Teachers across my district are frequently asking how I have the money to purchase paid apps for the iPad carts, robots, and other fun technology tools. The answer is that I do a school-wide talent show and it is my big (and only) fundraiser of the year. Most years, I will bring in at least $500 for this event. Here’s how:
Near the beginning of May, we hold our school-wide talent show. We have two daytime shows and we try to keep this a very student centered event. I put together a great team of teachers to help me do all the behind the scenes work, but on the day of the show, you will see only kids on stage. The kids that work behind the scenes are always 5th graders. It’s a coveted position in the talent show before they move on to middle school. The positions the kids serve are stage crew, emcees, ushers, and videographers. Anyone in any grade can sign up to audition, but due to time constraints (each show is limited to one hour) we have to keep each act under 3 minutes and limit the number of total acts to 24. We rarely have an act that takes up the 3 minutes. Since our audience is mainly children, we try to keep the show moving with a variety of acts to keep the attention of the students that range in age from five to eleven.
So, how do I turn this into a fundraiser?
I make it very clear to all that audition that all of the money raised goes towards our school’s technology program. To audition for the talent show, it costs each participant $1.00. If they are accepted into the talent show, it’s $5.oo for each participant. Finally, I have a 5th grade student film the entire talent show and we edit the video and burn many DVDs for students to purchase for $5.00. Here’s what always gets the kids to buy the video: The staff dance at the beginning of the DVD. This is where I come up with a fun song, ask the teachers to dress up and dance, I film them, and we show this at the very beginning of the Talent Show. The kids go crazy every single year. It’s the highlight of the Talent Show! Without this portion included in the DVD, I don’t think sales would be as high.
Here’s the staff videos from the last 5 years: