Daycare centers provide a vital and essential service to society. Without accessible childcare, the economy would grind to a halt. Millions of people rely upon safe care for their children so that they may work and study. Quality daycare centers provide a safe haven to young ones, and many also offer lessons and enrichment activities. Financial support to maintain these services is key.
What Is a Daycare Center?
Daycare centers provide a safe place for people to leave their children to be cared for, due to school, work, or other obligations. Daycare centers are generally for toddlers to young schoolchildren and provide a safe environment where they are cared for by qualified trained providers. The best daycare centers offer a diverse range of programs to stimulate imaginations and encourage brain development.
Why Daycare Centers Need Funding
Many daycare centers serve parents who are in lower-paying jobs, and therefore must be affordable to address their constituents’ financial circumstances. The lower revenue from parent feed often creates a financial challenge to pay rent, hire qualified staff, and cover many other expenses. As such, many daycare centers – in particular nonprofit daycare centers serving low-income families – are pressed to generate alternative sources of income to supplement the budget. In this blog, we cover some diverse ideas to raise funds for your daycare center.
14 Fundraising Ideas for Daycare Centers
1. Facebook Fundraisers
Is your daycare a 501(c)(3) registered with the IRS? If so, you’re eligible to receive donations on Facebook. Sign up on Facebook with your nonprofit with your registry, tax ID number, and bank account for the organization. It’s a simple yet effective way to raise awareness and receive extra funds.
Pro Tip: The best time for Facebook fundraisers? Birthdays. Encourage family and friends of your daycare kids to start a Facebook fundraiser on their birthday, with “gifts” being designated for the daycare center. Make it personal and share how special a place it is. This can have a big impact, as it spreads the word, and friends of those who donate will see your fundraiser, therefore increasing awareness.
2. Grant Funding
Do you primarily serve single mothers? Low-income families? Dreamers? If your daycare is registered as a 501(c)(3), you are eligible for federal grant funding and/or private foundation grants. Conduct research and find grants on private and federal levels that your daycare applies to. Depending on the source, this extra funding can go directly into the services you provide, including staff time, program supplies, and enrichment programs.
Walk-a-Thons are classics: they get the kids moving, as well as the parents. which is always positive, and help you to rake in the benefits to support your daycare center.
There are many virtual platforms that can be used for no or very little cost, to offer an online opportunity for your walk-a-thon participants. Collect pledges from family and friends, create teams (it’s more fun than walking alone, and it creates a level of fun competition), and choose where to host the event.
In the end, have prizes for the teams – certificates to pizza parlors, frozen yogurt shops, and so on – and make participation ribbons for everyone else to celebrate the end of the event.
Pro Tip: Talk to local businesses about donating gift certificates – most will be excited to support your daycare and excite the kids.
Sure, you can take professional photos of the kiddos, but parents love hearing about what projects and games their kids participate in while at the daycare center. Take photos of activities to document what every day looks like. Whether the kids are baking, reading, gardening, or simply playing, pull out the camera (or phone) and catch candids. You can then put all of the captured moments together and create a yearbook filled with fun times.
Pro Tip: Groupon is a great place to look for cheaper photo books. Do some research and find an affordable retailer – some go for as low as $10!
5. Art Calendar
Family members love placing their children’s art on the fridge to show off and support them. Take it a step further by combining all of the kids’ art throughout the year and putting together a calendar. It doesn’t matter how many children you watch over – make collages for each month should you need more room. Make sure to label who drew/painted each piece so families can appreciate their child’s piece of art.
6. Partner With Food Stores
Ask local grocery stores, ice cream shops, candy stores, and other food vendors if you can host a table in front of the business or earn a portion of the sales. Most local shops will be happy to help out in some way. You can also ask restaurants if they’ll sponsor your daycare during lunch or dinner. Invite all families and friends to come out – they’ll be supporting local businesses and their children’s daycare experience.
Pro Tip: Ask the parents of children you serve what connections they have. Maybe a parent works at a potential venue.
7. Master Classes
Much like bring-your-parent-to-school day, a family member or friend of a child might be skilled in art, music, cooking, or other activities. Ask if this person would be willing to teach your daycare kids for an hour or so. Most will be happy to support the daycare and enjoy interacting with the children, especially if they don’t always have a chance to support local daycares and children’s education.
