Thursday, May 24, 2012
School Fundraising - A Principals View
I'm about to say something bad but I'm not going to the principals office!
That's because I am going to make a really strong case. I will prove my point. Here ya go.
School principals view fundraising in a strange way.
It's really not their fault or anything. It's just the nature of things. Things being what they are, the way principals operate on a daily basis works in most situations to the benefit of school. I applaud principals efforts and I know a fair amount of them so this isn't really a criticism, it's an appeal.
Here's what I have noticed.
The last principal I spoke with believed that fundraising was a matter for the parent group. They just wanted to know that they had a fundraiser that would be considered 'safe'. If they trusted the parent group, they would not need approval. If not, he just needed to see it first.
In reality, a principal is busy. Fundraising isn't part of their daily regimen, nor should it be. So, why would we consider rethinking things? Why is there a problem?
The relationship between parent and teacher is important. The more that gets in the way of fostering that relationship, is a detriment. Lack of a 'fundraising plan' is a detriment.
The photo above is just one day's worth of materials sent home on top of the communication the teacher was intending for the parent. It's so much, that something is going to be lost or forgotten about.
The question is, what will it be?
So, my appeal is for principals to be involved with the 'fundraising plan', the strategy behind what you send home and why. Limit extraneous communication that doesn't accomplish the goal of keeping the teacher / parent relationship intact. Assume that everything you send home is an action item that has to be taken care of and dealt with. If something is voluntary, leave the flyers in the lobby or on the website, but not in the backpack.
Secondarily, in an effort to limit the overload of information, help the PTA or PTO decide why money is needed, how much is needed and the minimum number of fundraisers needed to accomplish that goal. Some schools raise $100,000 in one fundraising effort and do not fundraise the rest of the year.
What is your plan to minimize the fundraisers?
If you can get the fundraising down, would you have more fun? Would you have more time for fun and educational outings and events? My guess is you would. Would less mean that the parents feel closer to the school and more willing to participate inside the classroom or at certain events? I bet there would be a different level of involvement.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear 'em!
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