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Fundraising Success Is in the (Trash) Bag

July 19, 2020 jill Blog


Every year, schools are faced with the need for fundraising for different activities and programs for their school. St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Kansas City, Missouri, has found one of the best fundraisers for their school.

For over 35 years, St. Elizabeth has held a trash bag fundraiser and raised thousands of dollars each year. Last year, they raised over $35,000 just selling trash bags. Through the years, they have developed a proven model for running a successful fundraiser and maximizing their efforts.

Michael Ebberts, CPTA Fundraising Coordinator at St. Elizabeth, shared some tips and tricks on how they run their fundraiser so successfully.


St. Elizabeth Catholic School selected the trash bag fundraiser because everyone needs trash bags, and it’s a product they believe in. They aren’t asking their families and friends to support their school by purchasing something they don’t need or won’t use.

They also like that they can offer three different sizes of bags, along with paper yard waste bags. They can set their own profit margin, and the bags are made in the USA by a local company in Kansas City.


Communication is always an important factor in any fundraising effort. At the beginning of every school year, each family receives a packet of information for the trash bag fundraiser. It contains a letter detailing sales goals, available bags, sale dates, order forms, and other important information to remember. They usually ask that each family sell a minimum of 50 rolls of bags.  Prizes are awarded to the children in the family based on the number of bags that they sell.


Promoting the fundraiser is a key piece to their success, as well. Because St. Elizabeth has done the fundraiser for years, families and friends pladvertise the fundraiser on their website, as well as school and church newsletters. The school families will also advertise on their social media accounts.

COMMUNITY SUPPORTn on purchasing their trash bag supply from them each year in August and September. The school will a

In addition to the traditional method of taking orders for trash bags by contacting family and friends, St. Elizabeth also contacts local grocery stores and hardware stores in the area. They ask for permission to set up a table outside their stores to sell the fundraiser bags. With the store’s permission, they have six weekends set up for “booth” sales at several different stores in the area.

The school orders a supply of bags ahead of time, so the families have rolls on hand to sell at the booth. They designate a couple of days ahead of time for families to pick up the bags for their booth sales. Families can sign up for two-hour time slots at the store of their choice, on the day and time of their choice. All of the rolls that they sell at the booth go towards their personal family goal of 50 rolls.

This is a unique approach to their fundraiser as it’s a way to reach people outside the normal circle of family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. People in the community know and love the fundraiser trash bags, so they’re quick to purchase bags right there on the spot.


Another avenue that St. Elizabeth has found to support their fundraiser are local businesses.  Again, trash bags are something everyone needs and uses…even businesses. For many years, a local company has purchased several hundred rolls for their yearly supply of bags through the St. Elizabeth fundraiser.


New this year, the fundraiser will be offering a way for St. Elizabeth’s customers to purchase their bags online. This will open up a whole new avenue for trash bag sales for St. Elizabeth.  The convenience and ease of ordering and paying with a credit card online will be an exciting new facet for their fundraiser. All sales through the website will be designated for their school and credited to the appropriate family to reach their sales goal.


Every year, St. Elizabeth also orders extra bags to have on hand to sell throughout the year. This allows them to continue to raise money even after the fundraiser ends. They have bags available for their school families, church members, or even people within the community to purchase at any time.


Over the years, St. Elizabeth has developed an efficient distribution process for their trash bag fundraiser. There are a number of things that go into making distribution easy and successful.

The CPTA coordinates for a specific day and time for delivery of the bags, which allows them to have plenty of time to prepare for distribution to their families.

Then, they have volunteers on hand to help sort and fill the families’ orders. This process is very easy. When a family arrives to pick up their bags, they pull the family’s order total sheet.  They then pull the appropriate rolls needed and off the family goes in less than five minutes.

Finally, they have three days designated for product pick up. Usually they designate Thursday and Friday starting after school into the early evening, and then on Saturday morning.


The trash bag fundraiser has proven to be St. Elizabeth’s fundraiser of choice for over 35 years.  They have learned many things along the way that have helped enhance the entire fundraising process. People love the fundraiser trash bags because of the quality and different sizes available, and the bags practically sell themselves.

St. Elizabeth has found that when you sell something that everyone needs and uses, success is inevitable!

For more information about Frontier Bag and the trash bag fundraiser, visit


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