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It seems like art teachers’ budgets are cut more and more every year. Each fall, you have to try to do more with less. It’s not fair. We wish we lived in a world where every art teacher got the budget he or she needed to execute a fantastic program upfront, but we know that’s not always the case. That’s why, today we’re thrilled to bring you our UPDATED Ultimate Guide to Art Fundraisers!
In the years since we published our first guide, companies have made things even easier and more streamlined for you. There are also some great new companies that have emerged. We’re here to tell you about them all! Although many of these options look similar, be sure to read through them, as there are unique features for each. We’ve fleshed out important information about the most popular companies, and also tracked down some new cool options for you to take a look at. If you’re feeling the pinch, we hope you find something here to help!
Art to Remember (“AtR”) offers keepsake and legacy wall fundraisers. The teacher is responsible for having students create art on art paper provided by AtR, shipping the artwork back to AtR, handing out order forms (each child gets a personalized order form featuring his or her artwork and the order forms are sorted and bagged by homeroom teacher for easy distribution) and handing out the keepsakes. AtR keeps things simple by providing all necessary shipping labels and ships keepsakes sorted by student and homeroom for easy distribution.
There are no out of pocket costs with Art to Remember. All shipping is free. In fact, AtR will ship two product orders (the primary order and one late order) free of charge! AtR also allows teachers to choose their own profit margins. How cool is that?! Most schools choose a 25% or 35% margin. However, AtR works with schools that collect no profit so each child can afford a product and with schools that run successful 50% profit margin programs. It’s all up to you!
Art to Remember provides pre-made student labels so you don’t have to write students’ names, homerooms etc. on the artwork or create and print your own labels, which saves you a ton of time! In addition, AtR now provides online ordering. Orders placed online are shipped with the primary order (or the late order if not received in time) right to the school. This makes shipping free for online ordering as well.
Square 1 Art has a few simple options for fundraising. As they say, “It Starts With the Art!” The “Fast Track” is quick and easy. It starts when students create art on provided paper. The teacher then assembles order packets, collects order forms and distributes keepsakes. Choosing the ever popular “Free Sticker” program means even more fun with customized order forms, online ordering and free promotional materials. Both options include a free sheet of stickers (or Squickers™ as Square 1 calls them!) for students to keep, regardless of whether or not their families place orders. Square 1 Art also has two Legacy Wall options. As you can see, there are a variety of programs to fit your needs!
Schools earn a base of 33% profit on orders sold. That rate increases to 38% when certain benchmarks are achieved. Shipping is free to schools with 50 or more orders. After a fundraiser has concluded, schools continue to make a 15% profit on online orders year round.
Customized Squickers™ make each student feel special. Free sample keepsakes and marketing materials make promoting your fundraiser a snap. In addition, Square 1 Art provides simple online ordering year round.
Artsonia is a worldwide student art museum that also offers a keepsake fundraising program. Teachers photograph and upload work to Artsonia through the website or by using the Artsonia Mobile Apps. Parents can order artwork anytime featuring any of their child’s artwork created through the school year. The products are shipped directly to the parents, so the teacher doesn’t deal with collecting money or the distribution of products.
Hosting an Artsonia site is free for teachers. Parents are responsible for shipping costs if they choose to order keepsakes. Teachers earn 20% on every keepsake order. Teachers can choose to receive the funds in the form of a check, or in the form of an Amazon, Artsonia or Dick Blick gift card.
Artsonia makes it easy for students to share artwork with family and friends all over the world. The powerful platform also has over 5,000 lesson plans for teachers to browse through.
SilverGraphics has a few different fundraising options including keepsakes and tile walls. The teacher is responsible for having students create art on heavy paper that the school provides. This means you can submit artwork you are already creating in your art room in a variety of sizes! Teachers are also responsible for handing out customized order forms, collecting money, and distributing products, which are sorted by homeroom. Each student receives a free print of his or her artwork along with free customized bookmarks! SilverGraphics has amazing customer support and will work with you to create a custom fundraiser to meet your needs. You can choose keepsakes, a tile wall or a combination of both!
SilverGraphics allows teachers to set their own profit margins with 33% being a common landing point. In addition, you are able to earn 5% off your invoice by meeting certain benchmarks. SilverGraphics will send you product samples, which must be returned at the end of the fundraiser in good condition. The teacher is responsible for the cost of shipping promotional samples back to SilverGraphics. All other shipping is free of charge if at least 100 orders are placed.
SilverGraphics accepts artwork of varying sizes (up to 12”x16”), making it easy to use your own curriculum for fundraising. You receive a free cd with digital images of all artwork you submit to the fundraiser. In addition, SilverGraphics offers online ordering for families and has an option to keep all work in an online gallery for one year. SilverGraphics also donates a portion of their profits to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation to promote access to the arts for young people-nice! Finally, SilverGraphics offers a variety of tiles in different sizes and finishes, including matte and satin options, which are more durable than traditional glossy tiles.
Original Works’ “Original” and “See Before You Buy” programs feature professionally produced keepsakes designed to wear and share. After students create art on the provided paper, the teacher is responsible for collecting orders and passing back products. The “Original Program” is currently their most popular, followed by the “See Before You Buy” program, where each student receives a customized preview magnet that parents have the option to purchase. In addition, with the “Online Gallery” program, Original Works will upload student work to an online gallery which parents are able to view and make purchases through online. With this option, no handling or payment collection is required of the teacher. Finally, Original Works also has tile wall options. There’s so much to choose from!
Original Works charges schools a wholesale cost for all products purchased. The school then charges parents a suggested retail price, with the difference determining the profit. Profits generally run between 33% – 50%, however Original Works allows schools to set their own retail prices, so actual profits could be higher or lower depending on how the school chooses to set up the program. If the combined wholesale value of the orders totals $300.00 or more, shipping and handling is free.
Original works loves supporting educators. Through their Good Works Program, Original Work asks teachers to send in submissions about why they love teachings and chooses one winner per month to receive $50.00 in art supplies, a $25.00 check and a free apron. Nice!
ArtWare for Good is passionate about bringing people together for the greater good and offers service learning options for you and your students, such as their “Walls that Unite” program. With their keepsake options for school fundraising, you can earn up to 38% profit. Be sure to click the links below to learn more!
If you’re short on time, Artome might be for you! Artome is a fundraiser and art show in one. Students create masterpieces on provided paper, which are then professionally framed by Artome. Artome provides marketing materials and delivers and sets up the art show. Parents are then able to purchase the framed pieces of art. Artome charges $19 per frame. Schools then set the price of the artwork, controlling their profits. Schools only pay for the frames that are sold.
Choosing KidsKards means choosing a focused and streamlined fundraiser, because KidsKards specializes in creating personalized notecards. The backs of the notecards can be customized with students’ names and ages, as well as your school’s logo and mission statement. The teacher is responsible for providing paper, collecting order forms and distributing cards. With KidsKards’ suggested retail price, your profit lands between $5 and $10 per order.
There you have it! 9 fantastic choices to help you fundraise for your art program. The hard part now will be deciding WHICH to choose! Please don’t hesitate to contact any of the above companies if you have questions. They all have fantastic customer service departments just waiting to answer your questions!
Have you used any of these fundraisers in your classroom? What did you think?
How else do you add extra money to your budget?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.