Art to Remember VS. Artsonia

NOTE: This information is now out of date. For an updated guide to Art Fundraisers, please click here.

As art educators, sometimes our budgets run short, and we turn to various fundraisers to boost our budget. Artsonia and Art to Remember are both fundraisers that assist you by allowing you to receive money back for your art program.  These programs reproduce your students’ artwork into great keepsakes for parents, grandparents and community members to purchase.  Part of the proceeds from selling these keepsakes goes back to your art program.  It is a huge win-win for all parties involved!

I have never used either program, but would like to try one of these fundraisers next school year.  We’ve compiled a handy chart to help you see the differences between the two fundraisers.  This will hopefully help make my decision a little easier, and yours, too, if you’ve also been considering a fundraiser for next year.


[pinit count=”horizontal” url=”” image_url=”” description=”Ultimate Shootout: Artsonia vs. Art-to-Remember” float=”center”]

I know many of you have used Artsonia, and love it, but at the art last conference, a long time user of Artsonia was sold on Art to Remember.  She said that it was great because Art to Remember sent her paper for the students to create on.  Then she mailed it back to them and they sent her samples of the finished products.  Using Art to Remember she did not have to spend time taking and uploading photos of students’ work.  Art to Remember was much quicker for her and her art program raised over $300, and other teachers I know have raised even more!  Although Artsonia has a social feature, where artwork is stored online for parents and grandparents to comment on and purchase items, looking at the two purely as fundraisers, she is starting really favor Art to Remember.

Because Artsonia has the online gallery feature, one could say the fundraising is kind of an afterthought, or bonus to the other benefits that Artsonia brings. We even have heard from teachers who do both programs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other.

Check out the links below by clicking on the text or image for more information about each of these programs.



Art to Remember

Have you tried  Artsonia or Art to Remember?

What are the benefits / drawbacks of each? 

Chelsie Meyer

This article was written by former AOE writer and technology guru Chelsie Meyer.


  • Knighth

    Just to throw another option at you, my school has had great success with Original Works for over 20 years. They offer great products and add new things every year. My school has about 950 students, and we profit between $1200 – $1600 each year. The company pays for shipping and all other materials, including paper. Worth looking into! Good luck with whatever program you choose.

    • Thanks Knighth! I will check out Original Works as well.

      • Redwards

        I use Original Works too! I have been very happy! Last year I made over $1000 in profit, and spent 3-4 hours total! I would look into it!

  • Thanks for the great comparison.  We truly believe in the value of art education in a child’s curriculum.  That is why we design our programs to be as easy as possible so teachers have a great way to supplement their budgets.  That being said, we do love the Artsonia gallery and some of our customers do in fact use both programs!

    • Thanks for sharing Art to Remember! It is nice to hear that you try to keep the art teachers in mind when designing how to use your program!

  • spark of art

    Something else to add to your chart….There are permission slips involved with artsonia to post artwork there are no permission slips involved with art to remember. More paper to keep up with and what if u load a piece without permission by mistake.

    • Great point, Spark of Art! I think that could fit into the “Time Consuming” aspect of Artsonia.

  • HipWaldorf

    I use both programs!  

    The part of Art to Remember that I do NOT have time for is parental bugaboos such as problems with late artwork, losing the magnet sample, money/check confusion, etc. so I handed this program off to our PTO and they manage it.  I receive 15% from the PTO and they also pay for all my Family Art Night supplies. I just hand them one piece of artwork from each student once a year.  Much easier to have someone help manage AtR on top of all the grading and prep work I do for the classroom.I do everything for Artsonia, but I have to admit that it took 2 years for parents to understand how it worked and now I make money consistently.  Since the students are all in the system now, it is really easy to manage.  The long term art gallery and video clips are worth any time commitment involved.

    • Thank you for the insight on how Artsonia might be a few years in. That is helpful for those who feel it’s daunting. Good suggestion about having parents manage both programs. I even knew a teacher who had 5th graders do her Artsonia uploading and photo taking. She trained them well. Come to think of it, that teacher was Heather, who is part of the AOE Team as a teacher!

