Child Care Fundraising Do’s and Dont’s


Fundraising can be a viable way to pay for some of the costs associated with running your child care center without increasing tuition. Parents have come to expect occasional fundraisers, but you will be able to earn more money with careful planning, rather than catching parents off guard.

Do Specify What You Use the Money For

People feel much happier when they know you are trying to hit a specific fundraising goal and if they know how you will use the money. Let families know that you are trying to raise $10,000 for new playground equipment or $3,000 for art supplies. The amount should sound doable based on the size of your center, and tying it in with something that the parents will want for their children makes them more eager to donate.

Don’t Keep Your Finances Hidden

If the center received $20,000 through fundraising efforts last year, but parents don’t know what the center did with the money, they may be reluctant to help with this year’s efforts. Even if the money is going toward things like building repairs or teacher pay increases, parents want to know how it is being spent. Be transparent with families at your center.

Do Offer Something Valuable for the Donation

People are often more likely to donate if they get something in return for the donation. This is why companies often have products that organizations can use for fundraisers. Unfortunately, parents can get overwhelmed by the pressure to buy overpriced products they don’t really need. Rather than asking parents to sell things, ask local businesses to donate items. You can then auction them of in a silent auction or hold a raffle to win these prizes.

Don’t Ask for Cash Donations All the Time

Some parents would rather write a check to the school than participate in other types of fundraisers, but many families have a hard time making cash donations when they already pay the monthly tuition. Try to mix things up a so every family feels they can participate.

Do Plan Yearly Fundraisers

Parents like to know when to expect fundraisers so that they can plan ahead. For instance, selling items with children’s pictures or artwork on them can make a great fundraiser just before the holidays, but you need to start this early enough so people will have enough time to receive the items, especially if parents need to ship them. 

Don’t Offer One Fundraiser After the Other

It’s probably better to do one or two well-planned fundraisers throughout the year than it is to do a new one each month. Frequently offering new fundraisers can lead to burn-out and feelings of resentment. No parent wants the pressure of constantly fundraising for their child’s day care center.

When it comes to fundraising, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to the methods that work. Track success rates and stick with the methods you know parents like. That way, they may actually look forward to the annual fundraiser.