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Creative Fundraisers

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Your school may be strapped for cash, but that doesn’t mean you need to sell another plate of brownies or wash another car to rake in some green — one school even started their own coffee empire to raise cash.

We also asked how your class, club or school has gone about raising funds, and the responses knocked our socks off. Um, we’re talking $50,000 worth of socks! Get tips from the pros here!

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Anger Management?

Name of Fundraiser: Car Bash
Cash raised: $3,000
How it works: "We got an old car from a junkyard, cleaned it up and made people pay to smash it with a sledge hammer. We had a lot of fun and gained a lot of money in the process!"
Submitted by: Shaelyn F., Lampasas High School in Lampasas, Texas
Secret to Success: Ask a local junkyard if they'll discount -- or donate -- a car.

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Testing... Attention Please!

Name of Fundraiser: Test-a-Thon
Cash raised: More than $8,000
How it works: "The students get pledges and take a test. For however many questions they get right, they multiply that by the pledge per question. The top five students who raise the most money get to go to lunch with the principal. All the other contenders receive prizes that were donated by businesses in the community."
Submitted by: Rachel S., Harvard High School in Harvard, Ill.
Secret of Success: Ask teachers to base the test on material you cover in classes -- that way you're actually studying while you help raise money.

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On Your Feet!

Name of Fundraiser: Crazy Legs
Cash raised: $500
How it works: "You take pictures of the varsity guys' legs, as well as the coaches' legs, and tape the photos on cans. Then you tell everyone to come and vote whose are the best for the price of a dollar. The person with the most money wins!"
Submitted by: Jeana W., from Altus High School in Altus, Ok.
Secret of Success: Ask the administration to put the cans in a high-traffic area like the school lobby.

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Not the Same Ole Tune

Type of fundraiser: Band quilt
Cash raised: Several hundred
How it works: "The band students and our parents got together and cut out different parts of the older uniforms; then we sewed them together on a red quilt. We raffled it off at the football game. Everyone had a lot of fun."
Submitted by: John B., Pawnee High School in Pawnee, Ok.
Secret of Success: Ask employees at local fabric shops and top quilters in your area to volunteer their skills.

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It's Showtime!

Name of fundraiser: Buzz-a-Thon
Cash raised: $6500
How it works: "Every year our broadcast classes hold a 24-hour live television show to raise money for new equipment. Businesses or individuals are asked to sponsor half-hour or hour segments... The show features two different anchors every hour. We run a variety of funny features and live skits with music and broadcast the whole thing on a local cable channel."
Submitted by: Jenn J., Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.
Secret of Success: Get sponsorships from area businesses so that you don't have to rely on phone pledges!

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From Rags to Riches

Name of Fundraiser: Dimes for Democracy
Cash raised: $1,100
How it works: Label a big glass jar with the name of your cause and invite everyone to contribute pocket change. "In our school, we barely have 200 students. We ended up receiving about $1,100 to send away to New York for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was very successful."
Submitted by: Matt W., from Delphos Jefferson Sr. High School in Delphos, Ohio
Secret of Success: Turn it into a competition between classes -- which can collect the most dimes?

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The Long-Term Plan

Type of Fundraiser: A little bit of everything
Cash raised: Almost $50,000!
How it works: Never stop! "We've done car washes, raffles, door-to-door donations, gold card sales, concession stands at all home games, breakfast biscuit sales on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a festival in the park."
Submitted by: Rita P., Fletcher Sr. High School in Neptune Beach, Fl.
Secret to Success: When you've got a lot of money to raise, do it a little bit at a time. No fundraiser is too small if it helps you achieve your ultimate goal."

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Fundraising that goes beyond bake sales and car washes.

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