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School Fundraising as a Teaching Tool

May 11, 2016

school fundraising teachesSchool fundraising is almost as inevitable as death and taxes, and everyone wants their fundraiser to stand out in a sea of candy bars and wrapping paper. Fundraising can help teach valuable skills like networking and entrepreneurship as they get older, and enter the workforce. With the right fundraiser, it can also help instill a strong sense of community and social responsibility in young children.

Now, obviously we here at Planet Green favor e-waste collection and ink cartridge recycling for our school fundraising because it hits both of those goals splendidly. In the United States, we generate mountains of waste every year from upgrading small electronics and the everyday printing we all do. It’s critical to the health of our planet and our communities to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill, and demonstrating a commitment to that value ensures our kids will hold it, too. If we divert those spent inkjet cartridges from the trash for remanufacture, and recycle all of the valuable material in those used electronics, we give all that so-called “trash” a new life. What a great thing it is to hold a fundraiser that emphasizes reduction instead of just more consumption!

In the past, we’ve shared several tips for how to hold a successful fundraiser. Any grown-up will recognize these as sales and marketing strategies that can be applied to just about any business. Here are some more tips to use school fundraising as a teaching tool:

School Fundraising Teaches Goal-Setting

School fundraisers usually have a built-in, tiered system of prizes for top-performing sellers. Before you start, talk to your child about their goal. Help them set realistic expectations of what they can sell based on time, resources and inclination. For young kids, helping them break down their $XX goal by the number of cartridges or e-waste items they will have to collect, and listing out their network of friends and family will help them understand how to set a realistic goal.

Teach Basic Math Skills and Money-Handling

Counting back change, while very common in a young person’s first job, is an acquired skill; working backwards from the large bill given requires quick subtraction and is the easiest way to ensure accurate change. Give your child a head start on this!

Teach Basic Business Skills

A school fundraiser should be their project, and while you can offer them support and resources, they will gain the most if you allow them to manage it.

Teach Responsibility 

All of the above skills will help a child develop a sense of responsibility and self-direction. While the best example of responsibility over how they earn and manage money will come from you as their guardian and role model, school fundraising is a great tool to help expand on these financial, social and entrepreneurial lessons your child will use for life.


Sources: Money Management International

Beth’s Blog: Nonprofits and Social Media

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