When parents don't contribute as much money to a school fundraiser as they did before, school heads are left wondering about the drop in generosity. Few schools in this country can meet all their needs without asking for donations and parents are always the first to be asked. Schools have thus come up with easy fundraising ideas that they put to use whenever the need for funds arises.
Nevertheless, parents' enthusiasm to give money to schools and to participate in fundraisers gradually wane as the schools continue to use the same easy fundraiser ideas over and over. They are even less inspired if a school uses ideas that make them feel as if they are obligated to give or implement ideas that make giving feel like a chore.
It's time schools realized that parents' donations are given out of goodwill and that nothing obligates parents to participate in school fundraisers. A good sign of parents fundraising fatigue is when a school makes less and less money with each fundraising event it organizes. One thing the school can do to revive enthusiasm among parents and other well-wishers in the community is to come up with simple fundraising ideas that are fun, fresh, and more importantly, ideas that encourage interaction among parents so that giving is not seen as a chore but rather a part of a bigger picture.
Schools must therefore shelve some of their favorite easy fundraising ideas that have worked well in the past and think of new ideas which will encourage broader participation. Easy fundraiser ideas like having children sell stuff to their parents or organizing bake sales in school are fine but they can get routinely boring if they are repeated over and over. Parents are likely to get tired of purchasing stuff that they don't need in the name of raising funds for school especially if they are asked to buy the same stuff over and over. Some of the fundraising ideas that many schools use do not involve parents much except when its time to produce the money. Parents are less likely to give to such fundraisers. Parents can however donate more money if they are invited to be part of the fundraisers all the way from the planning stage.
Schools lose a lot when they don't ask parents for fundraising ideas or ignore proposals from parents. Some school heads believe that it's only them who know what is best for their schools. Rejecting suggestions from parents isn't the best way of encouraging them to give money to your school.
The first step in reversing dwindling parent goodwill is to reduce the number of fundraisers organized every year. Secondly, parents should be invited to contribute their own ideas; parents can propose some very interesting ideas markedly different from the ordinary ones. Feasible easy fundraiser ideas should be considered. When a fundraising idea is settled on, parents should be requested to play a role in organizing the fundraiser. Views from parents should be taken into account. It's not wise to ignore parents' opinions while expecting them to freely donate money.
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