Fundraising Ideas for a Child Care Program

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Many child care programs operate on limited funds. Family child care and large centers alike often turn to fundraising events to generate additional revenue. There are four main keys to a successful fundraiser.

  1. Have all your materials organized in advance.
  2. Take time before hand to check all the little things are in order such as enough chairs, who to contact if there is a problem, how to control the lighting etc.,
  3. Involve those who are part of the program. Staff, families and board of directors, if applicable, need to be involved. When others are part of the planning and decision making of than event the are more likely to be committed to its success.
  4. Be sure to promote your event well. In addition to formal advertising efforts, ask staff and families to spread the word.
  5. Consider the value of your time and effort. (For example: You have a cookbook sale. You raised $150, but you spent $50 in printing and binding, and you spent over 30 hours each gathering, editing and retyping the recipes. Is this worth it?)
  6. Maintain accountability and share your success. It is important you share the results of the event and account for how the funds are spent. Donors who see concrete "fruit of the labor" will be even more enthusiastic to contribute the next tme around.


Whether you are looking to renovate the playground or simply raise enough funds to add to the classroom library, here are some fundraisers to try.

  • I Dare You Fundraiser Event - Find a number of staff members who would be willing to complete an outrageous or humorous stunt. Place their pictures near containers. Participants "vote" for whomever they wish to complete the stunt by making a donation that person's designated container. Suggestions: Wear PJs to work. Have pudding dumped on them.
  • A-Thon Fundraiser Event - This event is a great way to involve the children. They and their families collect pledges for them to complete set task. Suggestions: Hop-A-Thon, Read-A-Thon.
  • Sales Fundraiser Event - Sale events are most successful when items are donated and of interest to those most likely to attend the event. Also you can turn children's artwork into items like greeting cards or calendars to sell.
  • Memorial Fundraiser Event - Take the lead form larger institutions and "sell" commemorative items. You will see drug stores and fast food establishments sell fanciful decorative markers or posters that include the name of the donor and then they are put on display. For a large goal such as a playground renovation, you may consider "selling" engraved path stones or bricks.
  • Guessing Fundraiser Event - You need to have a prize for the winner, maybe a donated item or a discount on services. Be sure to check local regulation on contests first. You can vary this according to season. Suggestions: Guess the number of jellybeans in the jar. Guess how many pumpkin seeds are in a pumpkin.