Not many people enjoy traditional school fundraisers. Making students trudge door-to-door knocking on the front doors of neighbors and strangers is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved.
Safety is a main concern for parents. Who wants their child knocking on the door of strangers and asking for money? And many parents don’t have the time to walk door-to-door with their child to ensure this process is successful.
One parent from a PTA stated in one of our surveys that “many fundraisers that are put on by companies offer relatively expensive memorabilia/gifts/buying options. So, our school does much better with smaller “fundraisers”… especially with the average company fundraiser participation being less than 35 percent of the school.”
Another survey respondent said that “parents get sick of being asked for money and kids forget to bring home information.”
Because of these factors, participation for these types of catalog fundraisers tends to be low. Parents usually end up buying something from their child’s fundraiser catalog and then call it quits. And honestly, who can blame them?
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “at least 15 states are providing less funding per student to local school districts in the new school year than they provided a year ago. This is despite the fact that most states are experiencing modest increases in tax revenues.” The state legislature gives tax breaks to corporations rather than funding schools. Why does this become the responsibility of parents, teachers, and students to fix?
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conducted a survey and found that 76 percent of schools conduct one to five fundraisers each year, and one in five schools taps its families and communities up to 10 times annually.
That’s a lot of fundraising, and a lot of pressure on parents.
Now not all school fundraisers are a flop. Some can be extremely successful!
The question here is, at what expense? Parents are busy. They have a lot to be responsible for, from working all day to cooking dinner and helping their children with homework. On top of that, parents are getting multiple requests to support programs, and it can be overwhelming and even irritating. And why should parents be buying items from catalogs that they truly have no use for?
Fundraisers should directly give profit back to the schools and parents should not be coerced into buying items that they do not need. Students especially should not be bribed into becoming door-to-door salespeople.
Our next article is rich with fundraising research directly from the National PTA audience. Be sure to check it out to see what types of fundraisers have been working for schools, and some ways for you to get involved.
About Our Sponsor
Apperson is an industry leader in educational technology, helping to streamline teacher workflow and improve learning outcomes for over 20 years. We are bringing our expertise to a new program: Class Packs by Apperson. By combining school supplies with a fundraiser in an easy online shopping platform, we are making life easier for parents, teachers, and schools across the country.