We had never heard of that option but a group recently told us about their experience doing just that. One of the student's mothers worked for an importer. She was the one that presented the idea to the school as a PTO fundraiser. She told the board that she could get them wholesale prices on gift items that they could use to create gift baskets to sell for their fundraiser.

The board was very excited about the possibility. It was an easy way to raise money. Their goal was to build a playground and they did not want to get a loan or borrow the money. So they decided to explore the possibility.

They met at the importers showroom and picked out a selection of inexpensive holiday items. They decided to put together three different options at three different price points. They took the actual items they chose, placed them in the baskets and took photos of their new creations.

With those photos they created a color brochure. It was very basic they told us but it showed the different baskets, had a list of the items in the basket and showed the retail price they hoped to sell the items for. They chose to sell the gift baskets as a winter fundraiser so they handed out the brochures in the middle of October and made November 1 the deadline to turn in orders. They never told us the exact number of gift baskets that they sold but she did tell us that the sale went well beyond their wildest imagination.

Of course very few groups have the resources or contacts to sell custom gift baskets for an elementary school fundraiser. But the lesson of this fundraising experience is that you can and should think outside the box when planning how to raise money.