In a school setting, the principal is the one who provides guidance and oversight for all fundraising campaigns. Students, teachers, school administrators, and PTO groups respond and follow the principal’s actions, so a positive tone is essential. This rings especially true for school fundraising campaigns.
Setting the Fundraising Agenda
This first order of business for the principal’s role is to get a handle on all fundraising activities being conducted at the school. Fundraising must be appropriately managed so it doesn’t drain the school’s resources and become a burden to the school community. Many schools have a system in place where approval from the principal is mandatory before a fundraiser can commence. This is a good idea. If there’s no gatekeeper controlling fundraising activities, there could be multiple groups within the school running fundraisers at the same time…and possibly even running the same type of fundraiser. The principal needs to rein things in.
Another principal’s role is to help create the school’s fundraising mission statement. Why is the school doing a fundraiser? How will the funds be used? Why should the community support the fundraiser? What message are you sending to students and parents by way of the fundraisers you choose? Principals help mold this message and work with the students, teachers, and parents to help get the message out to the community.
Once the fundraising schedule is set for the year, the next task for the principal is to rally the troops. Getting the students, teachers, and parents excited for a fundraiser is key. Many schools do this via PTO or PTA groups.
Many principals organize a kick-off rally at the beginning of a fundraiser to build enthusiasm throughout the school. Some principals take it to a different level by offering to do something wacky in front of the students, like kissing a pig or cutting their hair if they reach their fundraising goal. We’re not saying you need to go that far, but whatever you can do to motivate the student body will only help your school’s fundraising endeavors.
In most cases, the principal should not be the point of contact for a fundraiser. If their plate is too full to take on the logistical challenges of running a fundraiser, your bottom line will suffer, especially if it’s a highly detailed fundraiser like a school carnival or fun run. A teacher, school administrator, or parent should always be the fundraising organizer. The principal should work closely with the organizer, being kept in the loop throughout the fundraiser, but should not be burdened with the more minor details.
Now that you’ve raised a ton of money, where is the money going to be allocated? Though these logistics should be determined before a campaign and will help to motivate donors, a principal’s job is generally to approve all purchases. Purchases can include equipment, supplies, or materials for the school. This is true even for PTO fundraising campaigns – the principal still has the final say.
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This guest blog was contributed by Cherrydale, a provider of great school fundraising products and sales.