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Several great ideas on how you can use
buttons to do fund-raising at your school

If you work at a school, I don't need to tell you how important fund raising has become. It's the lifeblood that keeps alive many of the programs we took for granted when I went to school.

In this article, I will share some of the best button-making ideas I have used to do fund raising in a school environment.

Color It Yourself
One of the easiest ways I know of to make money with buttons is a concept that, for lack of a better name, I simply call "Color It Yourself".

Here's how it works.

With the Color It Yourself concept, you simply provide children an opportunity to make buttons using designs that they color themselves.

Anytime you have children and parents gathered for an event, this idea could work. It could be done at a fair, a school carnival, an ice cream social, or anything of the sort. The key here is that the parents need to be present to supply that much needed commodity... the money.

At the event, simply set up a table... and the bigger, the better. You will also want to have lots of colored pencils, markers, stickers, stars, glitter, and crayons on hand.

Then, before the event begins, select a number of age appropriate, pre-printed black and white designs (animals, super heros, etc.) that can easily be taken from a coloring book, a clip art collection, or whatever. Lay out as many of these designs as possible on a page and use a copier to make lots of copies. Then, use your circle cutter to cut the designs so they are ready to be made into buttons.

After all the designs have been cut, you can package and display them. The children get to select which design they want to work with and then use the markers, stars, glitter, ect to personalize their own design.

When the child has finished customizing his or her design, the parents then pay a dollar (or whatever you choose) to turn their child's masterpiece into a button.

Children love this activity and you'll likely find that the parents will want to join in, too.

How much easier could fund raising be?

It's likely you already have all the items you need for this type of project, such as markers, colored pencils, crayons, glitter, etc. and the parts you need to make each button only cost about 12 -15¢ each, depending on what size buttons you are going to make.

Most parents don't think a thing about pulling a dollar or two out their pocket to allow their children to do this type of activity, and since making buttons can be so much fun, most parents will allow their child to make several buttons.


For more information about this concept, click here.

Photo Buttons

State Champion button template graduation button graduation pin
The easiest and most profitable buttons you can make, are, without a doubt, photo buttons. There just isn't an easier way for button-makers to make money than by making photo buttons.

School Activity Buttons

graduation button graduation pin State Champion button template School pride button conrad birdie fan club button

Another type of button that can be used as a fundraiser is one that serves as a momento of any important school activity... graduation (kindergarten, eight grade, high school), a concert, a special field trip, or whatever. You can easily create a special button that serves as a momento of that activity.

When I first started making buttons, I was attending a convention and one of the best-selling buttons I created was one that simply had the name of the group (in curved lettering at the top), the date of the convention (in curved lettering at the bottom), and the name of the event (in straight text in the middle).

The delegates who were attending the convention eagerly parted with their money so they could take home a momento that marked their participation at the convention.

Use your imagination here, but if the event is important enough for the parents to attend, it's likely something that they would be willing to pay to have a momento of their child's involvement.

I once produced buttons for a local high school's dance troop extravaganza. Four high schools in the area got together for a competion of sorts, and they asked us to produce two basic types of buttons they could use for fund raising.

One of the buttons simply had the name of the event, the date and the logo of the event placed in the center of the button. They also had us create a number of buttons that had dance "catch-phrases" on them. Things like "You need more than dance shoes to be a dancer", "Dance... poetry of the foot", "To dance, or not to dance... silly question!", and one of my favorites "Shut up and dance!".

Buttons that have catch phrases popular with the group you are working with can be a great way to produce lots of additional revenue.

Personalized Sports / Activity buttons

Basketball Button Design

Baseball Button

Football Button

One of the most lucrative button-making ideas I've come up with is one that I call "Personalized Sports / Activity buttons" and these types of buttons are perfect for fundraising in a school environment. They are relatively easy to produce, the cost per button is low, and the profit that can be achieved using them can be enormous!

