MSP Photography News

10 Fundraising Ideas for Schools


Great school fundraising ideas to get you thinkingSchools hold fundraising drives for all sorts of reasons – to subsidise a school excursion, pay for much needed classroom equipment or fund building repairs. Fundraising can be difficult in any financial climate, but there are a range of ideas that families will value.

Here’s a few ideas to get your fundraising committee thinking:

  1. School calendar – every family could use a beautiful calendar setting out important school dates for the year. It’s good to think about this by Term Four so calendars can be on sale or provided to families in Term One.
  2. Yearbooks – the perfect snapshot of the year that was, yearbooks can be sold to parents as a great fundraiser. Advertising space within the yearbook is another great way to cover costs and raise additional funds.
  3. Christmas cards or gift wrapping paper – Ask students to enter their design in a competition to select the best artwork for the cover of the Christmas Card and wrapping paper design.
  4. Themed family portrait weekends – have a professional photograph taken of your family, with a proportion of sales going to your school. Themes might include Easter, Christmas, the school formal/graduation or something particular to your school.
  5. Sponsorships – students can ask family and friends to sponsor them in activities like a walk-a-thon, a read-a-thon or foregoing their favourite activity (lollies, screen time, talking).
  6. Artwork auction and cocktail reception – this not only gives parents the chance to buy their child’s masterpiece, it also gives them a nice excuse to mingle with other parents. Artworks could be paintings, drawings, sculpture or any kind of craft making.
  7. School fete – this usually takes months of planning, but the rewards are there for hardworking volunteers to raise big dollars for their school. The sky’s the limit with fete stall ideas and attractions.
  8. Products/drive – Everything from cakes to plants, games and puzzles to first aid kits can be sourced and sold as a fundraiser. Products that lend themselves to families (such as toys, drink bottles or books) work well as a fundraising drive.
  9. Car wash – hosting a carwash at the school is a good way to get students involved in fundraising for a particular excursion or end-of-year activity. Plus the family car is left sparkling clean!
  10. Dance the night away – a school disco is a great way for the kids to socialise, get some exercise and raise funds for the school via an entry fee.


What Kids Get From Giving


Discover what children get from giving to others You may have heard of outreach – giving to help those in need. But have you ever heard of in-reach? Coined by former school principal and founder of SchoolAid, Sean Gordon, in-reach describes the benefit you get from being involved in outreach; of doing something for someone else.

SchoolAid is a schools-based philanthropic network that empowers kids to help other kids in crisis. Founded 11 years ago, SchoolAid has raised more than $4.5 million in various appeals including the Black Saturday fires in Victoria, the Queensland floods, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, and the recent Typhoon Haiyan. More than 4,000 Australian schools have contributed to this significant fundraising effort.

I was lucky enough to meet Sean in mid-2013, when he addressed MSP Photography’s annual national conference in Hobart.

Sean tells of volunteering with the local fire brigade and State Emergency Service (SES) rescue squad, attending the scene of horrific accidents, including the Thredbo landslide.

“I was leading my SES team when we found (landslide survivor) Stuart Diver,” Sean told.
“His resilience and ability to hang on made me think about hope. I’m a parent and an educator and I wondered how do we get kids to be hopeful – where does that come from? How can I do something with my students to help create a sense that they live in the lucky country?

“Then I thought, ‘What if the 10,000 schools in Australia combined together and did something? If those 10,000 schools could raise $100 each, that’s $1,000,000 towards a good cause’.”

He described how children innately want to give, and how he established SchoolAid to not only allow kids to contribute to something greater than their individual school could achieve, but also show them how their funds were used and how that made a difference to kids in need.

“Without that, it’s just a coin in a box,” he said.

“My aim for SchoolAid is to assist parents, teachers and principals by providing practical and meaningful ways for kids to really live the values of care and compassion so they can develop a lifelong sense of contribution and active citizenship.”

If Sean Gordon gets his way, the positive impact this has on the children who give, and to society in general, will be felt long into the future. Such is the power of in-reach.

MSP Photography is proud to partner with SchoolAid. You can read more here.


Tips for Encouraging Philanthropy in Your Child:

  1. Let them choose – talk to your children about different charities and let them choose where your family donation should go.

  2. Match their contribution – if your child wishes to contribute to a fundraiser with their own money, offer to match it.

  3. Encourage giving – along with teaching children how to save, also encourage them to donate. A good way to do this is to separate their pocket money into three piggy banks – one for spending, one for saving and one for giving.

  4. Talk to them about the news – kids will often see confronting images on the news and not know how to process what they see. By asking how those images made them feel, you will help them come to terms with the world around them. Donating money, goods or sending a message of hope to those affected by a natural disaster, for example, might help them feel better about what they’ve seen.

  5. Visit the SchoolAid website – there are lots of ways kids can be empowered to help other kids in crisis and the SchoolAid website is a great starting point. There are many resources on the site for kids, parents and teachers alike.



Preparing Students for Photo Day


Top tips for preparing first year students for photo dayFor most students, photo day means a few minutes out of class to have their class photo taken and then they get on with their school day. 

For new kindergarten/prep students, photo day might seem a bit confusing. 

If students are more familiar with what happens on photo day, they will be well prepared to play their starring role.

Before Photo Day

As photo day nears, parents and teachers can help by talking with their young students about the day and how it will be a fun and enjoyable experience. Reminders to follow the simple instructions of MSP Photography staff are appreciated.

The children may like to practise their best smiles ahead of time but if your child has a tendency to grimace when you say “cheese”, show them things they can do to relax (keeping shoulders and arms loose, relaxing the face) to ensure our photographers can capture a more natural expression.

On the day

Parents can help by dressing their child into their best school clothes and ensuring teeth have been brushed and hair is neat and tidy. Young students will find it difficult to fix a complicated hairstyle if it happens to fall before the photo is taken, so keeping to a simple style is preferable.

Remember that hands and feet are often visible in group photos, so polishing shoes and ensuring hands and nails are clean is also a good idea.

Having the completed order envelope ready for the child to hand in makes the process run smoothly – even if an online order has been placed, or the parent isn’t ordering, the child will still need to bring in their envelope on the day.

Teachers can assist by lining up the students from shortest to tallest for the class photograph, making it much easier for the photographer to arrange them.

Safety around our photography stands is important, so ensuring students know they need to be sensible when standing or sitting on them is helpful. Of course, the MSP Photography staff will demonstrate how to safely step on and off the stands and help the students to do so.

When photos arrive

Getting photo packs back from school is an exciting time, especially for young students.

Parents can create a special moment by sitting down with their children and going through the images together. Children will love pointing out their teacher and their friends to you. Sharing school photos with family and friends is a treasured tradition in many families, so taking a print to grandmas, or emailing one to cousins interstate is a nice way to introduce your young student to that tradition.

So teachers, the better prepared your students are, the more smoothly the photo session will run. And for parents, the better prepared your child is, the more you’ll love their portraits.

By Erica Stoker and Marissa Nolan, MSP Photography Illawarra

How to Build a Project Team to Develop Student Yearbooks


Learn what it takes to build a school student yearbookAt the start of the year, creating a student yearbook can seem like a daunting task. For some, the school yearbook project is carried by a single person, which makes the yearbook a mammoth undertaking.

This article attempts to explain how to build a project team to get the job done simply and easily, thereby removing the stress and making it a pleasurable process for teachers and students.

Here are some of the tasks you need yearbook team members to perform:

Project Manager/Yearbook Chairperson

• Oversees the entire project
• Recruits yearbook team members and assigns duties and tasks
• Establishes the project timing (with help from MSP Photography if required) and ensures deadlines are met

Finance Manager

• Controls payments and incoming revenue for yearbook purposes
• Oversees yearbook order process
• Ensures outgoing payments are made


• Reads and edits stories submitted
• Checks accuracy of names, captions and headlines
• Proof reads all text, signing off each page
• Checks final proof prior to print for final approval


• Takes photographs throughout the year
• Ensures special events (ANZAC Day march, school fete, sports carnivals) are covered
• Sources additional images from students
• Ensures captions for photos are collected and correct
• Selects images to accompany articles

NOTE: it is great to get students involved. Assign classroom photographers, or ask school leaders to take on the role at special events. The yearbook belongs to all students, so where possible make sure each student appears in the yearbook at least once!


• Gather information and write articles for different sections of the yearbook
• Ensures special events are covered
• Provides photographs where possible, including captions

NOTE: students, parents and teachers can all contribute articles to the yearbook. The more involved the school community is with the yearbook, the more they will want to see, and own, the finished product.

Sponsorship and Marketing 

• Organises and places sponsor advertising
• Creates the sales campaign to increase yearbook sales
• Organises fund-raising activities
• Compiles the ‘sales toolkit’
• Creates yearbook promotions material (ads in the school newsletter, posters around school)
• Regularly communicates with students, parents and the local community about the yearbook

NOTE: yearbooks are a great fundraiser!

Read more about MSP Yearbooks.