Volunteer work can take on a life of its own and it can also become a full-time job. When I got talked into presiding over the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) for my son’s school, I knew fundraising would be involved.
Our group met and we decided it was important for our PTA to provide updated books for the media center. As the president I had the task of introducing the idea as well as the “system” for paying for it.
It was easy for teachers and parents to get excited about new books in the media center. Participating in a fundraiser was a bit tricky. Most believed it was not the job of the students to go door-to-door. It was a liability and basically unsafe. We had to choose something that would be relatively easily and would not put children in any danger. We decided upon chocolate bars,
At our first parent-teacher meeting we sold the idea. Fortunately, they thought it would be easy. There were only two product choices and each choice was $1.00.. That eliminated handling a lot of change.
We asked parents not to send students door to door, but to carry their box with them to swimming, family gatherings, ball games, and the like. We asked each child to commit to selling one box. We knew there would be some who would not commit and some who would sell more than one box.
On our school’s “morning news” we promoted the sale. Everyone who sold an entire box would receive a free homework pass. The person who sold the most boxes would win a popular DVD and have a book stamped with his or her name on the inside cover as “provided by ___________.”
When promoting the sale, we made sure the students knew what the money was being raised for. We were able to receive some preview books and while we were promoting the sale on our school’s news, we made an exciting display.
We tried to get the students excited about the books, not the chocolate. It worked relatively well. We were able to purchased 46 books for our media center.
After purchasing the books we showed them off at our final PTA meeting. We recognized the one who sold the most then and on the school’s news. The parents and teachers all said they felt good about the results.
Limiting the sale and prize choices made it easier on us. As the president, I felt like we had accomplished something good for our school, without causing unwanted stress and complication.