I've been to school fundraising committee meetings where there have been lots of blank looks, where no one has been able to think of new fundraising ideas. It can be tough to think of fundraising ideas that are in line with the Montessori philosophy. I have been in Montessori schools where the fundraising ideas have been questionable, toy catalogues which contain very few (if any) toys that would be suited to a Montessori home, and I'm sure we've all been sold chocolates. Today I thought I would share some of the ideas I know about, those which may be more suited to the Montessori environment!
- Mango Drives - similar could work for seasonal fruit in the local area.
- Book Drives/Fair - ask families to donate used books and/or use a company to supply children's books. Scholastic operate book fairs in Australia and the US.
- Homemade Playdough - I love this idea for toddler classes, have a making day and ask parents to come, make and batch natural playdough. May need to be gluten free. Why not add some natural colourings!
- Cake Sale - who doesn't love a good cake sale?
- Skipathon, Readathon
- Seedling Sale - I love this one, ask families to donate seedlings and then swap or sell to other families. Children at school could plant and grow the seedlings.
- Class Tea Towels - I really like this one too. Each class designs a tea towel and have them made and sell to parents (and Grandparents). Our school used Expressions (Australia).
- Personalised Plates - another idea I love because as a parent I'm always going to buy something my child has made. I've heard these are lots of effort (for not much profit). Each child designs a plate (or a class could design a plate) and again have it made and sold to parents (and Grandparents).
- School or Class Calander - children at school can contribute artwork for a calendar.
- School Cookbook - experience tells me it can be hard to get contributions, but with some encouragement parents or children could be asked to contribute recipes that can be compiled into a cookbook which can printed and sold to parents.
- Raffles or Silent Auctions - with like-minded sponsors donating goods.
- Events - such as a fun run (how about a colour run?), trivia night, school fair. Although these are time-consuming to organise they may raise significant funds.
- Seed Sale - above and below Otis is planting seeds c/o Yates Raise A Patch (Australia) which is a healthier alternative for fundraising which focuses on selling seeds for veggie patches, herb pots and flower gardens. The initiative helps provide kids with an opportunity to learn about where their food comes from, encourages healthy eating choices and gets more children into the garden whilst also raising awareness of sustainable living. For more information on Yates Raise a Patch visit fundraising.yates.com.au.
One of the most important things I found in fundraising is to take your community with you, build anticipation and parent and child participation! I'd love to hear what fundraising ideas have worked for your Montessori or like-minded school!