School Nixes Fundraisers and Raises More


Instead of asking students and parents at Middleton’s Sunset Ridge school to sell candy, magazines or wrapping paper, the school simply asked for a check.
To their surprise, they raised twice as much.
Sunset Ridge 4th graders headed to the capitol Tuesday morning for a tour then it was on to Overture Center for a symphony concert.
The PTA paid for the field trip.
But this year, instead of another product to sell, the PTA simply asked for a donation.
“A lot of time families are consumed with three or four fundraisers per year,” said PTA president Donna Brambough. “A lot of times you’re calling the same people over and over again.”
The donations worked.

3 thoughts on “School Nixes Fundraisers and Raises More”

  1. We tried this at Falk for the first time, I think three years ago. We called it “Invest In You Child”, and it was quite successful the first year. The second year, donatons fell by half. The third year, by another third or so. We are back to having to do fundraisers (though we are definitely still accepting straight checks!) this year. I guess some people reported that they couldn’t necessarily give money – and they certainly didn’t want to just ask friends and family members for money – but they were allegedly comfortable hitting up family and co-workers with fundraisers for junk no one really needs (sorry, but that’s how it seems to me over 90% of the time).
    Many of us were very surprised to hear that, since we have consistently found that we were our own children’s best customers, and would rather see the whole amount go to the non-profit than just some small percentage of sales. So, this year we tried both – and still had a lot of trouble coming up with anywhere near the same amounts of funding as four or five years ago. Part of it, in my opinion, is our changing demographic to busier families with fewer resources (we are Title I schoolwide now, which means over 50% free and reduced lunch) – so our own families don’t have the money, nor do we have the time or the access to co-workers with money that traditional fundraisers demand. We are also seeing more of the traditionally active families leaving their older kids at Falk to graduate, but moving their younger kids to other public schools through intra-district transfer, because they don’t think it’s good enough anymore. I find that ironic, because I feel more confident in Falk’s abilities to include and teach a greater variety of students, not less. But we are only one family…
    In other words, as the demands on our PTO at Falk grow because of increasing poverty and decreasing school budgets, our fundraising abilities fall. We’re kind of stuck at this point.

  2. I’d agree with Millie 100%. Black Hawk’s fundraiser netted small change- typically the 6th graders are the ones that raise the most and between a smaller 6th grade class than normal coupled with a very poor 6th grade class, it just isn’t happening. We asked for donations as well and got TWO. Gompers, next door, at 34% free & reduced, raise 30% less than last year. Those lucky Middleton PTOs do better, no doubt…..look at the demographic differences!
    I joke with Black Hawk staff that next fall, when they see my son playing guitar on the sidewalk with his case open and his pet monkey dancing for tips, THAT is our fundraiser;)

  3. And I bet those teachers give a wry smile and try to figure out if you are really kidding? 🙂 I seriously don’t know what we are going to do for fundraising. IN the past, for another example, we were generally able to supply “Star books” through our book fair for all the kids that the teachers listed as needing books, but not being likely to get any from their own families’ purchases. Last year, we had dozens of requests that went unfilled. This year, it is likely to meet with even more limited success. Demand for the free books is up, and supply of donations is down.

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