Student Fundraising Every day in America’s schools, from elementary on to college, students engage in fund raising activities. Through activities such as selling everything from cookie dough to household goods, and sponsoring community events student and student organizations support a variety of worthy causes. These causes range from funding the school library to supporting local animal shelters. Even though some people may criticize schools fundraising as “gone too far”, but actually Student fundraising are beneficial to students/schools, communities, and the nation future.
Although some claim that students would be safer and better served without fund raising activities, they only cite their annoyance with fund raising and an unfortunate tragedy as arguments against fund raising. While it is true that an 11-year-old New Jersey boy was murdered as he went door-to-door selling wrapping paper for a school fundraiser this alone does not constitute enough evidence that fund raising is bad and students and schools should abandon it or else risk murder for every student. Blaming fund raising for the murder of the student ignores the role that parents play n raising and guiding their children.
It was not the school’s fault that the child went soliciting door to door in a strange neighborhood. It was the parents’ responsibility to heed repeated school warnings and prevent their son from selling alone in a neighborhood to people he did not know. Schools have long broadcast the message against allowing children to sell alone and door to door. The child’s parents should have known the whereabouts of their son on a Saturday afternoon and should have reviewed the rules of safe fund raising with him and made sure he understood them.
Thus a few unfortunate and preventable incidents should not take away the opportunities of all, because student fund raising activities first and foremost benefit the students who engage in them. Some of the benefits of fund raising to students arise out of what students learn from their fund raising experiences. Many skills that students learn out of doing fundraiser can help them immensely in their future careers. Working with other students and the teachers to raise funds teaches them organization skills and responsibility. It also teaches them ethical money handling, ooperation skills, and teamwork.
Other benefits come from what the money gained through fund raising and the activity itself provide for students and their families. Schools always need money for activities that are beneficial to the students, but maybe out of their range of school district budget can provide. For example, a school budget will most likely permit educational trips aboard or even within the United States. When students work hard at fundraisers to earn money for a trip aboard they will take the trip more seriously, because they worked so hard to be able go.
A major enefit from fundraiser for a parent is that they could use this opportunity to bond with their child/children and be able to bring their families closer together, and become involved in the school dynamic. This largely overlooked benefit also could boost students’ self-esteem. The money students make from fund raising helps school districts save such vital school resource such as classroom materials and staff when financial challenges render states to be unable to finance them. For example, in 2004 the state of California reduced state aid to school districts, “the Santa Monica-
Malibu district cut 4. 5 million from its 70 million budget over the past three years” (Reid, 2004, Para. 10). The schools that were able to make money through fund raising activities however were in far less distress than those who did not perform as well in fund raising activities. Additionally the money that students raise through music or PTA fundraisers make it possible for schools to own music instruments like hand-bells or hand-chimes; candy sales also fund students’ summer music camp tuitions. Some fundraisers go beyond benefiting students to support surrounding ommunities.
Not all fundraisers are candy sales that benefit students or their schools directly; some student groups choose to take on fund raising projects that directly benefit their surrounding communities. In todays economy we hear about soldiers who served in the war and somehow got wounded. A fourth grade student at Ridgeview Elementary in Keller Texas organized a fundraiser for ‘Helping a Hero’ organization, which is a non-profit organization that builds homes for severely wounded soldiers. The student spent a week in October asking the students to bring n spare change to make a donation to help benefit the ‘Helping a Hero’ organization.
Because of the student kindness, the school raised 788 dollars, which the student could present to the ‘Helping a Hero’ organization at the Gala in Houston. Many fundraising projects happen at the college level as well. In todays economy we learn about companies that have gone down the wrong path almost every day. It often “seems that the very foundation of our economy is eroding, largely due to the decline in business values” (Gregg, 2002, p. 13). Some business professors have found an indirect way to slow the process.
These professors advocate making “community service projects a part of student organization activities, and most universities encourage their students to become part of the student business organizations which represent their fields and their scholarships” (Gregg, 2002, p. 13). Many organizations, such as Phi Kappa Phi, can have significant values in a student’s career. One of the most important impacts of these organizations is that they teach community spirit and ethical values. In the future these types of lessons that they learn will become extremely valuable when they begin their careers.
