• toner recycling
  • sell school supplies (pencils, pens, post-its, posterboards, book covers)
  • recycle cans and bottles
  • ask for donations
  • host a book fair
  • wish list on, Amazon Associates account makes 4% back on any purchase made through your advertised link
  • hold a book donation drive and trade in unusables at a used book store
  • Amazon Associates

Resources on the Web: (Nascar Foundation) (American Diabetes foundation)

These fundraising ideas were posted to CALIB:
Our Book Club held it's first Library Cafe ("Starbooks") fund raiser this week. We have been on finals schedule the last two days so we sold coffee, hot chocolate, instant cappuccino, and muffins before school. We had a 1/2 price sale after school today. We set up near the back door and sold inside and outside to the skater crowd that hangs out behind the library. We took in over $200 in less than 3 hours total. Profits worked out to around $125. A lot of kids were asking when we were going to do it again. We didn't have a single spilled drink in the library and only one cup left on a table (the faculty made a much bigger mess during our Toys for Tots luncheon yesterday). It was a lot of work but also lots of fun. The Book Clubbers really enjoyed it.
Tony Doyle, Teacher Librarian
Reviewer for School Library journal
Livingston High School

One activity I did at an elementary school was sell hot chocolate during the month of February. I might try mochas or lattes and call it ♥ your school library a latte. I saw this idea somewhere else. The hot chocolate at the elementary level raised over 900 dollars and I was able to buy a desktop copy machine.

I have an Adopt-a-Book campaign at all our elementary libraries. We put out a cart of new library books at Back to School Night and let parents "adopt" one or more of them at $20.00 each. For $20.00, they get their child's name on our custom designed book plate in the front of the book and their child is the first to be able to check out the book. We raised about $1,000 at most of our schools where we did this. Some of our schools are title 1 and we charged less ($10.00) but it didn't do so well, not surprisingly. We also do Scholastic Book Fairs.

I'm in the process of doing a "Dinner and a Book" fundraiser where students and their families come to eat at Rubio's and then hop on over to Barnes and Noble for a story time (you could maybe do a book signing) and to buy books. We get a percentage of the sales from both companies. Last year, I just did the B&N thing and in just a few short hours we had $400. We're doing it a Rubio's location that is in the same mall as the Barnes and Noble so it's convenient for everybody.

We made between $300.00 to $500.00 doing a once a month aluminum can and water bottle recycling program. All of the proceeds went to the library. The hard part is finding a few trustworthy parents with trucks to bring it all to the recycling center. They usually come back with cash and it all goes into the library fund for books. The kids love the ownership of generating funding for more books and it instills in them the need to improve our environment too.

A Penny War

In the weekly e-mail bulletin home, request copies of needed books, i.e. Twilight or Eragon series….could be any requests. It has worked well.
Have parents from SLIP or SITE Council helping locate and write grants. They just submitted Laura Bush grant with some help from me.
Few years ago had a very successful fund raiser. The Rotary planned a car wash and two student groups collected pledges for the # of cars to be washed. We collected $7,000 in all. It was well publicized in the newspaper so we also received a couple $500 donations from small foundations and the Interact Club donated $2,000. But it all started with the car wash which only netted $1200.

I am in a middle school and recently held a “craft” lunch. I bought pre-packaged holiday crafts through Oriental Trading. I doubled the price and made my original money back, doubled. I am going to try it again for Valentine’s day. Also, I am going to try candle sales. I can send you the name of the company if you are interested. Our music department sells “smelcils.

