11 School Fundraising Companies
In the 1970s when school fundraising began, the money raised often supplemented extracurricular activities like field trips and glee clubs.
But in the 21st century, fundraising has become more of a necessity to combat budget cuts that deny funding for art and music programs, essential equipment like computers and tablets, and school uniforms.
Fortunately, school fundraising is well supported in communities and often quite lucrative. According to Nonprofit Resource, more than half of public schools in the United States conduct fundraisers each year, earning more than $1.5 billion annually. One third of schools raise on average up to $5,000, with the top third earning in excess of $75,000.
School fundraising companies can contribute to the success of a school’s fundraising efforts by providing the right products or services and supplemental support throughout a campaign. We’ve selected 11 companies that offer a variety of tried and proven programs for successful school fundraising.
List of School Fundraising Companies
In 2013, Stacey Boyd, a former middle school principal, needed to fund art and math programs at her school due to funding cuts.
She came up with the idea to recycle clothing and started by listing used donated clothing on the school’s webite.
By 2018 Schoola had supported more than 30,000 schools with some schools earning in excess of $50,000 each.
There are three ways schools and students can collect clothing for a Schoola fundraiser:
- fundraisers collect donated clothing and bring to school for shipment
- donations are dropped off at the school
- supporters request a bag with a prepaid shipping label online to ship clothing directly to Schoola
Schoola photographs and lists the clothing for sale on its website. Once it sells, the proceeds, 40% of the sale price, are accredited to the school’s account. Checks are issued in July and January, with a $20 minimum.
2. Entertainment Card Fundraiser
The Entertainment Coupon Card is by far the best fundraising companies with over $3 billion earned for schools since 1962.
The coupon book has now expanded to include an online app making redeeming offers less cumbersome than carrying around the little coupon book.
For supporters who prefer the physical coupons, books are shipped free and memberships are good for one year.
Schools earn a whopping 75% though online and face-to-face sales. Supporters who purchase the Entertainment discount offer save up to 50% off retail price and there are many buy-one-get-one free offers.
Since 1994 ShopWithScrip has worked with over 48,000 organizations to raise more than $700 million.
The concept is simple:
Fundraiser supporters purchase gift cards to their favorite retailers like hotels, grocery stores, airlines and over 700 popular retailers.
Schools earn a rebate from each card sold and continue to earn each time the card is used for purchases.
Rebates range from 2% to 15% on purchases and are accredited directly to the school’s fundraising account.
Sign up is quick and easy and fundraisers have access to MyScripWallet, an online resource for managing fundraisers.
The ShopWithScip fundraising program has successfully teamed up with public and private schools of all levels.
4. Custom Ink
Selling t-shirts is one of the most popular school fundraising projects. With over 2 billion T-shirts sold each year, it’s not hard to see why schools have been selling t-shirts to raise funds for their schools.
Before online shopping, schools typically ordered printed T-shirts in bulk and took responsibility for storing and shipping the product.
However, t-shirt fundraising became streamlined with print-on-demand services that will print one order at a time ship it to the buyer and keep track of sales, cutting out much of the work for schools.
Custom Ink has school fundraising down to a science. Easy to use design programs online allow schools to offer more designs with little effort and to set their own prices for greater profits.
Custom Ink has a great reputation within the community. They donate profits to their own favorite causes and have earned numerous awards for their innovative human resource practices and charitable contributions to the community.
T-shirts fundraisers can be used alone to generate funds or combined with other efforts such as school walk-a-thons, bake-offs, etc.
5.Box Tops 4 Education
The Box Tops 4 Education program ranks as one of the highest earning school fundraisers with over $900 million in donations since 1996.
Traditionally, cereal box tops were cut out and collected for redemption. Today, clipping box tops isn’t required as the process has been streamlined.
Supporters simply scan a store receipt with an app. and purchases are verified digitally. Funds are automatically dispersed to the school’s account.
Online purchases are also eligible for the program.
Box Tops 4 Education offers several additional funding opportunities through their website and app for earning even more cash through bonuses and sweepstakes.
The program doesn’t just include cereal either. More than hundreds of grocery store items qualify, including office supplies, plastic baggies, frozen foods and of course, cereal.
Box Tops 4 Education even assigns a fundraiser coordinator to assist educators in their fundraising efforts. They answer questions and teach students and families about the program.
All public and most private schools qualify for the program.
Farmraiser offers a healthy alternative to tradional junk food fundraisers. Food and artisan products are sourced locally which benefits the environment, the economy and the individuals as well.
Students and school patrons connect directly and indirectly with locals to build community support for schools, local farmers and artisans.
With hundreds of local vendors participating, each fundraising group decides what to offer and promote through their own Farmraiser-provided website and online tools. Traditonal school fundraising catalogs are also available to help promote the fundraiser.
