Anyone else out there remember the days of cutting labels off of Campbell's soup cans or the box tops off your cereal to take into school so that your class would win the pizza/ice cream/no homework party? Our pantry would be stocked with unlabeled cans of soup marked with a Sharpie from our "night-before-the-deadline" collection of as many labels as could fit into our backpacks.
These days, many of these school support programs have expanded to the Internet as well. I found that Box Tops for Education now has three ways for schools to earn up to $60,000 every year! You can earn cash for your school every time you 1) shop online at the Box Tops Marketplace, 2) shop for groceries and clip box tops or 3) order books online through the Box Tops Reading Room.
So, I tried it! I went to their website and registered to support Isaac and Emma's elementary school. From there I followed the link to their "Marketplace". Here's where it got good! There are more than 70 stores to choose from... and not some "no-name-can-I-trust-them-to-not-screw-me-over" stores. We're talking Target, Kohls, Limited Too (Hel-lo! Do your school clothes shopping AND get a donation for your school... Limited Too donates 5% of your purchase!), Hallmark, OfficeMax and Hotels.com. The retailers donate anywhere from .5% to 8% depending on the retailer. So I clicked on Target, picked up some goodies and checked out. Simple as that.
The only issues I came across was having to register again once I reached the retailer's site. Reducing the amount of personal info you need to type to get through the whole transaction would have made it even easier. I also would have liked to see the "results" right away. According to the BoxTops website, it could take up to 8 weeks for the retailer to report back. But, nonetheless, I will be checking regularly to see those bucks add up.
I encourage you to try it out. It's a great way to earn items for your school that aren't covered with current funding.