It depends on your district. I have done lots of things – book fairs and then there is the Barnes and Nobel book fair where you get half or all of the profit from one night/day of sales. If you do a Scholastic book fair, you can get a good discount on the books that they have at the fair, or you can take your money in profit, or you can do a little of both. After years of getting to know my PTA, they have decided to make me a line item on their beginning of the year donations. I usually get about $4000.00 that way. I haven’t even checked the amount this year, but I have billed them already for about $1200.00. I also do birthday books – that maybe a bit young for you. I HAVE RAISED ALL MY MONEY FOR ABOUT 5 years, not counting the amount we get from the state, and usually spend around $12,000.00 a year. I put in lots of hours justifying my needs from SIP grants, to other grants, to just plain begging for more from our parents. I see my resources are declining as the economy goes down. I know in the past, student slave auctions have been successful. I charge for copies, and I have vending machines in my library that dispense pencils, pens, erasers, notepads. (A vender does this so that I do not have to worry about sales tax and license and I get about 80 - $100 a year that way).

We sell candy for a quarter (Airheads, Tootsie Pops, etc...) Raised $500 in the 1st semester. It's to help our volleyball team travel & compete, but after their trip it will be for the library and some new fiction here and there. It's not much, but every little bit helps to supplement the budget.

Additionally, there are 3 local malls that offer a "School Cents" program in our area, for receipts logged, special events, ewaste, etc... I picked up almost $1400 there last year.

Barnes & Noble offers a Book Fair, where you go to their store on a designated weekend and receive profits from your school's customers (they present a flyer at checkout)... haven't done this yet, but it's on my list.

At our book faire we sold bookmarks that the kids made and were suprised how much money they brought in. About a month or 6 weeks before the bookfair we had paper with the outline of a bookmark about 2" x 9" with a small round hole near one end. Kids name on it, and room. The kids colored them and wrote things like "Reading is Fun". After the due date, a group of parents judged them. About 20 winners were selected to be laminated at the Kinkos. They were on sale for about $1.50 and sold like wildfire. Who knew? Then, the following year we made them so that parents could pay ahead of time (to get their kids' laminated, gave out for holiday gifts) I can't rmember how much they paid, but if the idea interests you I could look it up. That guaranteed that their kids' would be laminated, but they weren't one of the 20 in the contest.

Do you have a FRIENDS of the School Library? In high school, a FRIENDS group is one academic way for parents to contribute to their child's success. H.S. generally has lots of athletic, music, and other booster clubs. Given the timing, you may want to launch a Friends group in February and have a "Library Lovers" celebration in the school library during the week of 2/9 - 2/13.
Funding is such a problem, and I don't know what will happen here at Lompoc with our positions, but I can tell you how we have generated some extra money. About three years ago my colleague Bea Reynolds recognized "gold" in a litter display I had made. She said, "You know Mary, there are a lot of recyclable materials in your display." She teamed up with CSF, and now the Drama Club, library TA's, a few student volunteers, and Bea and I work hard to pick up all the bottles and cans that students use here on the LHS campus. I go out during my lunch hour to pick up after the lunch crowd, and then throughout the week and on Friday's we have students who pick up the bottles from bins that are in classrooms. This program is called, "Recycle to Read," and I project that we will clear close to $3,000.00 this year. It has taken three years, but all the classrooms have bins now, and I get most of the bottles after lunch. There is a Special Education class that picks up the cans and bottles from the cafeteria and they also get the ones that are just left around on the patio after lunch. All this money goes for YA fiction. The first picks are the ones that kids recommend, but then we also are able to buy other good choices that we think they will like. It is a lot of work, but it does a lot of good.

I'm trying to get permission to hold a raffle for celebrity stand-ups, life size photographs of the Twilight movie stars.

I do a Sees Candy fundraiser for Valentine's Day. The theme is "We (insert heart graphic) Books". I let the students know that this money is only for new releases and books that students have requested. Very minimal time and man power needed. I have made anywhere from $900 to $1,500.
One thing I like to do is to go to back-to-school or open house, or wherever there are parents and kids and take a bunch of books that they can donate on the spot. We have a deal with our local independent book store that we can "borrow" the books overnight and return them after the event. We don't sell that many, but parents are pretty generous. We have book plates there for them to sign right away and offer them or their students the opportunity to be the first to check them out. Another school in our district does a similar thing at the holiday season, and uses it as as way to donate in someone else's name as a holiday present. Again, not so many books, but we have received 15-20 or so.

