Your school is not alone in fundraising; you have the support of parents, teachers, staff and school alumnae that are always there to lend a helping hand. Schools are special places and there are often many people that are happy to help support your mission and good works. But there is often another partner that is available to you that some schools don’t even reach out to: local businesses. Local businesses are typically very concerned about schools being successful because good schools mean a strong community. A strong community means that their business will do well. So aside from being a caring person that wants to be active in their community — it just makes good “business sense” to support the local schools.Perhaps you are wondering how a local business can support or get involved with your school. Here are some examples of local businesses that partnered with their schools with successful results. Whether community service or fundraising based, you’ll see that joining hands with local businesses can mean great rewards.

The Parent Teacher Organization of Franklin Elementary School in city, state raised $25,000 to install a new playground for their children. Funds were raised over a two year period through several different fundraisers.

Franklin Elementary School PTO of Sterling, Illinois purchased a 40-by-40-foot structure with four slides, a rock wall, climbers and a bridge. They found their community very supportive of their efforts. The Wal-Mart Distribution Center donated food, McDonald’s and the Candlelight Inn donated coolers, drinks and ice for volunteers that come to install equipment for the day. What a great way for local businesses to support a school!

The Hudson Elementary School of Tempe, Arizona partnered with the Symphony of the Southwest for an entertaining and musical fundraiser to benefit the school this fall. The Hudson Elementary School PTA sells individual tickets to the Symphony of the Southwest concerts. They collect more than 35% of the sale price as a school fundraiser. The tickets are also offered to the public at a reduced price, less than 20% the original price. What a lovely way to support your local school, and have a great evening at the same time!

Cathy Bentley, owner of Capitola Coffee Roasters in Capitola, California has a unique fundraiser for local schools. She has a coffee fundraiser that allows students to raise 50 percent of the price of each bag of coffee they sell. Students at the Mar Vista Elementary School in Aptos and also at the Mountain Elementary School in Soquel have raised funds through this java based fundraising program.

You may be wondering, how can you get your local businesses involved with your schools? Get out in the neighborhood and introduce yourself to your local businesses. Ask local businesses for their partnership with your events. Invite them to your programs, plays, fairs and special events so they can see how wonderful and unique your school truly is. Just like on the playground, in order to make a friend you need to go over to the other person and ask them if they want to be your friend!