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As a small school debater trying to raise some funds to help our debate team, I was wondering what have been successful methods that others of you in similar situations have done? 

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Alot of these will be common methods but they are most successful.

 

1. School candy drive - It is the greatest thing in my opinion. If you can get them it works just do a chocolate fundraiser it brings in alot of money because carrying it around school means everyone with a few spare dollars will be buying some chocolate.

2. Stake Out - Just sit in front of popular stores but avoid expensive ones. If you stay outside of a convenience store people will spend like 5 or 6 dollars and have 50 cents or 25 cents of change on them which they will keep to give to you. Just 50 people is $12.5 and if you are at more than one store the money adds up.

3. Teachers - Another great bet because they like to see the school grow so ask the teachers for money it normally isnt much but it requires little effort and if a few start giving money send thank you cards out and more will kept spending.

4. School - Once you have gotten some funds for yourself ask the school if it would help this would get even more money if you recruit alot more members.

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Here are some additional ways to raise money:

 

Phone-a-thon - Call people around your city to ask for donations

Car Wash - hold a car wash to support the debate team

Selling Things - have debate team members go around their neighborhood selling products - this can range from baked goods to raffle tickets

hosting a tournament - if you don't already, hosting a debate tournament at your school can be a way to raise money and spread your team's reputation

 

another factor in your ability to get funding is the reputation of you debate team in the community - the more well known/interconnected the debate team is, the more likely people will contribute. This may also increase the chances of receiving school funding aso your debate program expands.

 

hope this helps

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Actually though, bake sales are pretty good.  Right after school and then go around to the teachers and clubs.

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Money! Get away!.  Get a good job with more pay and you're okay.

Money, it's a gas! Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!

 

(which is also my advice to the OP)

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A lot of small programs I know have had success soliciting law firms and local businesses.  Call and email various managers in every law firm in your city and ask if they would be interested in helping a struggling debate program and explain how similar debate is to law and how debate helps craft future lawyers, etc.  For local businesses, many will be willing to donate their craft (free pizza from XYZ, etc) and some others may just throw a few bones your way.  It's hard work and requires you to be vigilant about soliciting every place you can, but the money is there for the taking.

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You can also try to work snack shacks at your school. If you are good at what you do, you can raise lots of money in tips. I helped raise $1,217 for my school at a single varsity football game and $217 was from tips alone (they capped the other proceeds).

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I should try this!

 

Apparently before I started HS the team used to sell bagels in the mornings before school.

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