Don't forget grants, like the Target grant. Target told me that some of
their money is not awarded every year.

October: Boo-Grams
November: Turkey-Grams
December: Winter Wonder-Grams
January: Smencil Sales (from - they were at CSLA Convention)
February: I'll be doing Balloon sales, and our NJROTC will be selling flower-grams and donating the profit to our library
March: Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair
June: Graduation -Gram?

Our book club will be having a READATHON --- it works just like the other “athons” --- people donate a flat fee, or a per-page fee. We schedule a day (Saturday) to meet at the school library. We bring bean bags, sleeping bags, comfy clothes, snacks, music, and a stack of our favorite books. We read for 6 hours and collect the donations!

Have you looked into eScript?

We started selling school supplies this year in our high school library. We also put in a pencil machine. First, we asked the student store and the administration, of course, but since we do much of our business after school when the students are here to study, they were fine with it. I purchased all of the supplies in great quantity at the back-to-school sales at Target and Kmart and that way we have been able to keep the prices low and still make quite a bit of profit. Our biggest sellers: the colored pencils, 70-pg. spiral notebooks and stretchy book covers. The kids made this suggestion last year and they really do like the convenience.
If you have a Chevy’s or Round Table nearby, you might ask if they’ll sponsor a few “library nights” when they give the library 10 or 20% of sales if the purchasers give them a special coupon when they order. If you could make it once every other month and distribute coupons around campus, it is pretty low-effort. It also gets the word out to the community that your library is in need of more funds! Just a few ideas.

Last year I raised over $1,700 just by ASKING for money! (by including a form in beginning of the year school packet).

These Fundraising Ideas were posted to YALSABK

My former library offered movie programs and my TAB sold soda, candy and chips as a fundraiser. It was very simple to do and kids attending the movies were thrilled. (Not so sure about the parents...) If you belong to SAMs club or Costco, you can get the candy and chips very inexpensively. We also put the goodies in the staff break room and sold it on the honor system.

An alternative to a regular bake sale is a Little Caesar’s Pizza Kit sale: or a Chick-Fil-A cheesecake coupon. You sell the coupons and the patrons go to Chick-Fil-A to pick-up their cheesecake.

How about a block party? Your TAB could sell baked goods, CD's, and
books for inexpensive amounts. They could also advertise any talents
they have like face-painting, creative dramatics, have a poetry slam.
The TAB could perhaps get the local businesses involved to help. They
could charge a $2.00 fee for people attending the event.

Another good idea would be "teen field trips," like a trip to see a play, or go to a movie, or to a specific museum event and charge a small fee for the event. Parents love to have their kids supervised and doing something productive and that could be a potentially easy event to arrange.

Tutoring also...for istance, I'm at a small library and don't have homework help for free or library "tutors" so maybe teens from my advisory board could tutor younger kids for an hour and the proceeds would go towards the library. They would get the volunteer hours so everyone wins.

I'm having a "Twilight themed Ball" this spring where teens come to the library dressed as their favorite Twilight characters and partake in games, etc. You could easily charge ten dollars for the event and that would be a great money maker.

Also, a program that is popular are cooking demonstration classes. Have somone demonstrate how to make--let's say fondue--and then have a tasting afterwards. We charge twenty dollars (includes the cost of food) and they are very popular. Mostly with adults but the teens could sponsor it.

Another one we have is a ladies tea luncheon that the teen department could sponsor in which our lady library patrons have tea and lunch and the teens serve them. Could be a great fundraiser. A bake sale that would include gluten free and natural products might go over well (unusual items, etc).A teen sponsored garage sale (who doesn't want that junk out of their house)??A teen fashion show and charge ten dollars a ticket. Have community businesses engage with the teens and it would promote both the library and local business...wearing local outfits, etc. "Strutting down the Stacks" has a nice ring to it.....

Bunco night - pay to play but have donated prizes
Media Yard sale