Fundraising has evolved with more and more schools joining the Responsible Fundraising movement. Check out the 3 questions every PTA should be asking and see how you stack up.
1. Is OUR fundraiser consistent with Our values?
Low quality products? Junk food? Kids as salespeople? More and more schools are taking a good hard look at how their schools fundraise. If we push for clean eating and healthy lifestyles during school, then why are we still having our students sell products that do just the opposite?
Leading schools have discovered that friends and family give because they want to support to the student, not because of the products being sold. There's no longer the need to have your students running in circles selling products your school really doesn't believe in and donors don't actually want or need. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
2. are we Being a Good Steward of Funds?
Leading PTAs ensure that the lion's share of the donations go to the school, not fundraising companies. How many times have we all heard "Can't I just write you a check?" People give because they want to support the student and NOT because of how many laps the student ran or the product they are selling.
With the traditional fun run companies and the product companies keeping 50% or more of the proceeds, PTAs are demanding alternatives. No donor wants half of their money to disappear!
The rule of thumb used by charity watchdogs is that fundraising costs should be less than 25% of the total proceeds. For the best-in-class, it is 10% or less. Sadly, most schools would rate C- or worse.
Where do you stack up?
Data referenced from charitywatch.org
3. are we Creating a Positive Experience for our Students?
What effect does your annual fundraiser have on your students? Is everyone respected and treated fairly, regardless of their ability to earn money? Or are kids manipulated by prizes and made to feel left out? While many fundraising companies claim to teach kids "leadership" and "character building," the opposite is being accomplished. Passing out prizes in front of the entire group based on how many pledges per lap you achieved or how many cookie dough orders you took reinforces a "have versus have not" culture.
Leading schools recognize that what they leave behind after their fundraiser ends is just as important as what they are raising money for in the first place.
And the best part? These schools have proven that responsible fundraising works. They are achieving superior financial results compared to their peers by choosing efficient fundraising platforms that are consistent with their values. How's that for a change?