My oldest went to Catholic School through the 5th grade, so I have a lot of fundraising experience. We did a Jog-a-thon, used book sale, penny drive, weekly bake sales (always had a bake sale on back to school night), ice cream socials and strawberry shortcake socials, St. Patrick's Day Dinner, and School Carnival. Our biggest money maker was the yearly Auction and Dinner. Parents and others donate items for the auction. We usually had a theme and the dinner would be very elegant and nice. We had a silent auction and a live auction. It was a lot of fun!
Parents in my area do not like any fundfaisers where the kids have to go door to door selling anything. It is too unsafe for the kids! Parents just aren't that crazy about assisting their kids with this activity.
Also, the school saved money by encouraging parent volunteering. Every class had a parent as a teacher assistant. Parents ran the afterschool daycare program, which charged a small fee. Since there were so many cuts in the art and music programs, parents volunteered a lot of time in this area. On the weekends parents would assist with painting and school repairs. Or planting flowers and trees on school grounds. I worked evenings as a nurse, so I did recess duty every day. They liked the fact that I was a nurse because I could handle all the playground injuries. It saved the school from having to pay someone to do it and the teachers got the uninterrupted lunch that they all needed. I got to spend quality time with my daughter and her friends. The kids got a kick out of seeing me go down the slide! My daughter still has fond memories of her playground mom.
A local woman, retired teacher, just donated $400,000 to the school district. I would like to see more of this type of thing. So much money gets donated to the Universities and Colleges. I don't understand why more people don't leave more money to their local Elementary school?
My favorite bumper sticker:
"I would like to see the day when our schools have all the money they need and the Airforce has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber"