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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

Re-establish connection, maintain engagement, and more with this practical guide for re-engaging legacy donors for your PTa. Our team at FutureFund is here to help you understand the value of connecting with past donors and continuing those relationships.

Published on April 1, 2024

20 Inexpensive Teacher Appreciation Ideas

From classroom plants to supply gift baskets, these practical and economical teacher appreciation ideas are as useful as they are inexpensive. Make your school’s teachers feel valued without breaking the bank with this list of ideas from FutureFund.
Woman holding a flower pot

Finding a way to show appreciation for your school’s teachers is important—whether or not it’s Teacher Appreciation Week (which is celebrated across the US during the first full week of May each year). But recognizing your teacher’s efforts doesn’t require your school group to go over budget.

Our team at FutureFund has created this list of 20 inexpensive teacher appreciation ideas to help you make your teachers feel extra special during any time of year. You can also use our free fundraising platform for school groups to raise money if you want to organize activities that require additional resources.

See also: More Teacher Appreciation Resources

Use FutureFund to Boost Your School’s Teacher Appreciation Budget

The ideas presented below are intended to be cost-effective, but FutureFund can also help you raise money for larger teacher appreciation gestures. Our platform gives you free access to powerful tools, including:

  • Ready-to-go custom campaign templates for donation drives, ticketed events, “A-Thon” style pledge campaigns, and more.
  • A custom online store where you can sell school spirit wear, supplies, PTA memberships, and other items.
  • A built-in messaging system that makes it easy to tell the school community about upcoming fundraisers and get important feedback about which projects to fund next.
  • One-click financial reporting that saves time for your Treasurer and improves compliance with federal and regional nonprofit regulations.

Get Started with FutureFund to see how these tools can work for you, or keep reading for a list of teacher appreciation ideas that are inexpensive but make a big impact.

Teacher holding classroom plant gift

#1: Classroom Plant Gifts

Students bring in small, easy-to-care-for plants for their teachers.

Why it’s great: Adds a touch of nature to the classroom and can be a long-lasting reminder of student appreciation.

Requirements: Small plants (like succulents), pots, possibly soil. These can often be sourced inexpensively or donated.

#2: Handmade Bookmarks

Students create personalized bookmarks for teachers.

Why it’s great: Encourages creativity and results in a useful, personalized gift for teachers who enjoy reading.

Requirements: Cardstock, markers, ribbons, and other decorative items. These materials are often already available in classrooms.

#3: Potluck Lunch for Teachers

Organize a potluck where students and parents bring in dishes to create a special lunch for teachers.

Why it’s great: Provides a communal and delicious way to show appreciation, fostering a sense of community.

Requirements: Coordination for food contributions, a space to have lunch, utensils, and plates. FutureFund can help you run a donation campaign to raise money for the ingredients.

#4: Teacher Appreciation Coupons

Students create ‘coupons’ offering help with classroom tasks.

Why it’s great: Offers practical help to teachers and teaches students about the value of service.

Requirements: Paper, coloring materials, and a bit of imagination.

Hand-decorated tote bags for teacher appreciation event

#5: Hand-Decorated Tote Bags

Students decorate tote bags with fabric markers or paint, creating a practical and personalized gift.

Why it’s great: Useful for teachers and a fun way for students to express their creativity.

Requirements: Plain tote bags, fabric markers or paint. Bags can often be bought in bulk for less.

#6: Customized Teacher Stationery

Create personalized stationery for teachers with the school’s name or the teacher’s initials.

Why it’s great: A practical, customized gift that teachers can use daily.

Requirements: Paper, printing supplies. This can be done cost-effectively in bulk.

Student placing books in box for classroom library book drive

#7: Classroom Library Book Drive

Organize a book drive to donate gently used or new books to the classroom library.

Why it’s great: Enhances classroom resources and promotes reading.

Requirements: Collection and organization of book donations. FutureFund’s messaging system can make this easier.

