In addition to supplementing school budgets, school fundraising teaches students valuable life skills and builds lasting relationships within the local community, offering many benefits to students, parents, teachers, and communities.
We’ll share four critical reasons for school directors to get the fundraising ball rolling in this article, then we’ll tell you how donor management software can streamline your fundraising efforts.
Fundraising should be a regular part of your school year, so let’s see what makes it so essential.
- Provides Schools With Financial Support
- Covers the Cost of After-School Activities
- Allows Schools to Enrich Their Students’ Education
- Helps Schools Build Strong Community Relationships
- Why You Should Use Regpack for School Fundraising
- Fundraising Has Far-Reaching Impacts
Provides Schools With Financial Support
A recent study showed that public schools in the United States are underfunded by about $150 billion per year.
The table below shows the funding gap for the 10 most underfunded states:
Source: The Century Foundation
As you can see, some states have a funding gap of almost $40 million.
And since students attending underfunded schools tend to perform worse academically, the school funding gap is one of the main reasons why you need to supplement your budget by fundraising.
Raising funds within the community supports your students’ academic performance by making it possible to:
|Keep clean, safe facilities||Feeling safe and comfortable is an important prerequisite to students’ learning. That’s difficult to achieve when your school budget doesn’t cover the cost of necessities like utilities and repairs.
Fundraising fills in those gaps.
|Buy classroom supplies||Fundraising helps pay for tech like laptops, tablets and projectors, which make lessons more interactive and increase tech literacy among the students.|
|Afford larger-scale projects||Fundraising finances for student tutoring services, collaborative projects, and field trips, including international ones. All of this contributes to the students’ personal development.|
|Support the teachers’ professional development||Fundraising makes it possible for teachers to attend essential conferences and seminars to hone their skills.|
|Offer scholarships||Lastly, school fundraising helps you provide scholarships to low-income families, giving students from such families a chance to break the cycle of poverty through access to high-quality education.|
As you can see, fundraising greases the wheels of your efforts to provide a top-notch educational experience for your students, from covering basic expenses like school supplies to financing more advanced endeavors, like funding international projects.
For instance, a recent study found that the average teacher spends almost $500 of their own money per year on supplies.
By helping offset these costs, you support teachers and help them plan engaging classes.
Steven Puckett, Principal at Harrisburg Elementary in Fort Mill, SC, explains how fundraising helped his school buy supplies for the Bee blog:
Recently, our needs assessment showed that we needed technology, books for students and teachers, and more outdoor equipment for students. With this in mind, we decided to diversify our efforts and focus on technology and books our first year and more outdoor equipment our second year.
As Puckett points out, it may take several fundraising initiatives to afford the supplies you need. But with a little patience, such initiatives can help you make ends meet.
Fundraising also makes it possible for teachers to attend conferences and seminars.
These opportunities benefit teachers, students, and schools in many ways:
Source: Alludo Learning
Boosting your school’s finances through fundraising makes all this possible. These are just a few of the many reasons why fundraising is so important.
Covers the Cost of After-School Activities
We briefly discussed the ways in which generating financial support helps schools pay for experiences outside of the classroom, like international trips and projects, but fundraising also enriches your students’ educational experience by funding after-school activities.
Research has documented the many benefits of after-school activities:
Source: Education Equity
These charts suggest an association between extracurricular participation and higher GPA.
They also indicate that students who participate in extracurriculars are less likely to skip classes.
But your school budget likely doesn’t cover these activities—and they aren’t cheap. Instruments, costumes, and props for music and theater activities are expensive.
You also have to pay for food, transportation, and lodging when teams travel. And there are registration costs for events and tournaments.
School fundraising makes these important extracurriculars possible.
You can also use fundraising to pay for scholarships for after-school activities. A recent study showed that nearly one in four low-income students can’t afford to participate in them.
By providing scholarships, you help these children learn and grow alongside their peers.
Raising funds for after-school activities doesn’t just benefit students. It’s also helpful for parents. They don’t have to leave work hours early to pick up their child from school.
Allows Schools to Enrich Their Students’ Education
It’s not just the money you raise through fundraising initiatives that benefits your students.
Participation in fundraising efforts itself also furthers students’ socio-emotional development. It teaches them important skills, including:
Many of these skills stem from the social nature of fundraising. To raise money, students have to work with teachers, parents, donors, and other students.
They have to effectively pitch the value of the product or service they’re selling. That requires confidence and strategy.
Moreover, they have to learn to cope with the inevitable mistakes that come with learning a new skill.
One parent explains how fundraising for an educational camp taught their child these valuable skills:
We went around our community to places we do business with and he gave them the spiel of the camp. He was very nervous [with] the first few people he presented to, but as he continued, you could see his confidence grow. This process alone provided him with an experience that has taught him many lessons.
