Does your kid’s school keep asking you for money? They need funding for the gym, and cash for excursions and the library doesn’t have enough books. It seems endless, and quite frankly it can get a bit much. We all want our kid’s school to be the very best in the area, but little crumpled notes sent home every asking for donations or payments just fills us with dread. Why can’t there be one fund that is drawn against all year round? Why can’t the school just announce what needs doing in a single communication? Why is it bothering us so much?
I can’t answer any of those, but being honest, perhaps we can do more. Lack of organisation is often to blame for the endless little notes that are sent home with the kids. The teaching staff is busy teaching, and the parents are busy working and parenting. However, social media can help everyone stay in touch without intruding on anybody when it is inconvenient. A lot of schools are turning to this now, but the parents need to be as committed to the process.
The next issue to address is the budget. If everyone committed a few dollars a month to a central pot, they would probably feel happier. Receiving dribs and drabs of requests for individual expenses annoys us. A lot of schools have a central pot, but things do crop up, like that leaky roof or that discounted trip to the space camp. It is possible someone needs to become a little better at budgeting and allocating funds. But maybe the answer is fundraising.
Fundraising for your school can be very hard, time-consuming and costly. One or two people are usually needed to make a noise and hold their hands out. The rest of the parents probably want to run and hide to avoid a commitment. It feels like begging, and nobody likes it. Parents often feel there is little value for money. They are already feeling the pinch from the economy. Scraping together enough for the latest school drive is hurting them.
There are services available that can provide ideas for fundraisers. You can also enlist organizations online that specialise in fundraising. These companies can take over the vast majority of the work for you. They can recruit big brands to support the drive. Fundraising organisations provide everything you need to help the parents feel they are getting something back for the process.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of asking parents to support the school more, try encouraging the teachers to support the kids getting involved. For example, if they are studying science and weather in class, use art time to make colored windmill ornaments for the garden. These can then be sold to cover the costs of the materials. They will raise awareness of the school fundraising drive, and bring some cash into the pot. While it can be hard to combine curriculum requirements in this way, teachers and parents working together can be quite creative in finding the links.