Pragmatism hits school fundraising drives

via NZTA

via NZTA

School gala days could soon become a thing of the past as parent-teacher groups increasingly skip fundraisers and ask for a cash handout.

Time-poor parents across the country are being offered the option to pay an extra fee on top of their annual donation after many PTAs struggled to attract volunteers for events that traditionally raise money for the school.

Principals say with more families where two parents work fulltime, the schemes make sense. Some parents are refusing to give the extra cash, but most agree that it’s only fair for those who lack the time to make it up in money.

At Blockhouse Bay, a decile 7 school in West Auckland, the PTA is asking parents for a $40 donation.

Principal Neil Robinson said their aim was to maintain funding support – which over the past few years allowed the school to heat the school pool and build three new playgrounds – but lighten the load on the small group of parents on the PTA.

“What we’ve found over the last couple of years is that the ability of parents to commit time to fundraising events is getting less and less,” Mr Robinson said. “It’s not that they’re lazy and don’t care but in lots of families both parents work.

About time this is being done. ?I’ve asked various schools over the years what they actually get out of each box of chocolate bars they sell, and I was happy to just pay that amount. ?No fuss, no muss. ?I was treated like dirt. ? Thing is, I don’t want my kids scouring the streets hassling people in their homes to sell them a chocolate bar.

I’ve done my share of sausage sizzles, fairs and galas as well, but schools should provide an option to just pay to get out of the volunteer work. ? A Scout group we belonged to had two subs: ?one where you had to do one mandatory fundraising event per quarter, and a cheaper one?where you had to do three.

It’s good to see some pragmatism is coming into “fundraising”. ?I know of people who are new in town and are asked to pressure all the people they know to buy tickets or sponsor their kid, etc. ?It’s just no longer the ’50s where children are being raised by a village, one parent has lots of time flexibility, and everyone knows everyone.


– Pete