products flyers) Have an on location event, the group pays for thier products at the event, Rep orders the products, you pay for the cost of the products, the rest is proceeds towards your Fundraiser. And the Avon Online Eparties are a good way to Fundraise (All Online and self-service) Afterall, they are purchaseing products that they use everyday, bath/shower personal products, etc. Get Answers to your questions and other Ideas here:

Community Advice

kaybee writes:
Here are some fun no selling ideas, I am not a bit person on asking people to buy stuff no matter what the income is of the families in the school:

Have you tried a penny drive? Those are easy and fun for the kids.
box tops is a good one
labels for education
'dinner nights' --you set up with local restaurants to get an amount's is a good one. you do want to go to places your families eat at. I believe MCD's does something like this and most pizza places.

I don't know if your school district will allow this but you may check. I know of an inner city school that collects soda cans and they make about $8,000 a year. It can be a pain to collect them and take them down to a place to cash them in. I know someone that did this as a class project because he needed supplies for his class and the first month they collected a little over $200 and it turned into a school wide event. I know that $8000 may not seem a lot but it does help.

Community Advice

hhiguy writes:
Consider using Shoperoo. This is a market research firm which pays you for copies of the food shopping receipts. they would also pay for users of food stamps. You can find out more at

another idea is a car wash if the children are at teens or pre teens, or you can get adult volunteers.

Check out this web site:

Community Advice

clayboggess writes:
It definitely sounds like your options are limited. Since you don’t want your students and parents handling any money, you have the option of asking them to reach out to people that they know and invite them to shop for consumer-based items online. These are items that people are already looking to purchase anyway and the school makes up to 40% profit with each purchase.

The system is made easy as long as your parents have access to email and the internet. They can even forward the link to the store using their phone. And of course, if any of your parents decide to purchase something themselves, they are paying for the items before the item ships, just like with any other transaction.

To learn more about this and other products, go to school fundraising ideas, then click on the spring icon, then Charleston Wrap Spring Online.

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