June 8, 2013

How Schools Can Raise Money Using Amazon

The teaching profession has a lot of great perks...but the salary is not usually one of them. Through the years, I've learned some tips and tricks that have helped me stretch my teacher's salary, all while working around my busy teaching schedule. During this series, I will be sharing them with you! 

If you're new to the whole Budget Teacher Guide thing, you should take a moment and check out some of past money-saving tips here. You won't regret it...and neither will your wallet!

Moving on to today's tip:

I am super-duper over-the-top excited to share this budget tip with you! It's something I've been looking into for a while and I finally took the plunge. Now it's your turn ;)

As many of you know, when I started this site, my goal was two-fold:

  • Create a place where I could encourage and help other teachers create a successful classroom (while feeding the 'teacher side' of me that was going into withdrawl after choosing to stay at home with my son).
  • Do something to contribute- even in a tiny way- to the bottom line of our household.
I had done some research and wanted to make sure that the ways I chose to make money using this site would never compromise the integrity of the content. In other words, I didn't want to ever do a review for a product I didn't support or have ads with Pamela Anderson's latest lingerie line being shown.

The answer I stumbled across: The Amazon Associates Program

Now, since this post is supposed to be all about how YOU can save or  make a little money, I will skip over the details of how this program works for me and focus on how you can use it. 

We all like to give back, but we often don't know how to do that when our cash flow is a little tight. The Amazon Associates Program is one way we can give back to our schools without costing us a cent.

What is the Amazon Associates Program?

Amazon.com has an program where they will pay associates a small percentage of a sale (4%-15%) if the sale is made through a link on the associate's website...like, say, your school's website. See where I'm going with this?

Here's the idea in pictures:
amazon affiliate program

Whenever someone uses an associate link to get to Amazon, Amazon will track their purchases over the next 24 hours and that associate gets a percentage of the sale price deposited into their account. Here's how the commissions are structured (per month):

How can my school use this program?

First, have them sign up to be an associate here. It's free! They will receive a link with a unique ID number in it. Place that link on the school's webpage.

Then, have parents bookmark the site. Explain that when they want to purchase something through Amazon, they can simply click on the school's link first and then do their shopping. One extra click on their part and you get an incredibly easy fundraising tool! 

Need more ideas on how to incorporate this program in you're school's fundraising efforts? Here are some great ideas from Dollars For Schools.

When I realized that this program could benefit schools and other non-profits, I was ecstatic! I mean, how many times a day week do I purchase something from Amazon? If I took an extra 3 seconds of my time, I could support a good cause and all without leaving my couch. Works for me!

What if my school won't use this program?

Well, that would be a real bummer for them. But don't let that stop you from giving back! Find another worthy organization that is using the Associates program and bookmark their site. There are many great ones out there...but if you're still at a loss, you can always support my site. ;)

Just click on the Amazon link in the upper right-hand corner before you do your shopping. Easy peasy.

It would be an honor for you to support me, but before you do that, I'd recommend reading this and this. It will give you an idea of what this site stands for and may help you decide if that's something you want to support or not. 

Whether you use my link or not, I encourage you to use this tool to help others. After all, it doesn't cost you one. little. cent. and it could make a huge difference for someone else.

Like this money-saving tip? Read more ways teachers can save and subscribe to my feed so you don't miss any future tips!


  1. Hmmm, this is a really interesting idea. My school might be able to pull this off. Thanks!

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  3. sounds great! I'll be bringing it up at our next PTA meeting!

  4. It is true that schools can and should take advantage of this, but there are some "red tape" issues that make such an effort sticky. I have been the yearbook adviser at Fort Dorchester High School since 1999. Fundraising is only second in my life to actually creating our book, and it's an awfully close second. Our book cost $78,000 to publish last year. The school provides none of that income, so we run a school store, sell the books, make and sell our own savings cards, and last May, as a longtime Amazon associate, it occurred to me that we can and should do just what you suggest: fundraise through Amazon. The problem for us is the district's restrictions on outside accounts, and they certainly weren't willing to create and manage the required Amazon associate's account for us. This appeared to be an impasse. Then it dawned on me that we sign agreements with vendors to fundraise all the time. If there was just someone who could set up the accounts and manage them, we could just sign up with them and do the same thing. Problem was I couldn't find anyone like that. That is when I created simpleschoolfundraising.com. We handle all the backend work. The schools just sign up like it was any other fundraiser. The schools earn around 3% (as you know, the "advertising fees" have various payouts for different categories of products, so it is hard to give a firm number, but we guarantee 3%, will provide regular reports, and in the rare cases where the fees earned amount to less than 3%, a detailed report will show why and we will take no profit in those cases.) Anyway, thought this might help some schools who would be interested but not able.

  5. Such an interesting article, I've really enjoyed reading this. I have recently discovered Tony Charalambides fundraising blog, you should check it out.

  6. This is great I am sharing this on Pinterest

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  8. Find out how THOUSAND of people like YOU are making a LIVING by staying home and are fulfilling their wildest dreams TODAY.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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