Unfortunately almost all high school media advisers have to raise money through fund raising – and we hate it. Most of us were raised in the editorial/creative departments of our college and professional newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, etc. We were not in the ad department and we really never wanted to be.
So, now that we are tasked with making sure the bottom line stays healthy and out of the red, we end up having to fund raise for trips, t-shirts, equipment, etc.
So what to do? How do you raise money without going crazy? It is a tough nut to crack. So here are some ideas for relatively easy fund raisers that won’t steal all your time from your real job – producing some kind of media.
1. Powder Puff Football Game – if you have a lot of girls on your staff, or a lot of guys with girlfriends willing to give up their time for a game of flag football. Most schools have a stadium on site, even if it is a JV field with metal bleachers. All you need are flags, Nerf footballs, a scoreboard, a ref and some of the senior football players to coach it. You charge $2 a head and 500 tickets later you clear a cool $1000. Get the crazy guys to dress like cheerleaders and have some fun with it. Just don’t forget to have the parents sign a release form for injuries. Do it near the very last week of school before finals.
2. Host a video game tournament. Have the players pay $10 to play and give the winners a gift card to a local game store. Sell tickets for $2. (see above for profit)
3. Host a Homecoming or Sweetheart dance. DJ it with a computer with iTunes and a decent sound system from the AV department at school. Keep ticket prices low to get more people to come $3 singles or $5 for couples. Cost is may be $30-50 for music off iTunes (clean versions of course), plus some decorations.
4. Host a community carnival on a Saturday. Use it to sell yearbooks too. Sell booth space to other organizations. Keep the price low – $10 per booth to promote lots of organizations joining in. More booths = more organizations helping you promote it. You have a booth or two also.
5. Sell T-shirts with the yearbook theme and each class’ graduation year on it. Find an online seller to get your price down to less than $5 per shirt – sell them for $10.
6. Host an athletes vs. coaches basketball or dodge ball game.
7. Rent out your video/audio skills. Many high school events are boring. Offer to help one organization out – help them pep up their show for free! Create videos, multimedia, logos, music, lighting effects, etc. for their show. Help them create a really exciting experience to showcase their talent. Now tell other organizations on campus that you will do it for them too – for a price. Create a price sheet that your school’s organizations can afford, but where you make money too. If they are making $1000 from a show, ask for $200 or set a price sheet for various services such as video filming, editing, final show production, etc.
8. Buy a fast DVD burner and agree to shoot and sell DVDs of school events for $5 each.
9. Desktop publish for clients. Get with a local restaurant that has a terrible menu and redo it for free. Now send your work to every local restaurant in town, but ask for $100-$200 depending on how detailed it is. Offer to shoot photos, etc. and help them choose a professional printer. If you get 5 or 6 a year, that is more than $1000.
10. Share your idea! Leave your idea for a great fund raiser as a comment below!