Friday, October 5, 2007

Tap into your school's unique strengths

Are you the oldest school in the community? Turn that into a fundraising strength by publishing a calendar featuring compelling pictures from throughout the school's history and selling it into the big local alumni base. Make it available at reunions, send a copy to the local education reporter, advertise it on the school Web site.

Here's a Dallas Morning News story about a school that's selling just such a calendar:

"Sophomores at Woodrow Wilson High School are getting an early start on graduation and drawing on the past for help.

"To raise money for graduation activities, the Class of 2010 is producing a calendar featuring the high school's past and a splash of today.

"'We were looking for something different,' said Michelle Hopson, one of the sophomores' five parent sponsors. 'Everyone does T-shirts, pajama bottoms, boxers and bumper stickers.' ...

"'Woodrow is big on tradition, and we wanted to put that to work in our favor,' she said. 'My dad, Marvin Marek, graduated in 1950 and I talked to him and his friends and they were all excited about it. I think we might have hit on something really good.'

"Such calendars haven't been a common fundraising mechanism for schools, according to Rick Casner of Gizmo Group in Lakewood, the company designing the project.

"'Not a lot of schools have the history that Woodrow Wilson does,' he said. 'They are expensive to produce, but you're not just buying the calendar, but rather what's inside.' ...

"Selecting and scanning the photographs took a fair amount of time, Mrs. Hopson said.

"'We have some as old as the 1940s,' she said. 'We pored over old yearbooks. We started comparing new cheerleaders and old, new team photos and old. I think it will be really clever.'"

Is there a treasure trove of great old school photos you can capitalize on for a memorable fundraiser?

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