Label collection programs, like Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education, can be a great way for parent groups to raise money. To be really successful, you need fun incentive programs that will motivate students and families. 

We asked our community what they’d recommend as successful incentives, and here’s what they shared: 

Michelle A.: Host a different contest each month to keep the collections interesting to kids. As examples, do a random drawing to award a prize one month and follow that by rewarding the student who brings in the most labels the next month. 

Casey C.: Try teaming up with another school in your community for a friendly competition. Whichever school brings in the most labels during a set period of time wins a prize. Consider having the winning school choose a “fun” activity for the principal, like riding a children’s tricycle!

Jennifer C.: Another spin on competitive collecting: Have classes within your school challenge each other. Winning class gets an ice cream or cupcake party. 

Stephanie V.: Do a promotion with prizes around the holidays. For example, do a Christmas-themed collection and give each child that brings in 50 box tops or more a chance to have a photo taken with Santa. 

Jennifer O.: Winning class from a collection drive gets a pajama party at school. 

Amy A.: Create (or buy) a trophy that is awarded the winning class each month. Then the traveling trophy is displayed in the winning classroom until the next collection period ends. AMY’S TROPHY IS ABOVE PHOTO 

Kimberly C.: Older children often aren’t impressed with pizza or ice cream parties. So, to motivate middle school kids, try a raffle. Set it up so for each 10 labels collected, a student receives one raffle ticket. Do monthly drawings with prizes like iTunes gift cards. 

Trish L.: Create a Treasure Chest. Stock up on mini prizes from companies like Oriental Trading and put them into a “treasure chest” box. The top 10 students from monthly drawings can pick an item from the box. As an added measure, announce the winners’ names during morning announcements. 

Melissa N.: Reward each child in a winning class a free book. 

Amy D.: Ask the teachers if they are willing to give their students a homework pass for a night if their students bring in the most box tops during a monthly collection. 

Tracy M.: Award winning classrooms with a popcorn or ice cream party and award the teacher of the winning class a gift card. 

Trena W.: Try schoolwide goals instead of naming one classroom each month as the winner. If the school meets its goal, do a dress-up day in which everyone participates. 

Denise L.: Winning class wins $50 to spend on a class party. 

Laura O.: Winning class gets extra recess time. 

Jennifer L.: Winning class plays a game, like kickball, with the teachers. 

Brooke W.: Use collection sheets and give kids a small reward for each sheet they turn in.

As well, several community members suggested that groups remember the basics, like sending home reminders to parents, to help make collection programs more successful. Here are a few other tips: 

Chart classroom and school success on a bulletin board in a highly trafficked area of the school. Students like seeing how much has been accomplished and how much needs to be done. 

Regularly post photos of winners on bulletin boards and on Facebook. 

Place collection boxes near the lunchroom and at the entrance of the school. 

Send home collection sheets or baggies to help make collecting as easy as possible.

For more help with label collection programs, check out our File Exchange. We have downloable collection sheets, certificates, letters, and flyers.