Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The wrong approach to elementary school fundraising...

I think I can prove once and for all with just one quote, that fundraising in schools is too frequent and hurts school revenue. 

Frequent fundraising undermines all the work fundraising companies have worked so hard to achieve.  It also undermines the relationship between parents and teachers by confusing what's important.

I believe schools need to focus on less fundraising throughout the year and ensure that people participate in those few fundraisers.  I hope schools begin to realize that 'free money' from these smaller fundraisers may actually be costing schools a lot of money.

Here ya go, a Mom's comment from a parenting website: 

"Since we already support the school with Market Day and box tops,  I don't worry too much about the Sally Foster / Innisbrook stuff."

This means that by supporting Market Day (10% commission to the school) and box tops (maybe $3 per participating family per year) that the parent's charitable contribution has been taken care of in it's entirety.

These fundraisers take the place of school gift wrap and catalog fundraisers with significantly higher sales like Sally Foster or Innisbrook.  I don't think her opinion is uncharacteristic.  I believe most parents that contribute something, believe they should feel good about their contribution and they should!  If you volunteer in your child's classroom once a month, you still do a good thing despite the fact that you're not there every single day.

So, I get it. 

The challenge is two fold.  Give parents a way to feel as if they've contributed but allow the contribution to make a big impact!  In doing so, market day and box tops would come after a school fundraising catalog (full disclosure - this is my company) fundraiser for instance.  At least, that's the logic.  The rational is that a parent is raising $100 for their school in just two weeks by participating in a catalog fundraiser for instance, while they raise just a small portion of that over the entire year with a combination of other fundraisers.

Hey, I'm not making this stuff up.  Look at the quote above again.  Then consider the financial difference that could be happening with just this one parent.  Multiply the difference contributed by the number of kids at your school. 

Then ask yourself, shouldn't be be promoting the fundraiser that brings in the most money?



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