Ever thought about eco-friendly fundraising? It’s possible

With the current economy and budget cuts, school fundraisers are fundamental – a lifeline keeping important activities afloat.  

Candy, gift-wrapping and magazine subscriptions are generally top fundraising choices. Yet there are eco-friendly, creative, even yummy choices that could support schools being even more successful. 

Surveying local schools, I found many have on-going recycling programs. One is considering growing strawberry plants and selling the fruit next year. Only one elementary school offered any eco-friendly products as a fundraiser. One teacher uses the Staple Free Stapler by Wrapables for her classroom fundraisers. She sells them at the school store,and gives them to other teachers.   

There are other green products that schools or organizations might consider for their next fundraisers.   

Creative Toyshop 

Creative Toy Shop's imaginative toys make great fundraisers


Creative Toy Shop owner Martina McConnon started doing fundraisers because she rarely found eco-friendly products at her children’s schools.“Many of the products offered produce a lot of waste (gift wrapping) or are unhealthy (cookies and other fattening foods),” she said. “You end up shopping reluctantly because you want to contribute to your schools’ fundraising efforts.”   

Most Creative Toyshop products are eco-friendly and usable. They include their imaginative cardboard Calafant line – different sized toys for different ages that are easily put together and even recycled. Another product line is Lunchskins, a great alternative to plastic sandwich bags.   

For fundraisers, McConnon supplies brochures, price lists, product displays for display tables, and ships samples to the schools, where tables can be set up to take orders. For online fundraising, she’ll set up a special code on her website where members of the school community can go to shop. Her company tracks all the sales made. At the end of each month of fundraising, the school will receive a check for 25% of money spent using that code.   

The fundraising “manager” receives three free Lunchskins as a “thank you”.   

“(Lots) of parents haven’t thought much about the environment,” McConnon said. They start being more aware when they see products you really use (that won’t add) to our landfills.”   

It’s important to offer green products, she said.   

For more about this fundraising program, see Creativetoyshop.     

ChicoBag Reusable Bags 

ChicoBag fundraisers include classroom curriculum about environmental awareness


With health problems at center stage, the ChicoBag™ fundraiser provides a healthy alternative to current fundraising practices. ChicoBag fundraisers are all-gain and no risk, helping fundraise and educate kids and participants about the importance of reusable bags. The program is specifically designed for schools and organizations looking to make a difference.    

Their program is simple. Pre-order from the palette of colors, styles and sizes of durable ChicoBag reusable bags you want to display. The company sends you order forms, brochures and quick facts, along with an ordering guide. The ChicoBag team provides resources to help your fundraiser succeed, including a classroom curriculum that will help teachers promote environmental awareness with students. The lesson plans meet California Content Standards and the National Science Education Standards.Requiring no money up-front, you can return any unsold bags. Best of all, your school keeps 50 percent of the funds from every bag sold!    

To find out more on this program, see Chicobag.com/fundraising.   

Dean’s Beans 

Dean's Beans will customize labels for your fundraiser


Seeing things his kids brought home for fundraising, Dean Cycon, founder & CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, wondered if it was possible to fundraise with products people actually used, and at a reasonable price.    

He felt kids should sell things with a positive ethical and environmental message. So he approached the local school about using organic, fair trade coffee and cocoa, while using the fundraiser to educate the kids.   

The program is now available to schools and organizations across the country.   

Whether it’s their one-pound coffee selections, their Java Chocolate Drops or their Hot Chocolate, Dean’s Beans will make custom labels with your school logo to encourage purchasers to participate in the fundraising. They’ll email a sheet with information about the products the students will be selling, along with customized order forms for them to use. They price products so schools can sell them for less than parents would pay for them at their local store.    

Cycon says they barely cover their costs but feels the program’s important. Schools get $3,00 per pound and get the money right away as they collect it. They send Dean’s Beans the rest (the company makes 25 cents).The kids are selling products in line with their parents and their values of fairness, respect and environmental consideration, says Cycon.   

For more on Dean’s Beans, see Deansbeans.com.    


CelebriDucks can turn any Ducky Derby into a green fundraiser


One of the biggest fundraisers in many areas is the Ducky Derby. Program managers might consider going “green” next year. CelebriDucks created the first “green” rubber duck made from recyclable materials that are safe for kids of all ages. L’Oreal recently used 500 green ducks for a Green Initiative.  

CelebriDucks even has their Green Regatta (their version of Ducky Derby). Translate that to your area and what a green wave that would be!    

For more on this, see Celebriducks.com.   

One Response

  1. Thats great.. never heard of it before, eco-friendly fund raising. You can do other charity work while being eco-friendly as well. @ http://www.greennbrown.com as you eco shop every 0.50 cents are donated to feed a child and curb hunger.

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