• fundraising

     As more and more school and library budgets are cut, it becomes harder for us to provide services beyond the basics (which does not seem to be much these days).  Here are some ideas to help you earn money for your school library, and some are even fun for the patrons in the process!
    Grants for Libraries-
      Fundraising Ideas-
     latte bar  Please visit my library webpage with my SHS Library Latte' Bar information (just click on the icon to the left).  As long as you run the latte' bar before school hours, you will not have to worry about it competing with your work day.  The drinks do meet the nutritional guidelines.  I only run the bar on Friday mornings for an hour, but you can run it for additional days if you want.  It takes about 30 minutes to set up.  I make a nice profit from this fundraiser and the students and teachers love it.  I can still make some money even when I give staff free latte' drink coupons.  I get my supplies from Sam's Club and Walmart.  For more information, please email me at jbevers@ems-isd.net.
     shout outs  Library website Shout Outs!  Students love publicly acknowledging their friends.  Charge $1 or whatever you feel is appropriate.  Have little forms for them to fill out with the current date, date they want it posted, the poster's name, the postee's name, and the message.  You may want to limit the number of words in the message and also the number of days you will post the message up on the website.  Make sure the Shout Outs are very visible or you make not get as much participation as you hoped!
     wish lists  Library Wish List-  Sometimes the best way to get the smaller things you need (and even some big ones) is to just ask!  If you can get your wish list posted on your main school webpage as well as your library wepage, you will get more parents to look at it.  You may even consider sending out a library newsletter with your wish list--this can be a lot for a large school population, so maybe just send it home to your freshmen since they will be with you for the next four years (and their parents tend to be more active in the beginning).
     yard sale  You can have a Library Yard Sale on a Saturday or in the summer.  Ask your staff as well as your students to donate items for the sale.  You may also want to team up with some student clubs who need volunteer hours to help you with the set up and running things.  They may even want to sell some food and drinks to make money for their own club in the process.  There are so many ways to do this sale so just do what works for you!
     pencils  Surprisingly, pencil and sticker dispensers can rack in some serious coinage!  What is nice about these is that they require very little work.  Just check to make sure they are full and empty them sometimes.  This fundraiser will need an advance for the machines and inventory, but once they are paid off, the money is the library's!
     supply store  Student Supply Stores are very profitable!  If your school does not already have one, it is a great way to make some extra money.  Posterboards, construction paper, pens, pencils, etc. are always needed by students.  Just buy in bulk or at the beginning of the school year when the prices are cheap and make money the rest of the year.
     apparel store  School Apparel Store- You can run this store in addition to the supply store.  Shirts, hats, lanyards, etc. with your school logo can pull in some extra money while showing school spirit.  If your school does not already have a spirit store, this can be an awesome fundraiser.  If you do not have the funds to buy the start-up materials, you can display items from your sports' boosters and student clubs and just ask for a small percentage of their profit as items sell.
     ID friends  Do you run an ID card machine for your school? Even if you do not, you can make friend IDs for your students!  You can make a background and then take their photos together with a webcam or a digital camera and put their names on it and/or "Best Friends Forever", etc..  This would also be a great fundraiser around Valentine's Day for couples!  If they are not really id cards, you can print them on cardstock and laminate them and then charge for a profit.  You can either print them on the spot or you can give them a pick up date of when you think they will be finished.  All IDs are bought before the IDs are made, this way you do not lose money on the materials.
     video gaming  Video Gaming Night!  This will take some equipment and knowledge of hooking up the equipment, but you would be surprised at the number of students who would help with this.  You can also ask your techie teachers for help and maybe they would also volunteer to help that night.  You can charge an admission fee for the evening and then also you can sell drinks and snacks for a profit as well (maybe even a pizza dinner, etc.).  Students love gaming tournaments, so depending on the number of students who sign up, you can set this up as well!
     book fair  Most of us are familiar with book fairs and they can still be big hits with the students at secondary.  For middle school, Scholastic Book Fairs still does a fine job with putting together enough of a collection to meet their needs, but high school is another matter.  If you run one for high school, just considering have many different categories, because students will also buy things like cookbooks,etc. and teachers will buy children's books for their own families.  There are other book fair vendors who you can use as well.  Check with Northwest Book Fairs (no flair but good books), Barnes & Noble (off-campus), Books Are Fun (small), and Books4Schools.Com (online fair).
