Even the simplest prom can be an expensive affair that requires prom fundraising ideas to make it affordable for students. From hiring a professional disc jockey to decorating your school gym or other venue, the costs to create the prom of your dreams can really add up. There are many different ways to raise money to cover the expenses of prom.
List of Prom Fundraising Ideas
You'll want to get an early start on your prom fundraising ideas. If your prom is in April, the prom committee shouldn't wait until March to start raising money. Ideally, you will start raising money from the first day of school up through time for prom.
- Class Dues - If your goal as a prom committee is to reduce the overall cost of prom for students, collecting class dues throughout the year can work wonders. Although the cost of the prom ticket will still be the same, that cost will be spread out across several payments, making it less painful for students on a budget. Your committee will also be able to quickly see if anyone is having trouble coming up with money for prom and can seek out sponsors or scholarships for those students. Only collect class dues from those students who will attend prom. If your school hosts a junior/senior prom, then collect the dues from the junior and senior class. You might have a $15 payment due in September, one in October, another in January and a final payment for the balance due upon buying tickets, for example. You can split up the payments in whatever way makes sense for your student body.
- Bake Sale - When trying to raise money to pay for some of the expenses of decorating and putting on a prom, you'll want to look at fundraising ideas like a bake sale. Seek donated baked items from local church women's groups and parents of students at your school. Try to think of a location that gets a lot of traffic in your area on a Saturday morning, and approach the business or organization to see if you can set up a small table selling baked goods for a cause. For example, a local bank might be an ideal location. Another popular bake sale site is in front of a grocery store.
- Car Wash - Car washes are a time-tested tradition for raising money. You'll want to hold the car wash in the late summer or early fall, when the weather is still warm. The best way to make money from this endeavor is to get the word out. Send flyers home with every student in the school, and invite parents to come to the car wash and make a donation. Write up a short piece for local free weekly papers, and ask them to announce your car wash. Most will do this for free. Hang flyers up at the local grocery store, library, post office, laundry mat and anywhere else that has a bulletin board.
- Candy - Boxes of candy can be purchased in bulk from companies or at places like GFS and Sam's Club. Ask each student to sell one or two boxes of candy. These funds could either be used for a decorating budget or could apply to the cost individual students might need to cover their ticket expenses.
Get the Entire School Involved
Fundraisers are much more effective if everyone in the school gets excited and involved in helping to raise money. Events like bake sales, silent auctions and dinners will attract a lot more people if the maximum number of students possible are telling their family and friends about the event. Although underclassmen may not be excited about a prom they can't attend, they might get excited about a family fun night fundraiser or a spaghetti dinner at the school.
Fundraising from Local Businesses
If you need to pull in more money than you think the above prom fundraising ideas will provide, another option is to seek out donations from local businesses. Start by writing a letter explaining your financial need and specifically what the donated funds will be used for. Keep in mind that the business will be more likely to help if there is some form of advertising involved for the business. For example, most proms have a schedule of events brochure. You could put sponsors on the back page of that brochure. Another option is to add small, tasteful banners at the front of the room on the stage area. Also offer to mention the business during announcements. No matter how you plan to raise the funds you need for prom, with a little pre-planning and diligence, you should be able to put on a dream prom that will please everyone involved.