School Payments

How to Create a School Store Fundraiser

Your next fundraiser could be easier than you think. Host a school store fundraiser this month!

While school fundraisers can be very beneficial, they usually have a lot of moving parts. Organizing the kick-off assembly, distributing sales materials & packets, keeping up with cash and checks, taking class time to collect & record funds: by the end of it, the whole experience - has usually been a huge burden for students, teachers, families, and school administrators. And if you’re lucky, the 10% you get back from the company you partnered with has paid for your copy paper for the year.

There is an easier way:

Using an online payment processor, you can create a school fundraiser store and host a fundraiser that involves less work for all interested parties, with greater accountability for the accounting, too!

How to Set Up a School Fundraiser Store

Depending on your school’s website platform, you have a couple of options for setting up a school fundraiser store:

  • Create a page on your website and list the items for sale, including a link to process payments for those items
  • Set up forms in your website CMS and add a price for each item in your fundraiser
  • Use your built-in school store to list fundraiser items

Using a school fundraiser store means less work for everyone once it’s set up:

  • Families can contribute to the fundraiser with an online credit card payment instead of hunting around for checks or cash
  • Teachers don’t have to interrupt class to collect cash payments from their first period students
  • Bookkeepers and finance staff members can easily track payments coming in with online accounting software instead of counting cash
  • Students don’t have to worry about losing an envelope full of money on the bus
  • Students, parents, and teachers can reach a broader audience since they only have to send a link. No more door to door sales!

What to Include in Your School Store Fundraiser

Once you have set up your store, it’s time to fill it with fundraiser items! If you are partnering with a school fundraiser company, you can create an online listing for each item they’ve included in their catalog. If you’re not partnering with a company, you can fill your store with spirit wear for the school and invite families to show their school pride with a purchase. (Read how one school does just that and uses the funds for a scholarship!)

It’s also a good idea to include a donation option; sometimes, families don’t really want more gift wrap or cookie dough, but they’re happy to support the school with a donation. That way, you get to keep the money and families can contribute to the school without having to buy something they didn’t really want or need.

How to Manage Your School Store Fundraiser

Using a school store for fundraising means that your bookkeeper or club sponsor can trace all incoming funds online, for ease of transparency & reporting. Most online payment processors will integrate with accounting software to make this process easier.

When you sell items online, you will have to be aware of the fees involved. An online payment processor generally charges a fee per transaction and a percentage of the sale. Some processors, like PayPal or Stripe, pass those fees along to the vendor (in this case, the school). Online payment processors designed for schools, like OSP by Edlio, will allow you the freedom to choose to pass those fees on to the purchaser; that way the school does not lose money on the fundraiser in paying fees after a purchase has been made.

Most families will be happy to absorb the fee knowing that the school receives the full benefit of their donation, and they are happy to pay a small fee for the convenience of being able to purchase online. As Dawn Fix of Eaton Academy puts it, “I haven’t had one parent say the fees are too high.”

So, why not give it a try?

Take your school store fundraiser online and see how much easier it is to collect payments & track orders with the convenience of online payments!


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