This parent testimonial highlights one of the many ways fundraising benefits students.
As Steven Puckett, the principal whom we’ve already quoted in one of the previous sections, put it:
Fundraising is not about making money. My personal belief about why we fundraise is for school improvement and the opportunity to provide all students with the very BEST educational experiences.
Puckett’s perspective highlights the importance of keeping fundraising student-focused.
Fundraising also benefits your students by teaching them financial responsibility. They learn that you have to work hard to make money.
They also learn how to communicate transparently with others about finances.
The graphic below explains why those are such important skills:
Source: Easy Peasy Finance
Learning to handle money is just one way fundraising sets students up for success.
Last, participation in fundraising teaches students hands-on skills.
For example, baking competitions teach them new recipes and racing competitions teach them to build model cars. And they gain valuable marketing experience by advertising these events.
Helps Schools Build Strong Community Relationships
An often-overlooked benefit of school fundraising is the way it strengthens the community.
Networking and relationship-building are important to the success of any fundraising campaign. For you as school director, that means building relationships with individuals and organizations.
People are more likely to donate when they feel connected to you and your school.
Their donation begins a self-perpetuating cycle. Donating gives them a sense of ownership—it makes them feel invested in the school’s outcomes.
That, in turn, makes them more likely to donate again.
These donors are also likely to contribute to your school in other ways. For example, they may volunteer to host or chaperone a field trip.
Fundraising is also positive branding for your school.
By partnering with community organizations, you show the community what your school values.
For example, you might partner with a local restaurant for one night. You drive traffic to the restaurant while a portion of the proceeds for that night go to your school.
That not only raises funds for your school, but it also shows people you want to give back to your community.
Here’s an example of how one school partnered with Chick-fil-A to raise funds:
Source: Jonas Salk Elementary PTA
Every Thursday night, the local Chick-fil-A donates part of their earnings to Jonas Salk Elementary, San Diego.
In exchange, the school advertises the event, driving traffic to Chick-fil-A.
Events like these build lasting relationships between schools and communities.
Even if the partnerships you build don’t result in acquiring the funds to the amount you wanted, they benefit your students, since they allow them to become more involved in the life of the community, and supply them with possible future opportunities.
Lastly, fundraising also bolsters relationships within the community that exists within your school.
Teachers, staff, parents, and students come together to accomplish a big goal.
That forms new relationships and strengthens old ones, creating a more positive learning environment for students.
As the Bee blog put it in the article we quoted in the section on providing schools with financial support:
Schools don’t operate in a vacuum. They are central parts of the communities around them, providing the foundational learning and social experiences that students can then use to give back. In other words, when schools are sufficiently funded to provide safe environments and quality education to students, they are more likely to grow into healthy, happy, helpful members of their community.
Therefore, if you set them up well, your fundraising activities will have a positive impact that will ripple throughout the community.
Why You Should Use Regpack for School Fundraising
In order to make the most of your fundraising efforts, you need the help of some robust and reliable software. Our own solution, Regpack, could be the right choice.
Regpack is a donation management software that streamlines donations for both your team and your donors.
Regpack lets you embed personalized donation forms directly on your website.
Not only does that create less hassle for you, it also lets your donors pay without going to a third-party site.
Many users don’t trust third-party sites—so they’re more likely to donate if they can do so directly on your website.
With Regpack, you can also create custom online donation options.
For example, you can make it easy for donors to set up automatic recurring donations. Our software is mobile-optimized, so donors can pay on any device.
They can also use their preferred payment method, as you can see in the image below:
This gives you a glimpse into what donors would see on your website. They would be able to complete the entire donation process directly on your site.
The easier it is for people to donate, the more likely they are to do so. That’s why companies that use Regpack’s donation management software have seen:
Regpack doesn’t just streamline the payment process for donors.
It also saves donor information in a central database, where it’s easy to access as needed, just like the data on your fundraising efforts.
You can also easily pull information from the database to:
- Create and send automatic payment confirmation emails
- Send bulk emails to select donor groups
- Track the donors’ giving history
- Generate reports with data-driven insights about donors
The image below gives you an idea of the useful information these reports provide:
This example report shows the amount each donor has paid. It also displays your school’s monthly and annual revenue generated from donor payments.
As you can see, Regpack’s all-in-one donation platform gives you the tools you need for a successful fundraising initiative. It even handles most of the administrative work for you.
Let us make your fundraising efforts a success. Try us out at regpacks.com.
Fundraising Has Far-Reaching Impacts
In conclusion, fundraising has many positive impacts. It builds connections within your school community. It also helps you partner with other community organizations.
Further, involving students in fundraising efforts teaches them valuable life skills. And the money you raise helps you create an enriching environment for your students.
With that in mind, let this article inspire you to go out and plan your next school fundraising effort. Our article on effective school fundraising ideas is a great place to start.