(Family Features) - Time for a pop quiz: which top fundraising program enabled schools nationwide to earn more than $175 million over the last 10 years? Here's a clue - look outside the box!
The answer: Box Tops for Education, one of the biggest, most successful cash-in-hand fundraisers enables participating schools to purchase needed items for their classrooms. Box Tops coupons - found on hundreds of grocery store products - can be clipped and turned in at participating schools for 10¢ each. That weekly trip to the grocery store can help local schools bag extra cash when Box Tops are collected from favorite items such as Cheerios, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks.
In addition to clipping, there are more ways schools put the General Mills popular program to work, explained Lisa Kessel, Box Tops for Education. Parents can support their school online by simply registering at www.boxtops4education.com/progress/SchoolEarnings.aspx.
"Our Web site connects all the Box Tops families and schools around the country. It allows you to check your school's fundraising progress, browse easy and delicious recipes, receive valuable product coupons, discover fun family activities, and find even more ways to earn cash back for your school." Since Box Tops debuted in 1996, schools have used their earnings to purchase everything from portable classrooms to playgrounds to computers.
While clipping is big, clicking onto the Box Tops for Education Marketplace is another easy way schools can earn cash. This one-stop virtual shopping destination highlights more than 60 retailers such as Lands End and JC Penney that give a percentage of the total purchase to the Box Tops school of the shopper's choice.
"It's an easy, everyday way to earn more, especially this time of year when people are looking to purchase gifts for springtime celebrations, weddings, Mother's Day and baby showers," Kessel said. She added that even grandparents or extended family members can help give to their favorite school by registering and shopping online at www.boxtops4education.com/progress/SchoolEarnings.aspx..
Top Notch Tips
Box Tops for Education coordinators around the country work hard to help their schools stay on the fundraising fast track. Take note of these tips from three pros, and help your school make the grade!
- Put the fun in fundraising, says Judy Bernstein of Quail Run Elementary in Phoenix, Ariz. "Make it (collecting Box Tops) a fun project while using the Box Tops Web site, www.boxtops4education.com/progress/SchoolEarnings.aspx., for helpful hints and clip art."
- "Find incentives for staff and students," advises Elizabeth Marie Petty Froman, Greenville Elementary School in Greenville, Mo. "And, celebrate your successes - the big ones and the small ones!"
- Nine-year veteran coordinator Cindy Mussleman, Lehigh Christian Academy, Pa., offers two winning pointers: first, be persistent by offering parents friendly reminders about ongoing collections. Second, if you're new to Box Tops, sign up for Box Tops University at BoxTops4Education.com. "It's such an easy fundraiser!" she adds.