As with any organization, the leader sets the tone. In a school setting, the principal is the leader and therefore is the one people look to for guidance, to “steer the ship” as some say. Students, teachers, school administrators and parents respond and follow the actions of the principal, so a positive tone is essential. This rings especially true for school fundraisers.
This first order of business for the principal is to get a handle on all fundraising activity being conducted at the school. Many schools have a system in place where approval from the principal is mandatory before a fundraiser can commence. This is a very good idea. If there’s no gate keeper controlling the fundraising activity, then it can easily spin out of control. There could be multiple groups within the school running fundraisers at the same time…and possibly even running the same type of fundraisers. There may be product deliveries on the same day. The list can go on and on. The burden this can create for the school (not to mention the parents) would be quite overwhelming. The principal needs to rein things in. The fundraising activity must be managed properly so it doesn’t drain the school’s resources and become a burden to the school community.
Once the fundraising schedule is set for the year, the next task for the principal is to rally the troops. Get the students and teachers excited for the fundraiser. Many principals organize a kick off rally at the beginning of a fundraiser to build the enthusiasm throughout the school. Some principals take it to a whole difference level by offering to do something wacky in front of the students, like kissing a pig if they reach their fundraising goal. We’re not saying you need to go that far, but whatever you can do to motivate the student body will only help your school’s fundraising endeavors.
Another role of the principal is to help create the school’s fundraising mission statement. Why is the school doing a fundraiser? How will the funds be used? Why should the community support the fundraiser? Help mold this message and work with the students, teachers and parents to help get the message out to the community.
In most cases, the principal should not be the point of contact for a fundraiser, if their plate it too full to take on the logistical challenges involved with running a fundraiser. Especially if it’s a highly detailed fundraiser like a cookie dough fundraiser or a school carnival. A teacher, school administrator or a parent should always be the fundraising organizer. The principal should work closely with the organizer being kept in the loop throughout the fundraiser, but should not be burdened with the smaller details.
This article was contributed by School Fundraisers. Visit DoJiggy’s Fundraising Resource Center for more helpful fundraising tips, tools, and templates, as well as more creative school fundraising ideas.