#8: Teacher’s Day Off Raffle

Parents and students contribute to give teachers a ‘day off’ with donated items like spa vouchers, movie tickets, or restaurant gift cards.

Why it’s great: A chance for teachers to relax and enjoy some leisure time.

Requirements: Small budget for prizes, tickets for the raffle, organization of the event.

#9: Recipe Collection Book

Students and parents contribute their favorite recipes to create a unique recipe book for teachers.

Why it’s great: A personal and thoughtful gift that can be used and cherished for years.

Requirements: Recipe contributions, printing, and binding of the book. This can be done relatively inexpensively.

Classroom supply gift basket

#10: Classroom Supply Gift Baskets

Create small gift baskets with useful classroom supplies like pens, stickers, and notepads.

Why it’s great: Provides teachers with practical items they need and shows thoughtful consideration.

Requirements: Bulk-purchased or donated classroom supplies, baskets, or containers. Approaching local businesses for sponsorships can make these items easier to source.

#11: Hand-Painted Rocks

Students paint small rocks with inspirational messages or colorful designs.

Why it’s great: Creates a personalized and artistic gift that teachers can use as paperweights or decorations.

Requirements: Small rocks, acrylic paints, and brushes.

#12: Volunteer Time Coupons

Parents and older students offer coupons for volunteering their time to assist with classroom needs or events.

Why it’s great: Provides valuable help to teachers and fosters community involvement.

Requirements: Paper and pens to create the coupons.

#13: Classroom Herb Garden

Create a small herb garden for the classroom or teacher’s lounge.

Why it’s great: Adds greenery to the school environment and can be used in science lessons or for cooking.

Requirements: Small pots, soil, herb seeds or seedlings.

Student knitting handmade teacher appreciation gift

#14: Knitted or Crocheted Items

Students or parents knit or crochet small items like coasters or scarves for teachers.

Why it’s great: Offers a warm, personal touch and can be a fun group project.

Requirements: Yarn, knitting needles or crochet hooks.

#15: Customized Mugs

Students decorate mugs with special markers or paints.

Why it’s great: Provides a unique, useful item for teachers’ daily coffee or tea.

Requirements: Plain ceramic mugs, porcelain markers, or paints.

#16: Teacher’s Favorite Things Basket

Collect small items that each teacher loves, like snacks, teas, or stationery.

Why it’s great: Shows teachers that students pay attention to their likes and preferences.

Requirements: Collection of the items, baskets, or bags for packaging.

#17: Group Video Message

Compile a video of students expressing their appreciation or sharing favorite memories.

Why it’s great: A lasting, personal reminder of the students’ gratitude.

Requirements: Video recording device, basic editing software.

#18: Teacher Appreciation Quilt

Each student designs a square; all squares are then stitched together into a quilt.

Why it’s great: Provides a collaborative and heartwarming gift that can be displayed or used.

Requirements: Fabric squares, fabric markers or paint, someone to sew the quilt.

Teacher holding classroom memory book surrounded by students

#19: Classroom Memory Book

Create a scrapbook filled with pictures, notes, and drawings from the year.

Why it’s great: A personalized keepsake filled with memories from the school year.

Requirements: Scrapbooking materials, photos, student contributions.

#20: Potted Flower Project

Students grow flowers from seeds in small pots to give to teachers.

Why it’s great: Teaches students about caring for plants and offers a blossoming gift.

Requirements: Seeds, soil, small pots, and a bit of patience for the flowers to grow.

Create Maximum Impact with Your Teacher Appreciation Efforts

When it comes to showing appreciation for your school group’s teachers, the impact you make is more important than the money you spend. Use this list of inexpensive ideas to bring smiles to your teachers’ faces and keep your school budget on schedule.

For those of you who are new to FutureFund, get started here to find out how it can help. During a brief discovery call, we’ll show you the tools our platform provides to help you streamline your fundraisers and reach your goals more efficiently.

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