    • Hello HipWaldorf,
      I need to get a parent group going for our district! That sounds like a wonderful solution!

      What grade level do you use Artsonia with?  It sounds like it would be great for elementary where you see the students over a longer period of time. 

      I teach middle school and the elementary art teacher and I were looking into Artsonia together.  Good to know about the learning curve with parents, maybe we could show them how it works at our back to school night this coming Fall. 

      Thanks for the input!

      • HipWaldorf

        I only get help with AtR.  I do Artsonia all on my own.  Having help with one is fine with me!   I use both Artsonia and AtR with K-5th grade.  I have spoken with MS teachers and they say the students at that age are not as open to having their art posted in public so you might have a harder time getting those permissions slips back.  I snag the permission slips in Kindergarten and so they are set until they leave my school.   I  think starting it in elementary and working with the MS teacher as they move up in the grades would be ideal as the kids are already familiar with it.   Enjoy!

  • While I have never used Art to Remember, it works very similar to both Square One Art and Original works. I have used both of those as a teacher and Square One Art as a parent. I am also currently using Artsonia. Artsonia is NOT a moneymaker for me. While I would like it to be, my school is very low income, and I just don’t think it would ever happen. I might make money through one of the other programs, but I haven’t used them at my current school. The problem I always had with Square one art and original works was there was only ONE art work that had to be great for parents to choose for their products. I did make money through both of those programs, though I honestly couldn’t tell you how much, thinking in the $600 range. I like that you can pick which piece from the site for Artsonia. I use Artsonia as a way to promote my program and share with parents. It is really so much more than a money making site. As a parent, I would LOVE if my child’s school was using Artsonia. I would absolutely use it frequently for both sharing her art with her family and ordering gifts. I would probably purchase all of my child’s art in a book at the end of each year. 

    • Thanks for the input Angela! It is great to hear your view point from the parents end of things!

  • Artsy Mom

    I was the Parent Volunteer at my daughter’s school this spring with Art to Remember. I found the entire process to be quite easy – and I hadn’t ever done anything like it before. I am curious – I would imagine the money made by the program is determined by several factors – size of the school, amount of particiaption, marketing of the program and how good the art is in the first place! Any great ideas of artwork?

    • Artsy Mom- We LOVE parent volunteers!  Good to know it was easy from the parent’s perspective! If you are looking for some great lesson ideas check out the wide array here!

  • Amanda Heyn

    I have had great success with Square 1 Art in my classroom. I love that all students get personalized stickers, whether or not their family chooses to (or can afford to) order something. It’s a nice way to start the year and get the kids excited about art. I don’t know exactly how much the fundraiser brings in, but I do know that it purchased a projector and Mimio board for my room. It’s awesome!

    • I like the sticker idea because you don’t have to return it.

  • Mcbartos

    I have been using Square 1 Art for about 8 or nine years now. It is an awesome fundraiser. They send the paper to use, they send lesson ideas. They even send shipping labels. Last spring the art department made about $1250 . That’s with about 425 students. I think there was about 28 percent participation. I started using it because every student received a free magnet. Any money I made then was extra. Now they send the kids a page worth of free stickers on it. Now parents look forward to it each year! I also use Artsonia for the online portfolio not necessarily as a money maker and I only use it for the 4th and 5 th grades. Another art teacher in the district would use ATR. And was not as thrilled with it because of trying to get the unpaid magnets back. Like I said the free stickers for every child is awsome and they love it!

    • Great ideas, thank you for sharing your experiences! It seems each fundraiser has it’s own quirks!

    • Art Teachers Hate Glitter

      Our PTO “does” Square 1 Art too, but come to think about, we don’t get any money from it for our art program. Every student in our school participates, they complete their work during the first 4-6 weeks of art, and we don’t get any of the money. I believe this needs to remedied for next year.

      • Totally agree! You need at least some of that money!

      • Svnasiegs2

        Same here… We do square1art and the art dept. Doesn ‘t get the money either! I use artsonia for students work if I display it in the frames at school or in the district office. Then the little money I earn by the end of the year is for little extras. Wish I could enter more, but ther is always that time factor.

