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Fund-Raising Ideas for Spelling Bees

man holding a 50-Euro note

Why am I including this page of fund-raising ideas for spelling bees? It's because some school districts are well-funded and others are not, yet all school systems should be able to hold their own spelling bees!

These ideas may help to level the playing field so that more schools can offer excellent, motivational spelling bee competitions in their communities. 

Spelling Bee Expenses

You don't have to spend much money at all to hold a spelling bee.  You can use the free spelling bee words here at Spelling-Words-Well.  Or you can compile your own lists of spelling bee words.

Likewise, you can print off some of my free spelling bee certificates, or you can make your own.  And,  you can give away prizes that others have donated, or you can skip the prizes altogether.  (Although, I must warn you, you'll have some very disappointed, talented kids!)

However, if you conduct spelling bees for several years in a row, you'll probably need to start thinking about fundraising ideas.  Sooner or later, most spelling bee coordinators become overwhelmed with the monumental task of compiling appropriate word lists, adding definitions, writing sentences, researching the language of origin, etc. They eventually wish to purchase graded spelling bee word lists, like the ones offered on this website. 

You may also want to purchase professionally-made certificates, and you will probably want to give out at least a few fabulous prizes!

Fund-Raising Ideas

Here are a few ways you may be able to cover the costs of your bees:

1. Ask  local businesses to sponsor your event. 

Tell them up front what your expenses will be and ask if they would like to cover all or part of the cost. In exchange, tell them their business name and logo will appear on all of your spelling bee notices and programs.  They may view a donation to your bee as an advertising expense,  and/or a way of building better community relations.

Think about newspapers, radio and television stations, as well as stores, services and manufacturers. 

NOTE: If necessary, I can send an invoice directly to your sponsoring business so that they can pay me directly. For this method to work, you'll need to contact me with the name, email address, mailing address and contact person's name for the business. You'll also have to tell me which spelling bee products you'll be purchasing.  Almost always, I'll need to have received the funds before I email the products to you. 

Business may be happy to donate prizes, even if they are unable to give cash, so be sure to offer them that opportunity. 

family walking at sunset on beach

2. Ask your local Parent -Teacher Association .

 Sometimes they have a bit of cash to use for worthwhile education events.  A spelling bee certainly fits this description. This group may also be able to help you on the day of the bee with such tasks as greeting attendees, passing out programs, serving refreshments or cleaning up. 

3. Ask personal friends and family members who have an interest in education. 

Sometimes those who know you best and already believe in  what you're doing are happy to contribute; they only need to be asked! Often, these people might be able to give only a portion of your total need,  but remember that all assistance you receive is valuable.  These folks will probably probably wish to remain anonymous, and that's okay.

muffins with powdered sugar

4. Hold a bake sale.

If none of the above fund-raising ideas seem to work for you, consider holding bake sales, candy sales, or other similar events in which all the proceeds go into your spelling bee fund.  It's not a bad idea for the spellers and their families to take part in this side of the process.

Be Sure to Say "Thank You"

calligraphy pen writing "thank you"

Be sure to extend your heartfelt  thanks to all who donated and helped you in anyway with your spelling bee. Say "thank you" by name, if appropriate, at your spelling bee. Mail written thank you notes, too. 

More Ideas?

If you have more fund-raising ideas, especially ones that you've used successfully, please tell me about them. I'll add them to this list. 

  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. Bee Resources
  3. Fund-Raising Ideas


Spelling Words Well logo

Think a Spell brain teaser eBook

Think-A-Spell! A fun collection of brain teasers and spelling challenges. Best for ages 10 to adult. 

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Gigantic Spelling Bee Word Lists with definitions, sentences and languages

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Spelling Bee Toolboxes for Grades 3/5 and 6/8   All the resources you need for a successful bee! 

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Monumental Spelling Bee Word Lists for grades 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 with definitions, sentences and languages

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Mammoth Spelling Bee Word Lists  for grades 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8  with sentences, definitions, and languages

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Young Spellers Spelling Bee Word List for Grades 1 & 2 only 

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100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words with Definitions, Sentences and Pronunciations, Volumes 1 and 2

600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences

600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences for Gr 3/5 & 6/8 Extra words & sentences at two levels