Choosing appropriate school fundraisers for your school community is an important decision. What are your fundraising options? This article has information and resources for organizing a school fundraiser for your public or private school.
Here are some questions to consider as fundraising options are reviewed:
- How does fundraising fit into the school's overall economic plan?
- Is there documentation that clearly identifies the role of fundraising for the school community?
- For what types of expenditures can/will fundraising be used?
- Does the fundraising plan cover more than a school year?
- Is there an approval process so that fundraising events have oversight?
- Is there overall coordination so that different classes/teams/projects don't end up with overlap in fundraising efforts (e.g., doing a similar fund-raiser at the same time)?
- Is there overall coordination so that the people involved (whether staff, faculty, or students) are not overtaxed with responsibility?
- Is there overall coordination so that the community (and especially parents) are not asked for support at too frequent intervals?
- Is there a liaison with neighboring schools and organizations to avoid duplication?
- What particular goal(s) does this fundraising campaign have:
- Who will receive the funds raised?
- What are the funds ear-marked for?
- How much money is needed?
- What will be done with a surplus, if any?
- What will be done in case of a deficit, if any?
- How do the goals for this particular campaign fit in with the larger fundraising picture?
- What are the fundraising options available for the particular goal?
For each option, consider the following:
- How much time will it take?
- Is there any monetary outlay required to begin?
- Does it require use of the school facility?
- Does it require time spent outside of normal student hours?
- How will word of the fund-raiser reach the target audience?
- Are other materials needed, such as:
- tables for a bake sale
- soap, buckets, sponges, hoses for a car wash
- merchandise for a school store
- a phone tree for unscheduled changes of plan and/or emergencies
- How many people will it involve?
- Who are the people who will be involved?
- Are any special personnel needed such as:
- chaperones for a dance
- an advisor/accountant for a school store
- clean-up crew for after a bake sale
- money counters and receipt collators for gift-wrap sale
- unloading a delivery truck/boxes and sorting items from a company.
- If on school property, is the fundraising activity covered under the school's insurance policy?
- If students will be interacting with strangers, have guidelines been determined and issued (e.g., for parent chaperones, students traveling in groups, etc.)?
- If students are involved with sales, have arrangements been made to collect money periodically so that students are not responsible for large sums?
- Will this option raise the needed money?
- If an item is being sold:
- is it of high quality?
- is it timely?
- is it likely to be of interest to a large enough number of people?
- will it draw funds from people outside those who are usually asked (e.g., parents, neighbors)?
- will it build school/community spirit?
- is it in keeping with the school's mission, policy, and teachings (e.g., if the school is famous for its anti-drug stance, selling coffee may raise an issue because of the caffeine; similarly if the school focuses on nutrition and then sells candy)?
- If a company is supplying a product, what is their policy on:
- quality issues?
- rewards for high sales?
- students/client mistakes on order forms?
Choosing a School Fundraiser Resources: