5 Yearbook Fundraising Ideas

Yearbook students fundraise to go to JEA conference

Because we want our students to have the best equipment and experiences, sometimes we have to bring in extra cash. Heads up advisers: if you are looking for yearbook fundraisers to afford your book, stop reading this right now, and jump over to this article and learn how to have a debt-free yearbook program.

Fundraise by Selling Photos

First, the easiest way to raise money for your program is to use what you have: a captive audience, kids with cameras, and some pre-planned epic events.

1. Sell Photos That Are Not in the Book

How many times have you been asked for a copy of a photo your students captured at an event or game? Upload unpublished photos to a photo site and sell digital images or prints to parents and students.

2. Sell Photos to Local Media

Smaller newspapers and local online news outlets will purchase athletics photos, especially in more rural areas. When you make your pitch, make sure you have a portfolio of student work.

3. Sell Photo Shoots

Another way to help your students build a comprehensive body of work is to offer photo sessions by your top photographers. Newer photographers on staff can assist: hold reflectors, take payment, upload, and retouch photos.

  • Senior portrait mini shoots in a park
  • Photo booth at Homecoming game
  • Family photos at a winter all-school event

Fundraising with Coverage

Second, you can add mini-ads throughout your book. These paid partnerships with parents, alumni, and business leaders don’t detract from your content and have the potential to add additional voices to your copy.

If your senior section is 12 pages/6 spreads, and you sell a folio shout out for $30, you will earn $360!

4. Page sponsors

In the folio, include a line that says “This page is sponsored by Williamstown Transportation” or “Congrats, Talia and the class of 2022! Love, The Cruz Family.” If you do traditional coverage, page sponsors can include club or athletic boosters whereas chronological coverage can be more event-focused: “QuizBowl Forever! Class of 1968 State Champs.”

Selling index letters as a yearbook fundraiser gets more students in your yearbook while building a new tradition.

5. Index letters

If you could get 26 more photos in the yearbook, would you? Break up the index with fun portraits of students holding a letter. Some schools auction the honors, others issue letters on a reservation basis. To get the most out of it, compare your coverage report to your buyer list and see which buyers are in the book the least amount of times, offer index letters to those parents first, then go after students who are in the yearbook several times and have yet to purchase one.

Yearbook Fundraiser 101: Personal and Business Ads

Advisers use ads to teach business skills: project management, budgeting, and goal-setting. They work with students on talking points and help guide them to the right potential partnerships. It’s the quintessential yearbook fundraiser.

Schools with supportive communities tend to do well with business ads. If you’re just getting started, begin by analyzing your area:

  • Do you serve a transient population? Partner with realtors.
  • Are many parents business owners? Show them how to feature their children in their ad.
  • Do you have a bevvy of athletic sponsors? Work with your athletic director to bundle a stadium ad with one with the team photos.
  • Are small businesses the norm? Add a business card section.

Whatever you do, don’t try to sell yearbook ads just to pay your yearbook publisher.

Remember the Fun

Because fundraiser starts with fun (cliché, we know), your strategy should as well. Celebrate all your successes along the way. For some of your yearbook team, this could be scheduling a meeting with a potential sponsor and doing the presentation. For another, it could be selling 20 photos to your district PR agent and landing an internship. Everyone who buys in should reap some reward, even you!

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