School fundraising goes green

Though the kids are probably home for the summer at this point, the PTA, band boosters, or other school organization may already be discussing fundraising plans for the coming year. More efforts to get the kids knocking on doors to sell wrapping paper and nasty pizza kits, right?

Fortunately, a number of eco-entrepreneurs have gotten into the fundraising game, and created opportunities for either selling greener products, or leveraging activities like recycling to raise money for school activities and organizations. A few of the companies involved in this niche:

  • Equal Exchange: One of the pioneers in the sale of Fair Trade food products, Equal Exchange has just partnered with Ten Thousand Villages to expand offerings for its school fundraising program. And, yes, they sell wrapping paper… but it’s a tree-free variety made from recycled cotton. See some of their offerings in the photo above.
  • Green Market Fundraising: Originally CFLs for Kids, this Chicago-based company still focuses on the twirly bulbs as a fundraising product… but also features reusable bags, solar chargers, and family-farmed coffee. (Note: Though it’s been a while, I have worked with GMF.)
  • Eco Sprouts: This company not only provides students with the opportunity to sell organic t-shirts, but to also teach students about the impact of fashion on the environment.
  • Recycling Fundraiser: No sales here… this company pays students to collect e-waste.

Other ideas for green school fundraising

The door-to-door sales model seems pretty ubiquitous, but the Green Schools Initiative has other ideas for green fundraising, including:

  • Experience auctions
  • Walk-a-thons
  • Gift certificate sales for local businesses

What’s your student’s school, club, or organization doing to raise funds in a greener way? Share your stories in the comments…


  • St. Louis-based Practecol rolls out its new line of eco-frugal products.
  • Summer reading for the kids… check out our listings of eco books on a wide variety of topics.

Image credit: Equal Exchange