When you need to raise funds quickly and effectively with minimum cost and fuss, a fundraising calendar can be the solution. As with fundraising cookbooks, there are two main types of calendars, those made or designed by yourself, and those made by a company.
There are good reasons for choosing one over the other and overall it comes down to how much effort and time you are willing to invest before raising the money, such as for printing costs.
The best way to get a good price is simply to buy in bulk, however there is a balance between the number of calendars you can sell, and their price. Don’t buy a thousand cheaply if you can only sell six hundred, as long as you follow these simple rules you should be fine.
If on the other hand you decide to make your own calendar, you will have to have a small amount of money as an investment. The key to making a best seller calendar and raising money for your school is to get pictures of local areas, monuments and people.
You can ask for students or parents to take the picture or even make them out of art created by the students. An excellent way to promote the calendar is to hold a competition, this gets you both great art and great publicity and this means more money.
Don’t forget timing is all important, no one buys a calendar in June, and they make great Christmas presents.
Café Press gives you the flexibility of offering calendars to your supporters one by one. That is, they’ll print as many calendars as your supporters order – no over or under ordering, and no waste.
And you can supplement your calendar fundraiser with lots of other products too. Your supporters can buy t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs and all sorts of other products that are adorned with your group’s logo or slogan…or anything you wish.
They provide you a free online store, which you then share with everyone you know. You set the price for all items in your store. There is a base price for all items and your profit is the difference between the base price and the price you sell the items (calendars, etc.) for.
If you already know how many items you plan to sell (e.g., the members of a sports team) they’ll give you huge discounts on orders of 15 or more of an item.
Have a penchant for the risqué? How about a nude fundraising calendar ?
What others say…
Our Pets, Our Year
As the adviser of the Student Government Organization at the high school where I teach, I helped the students brainstorm a calendar fundraiser to earn money in memoriam of a student who had died tragically in a car accident.
The school wanted to purchase a gazebo in her name, and the SGO wanted to help! So, we decided to promote a fun calendar fundraiser to add to the monies.
My SGO officers tossed around different ideas concerning what images should be the main feature in the calendar, as well as how to generate enough interest from potential buyers. We decided to have a “My Pet is a Calendar Pin-Up” contest, for which staff and students could submit a photo of their beloved pets to be considered for one of the twelve month calendar features.
What a fun contest this was!
We advertised and got so many interesting submissions, including pictures of turtles, a hedgehog, snakes, birds, a pig, and-of course-furry friends like dogs and cats.
Judges selected the best photos and we featured the twelve winning pets in our calendar which we called “Our Pets, Our Year.”
We sold out the $12 calendar on the first run (of 100 copies) and ended up selling a total of 232 calendars! We earned a record $1392 after paying the publisher the $6 per calendar fee.
The best thing to do when promoting any fundraiser is to really generate the hype with some festive, colorful advertising. We went to local businesses who were more than happy to support this school’s cause. Have your students spread the word–my officers created a web banner that we posted on the school website, as well as on a Facebook group.
Through my officers’ ingenuity, we were able to contribute to a beautiful memorial that will serve the students for years to come.
Calendars for Art Club
In our art club one year, our group leader decided that it was time to do an interesting fundraising event. She was tired of all the chocolate, flowers, and magazine events so at this specific time, she decided to do something a little different.She gathered the group together for a meeting and explained to all of us that we will be doing a calendar event. Whoever sold the most calendars got a prize.
All of the money collected went towards our art supplies as well as an art fair trip that we all wanted to take.
Surprisingly enough, it was very easy to sell calendars. Our group leader paired with a sponsor and we were given a packet that had different calendar designs on it. Almost everyone wanted to help out with the cause, and they wanted a new calendar for next year, so they all ended up chipping in.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the one who raised the most, but another group member did. I don’t remember the exact amount we raised, but I can say we did get new art supplies and we did get to go to the given art fair.
My advice for when doing a calendar fundraiser, do it at a time where people have options for the next year calendar.
Band Marches to Orlando with Calendar Sales
My son’s high school band was in its infancy. The high school, located in Memphis, Tn was only three years old and had less than 100 band members.
The band wanted to participate in a band contest in Orlando, Florida over the winter holiday break. The cost for each student was $750.00.
We knew we needed a big fundraiser but everyone was selling cookie dough, Christmas paper, candy and magazines. Let’s face it, there are only so many magazines you can read, paper you need and candy and cookies you can eat.
After looking at what seemed like hundreds of ideas, we decided to create our own calendar. We wanted to give the kids equal time in the calendar and bring them front and center (not lost in a group photo). Also, this would make the calendar a must have for grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles!
We decided on a 16 month calendar and needed 18 pages of pictures. One page was dedicated to the band director and guest instructors (they need a calendar also!). Each section selected a month and dressed for it. For example, the percussion section chose Halloween and dressed in costumes.
The front of the calendar was a group photo and each month included band activities so parents, grandparents and patrons of the band would know all our upcoming events.
We sold the calendars at high school/band events, the local fall festival and asked local retailers to sell them in their stores.
The calendar was such a big success, we had requests from parents and businesses the next year to produce another one!