     scratch cards  Scratch Off Cards!  Students and staff love scratching off to see what they get.  There are many vendors to choose from.  They also have various templates to help fit a theme.  There are different types of cards.  Some you will have to find students who will help have others scratch and donate money.  Other companies have the students and staff buy the cards and then can earn prizes, etc.
     copy machine  Provide a self-service copier in your library and make a profit!  Find a company that will rent out the machine to you and you pay either a small monthly or yearly fee and the rest is yours.  We use TRM (1-800-877-2679) here in the Fort Worth, TX area.
     ear buds  Ear Buds and Jump Drives!  These two very popular items could make a little extra cash as a fundraiser throughout the year.  Buying these items in bulk will increase your profits.  You can sell these separate or in addition to a supply store.
     craft show  Set up a Saturday Craft Show at your school.  You would need to get permission obviously to have use of your school building, but after that, it is just a matter of drumming up vendors and setting your booth fee!  Your students, staff, and their families would also have a great time!  If you have the show before the major shopping holidays, your vendors will do better and keep coming back each year!
     massage chair  An Automatic Massage Chair in your library?  Yes!  Charge for 15 minute increments and set it up in a quiet area.  Look for gently used chairs in resale or talk to local business owners for discounts.  Over time, the chair will be paid for and the profits continue to flow!  This will get used most before school, during lunches and after school.
     read a thon  Read-A-Thon time!  You can also make this into a Rock-A-Thon in rocking chairs (students would have to help get these loaned for the event).  You can do it as an afternoon or as a lock-in.  You can do this with a book club and read a book together or with other student organizations and split the profits.  To make it even more fun, you can do a live feed of the event for the people who are sponsoring so they can see how it is going from the comforts of their homes!
     used book sale  Used Book Sale!  Have your students, staff, and public bring in their gently used books and then have a book fair from these items!  You can also sell donuts, baked goods, coffee, etc. for an extra profit!
     book turned movie night  Book-Turned-Movie Night!  Find a popular movie based on a book and have a movie night at your school or in the library.  Break out that school popcorn maker and some drinks and candy for an additional profit.  Check with your administrators; sometimes you can charge admission and sometimes you can not, but you can always charge for food and drinks!
     ninja challenge  The Ninja Challenge!  www.theninjachallenge.com is a 5k obstacle course that is so fun and entertaining that your students and staff can't stay away!  This group allows you to organize and set up your own event at your school.  Check out the above web address for more information.
     silent auction  Another opportunity to have you, your friends and family go through old things and donate to your Silent Auction!  Once again, this is another event that you can add food and drinks and make some extra money on the side!
     raffle  Ready to raffle off some cool items?  First, see if you can get some great items donated for this fundraiser (techie things and shopping sprees at popular stores seem to get the students' attention first!).  Sell tickets in the cafeteria at lunch and display what is getting raffled off.  Selling tickets for a week or two seems about the right amount of time.  Pricing your raffle tickets can be tricky (you want them to make money but not be so pricey that it scares the buyers away).  Your ticket price may vary on your items (tickets for a car being raffled should cost more than an ipod being raffled!).
     bake sale  A Good Ol' Fashioned Bake Sale can bring in great money!  Depending on your district, some bake sales are either not allowed during the school day or not allowed on campus, so this may end up being a Saturday or Sunday afternoon event and possibly at another location.  Bake Sales can bring in a good amount of money so you will have to wait and see if the profit out weighs any potential hassle.
     bingo night  B-I-N-G-O!  It's amazing how a Bingo game can bring out the fun!  To save money, you can make your own bingo cards and buy some cheap plastic markers instead of the ink-dotting.  This way you can reuse the sheets over and over and not have to buy more ink!  Once again, food and drink go well with this event.  This would be a great event to have on a special occasion day like Grandparent's Day!  You can also have a raffle in combination with this event.
     color printing  Color Printing!  Does your library have a color printer?  If so, do the students get to use it?  If not, have you considered charging them a fee to print in color?  It's a small amount of money that comes in, but the coins add up!  The printer would need to be placed where the students have to ask to get their print outs.  Set this up so that it works best for you because it is a daily money maker.
     personal posters  Personalized Posters!  Do you have a color poster maker in your library?  If so, charging students to have posters made for presentations or for personal use is another great way to profit from a tool you may already have.  You might also want to allow staff to make personal posters for a profit as well.
      What do you enjoy doing?  
     Turn it into a fundraiser for your library!