Some schools have a strict policy that all budgetary funds need to be used by the last day of school (aka ‘use it or lose it’). If your club or group is in this fortunate situation and has some money left in your budget, check out these ideas on how to spend those extra dollars. Don’t forget to brainstorm within your booster club, student council, PTA, or pep squad to come up with other creative ways to use a budgetary surplus.
1. Gifts and Awards
Recognize hard-working volunteers and/or students with awards and appreciation gifts. Awards do not have to be fancy, since those extra dollars probably won’t stretch too far. Pens, lanyards, notepads, ribbons, and pins are a few examples of quick gifts and awards you can hand out with a heartfelt ‘Thank you.’
2. End of Year School Dance
Even a limited budget surplus can be used for a year-end celebration. Put your extra dollars toward a custom banner to announce the dance, simple decorations, and/or appetizers and punch. Students who may be stressing about exams will love this idea.
3. Orientation Supplies for Fall
Get a jump start on the next school year and order custom folders, pencils, bumper stickers, or key chains for fall orientation. Extra school supplies will be appreciated when the new school year arrives; they will make your orientation planners’ jobs a little easier.
4. New School Store Items
Stock up on school store essentials. Complete your year-end inventory to figure out what items you need. Then, use your extra funds to purchase custom water bottles, backpacks, or other items. Custom knitwear is also a fun idea for fall, since chilly game days are inevitable.
5. Homecoming or Spirit Week Supplies
Start preparing for next year’s Spirit Week and/or Homecoming. Put those extra dollars towards buttons, EyeBlacks, beads, foam rousers, or poms to help boost school pride.
6. Senior All Night Party Door Prizes
Your Senior All Night Party committee is in charge of throwing the big graduation party for your graduating class. Help the party committee and order small door prizes they can hand out as each student arrives. Or use those leftover dollars for a few ‘bigger’ raffle prizes.
7. Save It
If you only have a small amount of extra money in your budget, and are undecided on how to spend it, save it instead. Put the money into an account for the next school year. It could even be the current graduating class gift for the next graduating class.
8. Combine Funds with Other Groups
If you are part of a school that has a ‘use it or lose it’ budget policy, there is a good possibility other clubs and groups are in the same situation. Talk to the head of each club and/or group and combine funds to achieve one of the above ideas.
Does your school have ‘extra’ budget dollars? Pay it forward. Let us and other schools know the creative way(s) you used those funds.