Tough economic times mean that some schools are really struggling. Some schools struggle to fund music programs, art programs and sports programs. Other schools don't have the proper supplies, sufficient staff, safe playground equipment or enough money to offer financial aid for tuition. Parents and children can work together to get donations for a school. There are many ways that a school can collect donations, and fortunately, the school grounds are a great place to hold fund-raising events such as auctions, concerts and car washes. What's more, a school is the perfect place to find volunteers for fund-raising events, as the children and their families can directly benefit from the donation-collection efforts. When seeking donations for a school, it's important to work closely with school administrators. They will need to be notified of all fund-raising efforts.

Find other people who are willing to help gather donations. This can be done by approaching the school PTO members or by starting a new organization (i.e. The Friends of School X). You can get other families involved by asking to have an announcement included in the school bulletin that's sent home with the children. You can approach fellow parents yourself, and you can reach out to the community through newspapers or the school website.

Set up an email address and/or website that can be used to distribute information to families who are interested in helping with fund-raising efforts.

Approach area businesses to ask for donations of goods or services, and hold a raffle or auction at the school. The proceeds can benefit the school, and donations can be collected at the event.

Organize a canister drive with fellow parents or members of the PTO. The canisters can be purchased at an office supply store and decorated by the children. Donation canisters can be placed in area businesses. Volunteers can collect the donations on a weekly basis.

Organize a school yard sale or bake sale. Notices can be sent home with students, asking for baked goods or donations of items for a yard sale. Hold the event at the school and raise money by selling the baked goods or yard sale items.

Contact the school's band director, chorus director or drama director, along with school administration, and volunteer to oversee arrangements for a performance. The concert can be held at the school as a fund-raiser, with donations requested at the door.

Contact school sports team coaches to organize a benefit or donation collection event. Sports team members can wash cars and collect donations. The kids can volunteer to stand outside local businesses to collect donations or the school's sports teams can hold a benefit game, where attendees are asked to make a donation.

Work with the school's art department to arrange a student art sale. High school students can create paintings, sculptures, drawings and other pieces of artwork that can be donated for the art sale, with all proceeds benefiting the school.

Solicit donations from the school's alumni. Private schools, universities and some high schools have an alumni office that oversees communications with graduates. You can ask to have a donation request included with the next alumni newsletter, or you can arrange to have a special donation solicitation form sent out through the alumni office.