        • Dcapple

          I have used Square 1 art for over 8 years.  I do all the paper work and display for the show with help from volunteer students and moms.   I have set it up so that the cost of the frames sends about 6% profit to the art room.  I in turn buy equipment or supplies I need.  It is alot of work but truly worth being able to receive the profit. Parents love it, I do it every other year and fill in with a all school art show in between.

      • I had the same experience at my school. The fundraiser was seen as something for the school as a whole, not for the art department. This practice was in place well before I arrived. I found all I had to do was ask. It only made sense to my PTO that some of the money came back to the art room, I just don’t think they had ever really thought about it before. Perhaps if you have a few specific things in mind, it will help them see how you will use the money. I have asked for help in purchasing a projector, interactive whiteboard, and other bigger ticket items for my room, and they have always happily obliged! 

      • Camille Goralski

        Remedy is right….I was asked to do an art project for the PTA as a fund raiser but it would have conflicted with what I do at my school already and the money would go to PTA… Not that I don’t want to help them but hey….that was my area..  They decided to go with the cookie dough again and left the art stuff to me…

        • Artforschool12

          Many art teachers do the fundraiser on their own and all the money goes to the art department.

    • We just want to clarify that Art to Remember offers the Preview Art program now which does not require the school to collect unsold magnets.  Most of our customers choose the Preview Art program because every family chooses the products they want and there is less work for the school.  Please contact us for more details!

  • tishalou

    How cool – you did a screen capture on the day that one of my students was chosen as finalist for Artists of the Week. The lion face is one of my kinders!!
    I do both programs. (a similar company not Art to Remember) In the fall I do the magnet program and make my entire budget for the next year, about $1,500 – 2,000 (a little more than $2 per student). It is very time consuming and I always set it up to have the products arrive right before holiday break. Parents have to choose the image that was sent in. On Artsonia they can choose any image that was uploaded. I think I could make more money on Artsonia if I marketed it more through school – right now I just count on there auto generated emails.
    I love Artsonia for the social aspect but I also like having an archive of student work. For the last four years I have a digital copy of just about every lesson I have taught. I also use the digital files to grade, narrow down work for hanging and pick my art award winners at the end of the year!
    Thanks for the comparison!

    • Are you serious? That is amazing about the lion face… Must be karma!

    • It was meant to be! That is amazing that we caught a screen shot of artsonia featuring your student as a finalist for Artist of the Week-I hope your kindergarten student won!   Great to hear about how you use each program!

  • Arttch98

    I am not familiar with Art to Remember, but our school does not allow fundraisers so to speak. They charge a fundraising fee at the beginning of the year so parents don’t have to do fundraising.  I’ve used artsonia for as long as I can remember. I love it! The parents love it! They give reminders of students that aren’t registered, so you don’t forget anyone! It is time consuming, but I have two fabulous Art Moms, that come in and take the pictures of artwork, and upload it for me.

    • Arttch98

       I forgot to add, that the fundraising part of artsonia is an added bonus. I don’t make much, but the kids LOVE seeing their artwork online and reading comments from family and friends!

    • Arttch98

       I forgot to add, that the fundraising part of artsonia is an added bonus. I don’t make much, but the kids LOVE seeing their artwork online and reading comments from family and friends!

      • Arttch98- sounds like you have a great online community going through Artsonia and some great support from your wonderful Art Moms!  

  • Fiberwiz

    I have used both program. For my Title I school, Art to Remember was not very successful in terms of raising money. I feel that the communication between the school and parents through my use of Artsonia is much more beneficial. My students have some much more pride in their work. The students are heard to say “I’m famous” because my whole family can see my work no matter where they live. For me the long term benefits of taking the time to take the photos and upload to Artsonia far outweigh the monetary benefits of a one time only fund raiser. I just uploaded over 400 pieces just this morning.

