Yes. Public schools can fundraise. School districts are legally allowed to request voluntary donations and engage in fundraising activities and programs. Most successful fundraising campaigns are run by a parent-teacher organization (PTO) or parent-teacher association (PTA). An entire school or individual group, including classes, sports teams, or clubs, may participate in fundraising.
During the pandemic, Booster helped public schools profit $51 million!
How can I raise money for my school?
The most successful school fundraisers involve the whole community and extended families. Many school fundraising bodies partner with school fundraising companies like Booster to provide the expertise, infrastructure, and planning needed to kick off a great fundraiser and extend to a broader audience.
With a wider reach, fundraising is best done through crowd-sourcing initiatives. For example, simple ideas like car washes and bake sales, while fun, tend to bring in minimal funding. In contrast, more significant initiatives like a Booster fun run can fund an entire annual PTA/PTO budget because it's an event-worthy occasion and the powerful fundraising platform used allows asking for donations to go much further than the next door neighbor.
What is school fundraising?
As the name implies, school fundraising is the practice of raising money to supplement a school's budget. Fundraising activities are typically organized by volunteer groups such as PTAs and booster clubs and can range from product sales to community events to calls for direct donations. Schools use these funds to meet any needs not covered by the school's budget, including supplies and equipment, enrichment programs, extracurricular activities, and more.
Why are fundraisers good for school?
Unfortunately, schools in the U.S. are vastly underfunded. Budget cuts after the Great Recession hit schools hard, and the trend has only continued. The truth is, most elementary and secondary schools today do not have enough funds to provide the educational experiences their students need.
- Enrichment programs - Extracurricular activities - The purchase of supplies and equipment - Upgrades to school facilities
Can I opt out of receiving emails from Booster?
Yes, you can opt out of receiving emails from Booster. Emails feature an unsubscribe option, or don't hesitate to contact our customer service team; they will be happy to assist you.
Does Booster sell my information to other charities or organizations?
Why is Booster Fundraising competitive?
We understand that some parents are concerned about our programs' competitive aspect. However, healthy competition can be a positive motivator for students. Additionally, we work hard to ensure that our programs promote teamwork and sportsmanship, all in an inclusive environment intended to build community and school spirit.
We encourage schools to customize their Booster experience to meet their students' needs and ensure that all participants feel supported and valued.
Is Booster affiliated with any religious organizations?
No. Booster is not affiliated with any religious organizations. Our programs are secular and designed to be inclusive of all students and families.
Are Booster employees treated fairly?
We take the well-being of our employees very seriously and strive to provide a positive and supportive work environment.
If you have specific concerns about our employment practices, don't hesitate to contact our human resources team; we will be happy to address them.
How can I fundraise without selling anything?
Fundraising doesn't always mean selling products. Oftentimes, a direct donation fundraiser is effective when raising funds for a specific need. Along with Booster’s simple email fundraiser, schools, teams and groups can also utilize Booster’s online fundraising platform to collect direct funds or pledges.
When opting for non-sales-based school fundraising, clear communication about the cause, the need for funds and the impact of donations becomes even more vital. Always express gratitude and update donors on how their contributions made a difference.
Do you need permission to fundraise?
Yes, if you're fundraising on behalf of an institution like a high school, getting permission from the school's administration or the appropriate authority is essential. Additionally, some local governments require permits or licenses for certain types of fundraising events, so always check local regulations before starting.
How can I fundraise with no money?
Fundraising can be started with minimal to no upfront costs. For example, with Booster, you can set up an online custom gear store with zero upfront cost. Booster will only ship items that are actually ordered so there is no need to order in bulk ahead of time and there is never any leftover inventory.
The best time for fundraising often depends on your target audience and the nature of your campaign. Historically, November and December are popular times due to the holiday-giving spirit. However, the beginning of the school year or during special events and anniversaries can also be opportune times to help budget for the school year. High school teams and groups also take advantage of the slower summer days to get their students raising funds to support needs for the upcoming season.
If you plan on hosting multiple fundraisers, you should also spread them out throughout the year so as not to exhaust your donor base. For example, if you plan to sell products during the holidays, have your direct donation fundraiser at the beginning of the year. Booster’s team of experts can help you plan out your fundraising calendar to maximize the funds you raise.
Public school fundraising laws
Public school fundraising laws vary by state and local district. Always consult with school officials or legal counsel familiar with local laws and regulations before starting a fundraiser for your team or group.
What is the hardest part about high school fundraising?
The most challenging aspect of fundraising can vary based on individual experiences, but common challenges include:
- Engaging and motivating the community to participate. - Meeting financial targets or goals. - Overcoming donor fatigue, especially if there are multiple fundraisers happening simultaneously. - Managing logistics, especially for larger events or campaigns.
Whether it’s for a team or group, successful high school fundraising often requires a combination of creativity, persistence, collaboration and effective communication. While these challenges can be daunting, overcoming them can lead to financial benefits and valuable learning experiences for students. Booster's 20+ years of experience can help guide your high school fundraising efforts to great success.
What is the 80/20 rule in fundraising?
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 80% of the funds raised typically come from 20% of your donors. This emphasizes the importance of building and nurturing relationships with key supporters, as they can significantly influence the success of your fundraising efforts. Make sure to express gratitude and thank your donors after each fundraiser.
Booster Payment Questions
What percentage does Booster take?