Pro Tip: Talk to the person in advance about the best ways to engage kids – especially if they’re used to teaching older children or adults. Offer advice and tips should they need suggestions.
8. Bake Sale
If you have the resources, teach kids to start cooking while they’re young! With plenty of guidance, find some easy-to-follow recipes, bring the ingredients, and supervise kids as they stir. Once the goodies are done, sell them for a discounted price. Caregivers will be excited to support the kids while also indulging in some sweets.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have an oven to use, there are plenty of treats out there that don’t require baking! For example, no-bake pies! You can find many recipes online and get creative with them.
9. Talent Show
Children love showing off their skills, so give them a chance to perform for families. Charge a small amount of money for entry, then let kids sign up to put on their own show. Dancing, singing, joking, pogo-sticking – whatever kids want to do, accommodate to make sure they feel proud of themselves. The families will be enthusiastic to support everyone and give extra loud cheers.
Pro Tip: Reach out to different small venues to see if they’d be willing to host the show at a discounted rate. Kids will be all the more excited to show off on an official stage.
10. Yard Sale
Do the kids and their families have junk in the attic that they aren’t using? Give them a place to host a yard sale and invite them to the center to set out items out front. To keep it cute, let the kids create posters to place around town and decorate a donation jar. You’ll be helping out families by ridding them of clutter and reaping the benefits for yourself.
Pro Tip: If your daycare center is not in a spot with foot traffic, ask to see if a family member would be willing to host it instead. If that’s not possible, reach out to your connections and see if you can place a table outside to sell trinkets.
11. Jewelry and Lanyard Making
It’s a summer camp dream: lanyards, bracelets, necklaces, oh my! Teach kids how to braid lanyards, then let them choose the colors and run with it! For jewelry, have different types of beads and letters out and let them use their imagination. Just make sure to keep a close eye on the younger ones – beads are a small choking hazard. If you’re legitimately worried, keep the little ones on the lanyard making duty.
12. Homemade Bouquets/Garden Sales
Does your daycare have a garden? When the flowers bloom, sell bouquets to family. (Perfect if you host a talent show!) The same goes for growing vegetables and/or fruits: when the food has grown, pick them and sell them at a discounted price.
Pro Tip: Fresh fruits and veggies are always welcome, you’ll teach the children how to tend to and maintain a garden, and the sales can go back to the garden, therefore paying for more flowers, food, soil, and other garden necessities.
13. Nighttime Daycare
Parents need a break every now and then, what with the stresses of work, cooking dinner, reading bedtime stories – everything to keep the train moving. So, once a month, offer to take in kids for the night and give the parents a break. For a small fee, parents can drop off their kids for a period of time on a weekend night. Order pizza, have arts and crafts and watch a kid-friendly movie while families have a chance to take a break.
Pro Tip: Make sure to choose a limit of kids – the offer is tempting, but hosting a huge amount of kids can be stressful for you and your employees. Don’t sacrifice your abilities to taking care of too many kids!
14. Valentine’s Day Candy-grams
Kids love sweets, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for chocolate. So, let the kids create candy-grams for friends and family. Buy a bunch of chocolate in bulk – Costco, for example, has great prices for large amounts of items – and encourage kids to make art for the cards. Then, sell these to family members. Friends and family can either eat the chocolate themselves (who can resist?) or pass along the candy-gram to somebody else. It’s a fantastic way of showing love with a unique, personal twist.
Pro Tip: To entice friends and family to buy them, allow each child to gift a few candy-grams for free. The parents will appreciate it and be more likely to buy extras.
Quality daycare centers are a gift to working parents and a vital element in the local, state, and national economy. Resources for nonprofit daycare centers are often limited and based on your client demographics, it may be necessary to cultivate diverse funding streams to balance the budget. With creativity and the engagement of your families, budget shortfalls may become a thing of the past. As a daycare center, you might want to explore some more fundraising ideas for kids that actually work!
We hope you find fundraising inspiration from the daycare fundraising ideas in this post. At Donorbox, we are continuously working to provide useful nonprofit tips and resources to help you make your fundraising fruitful and your nonprofit a success!
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