50+ Ways to Raise $$$ for Technology

from Educators' eZine

(With thanks to Texas Instruments)

Educators were asked to send in their best ideas for helping students obtain their own technology - and the result is that fifty of them are here. Some are tried-and-true and some are unique. Take a look at some of the great ideas and add yours in the Comments box.

Educators from across the country have sent us hundreds of great ideas for helping their students obtain the technology that will help them succeed throughout their education.

Take a look at some of the great ideas we've received.

  • Arrange local business sponsorship - when a business sponsors a graphing calculator, print their logo on GraphiTI and put it on the sponsored calculator.
  • Put on a "dancing with the stars" contest, pairing students with teachers or administrators. Invite the student body and community to come to the event and vote on favorites. Each vote costs $1.
  • Set up a payment plan for students to pay a certain amount per month. By the end of the year they have enough money to pay for a new graphing calculator.
  • Put on a bake sale.
  • Have a "hat day' when students pay a small fee to wear a hat to school. All proceeds go toward purchasing technology.
  • Host a math competition where each team pays an entry fee for the chance to compete.
  • Hold a "math-a-thon." Students find sponsors who pledge a cash contribution for each correct answer.
  • Hold a series of math contests. Each student pays $1 to enter and compete. Typical contests can include a "Pi-Off" where students have 3 minutes 14 seconds to write as many digits of pi as they can; a board game tournament; a scavenger hunt; and a math and physics challenge.
  • Ask community and service organizations to sponsor individual graphing calculators for students.
  • Start a math club and have club members sell pencils between class periods.
  • Hold a car wash to support learning technology purchases.
  • Partner with a local business and designate special days when the business donates a percentage of their sales to the math club.
  • Hold a trivia contest with one moderator, 100 questions and an unlimited number of teams of 5-10 student players each. Have local businesses sponsor a round of 10 questions at $10 per student player or $100 per round. Donations can be taken at the door, and local businesses can be represented with door prizes.
  • Sell coupon books from local stores. Contact the stores about offering their own coupon to appear in the coupon book. Print the books and sell them for profit.
  • Apply for grants from federal, state and local organizations.
  • Collect donations from parents or other groups, and then hold a silent auction.
  • Have a "calculator bash" where students purchase chances to "bash" an old calculator with a hammer. Students pay for the number of hits they are allowed and the type of calculator they get to "bash."
  • Collect old inkjet cartridges from school and bring them to OfficeMax, which offers a $3 credit per cartridge toward store merchandise.
  • Ask your school administration for funds. Many educators overlook this simple, direct approach.
  • Hold a school-wide garage sale.
  • Put on a "Candy Canes for Calculators" event. In December, many stores have sales on candy canes. Purchase several boxes and sell them for 50¢ each to students before lunch and at breaks. Use the profits to purchase graphing calculators.
  • Prepare individual envelopes for your students so they can save their spare change on a weekly or daily basis. Students should have enough set aside by the end of the year to purchase their own graphing calculators.
  • Hold a "parent-student-teacher calculator-computer night." Students and parents rotate between three sites: the computer lab, a TI-30XS MultiView™scientific calculator and a TI-84 Plus Silver Edition graphing calculator. Students must pre-register, and each is given a folder with hands-on activities, current prices of calculators at local stores, and request-for-POP labels for TI's Volume Purchase Program (VPP).
  • Give your students ideas for things they can make to sell, such as key chains or flip-flops they can decorate.
  • If your school pays a group to help clean up the football stadium after a Friday night game, ask a group of your students to volunteer.
  • Have your high school students host "Family Math Night" for 4th and 5th grade families. Each family pays a small registration fee for the evening, and the proceeds are used to purchase technology.
  • Sell items to your students such as snacks or supplies, and use the money to purchase technology for those that cannot afford it.
  • Hold a "Pi Festival." Activities can include selling whole pies or slices and "pi-ing" your favorite teacher or administrator.
  • Offer to help get math tutoring jobs at $10 per hour for any student who still needs to purchase a graphing calculator.
  • Contact all graduates of your school for the past 25 years, asking them to contribute a graphing calculator to the school to celebrate its success in education. Engrave the graduate's name, graduation year and current career field on the graphing calculator in appreciation for their contribution.
