Doing Good Together

Cool Back-to-School Fundraisers

If you’re planning to host a bake sale for your next back-to-school fundraiser, then you might want to know that certain additions were made to the ‘Smart Snacks in Schools’ federal nutrition program this July.  HYPERLINK "" According to The State, these recent changes might make the sale of sweets and pastries a less viable fundraising option given that many of these items exceed the new sodium and calorie limits:

Libby Roof, a spokeswoman for Richland 2, said the district and its food vendor, Sodexo, have been phasing in healthier food items for four years, but some fundraisers may stop.

“The biggest impact is the food fundraisers. We have PTOs and booster clubs that sell stuff during the school day like biscuits in the car line,” Roof said. “You can’t do that anymore. Sometimes these food sales are a mainstay for clubs to raise money, so they will have to look for creative ways to raise money because of the law.”

But the recent turn of events does not have to spell the end of your school’s fundraising success. For instance, we at eBay Giving Works can help you organize online charity auctions to support your school, or any nonprofit organization of your choosing. With just a little bit of preparation, your back-to-school event won’t have to rely on cookies and cakes to be a hit!

The first step is to find items that can attract high bids, like handmade purses or vintage goods for moms. Second, you’ll need to take good pictures of these items so that bidders can appreciate what you have to offer. Third, you’ll want to set reasonable prices for these items so they can generate lots of traffic. If possible, hold the event for about five to seven days, since longer auctions allow more time for engagement and usually fetch better prices. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll have to generate hype for your event. Use buzzwords like ‘must-haves for summer!’ or ‘sizzling hot items!’ to catch bidders’ eyes. Indeed, if you look back on successful charity online auctions that we’ve organized in the past, these and similar words were used.

Health authorities say that the stricter rules on the ‘Smart Snacks in Schools’ program will be implemented in the near future. That’s all the more reason to start getting creative and organize a charity online auction for your next school fundraiser.

(Source: No more bake sales? New federal nutrition rules could challenge school fundraisers, The State, July 21, 2014)