Thursday, October 25, 2012

* Finding the "FUN" in School Fundraising Projects and Some Silent Auction Project Ideas!

September and October are always busy months around here.
The girls head back to school and in addition to all of the new
routines with bus stops, homework, and packing lunches my inbox gets
flooded with requests for volunteer opportunities at school.  
It's also the time of year when all of the school fundraisers start or get planned.
Word gets out that I'm artsy and crafty and before you know it I'm being 
recruited to make posters, flyers, silent auction class project items, etc. !

I was recently reading a (very timely) article over at Mom's Homeroom website
written by the Scholastic Staff about "Putting the 'Fun' in Fundraising."
They did a really great job about how to break down
school fundraising projects into manageable chunks.
I have always found the pressure of school fundraising 
to be very stressful and intimidating!
You want the fundraiser to do well so your kids can experience great opportunities 
for their schools like scholarships and cultural events but I am never 
comfortable asking people to donate money. 

The Mom's Homeroom article is written like a "how-to manual"
on how to run a successful school fundraiser.
wish had this article a few years ago when I was being recruited
 by our daughter's preschool to help with their annual silent auction!
Projects like that always stress me out.

Today I also wanted to share with you some of the projects I've helped work on
for my daughter's schools over the past few years.
When I was working on these projects,
I couldn't find a lot of examples online
with ideas for things like Silent Auction Class Projects.
My original post about some of the Silent Auction Projects from 2010 can be found here.

For the Silent Auction projects for my daughter's preschool, I had a very small budget.
I saved up my Michaels and JoAnnes craft store coupons and
purchased unfinished wood projects, tun lunch boxes, and picture frames.
The kids were very young so I had to keep the projects simple enough
for them but cute enough to get their parents to bid some money on them!
I primed and painted the wood projects with simple colors at home.

I came up with a theme for each class's project.
Themes included things like:
Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar
Frogs in Space (for the "Frog's Class")
Woodland Animals for the "Cardinal" and "Bear" classes
Flower Garden for the "Bee" and "Dragon Fly" classes

Then scheduled time to visit each classroom and sit in the back
to collect finger prints from each of the students.
Helpful Tips: I set up a little station with washable acrylic paint and baby wipes
to clean fingers. I also had a chart/sketch of the project that I wrote each child's name on
so I could label the project at home with sharpie after the paint dried.
I added details to the finger prints to transform them into things like
bugs, critters, frogs, flowers, etc.

This is the finished Woodland Animals child-size chair. 
Each child's fingerprint was turned into a critter and I 
labeled their names with sharpie. After everything dried, I sealed the projects
with clear acrylic sealant. 

This was a tea tray garden scene with each child's fingerprint 
transformed into an insect - we also painted a "Hand Wash Only" 
glass flower vase this way!

For this Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar Collage, I cut out the fruit
with paper and used each child's fingerprint as the holes from the caterpillar!

This was probably my favorite project. With the 4 and 5 year olds, 
I gave each child a paper house shape and asked them to decorate them 
with oil pastels. I assembled them all into a big framed collage with an 
"It takes a village" quote in the bottom corner. I can't take credit for this 
awesome idea, I found it on the Laugh, Paint, Create blog
Check out her post here to see the wonderful collages she made with her students!

This year, the elementary school is taking a break from the usual
wrapping paper, cookie-dough, etc type sales and doing a 
"Plain Vanilla" fundraiser. No frills. 
Just asking every family to donate $20 per kid in the school. 
We're having some ice cream themed socials (think: ice cream parties
and root beer floats for participation) It's super easy and I think everyone 
appreciates it's simplicity this year. I made the giant ice cream cone with scoops
for the front lobby -- we're coloring it in as we reach our fundraising goal. 

Whatever kind of fundraising project you do for your kids,
remember that it is for a good cause and volunteering your time
and talent to your child's school helps -- every little bit does make a difference!

Pink and Green Mama

All projects posted are mine and all opinions expressed are my own.
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