Booster’s fees are based on the level of service each school chooses for their fundraiser. The more service they select, such as the Shared Service and Full Service offerings, the higher the percentage of fees. This is due to the fact that these service levels require a larger Booster team, and more equipment and fundraising resources.
Booster has five fundraising levels schools can choose from - starting as low as 7%, however with Booster’s new Perks Program, schools choosing to work with Booster can receive additional discounts and a starting percentage of 5% for schools that opt for more of a DIY option and simply need a fundraising software.
What percentage of Booster money goes to the school?
All donations go straight into the school's merchant account when a school chooses to organize a Booster fundraiser. This ensures that the money generated goes entirely to the school. Schools will pay an upfront base cost based on the contract (fee determined by the type of fundraising support they select). The remaining fees are calculated at the end of the fundraiser based on the service level the school selected from the Booster team.
Many school communities find their school families are very busy. Securing enough volunteers to run a fundraiser can be very challenging for many schools. Schools choosing to have the Booster team join them for a portion of or all of their 7-day fundraiser benefit from having dedicated individuals to run their program. With the Booster team comes an added level of spirit throughout the entire school during the fundraiser as well as prizes, proven resources, and full access to the Booster Tech fundraising software. The Booster team brings a level of enthusiasm and fun to the school community that volunteers alone often say they can't match.
Do you feel like Booster is only interested in getting money from you?
Our mission at Booster is to provide an unforgettable experience that helps schools raise funds while also teaching students valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and goal-setting. We understand that fundraising can sometimes be seen in a negative light, but our focus is on creating a positive impact on the lives of students and the school community. We're committed to transparent communication and will work tirelessly to ensure our messaging aligns with our values and goals.
Is it true that only half the money raised goes to school?
No, this is not true. Schools typically receive 50-100% of the funds raised, depending on the Booster services they choose.
If a school chooses Booster’s full-service fundraising event option, the money the school pays goes towards providing the following services:
- Organizing an awesome fundraising experience (Fun Runs, Dance-a-Thon, etc.) - Educational character themes and curriculum students enjoy all week long - Boosting student participation in fundraising so schools profit more - Support and resources for schools and PTA/PTO groups - Prizes for students as incentives
Is it safe to give my credit card information to Booster?
Yes! Booster takes security seriously and uses industry-standard encryption to protect your personal and financial information.
Types of Fundraiser Questions
What is a Booster Fun Run?
The Booster fun run fundraiser is a multi-day event aiming to bring fitness and character to schools throughout the country while also raising money. Booster has spent the last 20 years developing its signature Booster program. It now provides a variety of event day alternatives such as Dance Fit, Glow Run, Color Run, and Obstacle Run, in addition to its world-class fun run. Booster also provides a variety of service levels, from a simple fundraising platform for their own DIY fun run to a full service, a team-based on-campus fundraiser that creates significant revenue for the school and even greater memories for the students, teachers, staff, and parents!
What is a PTO fundraiser?/How does a PTA raise money?
PTO/As raise funds to assist schools with expenses that may not be covered by government funding. For example, these organizations frequently generate funds for PE or band equipment, STEM laboratories, playgrounds, and other needs.
Parent clubs and associations at schools raise money in a number of ways, including fun runs, dance-a-thons, spirit wear sales, direct give fundraisers, and more, to assist schools in purchasing goods that aren't usually covered by government funding. These groups frequently generate funds for PE or band equipment, as well as STEM laboratories. Some organizations also fundraise for educational field trips, school supplies, teacher recognition, outdoor classrooms, new technology, and other causes.
How do high school clubs and teams fundraise?
High school clubs and teams often need to raise funds for resources such as uniforms, supplies and transportation in order to offset or supplement the dues students are required to pay.
Booster recognizes just how busy students, coaches and group leaders are. That’s why we offer simple email donation fundraisers. We handle the heavy lifting so you can focus your valuable time on what you do best.
In addition, we offer the option to sell high-quality products such as custom tumblers, gear or wrapping paper to name just a few. Or take advantage of our discount cards that offer deals at local stores. These cards are wildly popular and almost sell themselves. Choose one fundraiser or a combination of our fundraising solutions to create a year-round plan to reach your goals.
Virtual fundraising became a real necessity during 2020, but even when on-campus events are possible, the ability to fundraise remotely has allowed schools to raise more funds in new ways. School fundraising software that features virtual fundraising capabilities offers a higher level of flexibility and customizability than traditional types of fundraisers.
Booster has a reputation for being a profitable school fundraiser. Booster has helped thousands of schools collect more than $400 million for vital supplies in the previous 19 years, including $51 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inquire about Booster's Full-Service offering for schools wanting to cover their whole budget with a single event.
How much money do schools make from fundraisers?
Depending on the type of fundraiser chosen, school profits will vary. While bake sales and car washes can help make money, professional fundraisers such as Booster can help schools finance their whole budget with just one campaign. Many schools choose to go big one time a year with a Booster event vs. asking their school families to continually give through smaller fundraisers all year long.
What is a good profit margin for a fundraiser?
Whether you're hosting your fundraiser on your own or outsourcing it completely - fundraisers cost money to host. All fundraisers have fees associated. If you're profiting more than 50% on your fundraiser, you're doing really well! But the common expectation is 30-50% after expenses, be they baked goods or professional services.