  • Partner with a local restaurant to sell gift certificates at face value, with a percentage given to your math club.
  • Ask your school administration if any unused end-of-year funds can be applied to purchase technology.
  • Save Campbell's soup labels to redeem for technology. Visit Campbell's Web site for information.
  • Have students bring in "Box Tops for Education" coupons and turn them in to receive money for technology purchases.
  • Set up a biology project where you extract a student's DNA using Gatorade, alcohol, and other solvents. The DNA can be sealed in a pendant and sold as a fundraising project to buy technology for science class.
  • Have teachers put on a karaoke fundraiser. Ask students to make a donation to come and see their teachers "make fools of themselves." Raise even more funds by having the students bid on songs they would like to have their teachers sing (with appropriate lyrics).
  • Have students put on a soft drink can drive to raise money for technology. Keep a crate in your classroom for can collection. Give the cans to students who need help for technology purchases. You can also organize a can drive where students go into the community to collect soft drink cans. Notify local radio stations to let the community know you will be having a can drive.
  • Hold a student auction where the students are auctioned off to provide services to community members, such as raking leaves, washing windows and mowing lawns. Be sure to set reasonable limits: for example, one lawn mowing or one afternoon (2-3 hours) raking leaves.
  • Turn in proofs-of-purchase to TI's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to redeem for technology.
  • Hold an iPod or MP3 player raffle.
  • Sponsor a "Mr. GQ" contest. The boys pay $20 to enter a pageant-style production featuring formal wear, talent and dance. Charge $5 to see the show. You can also include a "People's Choice" award, where audience members pay $1 to vote for their favorite. All proceeds go toward technology purchases.
  • Host a "math carnival" with math-related booths, including activities such as puzzles and logic races. Have your students develop ideas for the booth that will allow them to use their analytical and problem-solving skills. Charge an entry fee and set up a booth for donations to your technology fund.
  • Present technology to parents and students as a required school supply that they must purchase, not as an optional "luxury item."
  • Have each class engage in "penny wars" where they toss their loose change into a jar each day. The winning class could be rewarded with some sort of prize (candy or soft drinks), with the rest of the money going toward technology purchases.
  • Establish a "Techno-Math Sponsorship Program." Local businesses, organizations and grandparents often have funds available for sports sponsorships - approach them for an academic sponsorship instead. Provide each student with a letter for sponsors explaining the program. Students find a sponsor willing to buy a graphing calculator for them if they meet certain academic criteria throughout the school year. Draw up a contract between the two parties, and once the contract is fulfilled, the sponsor provides the graphing calculator. This program will help students understand the importance of setting goals and achieving academically.
  • Have T-shirts made by a local shirt shop and sell them to students.
  • Hold a submarine sandwich sale by having local restaurants, food distributors and grocery stores donate all of the food. Have your students work together on an assembly line to put the sandwiches together. All profits go to purchasing technology.
  • Sponsor a "Pi Day" event on March 14th to raise money. In the weeks before, your students take pre-orders from school and community members for different kinds of pies. Students can bake the pies with the help of you school's foods and nutrition teacher, or arrange for local bakeries to donate pies to the event.
  • Have your math club organize a fundraiser featuring a free car wash for solving selected math problems. Other ideas include baked goods for better brains and packets to help children learn math. Packets can be created for grades K-5 and divided into topics such as Math in the Kitchen, Math on the Go, Math at the Grocery Store, Math in the Home, and Math for Fun.
  • Arrange to provide and sell food at local auctions in your community. Local auctioneers often allow groups to do this.
  • Have your science department put on a brochure sale in the fall, partnering with a school supplies company.
  • Sell banner rights for a semester or school year on long sections of fence on your school property or around your football stadium.
  • Allow students to enter a contract with the school to work various jobs on campus. Set a number of hours that a student would have to perform odd jobs around the school to "pay" for their graphing calculator.

Email:Kylie Taylor