School Fundraisers and the Needs They Meet

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School fundraisers buy school supplies

School fundraising programs can help meet basic school needs, like supplies and books.

School fundraisers are invaluable to communities looking for better outcomes

No matter what side of the school fundraising equation you find yourself on—buying or selling—you might have the same question: why does it seem like schools are always doing these crazy fundraisers?

Many schools, both public and private, are faced with nearly constant funding gaps that leave them looking to fundraisers to make ends meet. In fact, a 2014 study of San Francisco public schools found that over a decade, parent organizations had increased fundraising by 800% as student needs outpaced funding.

The goal of any school fundraiser is to enhance the educational experience of our students. Here are some of the common ways that fundraisers help improve the academic experience.

School fundraisers support extracurriculars and field trips.

It’s no secret that some of the best learning occurs outside the classroom. Through field trips and extracurricular activities, students are able to take what they learn and see it in the real world. But these necessary learning opportunities do not often fit in the school budget as it stands, which is why PTAs and PTOs rely on fundraisers to create the budget.

Noting examples of the types of experiences a fundraiser will empower a student to have is one way to get community buy-in and get your student excited about the outcome.

Books and supplies.

It’s almost hard to believe that teachers pay out of pocket regularly for classroom supplies. Time Magazine reported in 2016 that many schools are still working on recession-level budgets, resulting in $500 spent by each teacher for their classroom. This results in teachers feeling less valued as their own income is spent supporting classroom initiatives, and it leaves students at a disadvantage when classrooms aren’t equipped with the tools they need for success.

Imagine being expected to buy all your own paper, staples, pens and folders for a corporate job; those expenses would add up quick. Now think about students who need classroom supplies to have a rich learning experience. School fundraisers are one powerful way to ensure students don’t get shortchanged in the face of austerity budgets in education.

Recess equipment.

Recent years have proven the inarguable benefits of play for children. It’s a chance to build social and kinesthetic skills, and release some of that energy that builds up while sitting through lessons. The physical activity alone is a huge bonus for increasingly sedentary generations of students.

But, as with all outdoor equipment, even jungle gyms and swing sets can become unusable over time. Schools often have to close the door on recess because the equipment has simply become unsafe, and their budgets don’t allow for the expensive replacement.

School fundraisers are often oriented toward projects like these, where parents and teachers alike want to provide students with the opportunity to play, learn and grown while in their educational environment.

While more funding would certainly be a more sustainable fix, school fundraisers do provide an invaluable solution to communities looking for better outcomes in schools, whether it be through field trips, art classes, computers or jungle gyms.

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