Get A Salad Bar in Your School Faster!
Fundraising on your own behalf
by: Emily Miller
At Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S), we are dedicated to donating salad bars to U.S. schools so that every child has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We encourage school districts nationwide to apply for one (or more!) of our salad bars and work hard to make sure that we can get equipment to districts in need as quickly as possible.
However, our program works differently than most grants. We don’t keep a large pot of reserved funds from which we grant out equipment once a year. LMSB2S is a rolling grant program, which means as we review and approve applications, we place schools on an “approved” waiting list while we search for funding. At any given time, this list can include hundreds of schools. Our partners at United Fresh Produce Association and Whole Kids Foundation work year round searching for and securing funds for Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools, this year alone raising an impressive $1.4 million! But from the outset, we have always encouraged a “crowd funding” component to the program. Engaging your stakeholders in your salad bar campaign gives you a leg up on marketing your plan to improve your meal program.
As soon as your application has been approved, your district is automatically included on our Donate a Salad Bar page, where your fans can make direct donations to your district online. We encourage you to fundraise on your own behalf because when school districts choose to work together with our partners, their bar(s) will arrive sooner. Without any district involvement, LMSB2S partners can typically secure funding for a bar within 12-14 months.
Ready to give crowd funding a try? Getting salad bar equipment into local schools directly affects your local community and their children, which makes parents and local businesses some of the most passionate advocates for your cause – they just need to know about it!
Read on for tips and resources to help get the word out and engage your community in the fundraising process.
ASK LETTERS: Contact a local company or community organization and ask if they would support a salad bar for your school. This letter should come from your schools’ superintendent, principal, food services director, or a PTA/O member. You can use this template letter and customize it with information specific to your school / the local company you are reaching out to.
ADVOCATE OUTREACH: Encourage school administrators, staff, board members, and parents to share your fundraising efforts through their personal contacts and social media accounts.
NEWSLETTER: Feature your salad bar fundraiser in your school newsletter and be sure to provide progress updates in subsequent newsletters.
WEBSITE: Add an eye-catching graphic on your homepage that links to your fundraising page on the LMSB2S site.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Have your school/district post weekly announcements about your salad bar fundraiser on Facebook and Twitter.
BLOG: If your school has an active blog, feature your salad bar fundraiser in several blog posts that provide updates on your progress.
EMAIL SIGNATURES: Ask school administrators and staff to place a link to your fundraising page in their email signatures.
Suggested copy: “Help bring a salad bar to our school! Visit our fundraising page at Let’s Move Salad bars to Schools (LMSB2S) to support our latest healthy eating initiative.”
FUNDRAISING MEAL: Organize a special fundraising meal, such as a pancake breakfast or a Friday night dinner, in the school cafeteria.
GUEST SPEAKER: Plan a student concert for parents, teachers, and other school staff. Invite a guest speaker to come and promote your salad bar fundraiser.
SCHOOL GARAGE SALE: Sell individual tables or spaces to parents for $10. Also have a school table with donated goods from other parents and the school.
WALKATHON: Invite students, parents, teachers, school staff, and community members to “Walk for Salad Bars.”
LOCAL RESTAURANT: Organize an “Eat for Salad Bars” event every Thursday or Friday evening for one month. A portion of the proceeds can go towards your salad bar fundraiser.
GROCERY STORE: Work with your local grocery store to have a percentage of their salad bar sales donated to your school’s salad bar fundraiser.
FAMILY FUN NIGHT: Hold a fundraising event that includes a book fair, games, food stations, face painting, and even a photographer.
Promoting your salad bar campaign through community outreach and fun events not only ensures that your bar will arrive faster, but it makes it more likely that your salad bar program will be a success! When students, parents, and school staff have a hand in the fundraising process, they naturally become invested in making the salad bar work. When the fruit of their labor arrives, brimming with items like freshly cut cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes and crisp red bell peppers, kids and adults alike won’t need any convincing to eat their vegetables.
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