One of the most lucrative button-making ideas I've ever come up with, is one I call "Personalized Sports and School Activity buttons". They are relatively easy to produce, the cost per button is low, and the profit potential is enormous!
Depending on the size button you are making, these buttons can be produced for between 12 - 20 cents a piece and when we produced this type of button and sold them directly to the school booster clubs, they usually turned around and sold them to the parents for $3.00 to $4.00 each.
Now that's a remarkable amount of profit!
The power behind the Sports / Activity button designs is that each button is personalized with a student's name, and if applicable, their jersey number.
Parents are proud of the accomplishments of their children and if I happened to be watching my child participate in a school-sponsored football game or a musical program, and saw one of these buttons personalized with my child's name on it, how could I possibly resist reaching into my wallet so I could take home such a great momento?
I couldn't... and that's the point!
When doing Sports / School Activity buttons, you can look at the children who participate in these activities as a renewable resource. That is to say, each year and with each new sport or school activity that takes place during the school year, you have a new opportunity to make buttons for all the children who participate.
In my opinion, the best way to sell this type of button is to have them ready-made prior to the game or activity, and then display them on a table at that game or activity. Then, when the parents see them, they can simply reach into their purse or wallet, pull out their money, and take the buttons home with them. It's possible that a few buttons might go unsold, but with the profit you would make from the buttons you do sell, that won't be enough to worry about.
If you choose to do this, I recommend doing two buttons for each student. To encourage the parents to take both buttons, you might even offer a special price, of let's say, one button for $3.00 or two buttons for $5.00. Of course, you get to decide what price you will set.
If you choose, you could also take orders for additional buttons so that if the child's grandparents, aunts and uncles would like to have one, they can too.
If you aren't already doing Sports / School Activity buttons, by all means, get started! You'll be amazed how much money you can earn when you are doing them.
Besides the obvious ones, like sports, you could also make them for the marching band, drama club, speech or debate clubs. You simply place a graphic representing that activity or possibly even the school mascot in the center.
Another way you can use buttons for fundraising is what I call "Game Day" buttons.
When I went to high school, we had what we called "assemblies" on the day of a big game. There, the cheerleaders and pom squad would get us excited about that night's game and there would be banners posted all over campus proclaiming something like "Beat the Bengals" or "Crush Central".
My high school didn't do it back then, but if one of the clubs or campus organizations had been producing buttons with these slogans, they could easily have raised $500 or $600 a week, just making buttons that had these crazy little sayings on them.
If this last idea sounds like a good idea to you, here's another idea that ties into it and would likely improve your sales significantly, without costing you another dime.
When doing this type of button I recommend that you contact one of your area's local pizza parlors and ask them if they would be willing to donate a pizza or two to the school. In return, you would have the game's announcer make an announcement during half-time, saying that the pizzas were donated by ...... (Most pizza parlors will jump at the chance)
Ok, so here's how all of this ties together.
When you are selling one of the previously mentioned sports buttons, you also give the buyer a ticket, and let them know that at half-time, the announcer will select one ticket and the lucky person holding that ticket will receive the FREE pizzas courtesy of ....
Of course, the only people who can possibly win are the people who purchased one of the buttons.
Make a big deal about the presentation. Perhaps you could have the cheerleaders escort the lucky winner to the middle of the field to receive their prize, and then escort them back into the stands. Or something of the sort.
We all like winning and we all like being fussed over, so you can imagine that if you implement a plan like this, your buttons sales would really soar.
And don't limit the buttons you make to just one saying per game. Have several different designs to choose from.
I hope this article has given you some good ideas on how you can use buttons to do fundraising in a school environment.
If you have any good fundraising ideas that use buttons and would like to share them with us, please send me an email.