Each group decides their own profit margin between 40%-50% by setting their own prices for artisan food products like organic honey, garlic jalepeno pickels, trail mix, apple chips, herbs and spices, cooking oils, and lots of other locally grown and handmade products.
A large selection of vegan, gluten-free and kosher products are also available for anyone and everyone to support the fundraiser.
Farmraiser even offers non-food, eco-friendly products like candles, lotions, and pet items and a large selection of gardening products.
Barnes & Noble, the #1 bookseller in the United States, operates over 600 bookstores and has a strong online presence, averaging annual sales of more than 155 million books.
In addition to books, they also offer a huge selection of over 5,000 magazine titles and almost 1,000 national and international newspaper titles.
The company is deeply invested in the community with over 100,000 charity events hosted yearly, including school fundraisers. Each year since 2017, Barnes & Noble has earned the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index maximum rating of 100 percent.
Barnes & Noble hosts pre-K-12 in-store and online themed bookfair fundraisers such as scavenger hunts and poetry readings.
The bookseller also offers a limited number of donations and sponsorships for school programs centered around the arts.
Barnes & Noble provides:
- publicity and marketing materials
- in-store and online promotion
- staff to handle all transactions
- additional support to teachers, students and organizers
Schools earn between 10-30 percent of all Barnes & Noble items sold in-store and online during the fundraiser event. Online sales will continue to accrue for 5 days following the event.
8. Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange, founded in 1986, operates as a worker cooperative using Fair Trade practices. Inititally working with one coffee farmer from Nicaragua, the co-op is now one of the largest in the United States and offers a full catalog of coffees, teas, chocolates, and nuts sourced from farmers and artisans around the world.
On average for each fiscal quarter, Equal Exchange contributes $250,000 for fundraising groups implementing the fundraising catalog program.
In addition to catalog sales, schools have the ability utilize an online platform to increase and streamline sales.
This program not only enables schools to reach their fundraising goals but also empowers small-scale independent farmers around the world.
Schools earn 40 percent profits on all sales with no minimum sale requirements and free shipping for wholesale orders that exceed $135.
Free promotional materials including catalogs, fundraising guides, vendor videos, downloadable graphics and other promotional materials.
Equal Exchange works closely with each school throughout the fundraising campaign and assigns a fundraiser coordinator to ensure success from start to finish.
One of the most innovating fundraising compainies doesn’t sell anything. Instead, students receive donations to the school for future acts of kindness.
RaiseCraze was started by a couple of parents who were frustrated and dissatisfied that their children were working so hard to sell items for fundraisers while sometimes raising less money than half the sales they generated.
They also wanted to find a way to fundraise that encouraged their children to participate in the community in a postive way.
Working with others, they designed a platform to bring fundraising students together with family, neighbors and community that would benefit all involved.
Using a pay-it-forward model, students create a list of acts of kindness they will enact in the near future for monetary donations of support now.
Acts of kindness might include preparing a homeless gift bag with food and clothing,
writing a thank-you letter to a public servant, cleaning an elderly neighbors flower bed, and so on.
Students come up with their own lists and keep track of how much money they’ve earned for the fundraiser through their own school’s fundraising website dashboard.
RaiseCraze staff is also available to assist with social media campaigns and other marketing endeavors.
Schools keep 90% of funds raised and RaiseCraze keeps a 10% fee for maintaining and promoting the program online.
10. Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese has been around since 1977 and has operates 600 stores in 47 states and more than 15 countries. A well-branded theme fun-spot where families can eat, play games and meet Chuck E. up close and personal.
Chuck E. Cheese school fundraisers are particularly successful for elementary schools with over $16 million earned for school and other nonprofit fundraisers.
Chuck E. Cheese donates 20 percent when fundraising groups spend $3000 or more. For events under $3,000, schools earn 15 percent.
Teachers in attendance also enjoy free meals, and children earn 10-free-play points stickers. Prior to the event, Chuck E. Cheese provides free promotional materials, and on the day of the event,Chuck E. will even visit the school to generate more participation.
The trademarked tagline says it all: Turning Fun into Funds.
Another innovative fundraiser for schools, TerraCycle is a great way to fundraise for schools and reduce waste in communities.
Brigades, or trash-collecting volunteers, are in charge of collecting waste in their communities. TerraCycle provides pre-paid shipping labels to attach to collected boxes of garbage containing pre-approved items. TerraCycle takes care of everything from there including sorting and recycling. Points are awarded for each piece collected, which are redeemed for cash.
So far, more than 30,000,000 people in the United States have collected over 2.5 billion items for recycling and earned almost $4.5 million for fundraisers.
Whether choosing traditional methods or innovative fundraising methods, partnering with the right school fundraising companies can keep schools in programs that might otherwise be impossible to continue.