In my opinion, the best thing about fundraising in general is that you get to use your imagination. We are faced with a challenge and we come up with a creative solution.
Need a new playground? OK, let’s find ways to raise funds in a way that is not a burden on our community. Need equipment for your kindergarten room? Let’s think outside the square and do some fundraising that is a little fun!
Creativity is the essence of fundraising, and it is never more so than when combining artwork with tea towels.
Expressions as a Fundraiser
Expressions Tea Towels have been around for 20 years and a part of the Fundraising Directory since we began in 2006. There are two main reasons why they are a staple in Australia’s school and club fundraising scene.
First, the way they do their custom designs is lovely and engaging. From class handprints to self-portraits, graduation tea towels to group artwork – the options are limitless.
The second is that they have never compromised on the quality of tea towels they use. I have Expressions tea towels in circulation that have stood the test of time.
I guess we can add a sneaky third in here, which is the fact that they have been doing it for so long that the support they offer is complete and seamless – from sending everything you need to get started (including prepaid return mail satchels) to supporting you through the process.
Creative ideas for Fundraising with Tea Towels
The classic montage of self-portraits and handprints are a winner for a reason. If this type of design doesn’t suit for whatever reason, here are some other ideas for your designs.
- A meaningful quote. It was my job to organise World Teacher’s Day gifts for our teachers several years ago. I worked with Expressions to create a design that was very special. Two teachers started crying and another set it on a tea towel frame and hung it on her wall at home. (sorry for the image – I don’t iron tea towels lol)
- Graduation tea towels. This one works best when graduating from primary school but can also work for high school. List all of your graduating students, or even better – get them all to add their signature to a grand design with your school logo in the middle. Over time, you can display each year’s handiwork in a hallway. You can even bring them out for a display at your fete and past students can delight in finding their name.
- Collective artwork. You’ll need to brainstorm ideas first, but choosing a theme can be helpful here. For schools, the school values are a good place to start. For kindergartens, it might be kindness or curiosity. Run a design competition, and choose a winner from each class. Get them to collaborate on a final design that is then printed as a fundraiser for the school. With appropriate supervision, I can guarantee it will be gorgeous!
Final Fundraising Tip
When running a successful fundraiser, nothing beats good communication. Let your families know in advance that it is happening, let them know clearly when to return order forms, and remind them about it in different ways. Having a ‘champion’ running a fundraiser within your community who is enthusiastic and organised will be the secret to your success!
Mandy Weidmann is Australia’s ‘Fundraising Whisperer‘. She publishes the Fundraising Directory and is the author of the Practical Fundraising Handbook for School and Club Volunteers and aims to save school and club volunteers from having to reinvent the wheel all of the time