Other homeschool groups host dinner theaters and spaghetti suppers to raise money. I wouldn't classify these as easy fund-raisers, but some groups enjoy the collective efforts required to put on a production. The children can help serve and clean up after the meal. Some groups like to combine the dinner with a program such as a play, talent show, or an end-of-year show and tell. 

Donation Drives 

For generations, nonprofits have been raising money for their mission through donation drives. Homeschool groups could follow their pattern with a unique angle. Nancy Carter's support group in Kentucky has a read-a-thon each year. The kids find sponsors who commit to make donations for every book that a student reads during a designated two-week period of time. The support group asks local businesses to donate prizes, and then they have a party for all who participated. It has been a great fund-raiser and a fun time for Nancy's group! 

When Kristen Fragala was a support group leader, she composed a simple fund-raising letter for members to send to grandparents, friends, and neighbors who were supportive of the family and homeschooling. The letter asked these friends and relatives to make a donation to the support group for any amount. This approach is very straightforward and can be quite successful. 

Your organization must be a qualified tax-exempt organization in order for these donations to qualify as tax deductions by a donor. If your donation drives are successful, your group should consider obtaining 501(c)(3) status. This status usually increases donations because the donors are eligible to receive tax deductions for their gifts. Visit http://www.homeshoolcpa.com/ for more information. 

Income From Your Website 

Your group can bring in funds by putting an Amazon.com link on your website and encouraging members to shop at Amazon via the link. Amazon will pay your organization 5% of all purchases or 15% if you link to a specific book title. Visit http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join to learn more about this easy way to earn money. 

Taking advantage of Google's Adsense program on your homeschool group's website can bring in additional revenue too. Be aware that you cannot choose the ads that will appear on your website. You can, however, designate a target audience based on key words you supply, such as homeschool. Visit www.google.com/adsense to read the details. 

Can a Family Homeschool Have a Fund-Raiser? 

So far, I have discussed fund-raisers that are sponsored by homeschool groups, but your family homeschool can have a fund-raiser if you follow a few guidelines. Here are some tips from fund-raising expert, Jim Berigan, a former Christian school principal and nonprofit director (www.TopSchoolFundraisers.com). 

  • Check with the fund-raising organization first. Some fund-raising organizations limit their programs to groups or organizations and will not allow an individual family to participate.
  • Understand the tax implication of your fund-raising income. Speak with an accountant or tax preparer before you attempt a fund-raiser. Your profit from the fund-raiser will need to be reported as income on your tax return.
  • Keep excellent records of everything you earn and everything you spend.
  • Reach out to the leadership of the local homeschool network in your area to ask their advice and learn from their experience. 

Reporting Fund-Raiser Income