Most preschool teachers would like to raise money to pay for some extras. And many families and community members are willing to contribute when asked. It helps to let potential donors know why you are seeking their contributions. Explain the focus of your fund-raising—whether it is to purchase needed items such as utensils for cooking projects, to pay for staff to attend a conference, or to rent a rototiller to get the program’s vegetable garden ready for planting.
Collect spare change. Decorate shoe boxes or use mason jars to serve as collection containers, and place them by the classroom door. Invite children and families to bring in their spare coins (or dollars!) to donate to the classroom.
Reuse and resell. Work with your colleagues to plan a school-wide rummage sale. Invite families to donate their gently used merchandise. Ask local businesses to donate excess stock, too.
Get crafty. Start by collecting children’s original artwork. Using a color copier (the school’s or one at an office supply store), copy and reduce each piece of art to make stationery, note cards, calendars, and other items to sell to families and the community.
Arrange a silent auction. Ask community businesses and families to donate items (hand-knitted hats or tickets to an event) and services (dog walking or helping plan a vegetable garden) to a silent auction to benefit the program. This could take place at the same time as another event, such as an open house or family night.
Host an art gallery. Throughout the year, collect a variety of children’s artwork to display in the art gallery. Frame and display the artwork using inexpensive or donated frames (dollar and discount craft stores offer economical options). Have an art gallery evening during which families and friends can come in and purchase the artwork.
Plan a benefit night. Many local and national chain restaurants hold regular benefit nights for community causes. Contact restaurants that you think would be interested in donating a portion of the proceeds from a particular night to your center.
Organize a walkathon or bikeathon. Have children and families collect pledges for however many laps they promise to ride or walk around the building or a track. Invite children to bring their trikes, bikes, and scooters to school for the fund-raiser.
Use the web. Websites like adoptaclassroom.org and donorschoose.org make it easy for teachers to solicit donations for their classrooms. Once the page has been created, share it through social media, a classroom newsletter, and any other available outlets.
Make a splash! Hold a car wash with the help of families and older children. Preschoolers can decorate signs advertising the event.
Submit your photos of children for publication.
NAEYC is always looking for photos of children engaged in developmentally appropriate activities and interacting with teachers and each other. Parental consent forms are required. Payment is made upon publication. This can be a good way to create a classroom nest egg. Find more information and submission forms at