As schools try to balance their budgets while keeping up with always-increasing expenses, they are looking more to families and parent-teacher organizations to help with school supplies, field trips and other programs. Doing a little can sometimes go a long way. Below are some funding ideas that you can do on a regular basis that will contribute to your kids’ schools without digging into the family’s own monthly budget. Bonus: You will feel good about what you are doing.
1. Collect those Box Tops. You see them on packaging from tissue to yogurt to flour to granola bars. Each Box Top is equivalent to 10 cents. The question becomes, is 10 cents really going to do any good? Yes. If every student on average collected just 10 Box Tops a month, your school would collect thousands of dollars every year (depending on number of students in the school). Many schools have a Box Top coordinator that collects and redeems the Box Tops. If your school doesn’t have a collection program, it’s very easy to get one started. Go to Box Tops 4 Education for more information.
2. Use Goodsearch and Goodshop. Goodsearch is a search engine from Yahoo that pays your charity of choice one penny for every search you do on the web. How many searches on Google or Bing does your family do each day? Each week? If you make Goodsearch your homepage and try searching with Goodsearch first, the money you earn will be donated to your designated charity. Plus, if your family makes online purchases, switch over to Goodshop as your online shopping source. For every retailer on Goodshop, (including Amazon, Best Buy, Expedia, Travelocity, Walmart, etc.) a percentage of each purchase is donated to your charity of choice. If you are buying something online anyway, why not have your local school benefit?
3. Choose a School Charity with the Target REDcard. For no extra cost all Target REDcard holders can designate their favorite school under Target’s Take Charge of Education program. Target will then donate up to 1% of all REDcard purchases made to your school of choice. If you shop at Target anyway, it makes sense to get its card and then take a few minutes to choose a designated school online. At one parent meeting, our local school principal announced that he received a $2,000 check in the mail from Target. It will add up and your school will benefit.
4. Donate My Coke Rewards to your kids’ school. If you drink Coke products including Dasani water, Powerade and Fuze, you can earn points toward rewards by entering the code from each product through the My Coke Rewards program. Codes are located under caps and inside the tear-off on 12-packs and multipacks. Donate the points to the school of your choice through My Coke Rewards for Schools. Points are converted to cash and sent to schools in quarterly payments that allow schools to purchase equipment for sports, school supplies and technology. Some schools have a My Coke Rewards coordinator who will collect product codes and enter the information for you on behalf of the school. How much your school participates will vary depending on school.
5. Recycle drink pouches through TerraCycle. Help eliminate drink-pouch waste, while at the same time earning money for your school through the TerraCycle Drink Pouch recycling program. Participation is free and shipping is covered. Collect empty kids’ drink pouches (Capri Sun, Honest Kids, Kool Aid, Minute Maid, etc.). Once you have enough for a shipment, download the free shipping label and send them off to TerraCycle. TerraCycle will then reward you with either 2 or 3 points per pouch, depending on how many pouches you sent. The larger the shipment, the more points you earn. The points can be redeemed by your designated school and turned into cash.