Sustainable School Fundraising Ideas – How We Turned Waste Into Money

At A Fitting Connection, we’re all about making school fundraising ideas sustainable and better for the planet!

Our overarching goal is to empower people to be purposeful in their purchasing and disposing choices, and one of the ways we encourage this is through our Fundraising With Purpose program.

In November 2021, we were excited to work with the Environmental Council at Apollo Parkways Primary School in Melbourne to deliver this program. The Council had been searching for more environmentally friendly school fundraising alternatives, and the idea of turning fashion waste into money fit the bill perfectly.

When the school originally registered their interest in our program, they were learning face to face. However, by the time the program was due to be delivered, Melbourne was in lockdown and the students had returned to remote learning. Despite this, we delivered our sessions online and the Environmental Council undertook the program with great enthusiasm. 

We delivered the program content online over 2 sessions, exploring purposeful product development and ideas around how the students could market their finished products and use the fundraising money. 

The students and teacher decided that, rather than volunteers making the product, they would make the products themselves. We still provided one volunteer to help the students streamline the process.

While the students only worked on the products for 30min at a time, they quickly started to understand what it may feel like to work in a factory. At the end of 4 making sessions the students had made over 50 dog toys from waste, which consisted of: 

  • 10kg of textile waste
  • 27kg of tennis balls

Over the 4 making sessions the students also took photos of the school’s therapy dog with the toys and discussed marketing and pricing strategies. They also conducted a survey of who owned dogs, and if they purchase Christmas gifts for them. This helped the students understand how many toys they should make, to ensure their production remained purposeful and they didn’t over produce.

The Council’s efforts were well supported by their fellow students and community, with orders immediately rolling in the moment they opened up for sales. By the end of the program, they had sold 98% of the products made and fundraised $384 dollars, which the school donated to Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Throughout the process, the students showed thoughtful consideration, eagerness to learn and passion. And when we thought we couldn’t be any prouder of their achievements, they went and acknowledged that they had made money from rubbish! We may have had to blink tears away ?

A huge thank you goes out to Apollo Parkways Primary School for their involvement in our program. Also to Nillumbik Shire Council for supporting the program and having a hand in making it a success, allowing the students to finish a tough year on a high.