Parenting Information

Fundraising For Your Preschool Or Daycare Center

Most day cares are non-profit organizations that must operate within a tight budget that covers the costs of facilities, staff and all of the equipment and materials for operating a quality and stimulating environment for children. It's a balancing act with little room for extras for the center or it's staff.

One way to offset the cost of extra curriculum, supplies or staff bonus programs is through fundraising. Our moms have successfully raised funds for our daycare centers, enabling them bring in additional music, art and science events, animal encounters, host special celebration days - like Hawaiian Luaus, purchase sun shades for the playground and fund the staff bonus pool.

Listed below are fundraising programs that have been successfully implemented that you can take, adapt and use at your center:

Garage Sales. Gather your family's extras and have a group garage sale to benefit your daycare center. Post signs at school to have other families bring their donations in a few weeks before the sale so you can have time to price and organize the items.

Auction. Have an informal auction of donated goods and services in your daycare's lobby with write-in bids. You can also help organize an auction event, complete with tickets that must be purchased to attend. The event usually has catering, a bar, entertainment and live auction and those costs must be factored into the budget.

Donations. Ask the merchants your frequent regularly if they have goods or services they can donate to the center. Describe the center, what you are raising funds for and explain the donation is tax deductible. Many requests will be positively received. We have found that we've received the best response when collecting donations in the spring, summer and early fall so we're not competing with other donation requests around the holidays. These donations are then incorporated into the school auctions.

Open Ebay Store. Large scale auction events are really only practical one or two times a year for daycare centers because of the costs involved. Consider having a committee that solicits donations year long and sells them in an open market, such as Ebay. It expands your fundraising circle from the immediate circle to a global reach.

Matching Gifts. Remind parents that many corporations have matching gifts programs for donations to non-profit organizations and daycare centers usually qualify. Under this benefit, the corporation may match your cash donation by 50 to 100%.

Artwork By Children. Work with the classroom teachers to create artwork that can be displayed a gallery and sold to parents. Creative projects made by the children or that feature a child's picture make wonderful gifts for family and friends and sell well when priced appropriately.

Recognition. Parents can memorize their children by purchasing an engraved plaque for a wall, a stamped brick for a walkway or a large piece of equipment for the playground. Think about how large non-profit organizations recognize their large donors and adapt it to your environment. Have an area in your newsletter that regularly recognizes contributions from the parents of the center, whether they be monetary, time or goods and services.

About the Author

For more great information about expecting and parenting, visit, a site for moms by moms. Annie Valle is a freelance writer, web designer and a mom. You'll find product reviews, recipes, baby names, free projects and more, when you visit

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