September means back to school for families across Canada, and new and exciting extra-curricular activities for kids. Unfortunately, the fundraising landscape for schools is tough and securing the cash to keep programs going is not always straightforward. But there are ways you can help.
“Parents are a fantastic resource when it comes to supporting fundraising initiatives,” says Sherrie Mae Guthrie, educator and blogger. “No one is more invested in their kids’ activities, and by joining their school’s fundraising board, parents can play an active role in securing the necessary funds to keep programs going.”
Guthrie recommends three kinds of initiatives parents can suggest to help raise funds for their school:
1. Tried and true: Tired of the traditional pancake breakfast or bake sale? To up the ante, approach your local coffee shop to donate carafes of coffee to increase income. Better yet, volunteer your school to sell carafes of coffee at election time and sell coffee there. This’ll mean guaranteed foot traffic, exposure for the coffee shop, and ultimately more funds for the school. Win-win.
2. Physical literacy: Get your heart rate up to raise funds for sports. An assembly hall or empty classroom makes the perfect place for a sponsored Zoombathon or dance-off, provided you can persuade your kids to let you dust off your best Macarena.
3. Fundraising 2.0: Be brand savvy — a range of partnerships are open to schools, including the Buick Drive for Your Students program which offers Canadian high schools the opportunity to raise a significant amount of money. Schools simply register to become partnered with their local dealership to host a test drive event. For every test drive, Buick donates $10; if an event exceeds 100 test drives, the amount will be doubled to $20 up to a maximum of $10,000.
Contact your child’s school to find out how you can make a real impact by joining fundraising efforts for the new school year.