Raising funds for school: The healthy way

School fundraiser ideas

Rebecca Zosel is the author of today’s blog, she is a parent to three – Oscar, Liliana and Edith. Rebecca is also a Public Health Consultant, Parents’ Voice Steering Committee member and President of the Parent Group Association (PGA) at St Macartan’s Parish Primary School. You can connect with Rebecca via Twitter or LinkedIn.

Schools are often looking for ways to raise money and let’s face it – it can be hard to find fundraising ideas that are healthy, profitable and easy to coordinate.

The Parent Group Association (PGA) at St Macartan’s Parish Primary School on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, produced a winning idea this year – the St Mac’s Apple Drive.

The St Mac’s Apple Drive builds on several initiatives at the school to promote healthy eating, including a set break every morning for children to snack on fruit and vegetables, healthy lifestyles and fresh food inquiry units, farm and supermarket excursions, and the provision of free fruit donated by a local supermarket (see Fresh fruit for kids at school: Small changes make a big difference).

St Mac’s Apple Drive

In March 2022, the PGA partnered with a school family-owned business, Torello Farm, to run a St Mac’s Apple Drive. A healthy fundraiser with apples, not chocolate!

The fundraiser involved selling new season Akane apples – these apples are the perfect size for lunchboxes.

The inaugural St Mac’s Apple Drive was positively received by the school community – parents loved the idea and got behind it by purchasing apples. It was a success in terms of:

  • Supporting healthy eating and a healthy school culture
  • Bringing families affordable, local produce – the apples were grown less than 20km from school!
  • Making a profit for the school. The PGA purchased 2 kg apple bags for $4 and sold them for $5, making $1 profit per bag.
  • Supporting a school family-owned business.

After evaluating the success and positive impacts of the fundraiser, the PGA are keen to run an Apple Drive annually to coincide with the apple season, and extend it to include strawberries next year. We are always looking for innovative and sustainable ways to fundraise and build community connections.

Tips for organising school fundraisers

  • Tip 1 – Consider products that are:
    • Healthy – delicious and nutritious!
    • Affordable and can be purchased in bulk
    • Able to generate a profit while being competitively priced when reselling
    • Produced locally and sustainably
    • Every day, popular products that families need and regularly purchase
    • Purchased from businesses that are run and owned by school families.
  • Tip 2 – Align fundraising activity with school values; in this instance, the apples sourced from a local farm aligned with school values of health and sustainability.
  • Tip 3 – Align fundraising activity with school policies. Our fundraising activity was in line with the following policies:
    • Education for Sustainability Rubric
    • St Macartan’s Sustainability Policy
    • School Environment Management Plan and green purchasing policy
    • Sustainable Events and Purchasing Checklist.
  • Tip 4 – Consider partnerships with school family. St Mac’s have a school business and service directory that lists school family-run and owned businesses; this directory helps the PGA to identify potential partners, and more generally, supports and connects our school community.
  • Tip 5 – Make it easy for parents:
    • Use existing school purchasing platforms (e.g. Flexischools) to list and products
    • Deliver fundraising items to the classroom for students to take home
    • Promote and sell the product for at least one month, so busy families have enough time to get involved.

More information on healthy school fundraisers

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