Dealing with PTA and School Fundraisers

The school year begun in August, and already we had our first fundraiser. I have to say – I am not a fan. I don’t like asking people for money or selling them items that they do not want. But with public schools (and probably even private ones) there will always be some type of fundraiser.

This September, the school organized a Fun Run through a company called APEX. This was the first year the school has used this company. APEX comes in for a week or so before the run and goes over some fitness lessons with the kids. They talk about being good citizens, doing the right thing and stuff like that. They also hype the kids up to go fundraising to win prizes. And it works. The kids come home excited to earn a sunglasses, radio-control helicopter, or even a digital camera.

Of course to earn the top prize (a camera) you have to have up to $50 PER lap in pledges. They suggest you contact grandparents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, parents’ co-workers and friends. Grandparents are an easy given but the rest…well not so much.  All of our neighbors and friends have kids who if they aren’t participating in this fundraiser, they have their own fundraisers that they will be giving their money to. So Lexie and Jase had three people donating money. They earned enough to earn the $2 per lap prizes (finger lights and a silicone watch).

IMG_1379[1]On the day of the actual Fun Run, they were so excited. I volunteered to help mark the kids’ (and their respective classmates) T-shirts each time they ran a lap. Both kids were so proud that they ran the maximum number of laps (36). Of course that means I owe $36 per child for the fundraiser having pledged $1 per lap.

This beats the last two years where Jase sold coupon books. We always bought one (as did the grandparents), but we rarely used most of the coupons in the book.

This year the principal has vowed to keep the requests for money to a minimum – or basically, one a month. Of course, he includes even picture day and the book sale into his requests for money. There will always be a few “collect coins for (insert your charity).”

This year the Parent-Teacher Association (who in the past did the coupon book and a walk-a-thon) is sponsoring a 5K run. They figure this is a way to get money from runners and other members from the community instead of just from the parents. It is going to be a big undertaking but with a big payoff – or so we have heard from other PTAs. I am not sure I am gung-ho on this endeavor but am going along with the majority. I liked our walk-a-thon which was very little effort but a good money maker. It also didn’t take over part of my Saturday. But I will go with the majority and give the 5K run a try. The money that we raise will certainly go to good use for the school and our students.