Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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Green Fundraising:
An Eco-friendly Fundraiser

by Deane Brengle

Ten years ago if you told someone that you were doing a green fundraiser they would have given you a vacant look. "Green Awareness" and the "Green Movement" had yet to be coined as everyday terms.

Today, pretty much everyone knows what going green means. Most corporations, manufacturers, and businesses are racing to produce earth friendly products, use recycled materials, or develop production methods that don't harm the environment. So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that pretty soon it would trickle down to school fundraising.

Ron Brandow, of, says, "Many of our current fundraisers and groups were expressing an interest in renewable products and green fundraisers. We could see the market need".

Green fundraising isnít as difficult as you might imagine, there are a number of things that you can do and sell to make your fundraising environmentally friendly.

1. Sell products that are recycled. Many fundraising suppliers are now offering products that are manufactured using recycled materials.

Smencil Fundraiser This fall is promoting it's Go-Green fundraisers.

Among the items in the catalog is a popular one with schools, Smencils, gourmet scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspapers.

The manufacturers of Smencils recognize the value of going green. From the their website: "Being responsible for the environment is an important part of doing business in today's world. That's why we've made sure the materials and processes that go into making Smencils are healthy for the environment.

In manufacturing Smencils, we use recycled newspapers, environmentally friendly fragrances, recyclable ferrules and biodegradable erasers. The scents used to make Smencils are the same as those used to make soaps and candles, which are safe for reasonable personal use as tested by the manufacturers. By using recyclable plastic, even Smencil packaging is environmentally friendly."

Recycled Giftwrap Fundraiser supplies eco-friendly and fair trade products for nonprofit groups and schools to use for fundraising. They carry a complete line of gift wrap made from 100% post-consumer fiber and processed chlorine-free with vegetable-based ink.

Their website spells out the benefits of using recycled paper: "Did you know? Recycling one ton of paper saves the equivalent of 17 trees, saves 4 barrels of oil, saves enough energy to power an average home for six months, saves 7,000 gallons of water, and keeps 60 pounds of pollutants out of the air. In fact, the EPA has found that making paper from recycled materials results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution than making paper from new materials.

Itís a little more expensive to buy recycled wrapping paper initially, but a lot less expensive in terms of environmental impact, and worth every penny."

2. Recycle. Recycling of newspaper, plastic, aluminum cans, glass, printer cartridges, cell phones, and other trash items can be a very worthwhile venture. You not only help the environment, but you make a profit doing it.

Funding Factory helps educational and nonprofit organizations earn funds for technology, classroom and recreation equipment, and even cash through their printer cartridge & cell phone recycling fundraiser.

They stress that each year more than 350 million printer cartridges are thrown away. In addition, 35 million cell phones are replaced and discarded. Schools and nonprofit groups can help reduce the volume of waste in landfills while benefiting their organizations.

3. Sell plants and seeds. Talk about the ultimate green fundraiser!

Flower Bulb Fundraiser JustFundraising is on board with environmentally sensitive fundraising. Among their green fundraising offerings are two different fundraisers selling flowering bulbs.

The great thing about bulbs is that they can be planted both in the spring and in the fall, depending on the variety, giving you two different fundraising opportunities.

Their fall flower bulb fundraiser and spring bulb fundraiser are great ways to support your organization and beautify your community at the same time!

4. Sell Reusable Items. Promote the saving of our natural resources by selling reusable items. Help cut down on oil consumption or save a tree while keeping everyday items out of our landfills.

Reusable Shopping Bag Fundraiser Did you know that each year billions of plastic shopping bags are used and thrown away? Help your community go green with a reusable shopping bag fundraiser from

It's easy to integrate a fundraiser like this into your school's curriculum.

One school set up a chain of 333 plastic shopping bags to represent the US per capita usage and strung them along the main hallway at their school. They also had a row of elementary school-level posters with pictures of the local landfill, a math poster describing what 100 billion looks like, pictures from countries that have restrictions on plastic bags, posters talking about decomposition and plastic photo degrading in the ocean, and ideas for how kids could reduce their plastic bag consumption.

Their display was set up for two weeks and they provided more detailed information & references in the teacher's lounge.

Water bottles are another everyday reusable item that can used for fundraising.

Help rid the earth of plastic water bottles with a stainless steel water bottle fundraiser from One Planet Fundraising.

Kleen Kanteen, a manufacturer of stainless steel water bottles, says it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce a year's supply of bottled water. And stainless steel is non-leeching and safer than plastic!


Why not have a green fundraiser? You can help save the earth, raise funds, promote awareness, and teach kids and your community about earth friendly practices all at the same time!

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About the Author:

Deane Brengle writes for several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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