Does it make you cringe to see your school, club, church or scouting group selling unsustainable products to raise money? Many of us would prefer to fundraise when what is being sold is clean, green and environmentally sustainable.
But sometimes it’s tough to buck the tried-and-true conventional fundraising traditions schools, clubs and churches have relied on for years. It’s easy to complain about the expensive and wasteful wrapping paper, preservative-loaded cookie dough, toxic candles and other low-quality-products commonly included in fundraising drives.
It’s hard to know what else to recommend your group could be selling or doing to raise the necessary funds, right? So to make your life easier and greener, we’ve compiled a list of incredible ways to fundraise sustainably and we invite you to share these ideas with your community.
Here is our recommended list of green fundraising programs, including selling our zero-waste ECOlunchboxes as well as various other eco-friendly products, events and activities we think you’ll love.
Join us in our effort to protect the planet by choosing a program where you can do your part while at the same time raise money for your group!
Eco-friendly Fundraising List
ECOlunchbox Lafayette, Calif.
Does your school have a program to encourage waste-free lunches? ECOlunchboxes offers a great plastic-free and waste-free line of stainless bento boxes and artisan bags for all ages. We have two easy fundraiser options to help you earn up to 15% of sales for your school. Additionally, if packing waste-free lunches is something your school is educating about, we can support teachers and parents with educational materials.
Schoola San Francisco, Calif.
Schoola is a retailer of gently used kids’ and women’s clothing and accessories that donates 40% of their sales proceeds to partner schools. Funds raised support over 15,000 schools across the country. You can more about them here.
Chico Bag Chico, Calif.
Interested in the plastic-free movement? Now that California has banned the single-use plastic bag, interest and demand for reusable shopping bags is surging. Chico Bags, offers up to 40% on sales of its extensive line of products. To learn more click here.
Back to the Roots Oakland, Calif.
Mushrooms are good food - and good fun for families. Back to the Roots provides grow-your-own-mushroom kits for school fundraising. The easy-to-grow mushroom spore are embedded in 100% recycled coffee grounds and can yield a crop in as little as 10 days. Schools earn 15% to 40% from sales of the kits depending on whether the fund raiser is 100% online or involved bulk purchases with direct delivery to the school. Anyone who posts a picture of their fully grown mushroom kit on the Back to the Roots Facebook page can earn a donation of a kit and sustainability curriculum for an elementary school classroom of their choice.
Growums Wellington, FL
Tapping into the food and farm movement sweeping the USA, these garden kits are a great way to teach children how to easily grow and care for a garden of their very own. A full 50% of the proceeds earned through a Growums fundraiser goes directly to the school, while a portion of revenues is also donated to feeding needy children. Growums offers six different garden themes (Pizza, Taco, Herb, Stir-Fry, Salad and Ratatouille) for $10 each. Click here for more information.
Whole Foods -- San Fran, Calif.
Whole Foods Fundraising Program. What better way to raise funds than by asking parents to purchase gift cards for something they already need -- groceries! Whole Foods Market offers non-profit and school organizations the opportunity to purchase gift cards at a discount. Sell the cards at face value and keep 3% as profit. Learn more about how to participate here.
Glass Dharma Straws Fort Bragg, Calif.
Known for their uniqueness, strength, and beauty, GlassDharma straws are a yummy way to go green by reducing dependence on throw-away plastic straws. And they are absolutely gorgeous and a pleasure to use when drinking most anything, including smoothies, iced tea, lemonaide and all your favorite beverages! Depending which fundraising option your group choses, Glass Dharma will donate back between 35% and 50% of sales. For more information, email email@example.com or click here.
Good Eggs Bay Area, Calif.
Good Eggs is an online grocery store that delivers absurdly fresh groceries and meal kits across the Bay Area. Good Eggs partners with local school for fundraising each spring and fall. When parents shop on Good Eggs during the fundraiser, 5% goes back to their school. If you're interested in getting your school involved please fill out the form here. You don't have to be on the PTA or work for the school to sign up -- as long as you can connect us to the right person we can work out the details!
Cartridges for Kids Longmont, Colorado
Cartridges for Kids pays schools and non-profit organizations cash to collect ink and toner cartridges, cell phones, laptops, tablets, e-readers and more. To learn more about how to set up a collection drive, click here.
Divine Chocolate Washington, D.C.
Divine Chocolate sells Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate from Ghana. Schools and other organizations can buy 1.5-oz. dark, milk, and crispy rice Divine Chocolate bars at wholesale prices, then resell them at retail and keep the profits.
Grounds for Change Washington
Through Grounds for Change, your group can hand-sell 12-oz. bags of organic, shade-grown, Fair Trade coffee, using the company’s order forms and information cards, or you can purchase it in bulk at a discount and resell it, pocketing a percentage of the profits.
Plymouth Cards Online
If your group likes the idea of selling greeting cards, consider offering the beautiful cards made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy inks. Groups can earn up to 40% of product sales in Plymouth Cards fundraisers.
Ecobags can print your school's logo on a resusable lunchbag or shopping tote. Or you can sell blank products and your group can plan a fundraising activity and invite participants to decorate the organic canvas bags with colorful fabric markers. To learn more about the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org and review the company's Website.