How To Fundraise For Books & Resources With First Book

Young boy playing a carnival-style fishing game at a school fundraiser

Fundraising is an essential part of any school or community in order to better support and expand its membership. This will require planning, support, and input from your school/program community. Whether you opt for a bake sale, selling concessions during a school event or something more creative, there are plenty of options to generate funds to purchase the resources you need for the kids you serve. Check out our school fundraiser ideas below to generate extra income to support your community!

10 Fundraising Ideas For Your School or Community

  1. Bake Sale with fresh or bought snacks to be resold at a busy event in your community.
  2. Concessions Stand at an upcoming school event (school play, basketball game, etc.)
  3. Penny Wars where each class competes to collects pennies during a specified period of time. The class that wins gets bragging rights and a fun treat.
  4. Lemonade Stand during school dismissal to reach the highest number of customers.
  5. Car Wash outside the school after an event or at dismissal.
  6. Raffle – Ask local businesses or organizations to donate an item, and sell raffle tickets for $0.50 – $1.00.
  7. Community Garage Sale – Many families may live in apartments, or simply don’t have yard space for a sale. Obtain as many tables as possible, and charge a fee per table – say $10. Each person can sell their “garage sale” items on the tables for your event.
  8. Partner with a local restaurant and host a “Restaurant Night,” where a certain percentage of each order is donated to your school/program.
  9. Sell carnations or another low-cost flower during special holidays – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.
  10. Host a “Parent’s Night Out” by offering an evening movie, pizza and water for kids for 2 hours while while parents enjoy a date night.

First Book Fundraising Toolkit

Staying organized is another key element of a successful fundraising event. The First Book Funding Toolkit features an extensive event checklist to help you keep everything in order and running smoothly. In addition to these main points, the toolkit will give you a step-by-step guide to your event.

  • Set your fundraising goal
  • Confirm support from your school/program leader to host the fundraising activity/activities
  • Develop a Plan of Action to raise the funds
  • Determine the Staffing Plan
  • Create a Marketing Plan
  • Obtain event materials
  • Event wrap-up
  • Distribute books to kids!

After that, tell the whole world about what you did to help bring books to children in need in your community. The First Book Funding Toolkit features a press release template that you can send to your local TV station, newspaper, or favorite magazine, but you’ll have to download the toolkit to check it out. Read more from First Book about  Calculating & setting fundraising goals and how to Invite local businesses to help you fundraise

The fundraising tips above were excerpted from the First Book Funding Toolkit. Click here to view the entire First Book Funding Toolkit!

Join the Network

Educators can join First Book’s network — the largest and fastest growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring new resources like these fundraising plans to the classroom and beyond.

image of a young woman laying in the grass, smiling and reading a book. There is light blue boxes with purple text that say, 'Share Your Favorite Summer Read for Our New Online Album. Take a selfie with your favorite summer read and upload it by July 22 to celebrate our First Book family and the work we’re doing together! Send your selfie.'