Once you know what’s needed to make your garden program plan a reality, it’s time to map out a plan to obtain it. There are a number of ways to acquire the materials and funds you will need to sustain your school garden program. While the prospect of raising funds to start up or sustain a school garden may seem daunting, this challenge can provide opportunities for learning and help develop a sense of ownership and commitment to the garden on the part of students and volunteers.
Raising Funds For Your School Garden
Here are a few fundraising project suggestions:
Sell garden-related items such as seeds, transplants, indoor plants, dried herbs and flowers, sachets, potpourri, herbal vinegars, pressed flower stationery, produce, zucchini bread, or certificates for an hour of weeding.
Host a silent auction or raffle. These events can build community partnerships featuring promotional donations from local businesses. Auctions and raffles can be combined with a dinner or special event.
Build small worm composting setups, butterfly houses, or other garden-related products and sell them along with directions for use.
Hold a spring garden sale with plants started by the students or donated by local gardeners and nurseries.
Try a harvest market event with produce, cut flowers, salsa, herbal soaps, and garden crafts.
When properly organized, collecting donations can be a very effective way to support your school garden program. Before soliciting donations, make sure you can complete this statement: “Our garden is a good investment for you because….”
Start by asking for donations from parents. They have the potential to be your biggest supporters; even if they cannot donate directly, they may have connections to businesses within the community that may be willing to offer support for your program. Next expand to local groups and businesses. Generally, the closer the businesses are to your school, the stronger the connection they will feel and the more likely they will be to donate. Take time learn a bit about each business before you visit so you can ask for appropriate items and services. Soliciting donations from local groups and businesses can be more than a way of obtaining needed money and materials. It also serves to publicize and develop support for your program and to actively involve the community in supporting education.