Are you collecting Box Tops for Education? You should!
Box Tops for Education is a school fund raising program that was created by cereal titan and Fortune-500 company General Mills® in 1996. Hundreds of brand names participate in the program, and one can find these special labels on popular breakfast cereals, snacks, beverages, baking mixes, frozen and fresh produce and many other foods.
Betty Crocker® is one of the major food brands that participates in Box Tops, along with other well-known sponsors including Green Giant®, Old El Paso®, Nestle®, and Pillsbury®. Since its inception, the program has generated more than 475 million dollars for schools all over the country.
One of the main attractions of the program is that it is really very simple to participate. As the program has evolved, it has become a staple of annual and ongoing projects at many schools. To help your school earn money from the box tops program, you can:
- shop at any store carrying the specially-marked products.
- shop online for those and other products (these digital box tops are added to a school’s account automatically).
- enter online contests to win thousands of Bonus Box Tops awarded monthly.
- ask family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to clip and save.
Box Tops for Education drives can raise a lot of cash for schools as long as there are energetic coordinators to promote and organize these efforts. Coordinators are usually parent or student volunteers who are responsible for managing activities and drives throughout the school year. The coordinator must also gather and mail all of the box tops collected for his or her school before the semi-annual submission deadlines in October and February.
One of the most challenging parts of coordinating a Box Tops for Education collection drive is motivating students and parents to clip the vouchers and bring them to school. While most people want to help raise money for school, it is easy to forget something as simple as cutting off a box top. One of the best ways to keep the program fresh in everyone’s mind. You can do this by:
- constantly promoting the program in the school newsletter and/or PTA.
- sending informational flyers along with collection sheets home with the students. The leaflets should provide a brief explanation of the program, its historical impact on the school’s funding, and a list of the participating brands.
- setting up collection bins at the local grocery store, library, and senior center.
- setting up a box tops “store” where students can exchange box tops for prizes.
Another way to motivate students is by holding contests. Many schools offer special rewards to the students or classrooms that collect the most Box Tops. Some prize examples that are popular among elementary school children include pizza or ice cream parties or field trips for winning classes and restaurant or retail gift certificates for individual students. Older students may also enjoy pizza parties, but they will probably work harder for retail gift cards and “points” or virtual currency for music downloads or online gaming sites. Larger schools may even offer a grand prize like a bicycle, hand-held gaming console, or tablet PC for exceptional participants.
Hopefully these tips can help your school collect more box tops.