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Fundraising Guide for Catholic Schools

Welcome to Today’s Catholic Teacher’s fifth annual Fundraising Guide. We’ve collected helpful information and advertising from some of America’s top fundraising companies to inform your decisions and raise important dollars for your school.

We have learned some interesting information about Catholic school fundraising from surveys we have conducted on the Today’s Catholic Teacher website. You will be interested, for example, to learn that magazines and candy have been the most successful product fundraisers for survey participants. Fall is seen as the best time of year to hold fundraisers. And almost a third of Catholic schools hold six or more fundraising campaigns or events per year. That number represents a huge amount of time and effort devoted to fundraising, making your choices very important ones.

In total, schools and youth groups raise nearly $2 billion each year through sales of popular consumer products. The money helps pay for computers, field trips, athletics, music, art, and other programs that educate and enrich young lives-important activities not always covered by shrinking school and non-profit group budgets.

While there are a number of fundraising options available-bake sales, car washes, auctions, straight donations-product sales are consistently the most effective approach to fundraising.

Research has found 75 percent of Americans-and eight out of ten parents-purchase fundraising products. The vast majority of fundraising sales are made to family and friends. Successful fundraising drives do not rely on children knocking on doors, but rather children and their parents asking for support from family, close neighbors, and friends.

As the product fundraising industry matures and more fundraising products, programs, and services are introduced, fundraising sponsors have more decisions to make. First, one must understand and follow any special guidelines for fundraising that have been established by the school, principal, or community. Then, one must decide which company will best meet the needs of the school. What products will work best as a fundraiser? What incentives might help the sale?

We offer you this guide to support your fundraising efforts, and we wish you every success!


Some important points to consider as you meet with fundraising companies:

  1. What is the turnaround time for replacing incorrect or damaged shipments?
  2. Will out-of-stock items be back-ordered, or will substitutions be made? How quickly?
  3. What are the terms of payment?
  4. What is the return policy for unsold products?
  5. Ask the company for references of other schools which have used their program. Ask the references:
  6. How long has your group worked with the company?
  7. Did the company deliver on promises?
  8. Did the school or group reach its goal?

Would the group work with the company or its representative again?

Some information reprinted from the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors & Supplies (AFRDS), afrds.org