Here’s an easy and fun fundraising idea suitable for any school or other organization with different classes or groups to set up some competition. It’s called a penny drive. Each class or team competes against the all others. Each class decorates a large jar for their collections. The jars are set up in some accessible place, perhaps outside the school office. Be sure to arrange proper safeguards as necessary. The idea is to earn the most money for your class. Dollars count FOR your class. Once the competition gets going, you can raise quite a bit of money in small change, adding pennies to your own jar or silver to competitors. It’s great fundraising fun! Every class comes out a winner. Last place classes get ice cream cones as prizes. The Second place class receives a sundae with whipped cream, syrup, bananas, the works! The class in first place wins a pizza party and sundaes!
Variation 1: A school ‘penny war” with the classrooms competing against each other. Jars are placed out side of each classroom at the start of the day and end of the day, with someone monitoring of course. For every penny added to the jar a classroom would receive one point. Every nickel, dime, quarter, added and the class lost points according to the value of the coin. A dollar in the jar and the class lost 100 points. Kids are allowed to place coins and dollars in any jar they want, so they could make a classroom with the most points that day lose points by placing everything but pennies in the jar. Points are posted every day and the money collected in the office at the end of the day where student helpers wrap pennies, nickels, dimes and so forth. At the end of the nine week period, the class with the most points wins a popcorn/movie party. This can be done in elementary schools but for secondary, it works best if the competing classes are all homerooms. Easy way to raise money for the school, with no cash outlay.
Variation 2: You put one jar in a room for each grade. The jars are used to collect monetary contributions. For every $.10 you award one link in a chain. Each link is a strip of paper cut out and then the ends are stapled forming a circle. Each grade must have a separate color, so that when you hang the chains they can see what grade is winning. It is a great way to make money and the competition level is usually real high.
Variation 3: Have the whole congregation bring in their spare change and keep track of it somewhere (maybe 5 gallon water jugs in the back of the sanctuary). Think of a way to get people competing for weight (pennies are better) and/or for amount (dimes are better). Allow people to put in bills, but take them to a bank and get change. Have a huge change counting party. (A goal may be 5 pounds of change per youth, or the ministers weight in change).
Variation 4: Divide your group into two teams. Give each team a large container and tell them that the group with the most pennies in their container one or two weeks before the event will be declared the winner. The losing team must serve the winners at a special dinner in their honor. The two teams can get pennies from anyone (people in church, school, parents, friends, etc.). You could also do this with nickels, dimes or quarters.
Sources: The Perpetual Preschool (Upland, California) , Teach-nology (Slate Hill, New York),
Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (Chester Springs, Pennsylvania), and Close to You, Inc. (Gillette, Wyoming)