A Fresh Approach to Fundraising

by Meikel, Rachael

For other parents out there struggling with the dilemma of unhealthy fundraisers I wanted to share my story.

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This is a big story. For several years I have been coordinating the working bees at my children’s school. When I was asked to come on the fundraising committee I saw an opportunity to not only raise money for my grounds projects, but also banish the traditional ‘lard in bread’ a.k.a sausage sizzle.

How did I do this?

In terms of getting the fundraising committee buy in, surprisingly it wasn’t that hard. Philosophically they wanted healthier options at the school, and once I convinced them ‘Fresh Friday’ (yes, that’s what we branded it!) could be just as profitable, they were in!

Agreeably I had a slight advantage. My father is a market gardener and therefore by tapping into ‘Grandad’ I was able to source the fresh seasonal produce to sell (however, with us based in Wellington and Granddad based in the Waikato this has meant we have paid a bit in freight and are consequently looking at sourcing our produce from Levin).

What do we sell and what do we make?

One of the keys to making this a success was purchasing less perishable fruit and vegetables e.g. corn, baby carrots and beats, blueberries etc. We are a relatively small school with around 300 pupils, and each week we make between $100-200. Friday Fresh, runs from 2:20-3pm and we usually have cues out the door. Fruit and vegetables are priced below supermarkets, so essentially it’s like a local market but with the profit being returned to the school. It’s a win win for parents, no extra trips to the supermarket or market, they can pick it up when they pick up their kids.

What are my tips for other parents?

  • If you do need to source your produce out of town, make sure you cost freight into your pricing. 
  • Talk to a local grower or person at your local market and see if they are willing to supply to produce.
  • Get creative with your marketing! We even had a year 7 student who came up with ideas to market Friday Fresh as a project. The stall is advertised weekly in the school newsletter, we also write advertisements in chalk on the foot paths.
  • For working parents who can’t make the stall, we encourage them to email us before hand with their orders and to extend our market we have encouraged school families to ask their neighbours if they have any orders.
  • Sweet Corn makes a great fundraiser at lunch time and school fairs. Sell it hot by the cob, kids love it!