  • Fiberwiz

    I have used both program. For my Title I school, Art to Remember was not very successful in terms of raising money. I feel that the communication between the school and parents through my use of Artsonia is much more beneficial. My students have some much more pride in their work. The students are heard to say “I’m famous” because my whole family can see my work no matter where they live. For me the long term benefits of taking the time to take the photos and upload to Artsonia far outweigh the monetary benefits of a one time only fund raiser. I just uploaded over 400 pieces just this morning.

    • Thanks Fiberwiz! It sounds like many teachers feel that Artsonia is well worth it for that “I’m famous” aspect and the pride students feel from seeing their artwork online and shared with others outside the school building.  Wonderful to hear about the benefits of Artsonia.

  • Cathy

    I have used Artsonia for 2 years. It does take a lot of time to take digital pics of the art and download them but I feel it is worth it. Parents of my students have commented on how much they love it, especially for Christmas gifts. My own kids have also purchased ornaments with their artwork on it each year as gifts for grandparents. 

    I haven’t made a ton of money off of the website. But the non-financial benefits have been more stronger….great motivation and intrinsic rewards for my students. Also a great way to give me an aspect for the Teacher Portfolio. 

    • It sounds
      like the time you spend uploading student’s artwork to Artsonia is reaping some wonderful benefits on the art
      advocacy end of things with parents and the community. Great to hear about these benefits

  • Another option for fundraising is Kids Art Fairs – they send you paper and you sell the work framed. They will send you the frames depending on the order. It was more successful at the Elementary level than Middle School.  They also donated 6 frames for our school to start our own gallery (which is now in the office). They are very friendly and if you are interested contact Nancy Trimmer and tell her I sent you! :)

    • Thanks so much Janine! Free Frames-Love it!   I think that framing students 
      artwork is a great way to show them that what they create matters!
      So many other great fundraiser opportunites out there! We need a master chart to keep them all straight.

  • I have used Artsonia in my two elementary schools for two years now. Yes, all the photography and uploading can be daunting but it is so worth it! My families love it and the kids get a huge thrill out of seeing and sharing their artwork with their families on the computer! The initial loading of all the names and e-mail addresses took a while but now I only have to load my kindergartens and new students every year because the permission slip is good for all the years my students are with me . Parents have also commented that they were/are thrilled with the quality of product they receive when they order from Artsonia. I have gotten the whole photo/uploading down to a fine tuned system so it does not take me very long any more to load a class full of work.  I also like to use the editing features when uploading pieces. I find the whole system very user friendly and when ever I have had a question or contacted Artsonia about something they were quick to get back to me and very helpful.

    • Great to hear about Artsonia’s customer service.  Thanks for sharing Mrs. “C”-It is nice that the permission slips are  good for as long as the students are with you. 

  • Susan Bivona

    I think comparing Artsonia to any fund raising site is like comparing apples and oranges.  Art to Remember, Square 1 Art and the others are all “fund raising opportunities”.   Artsonia is “the world’s largest kids art museum”  – a site to publish student artwork SAFELY online.  I have been using Artsoina for over 11 years – it is the BEST Advocacy tool I have!  It promotes my art program and what students accomplish in my class everyday!  Artsonia allows people to leave comments for the young artists and allows the student artists to write Artist Statements to go along with each piece of artwork they create.  Yes, it does take an amount of time to publish all the artwork – but for me and my program it is worth it.  I do all the work myself – because I enjoy it (4,000+ pieces this year)!  No one so far has mentioned that Artsonia now has an iPhone APP – which is now how I process ALL my artwork for Artsonia.   I work in a community that supports Artsonia and I am able to make extra $$$ for my program without doing ANY of the work the “fund raising companies” require.  I upload the artwork and that’s it – if the families want to purchase something they can take care of that all themselves and my program gets the benefits!

    • I love how you put this, Susan! Perfect way to help clarify the differences for everyone, which is what the goal is: educating teachers on what is out there. Thank you!!!

    • Artsylady18

      I fully agree with you Susan!  Artsonia is an amazing site for our Advocacy for the arts in the schools!!!  

