The “Keep the Change” program was created to encourage community members to “pay it forward” and support additional groups and organizations, by simply filling an empty Allegheny Insurance water bottle with dimes. Each bottle holds 1,000 dimes which equates to a $100 donation to your favorite charity or cause.
Recently, one such organization was able to put the “Keep the Change” program to work by raising money to further the construction of a new playground. Todd Price, a physical education teacher and devoted volunteer, discussed his experience with the “Keep the Change” program and Midland Elementary School’s playground project.
- Do you think fundraising is difficult? If so, why? Yes, it can be. Regardless of what it is you’re raising funds for and trying to get everyone onboard and involved, it can be difficult.
- What was the reaction when you first brought this program back to your organization? Very receptive to it. They were familiar with the program, which helped.
- What does your organization have to fundraise for? This fundraiser is to help purchase playground equipment. Two to three years ago we started major fundraising for the playground because we found the kids weren’t able to use the playground until late May because it wasn’t draining. The first part of donations was used for grading and drain lines. A good portion has already been spent re-grading and now we’re back to the drawing board for raising funds for new equipment. The goal is $30-50,000 based on what we want to purchase. We have several grant opportunities up in the air right now and we’re hopeful, but even if we are awarded these grant funds we still need funds to complete the playground.
- How long did it take you to save dimes and fill bottles? We started at the end of August and it lasted until September 30.
- How did your group actually execute the program? On opening night at the beginning of the school year, we sold four cases of the Allegheny Insurance water for $1/ea. In addition, we told parents to start collecting change for the playground project and they would contribute as well. We made it a competition so that the class that brought in the most funds would receive an extra day of Phys Ed. Miss Yeager’s Kindergarten class won with $550 several other classes were close to that amount too. We also had a poster in the hallway so parents could see at drop off and pick up our progress and be motivated to continue raising funds. Children of business owners took signs and bottles for collection as well.
- Will you do it again? Yes, we are. We have started the next go and have had some bring in donations already.
Are you looking for a new fundraising opportunity for your organization? If so, we encourage you to take a moment and learn more about the “Keep the Change” program and see for yourself just how easy it can be!