It is not uncommon for parents to feel overwhelmed and perhaps even exasperated when their child comes home from school and shares details of the newest fundraiser presented to them that day. But did you know that fundraising has been proven to have a wide variety of benefits for your child? Fundraising can help students develop interpersonal and professional skills and even encourage them to be better students.
Students that are involved in school fundraisers tend to emerge as positive role models by becoming conscientious learners, group motivators and more engaged in the fundraising efforts. These students help to encourage less confident students to become involved by their example. Seeing the amount raised and the positive contribution to their school encourages students’ determination, risk management and planning. A successful fundraiser has also been proven to increase student’s confidence that can be applied within academic settings. Another benefit to students’ who are participating in fundraising found in Jo Robertson’s 2012 article Fundraising in school – it’s not just shaking the charity can, is the excitement and unity created. Fundraising has been found to increase the overall morale of the school without having a negative effect on learning. This could be attributed to the fact that everyone is working together for a common cause that will benefit everyone.
Along with improving confidence and determination, according to an article in PTO Today, school fundraisers also help students practice math and financial skills. Fundraising places the tasks of calculating totals and taking orders with the student resulting in them having rely on mathematics. They must also assess how close they are to their individual goal and the group’s collective goal, whether it is their school or just a program within their school. Responsibility is also a valuable trait that can be learned through fundraising as students are responsible for maintaining their inventory and being held accountable for money raised.
Professional skills can also be developed through fundraising as it requires students to set goals, possess people skills and have good presentation skills. Setting goals is important because there will already be goals set in place by the school, so setting a realistic goal for individual students will help them to stay motivated. Since fundraising is in a sense selling a product it is important for students to possess people skills to be able to interact with their target demographic and be successful in obtaining donations. Decision making may not be as apparent of a benefit as those listed above, but it is just as important. Students must make decisions on who to approach, how to appeal to supporters and what their fundraising approach will be.
Not only do fundraisers help schools to obtain funding for their causes and benefit students in a multitude of ways, fundraisers can also be utilized by teachers and incorporated into lesson plans. A math teacher can keep charts or graphs that follow students’ progress and use these numbers to calculate percentages or apply them to basic addition and subtraction equations. Social studies and professional development instructors can utilize the sales aspect of fundraising and have students create a business plan or map out their goals and how they will meet them. English professors can utilize fundraising opportunities by having students prepare scripts to use when speaking with potential donors.
So, the next time your child comes home, bounds through the door and excitedly begins describing a new fundraiser presented by the school- don’t give them an exasperated response. Think of the fundraiser as an opportunity for your child’s personal development, a hands-on learning experience and a way to encourage community and giving back.
Elder , Lee Erica. “What Kids Learn From Fundraising.” PTO Today, 22 Jan. 2014, www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/1208-what-kids-learn-from-fundraising.
Robertson, Jo. “Fundraising in School – It’s Not All about Shaking the Charity Can.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 23 Oct. 2012, www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/oct/23/red-nose-day-comic-relief-fundraising-school.