Healthy school fundraising ideas to fatten the bank account - not the waistline

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 04 March 2013.
Tagged: balanced diet, children, chocolate, healthy kids, junk food, kids, overweight, school lunch, snacks

Healthy school fundraising ideas to fatten the bank account - not the waistline

I first wrote about how I hated selling chocolate to raise money for our kids’ school back in 2008 and it really hit a nerve with my readers. I used to get so angry when one of our children would arrive home with a huge box of chocolate bars for me to sell. Once I clapped my eyes on that familiar box (with its soft-sell message of “fundraising chocolate” on each bar), I’d feel my blood pressure start to shoot up! Not many things upset me but this is one that’s guaranteed to make my blood boil!

Why I’m against fundraising chocolate

I know many of you agree with me about the use of chocolate as a fundraising tool. Here we are trying to feed our kids healthy diets; improve tuck shop offerings and reduce childhood obesity and then the school/P&C sanctions the sale of a high fat, high sugar food in the name of fundraising!

Every parent knows how crucial fundraising is these days. Whether your child goes to a public or a private school, there’s never enough money to buy all the library books or computer equipment or sporting gear the kids need. Parents need to generate the extra themselves.

I’m happy to do my bit but there’s no way I’m going to sell something unhealthy to my friends and neighbours, not when more than half the population is struggling with their weight and a fair percentage of our kids are too hefty as well. Not to mention that we don’t need any incentive to consume more junk food.

Calling all fundraising committees

Chocolate has long been an easy vehicle for fundraising. It keeps for weeks without refrigeration; it’s easy to carry; and everyone loves a treat. But, how many of you have kept the chocolate yourselves and just paid the whole sum to your school? Then ended up eating more chocolate than you needed over the next few weeks? Ditto for doughnuts.

Fundraising chocolate isn’t the Win/Win situation the chocolate companies would have you believe. It’s actually a win for them but a no-win for your family’s health.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-chocolate. But I won’t sell it under the guise of helping out the school. If you want it, just buy yourself some.

So how about selling something that’s healthy AND useful to raise funds? That would certainly make it easier for me to sell and easier for my friends to buy.

7 ideas for healthy fundraising for kids

Here are 7  healthier alternatives for your committee to ponder:

1. Sunblock

Sell small tubes or roll-ons or larger pump packs of SPF50+ sunblock instead of chocolate. Made in Australia, keeps well and every family always needs more! You make a good profit with each one sold. For more information, click here.

2. Apple Slinky

Apple Peeler Corer Slicer 1An Apple Slinky or Spiral machine is a fun way of giving a boring apple a new lease of life. It cores, slices and peels an apple with a few turns of the crank handle so you effortlessly get a long apple spiral. School canteens have found them a winner in encouraging kids to enjoy fruit again. Also suitable for other firm fruits such as pears or nashi.

The Slinkys cost $25 each for bulk order of 12 peelers OR $38 for single peelers delivered within Australia  from Apple Slinky or homewares stores such as Kitchenware Direct who charge $29.95 with shipping of $10 flat for orders under $100 or free shipping over $100.

 3. Glow sticks

All kids LOVE glow sticks, those glow-in-the-dark mesmerizing fluoro plastic tubes and nowadays there are so many other glowing products such as badges, bracelets, wands and more. You can find more information here.

Fundraiser Glow Sticks

4. Kid-designed greeting cards and calendars

Earn oodles from your kids doodles! These great cards come with pictures drawn by your kids. Check them out here.

5. Ideas from the Parents' Voice

Formerly the Parents Jury, this group regularly voices concerns about children’s foods and their website has a range of fundraising resources including:

Resources for healthy fundraising

Healthy Fundraising Ideas from the NSW Cancer Council

Healthy fundraising directory

Healthy fundraising ideas from the NSW Healthy Kids Association

Fellow Dietitian, Sharon Allsopp, from Step Bite Step Pty Ltd, has kindly sent me the following list of websites for you to use for your next fundraiser. Thanks SHARON!

6. Labels Labels Stuck On You

Consider making inroads into your school’s lost property by fundraising with one of these label making businesses:

Stuck on You

Identikid

7. Everyday Hero

No more paper sponsorship forms. Online fundraising is an easy way for schools to raise money for sponsored events or campaigns such as read-a-thons, swim-a-thons or walk-a-thons.

Your supporters create online fundraising pages which they can email to friends and family. Supporters pay online via credit card or offline via BPAY, EFTPOS, cash or cheque through Australia Post stores nationally. Everyday Hero collects the donations and pays them directly into your bank account. Click here for more information.

Have you got a fundraising idea that’s good for you?  

Let me know via the Comments below OR the Contact Form and I’ll publicise it.  Remember there are heaps more options than chocolate or doughnuts!

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Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Nutrition for Life 2020 Edition is a fresh new update on all the things you've read about or heard in the last year. Think insects, collagen, vegan eating, Keto dieting, vitamin B12, fast food and cafe culture.  It has plenty of colour pictures and is easy to dip in and out of. Grab your copy NOW!