Safety First!—The Top Priority Of Your School’s Fundraiser
School fundraisers involve a lot of fun and a lot of work--all wrapped up in one energizing package! The camaraderie, the anticipation, the teamwork and the personal satisfaction with reaching the established goal can be exhilarating for those who have a passion for raising revenue for the sake of he children. Every year, America’s school kids, scouts, sports teams and other non-profit groups raise more than 2 billion dollars selling candy, gift wrap, candles and other niceties—it truly is big business! The one thing far more important than profits, however, is safety! ‘Safety First’ for the kids cannot be overemphasized—safety first; profits second.
No doubt, you and your fundraising colleagues will be discussing safety issues with parents and other volunteers with your upcoming campaign, so here are a few you can add to your list:
Be sure to register your fundraiser with your school’s administration office. The secretary of the PTO/PTA and your school’s principal should be directly notified of your upcoming activities.
2: Technology Works Best:
Thirty years ago, accompanying children with door-to-door fundraising solicitations was a common practice; but sadly, things have changed. One needs to use far more precautions in this day and age; and many school groups have completely banned door-to-door sales. With the availability of technology, mass emails, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking platforms allow for a magnificent opportunity to maximize sales while bypassing safety concerns. The use of technology also allows children and adult volunteers to cover far more ‘ground’ in a fraction of the time; and that all boils down to boosting profits!
3: Parental Involvement:
Parents are the backbone of any school fundraiser! Their involvement takes any fundraising campaign through all the hurdles, challenges and victories and brings all the stages of the campaign to fruition. These same parents must make sure that no child, regardless of how mature, should ever be allowed to take on a leadership role in any part of the campaign. Direct supervision of every child, during every phase of the fundraiser must be in place. This would include any online assignments as well as any, and all, monetary exchanges. Any funds collected should be handled by only an adult.
Parents can ensure the success of their child’s participation in the fundraiser by utilizing some basic procedures:
*** Sell first to any and all family members—aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc.
*** Ask relatives and immediate family members to sell your child’s product at work—the work lounge, the coffee nook etc.
*** Allow your child to telephone friends and neighbors—this is a wonderful opportunity to help children not only develop communication skills, but learn to graciously accept ‘no’ when a sale doesn’t materialize, as well as build up their self-esteem as each sale successfully transpires!
4: Let The Word Out:
Getting the message out to kids, parents and volunteers is easy with email and Facebook, but nothing beats arranging for a good ol’ meeting at one’s home to discuss safety details (and other information) face to face! When those involved are allowed to interact with questions, printed material and even a few munchies, a sense of friendship and fellowship is established; and everyone leaves with a uniform and galvanized understanding of all safety issues and concerns.
Fundraising is an opportune time to reinforce children’s safety that should be exercised every day; and it encourages the use of common sense in every-day situations. Fundraising is a multi-faceted—it teaches children the rewards of volunteering, the importance of patience and the enormity of responsibility.