Depending on what size button you want to make, you can produce these buttons for between 12¢ - 20¢ a piece. When I have produced this type of button for booster clubs, they usually ended up selling them to the parents for between $3.00 and $4.00 each.

Now that's a remarkable amount of profit!

The power behind the Sports / Activity button designs is that each button is personalized with a student's name, and if applicable, their jersey number.

As parents, we are proud of the accomplishments our children make and if I happened to be watching my child participate in a school-sponsored football game or a musical program, and saw one of these buttons personalized with my child's name on it, how could I possibly resist reaching into my wallet so I could take home such a great momento?

I couldn't... and that's the point!

When you are doing Sports / Activity buttons for your school you can look at the children who participate in these activities as a renewable resource. That is to say, each year and with each new sport or school activity that takes place during the school year, you have a new opportuntity to make buttons for the children who will participate.

In my opinion, the best way to sell this type of button is to have them ready-made prior to the game or activity, and then display them on a table at that game or activity. Then, when the parents see them, they can reach into their purse or wallet, pull out their money, and take the buttons home with them. You may have a few buttons that go unsold, but with the profit you make from the buttons you will sell, that won't be enough to worry about.

If you choose to do this, I recommend doing two buttons for each student. To encourage the parents to take both buttons, you might even offer a special price of let's say, one button for $3.00 or both buttons for $5.00.

Everyone loves a bargain, so you'll likely find that by doing this, you will almost always sell both buttons.

If you choose, you could also take orders for additional buttons so that if the child's grandparents, aunts and uncles would like to have one, they can too.

If you aren't already doing Sports / Activity buttons, by all means, get started! You'll be amazed how much money you can earn when you are doing them.

Game Day / School Pride Buttons

Another way you can use buttons for fundraising is what I call Game Day / School Pride buttons.

Back in the stone age, when I went to high school, we always had an assembly on the day of a big game. There, the cheerleaders and pom squad worked us into a frenzy, and got us all excited about that night's game.

There would be banners posted all over campus proclaiming something like"Beat the Bengals" or "Crush Central".

My high school didn't do it back then, but if one of the clubs or campus organizations had been producing buttons with these slogans, they could easily have raised $500 or $600 a week, just making buttons that had these crazy little slogans on them.

If this last idea sounds like a good idea to you, here's another idea that ties in and would likely improve your sales significantly, without costing another dime.

When doing this type of button I wouild recommend that you contact one of the pizza parlors in your area and ask if they would be willing to donate a pizza or two to the school. In return, you would have the game's announcer make an announcment during half-time, saying that the pizzas were donated by ......

Ok, so here's how all of this ties together.

When you sell a button, you also give the buyer a ticket, and let them know that at half-time or perhaps at the end of the 3rd quarter, the announcer is going to select one number and the lucky person holding that number will receive the FREE pizzas courtesy of ....

Of course, the only people who can win are those who purchased one of the buttons.

Make a big deal about the presentation. Perhaps you could have the cheerleaders escort the lucky winner to the center of the field to receive their prize, and then escort them back into the stands. Or something of the sort.

We all like winning and we all like being fussed over, so you can imagine that if you implement a plan like this, your buttons sales would really soar.

And don't limit the buttons you make to just one saying per game. Have several different designs to choose from. What I discovered at the convention I mentioned earlier was that there were only so many attendees, but if I had lots of designs for them to choose from ( I did), each person could buy more than one pin.

And because I implemented a special price ($1.50 each or 4 for $5.00) I usually sold at least 4 pins to most of the people who bought anything.

I hope my article has given you some ideas on how you can use buttons to do fundraising in a school environment.

If you have any good fundraising ideas that use buttons and would like to share them with us, please send me an email.

If you have questions about button-making, button machines,
or if you'd like to place an order by phone,
just give us a call toll-free at:

Dr. Don's Buttons, Badges & More
3906 W. Morrow Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85308

(800) 243-8293
or (623) 869-8233