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Fundraise With A Penny War in 5 Easy Steps

Updated: Nov 3

1,2,3,4, I declare a penny war...Yourtown Elementary is off to the races! A penny war, or coin drive, is an ever popular school, PTA or PTO fundraiser. This year, it can be more impactful than ever. As we recently discussed in our webinar, How PTAs Are Beating Fundraising Goals, there is a national coin shortage so you may be having second thoughts about running your coin drive. However, Alecia Whittaker Pace, an author and New York school PTA leader, points out that this fundraiser is actually a good way to get coins back in to circulation: people have coins sitting at home that they likely won’t go drop off at their bank but if you turn it in to a competition, those coins are getting put back in to circulation.


So how do you run a penny war? It is easy.


Source (Penny War)


Step 1: Create your teams

Split your school into 2 or 3 groups by grade, or have each class compete. If splitting into 2 or 3 groups, doing it by grade is easiest.


Step 2: Advertise your contest

Share out your team groupings, a start and end date, and the prize.


Make sure to publicize what the winning team gets. A pizza party is a common prize but other options include spirit wear, discount on a local restaurant,


Make sure you are sharing across all your channels (newsletter, website, social media) and sharing often. Start to advertise at least 2 weeks before the event begins.


Step 3: Put out a bucket/jar for each team in a central location

Many schools use their office. It is important that the jars are accessible to all students.


Step 4: Encourage families and the community to drop off all coins

Pennies are worth 1 point so drop them in your own team’s bucket.


Any silver coins are minus points (minus 5 points for each nickel, minus 10 points for each dime, minus 25 points for each quarter) so drop them in any opposing team’s bucket.

  • Pro tip: some schools even allow $1 and $5 bills to use used as minus 100 or 500 points or as plus 100 or 500 points.


Use social media to encourage competition – post daily pictures of the jars!



Source (Coins)


Step 5: Count the coins, declare a winner

Good job! You’ve raised money for your school via all the coins collected. You can now take them to the bank to get them back into circulation.


  • Pro tip: If you know of any local businesses in need of coins, you can also take them there to exchange for paper currency.

There you have it, how to create your penny war in 5 easy steps. If you need help, or have success stories to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us at K-12 Clothing.

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