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Consumer Handbook: Advice On School Fundraisers And How To Be Accountable

Better Business Bureau

While parents are currently focused on filling their children’s backpacks with school supplies, many also recognize they’ll soon be asked to help raise money for class projects, trips, and other activities not covered by existing school funding. These efforts can range anywhere from selling things - chocolate, gift wrapping, candy, etc. - to holding contests and charity events.

There are many things you can do to manage the activity while also being accountable. Set specific goals or plans before you start to raise funds, and ask: what’s the total amount needed and how much time do you have to raise it? Make sure the school informs parents either online or in hard copy with any needed instructions about the campaign. 

Review the fundraising promotions created to make sure they accurately and adequately explain the nature of the school activities being funded. Identify the volunteer or parent who will be in charge of keeping track of collecting and recording donations received, and inform parents and other volunteers about how much was raised. 

Appreciate the generosity of contributors by sending ‘thank you’ notes to them. Create a feedback form that will help identify needed improvements to do an even better job next time. 

There are a number of online giving platforms - such as DonorsChoose.org, AdoptAClassroom.org, and PledgeCents - that help raise money for classroom projects. A school or teacher may consider posting a request on such sites to raise money for specific activities or needs.