  • Woods Amelie58

    I have used Artsonia for  several years, and have been very happy with it.  I did not use it last year because I was traveling between two schools and did not have time. I will be back in one school next year, so I plan to use it again.  It is a bit of a time commitment to photograph the work, but I would rather do that than send the work off.  I hope to find parent volunteers who can help with that next year. The feature that enables family and friends to get online and view the work is one that my students and their families really enjoy.  I usually earned about $150.00 per year for my art program, and I didn’t put a lot of emphasis on the selling (I was more interested in the ability of students to share their work with others). I received MANY positive comments from parents, and NO negative.  I can highly recommend it.  I am not familiar with Art To Remember, so I can’t comment on it.  I would be interested to hear from those who have. 

  • Olkart

    One of my biggest concerns with the “fundraising” businesses is that my student population is high in Free and Reduced Lunch. When kids get their school picture order back they know who ordered extra and who got the free basic package. They would also know whose family ordered things. Artsonia is completely anonymous. I also like that the money does not go to other teachers, who gave up none of their limited class time to create the artwork. Any money earned through the artroom should go back to the artroom. When asked, I always ask how the math teacher is contributing to fundraising.

  • I have used both.  I like Artsonia, but I don’t use it as a fundraiser, to me that is just a bonus.  I use it as a digital portfolio for my students.  I don’t find that it takes that much extra time to photograph and upload the work, maybe 2 – 3 hours total a month (I have 240+ students).  I can refer back to their work when I do report cards, not just my grade book.  If parents come in and want a conference I have their work right there.  It did take some time initally inputting all my classes, but now that is minimal.  The site automatically moves them up before school starts.  I will just have to input the kindergarteners and any other new students and take out any who have left (maybe an hour worth of work).  Even if parents don’t give permission you can upload for that student and it is hidden from the public, but you can still see it.  The kids love to see their work on the site and I have had so many parents tell me they love it, because grandparents that may be far away can keep up with what the kids are doing.

    Art to Remember I did with the PTO at a elementary school of 700+ I taught at.  The PTO did all the paperwork and ordring,etc.  I just taught the lessons with the kids.  It worked well that way.  It would not weork well where I’m at now becasue it is a small school and we have many low income parents that would not participate. 

  • Camille Goralski

    I have used Artsonia for the last three years with great success. I don’t use it as much for a money maker as I do for public relations — it’s a 24 hour a day museum available all over the world!
    The kids love seeing their work on display – parents love it – they share it with relatives who may live far away (or not) – friends can become fans of each others work and I love it when people leave compliments for the kids artwork. It’s a self esteem builder and it shows them how special their art is!  I have made around $600-$800 a year – it’s really a poor return on my time invested if you just look at it as a fundraiser — I just like having my exhibits online so I can refer back to them if I want to show an art sample from previous classes. I also put my own work on artsonia so I can keep my teacher samples and I have ordered my teacher smock with my own artwork so I can show kids the difference between originals and copies or artwork.
    I could go on and on …it’s best done if you have some help – or do it small with just a few key classes or students who do extraordinary work. It is even easier to use now since they added the iPhone app.  Our school’s gallery has been rated #1 in Arizona for the last two years and in the top 10 in the nation. It takes a lot of dedication to get to that level – and it isn’t always the best way to go about it — you can just do less art and focus on high quality. I upload everyone’s work – regardless of how good the product is….it’s their work and they are proud of it!

    • Camille-I LOVE that you take the time to upload everyone’s artwork! What a great self-esteem booster!

      Congrats on being #1 in AZ two years in a row!

       Thanks for the input about “Kids Art Fairs!”  It was mentioned in a comment by Janine Campbell .  I was looking into that one.

      Did you mention that your PTA takes the $ instead of giving it to the art department?  What do they do with it? -I believe everything is wrong about that situation.

  • We have had some fundraisers in our district in Arizona that have been successes.  Art to Remember gets high votes for good return on investment.
    A lot of us have done “Kids Art Fairs” which I personally had about $900 profit for a one night show but it’s labor intensive. If you have the volunteers who can help set up and break down the art show it is WAY worth it. It’s a great way to have an art show because they provide beautiful frames and a display stand to hold three of them .  The money is made if the kids buy the frames.  DOWNER: the frames aren’t the best quality but they’re decent.

