Parental Involvement Is Key for Successful School Fundraising

Online Fundraising + Parental Involvement = Student Achievement and School Success

The back to school season is here and with it a sense of renewed motivation. Teachers create a classroom atmosphere of inspiration as students return with a refreshing new perspective and energy. Although the experience may vary, there is one thing that holds true across the board: parental involvement in school activities is essential not only to a student’s individual success, but to that of the school community as well.

One way in which parents can activate involvement in their children’s school activities is through participating in school fundraising initiatives or events. In 2008, 65% of all parents participated in school fundraising (Herrold and O’Donnell, 2008).  But with the majority of parents working, finding the necessary time can be difficult.

Enter technology. Online fundraising software systems allow parents to participate in their children’s school activities and fundraising programs in a time frame that is accommodating to their schedules. It also provides a way for parents to interact with and even learn from their children.

The St. Vincent de Paul Dad’s Club kicked off their first school fundraising golf tournament in 2008. Since they implemented an online fundraising software system to manage the tournament in 2009, they have seen growth in both parental involvement and money raised. Todd Johnson, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School Dad’s Club, spoke with us about their experience.

SVdP Dad’s Club is a holistic group to foster camaraderie, volunteer services and fundraising for the parish school. It has served as a powerful catalyst to focus the skills and efforts of the dads involved in helping the school. Although they meet once a month, their meetings are lightly attended as compared to their membership. This example mirrors the analysis that parents are willing to support school activities, but most do not have the time to do so.

The golf tournament, which is the Dad’s Club’s biggest fundraiser, utilizes the GolfRegistrations online golf tournament software to remedy this problem. Todd states, “The online presence makes it easier and more convenient for parents and sponsors to review our event, and either register or make a donation to support us. We actually get a bigger audience with less financial investment and the reduced paper work makes our members and sponsors’ much happier”.

In the last few years, proceeds from the tournament have gone to support a capital campaign of school improvement toward building a new cafeteria and gymnasium. 2012 saw the dad’s donate more than $18,000 to this cause. The online presence has allowed the club to broaden the parental involvement in the school with decisive benefits to both the school and the students.