  • Jodi

    Hello, I don’t have time to read 48 comments, so if this was already posted I apologize. I use Artsonia, but I have a core group of awesome parent volunteers that come in and photograph it. Our office clerk and/or other parent volunteers also help publish it to the site. I hardly do anything, and last year our gallery was #1 in WI. I usually net about $500/year without any extra work. When I’m on the ball, I send out Activity Reports to remind parents to check out the site. Artsonia also creates special reports around the holidays and Mother’s Day.

    I haven’t used Art to Remember, but some of my colleagues have. They have the parent group do the work too, and hate it. The paper is small, and the media is limited if it can be smudged, etc. They have said it is a lot of work even though they only teach the lessons for it!

    For me, Artsonia is much more than fundraising. It has raised my students’ awareness of showcasing art globally. At the beginning of the year each year I show them artwork from other countries and tell them kids in that country could be looking at their artwork too. The craftsmanship of student work has increased, knowing how many people could be viewing it. I also like that I get to just request a check when I need some money without having to deal with passing stuff out and keeping over 700 orders organized.

  • Camille Thanks for the input about “Kids Art Fairs!”  It was mentioned in a comment by Janine Campbell .  I was looking into that one!

    Did you mention that your PTA takes the $ instead of giving it to the art department?  What do they do with it? -I believe everything is wrong about that situation.

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  • Miss Squidbee

    I have been using Artsonia for three months and can’t say enough good things about it. I have gotten constant positive feedback from parents. I’ve heard that it has raised their child’s confidence and interest in art outside of school. It was quite a bit of work to get started, but now it’s smooth sailing. And we’ve raised $200 so far!

  • Donna

    I have been using Art to Remember for 10 years. All the funds go to the art department. How much?Nearly $3,000 a year! ATR is the best! My ATR rep, is Sherry. We are like family after all these years. That is how you are treated ATR. Questions? They take care of everything. It is work, but worth every second with all the $$ we earn. I used to have parents help me, but now do it all myself. The key to getting parents to purchase is to do good, quality, colorful art for them to enjoy. A picture of the school mascot would be a winner too. Yes, try it. Donna

  • Smile

    I have being doing Artsonia for three years now, and that’s given me about $300 a year.  That’s good because it buys the clay and glazes for the year.  But I found out last year that Artsonia has to count as my fundraiser, so we’re doing Art to Remember this year (in addition to Artsonia) under a different fine art’s fundraiser.  We’re hoping for some decent money because we don’t even have enough to buy basic consumables like paper.

  • katpremraj

    Art to Remember now provides the shipping labels free of charge for school orders!

  • Dusti Moran

    I have used both. My first year at my new job, I did Art To Remember because thats what the school had always done. I found Artsonia the following year. I think either could work for a teacher — depending on their needs. I am fairly tech savvy, so the Artsonia App and social media feature is what I love about it. I also have 4 kids, so not a ton of time at the end of the day to organize paperwork, envelopes, money, etc. (I hate handling money!) My other reason for using Artsonia is that its not contingent on one certain artwork. It could be ANY piece of art during the year that a child was successful at creating. Parents can also upload their own artwork and make several order throughout the year all with out any hassle from YOU the art teacher!

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  • Suzanne Ettman

    The school I teach at has done Square 1 Art for many years and many parents expect it so they can add to their collection. I was told that after this year, we would not be doing this fundraiser to cut back on the amount of times that parents are asked to purchase something. After the struggles that I have had with the students wanting to create art on their own (that was not the best they can do, or colored too lightly, etc.) and the work I needed to do to label, pack and meet the deadline, I will be glad to use Artsonia next year!
    I started investigating Artsonia a few years ago, but didn’t have the help I needed to photograph and upload the artwork. Now I see that the kids can be trained to do this on their own with an iPad!! I can see that Artsonia, as many other teachers have pointed out, is a wonderful online gallery that will enable parents to see their child’s artwork on an ongoing basis. My middle schoolers rarely take their artwork home so this would be a big plus! I’m looking forward to a year round option that students and parents will be able to get involved in.

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