Focused and well-coordinated fundraisers can have a very positive effect on students by showing them how people in the business world can support their communities. There are many different ways that fundraising projects can serve various community needs and recipient groups such as children, elderly, and animal. For example, an animal fundraiser can benefit the citys animal shelter whose needs can often be overlooked as a worthy community institution. City budgets often greatly underfund animal shelters even though they provide a valuable service to their communities.
This perennial underfunding causes animal shelters to prematurely euthanize animals that could be adopted if more money was available to keep them fed and cared for longer. Student organizations can provide these much needed funds for the animal shelter through fundraising activities. Every community in the United States has many pet lovers who can support such fundraising efforts by attending charity fundraiser pet shows put on by student organizations. Pet owners donate canned or dry pet food along with a nominal entry fee to enter their pets into the show.
Some wards could be “ribbons or small trophies for such categories as best dressed dog/ cat/other animal, pet-owner look-alikes, best animal trick and cutest pet” (Gregg, 2002, p. 13). In addition because there are so many pet lovers who attend such fundraising events, animal shelter personnel are often there to present shelter pets that are available for adoption (Gregg, 2002). The organization, marketing and public relations skills that students learn from orchestrating community benefit fundraisers are often items that future employers look for on new graduates’ resumes.
These kills include but are not limited to communication, leadership, management, planning, and project development; Just as important, these activities shape the ethical business leaders of tomorrow who will be of immeasurable value to their communities and worthy community institutions benefit from student organization fundraisers. The end result is that the entire community benefits from student fundraising, and that community can expand to include the entire nation.
There can be little doubt that the United States is suffering from a crisis in its business community as well as in its economy. Scandals such as the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme have not only shaken the business community to its core, they have also eroded the foundations of many non-profit organizations. Because many non-profit organizations invested their funds with unscrupulous fund managers such as Madoff and others, they are running short on resources precisely at a time when a sick economy is bringing more needy people to their doors. This highlights two very important needs for America.
One is the need for learning, and practicing moral and ethical principles for all and the other is the need for supplementary funds to support charitable missions. Even though some hold that the answer to scandals such as Madoffs are more rules and regulatory oversight, this approach only focuses on the symptoms and does nothing to eliminate the cause. Focusing on a strong moral and ethical education would be a much more effective approach. Such education would be more effective if it begins early in elementary grades and continued on beyond high school and into college.
Re- establishing moral and ethical behavior through education will not only rebuild business integrity, it will also help restore global respect for the United States. Fortunately such education is already vailable in an informal way through students participating in fundraising projects. Fundraising programs teach integrity, fair play and a high degree of ethics, the latter especially when the focus of the fundraising is on school and community projects. Because fundraising activities follow students all the way from elementary school through college, they are the ideal vehicle through which parents and teachers can teach ethics.
Another way that fundraising activities help strengthen communities and in turn the nation is by providing charity funds for community projects where they have gone missing due to theft and scandal. Todays economy undeniably has created more economic need among a far larger number of people than at any time since the inflationary period in the 1970s. Most economists agree that the economy will get worse before it gets better therefore this economic need is likely to continue for some time.
Charity is a very necessary tool in dealing with the economic needs that have arisen from the current global economic crisis. However charity does not only mean giving money to an organization but also the sharing of resources. Fundraising is essentially the sharing of resources among the members of the ommunity, and fundraising is asking community members to finance activities and materials that may not be covered by the school or community budgets through buying merchandise and services or by participating in an activity.
Since charity funds have become scarcer as a result of bad investments, fundraising has become the only means of meeting the economic needs of the community at large apart from government aid, which is uncertain at best due to political divides. Student fund raising activities are far from being the annoying, selfish or even dangerous activities that some claim they are. These activities, whether they are selling cookie dough and wrapping paper to family and friends or sponsoring community events, harness community resources to help deal with community issues that stem from a shortage of funds at schools and at various levels of government.
In addition the business skills and ethical character traits that students learn from fund raising activities are and will continue to be beneficial to students, their communities and to the future of the nation. References Gregg, J. (2002). Teaching values in a round-about way: The virtues of student organizations’ community service projects. Proceedings of the Marketing Management Association, 13-14. Retrieved from http:// web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com Johnson, J. A. Musial, D. , Halle, G. E. , Gollnick, D. M. , & Dupuis, V. L. (2005). Introduction to the foundations of American education (13th ed. ). Boston, MA: Pearson. Keller Independent School District. (2009). Ridgeview Student organizes fundraiser for ‘Helping a Hero’. Retrieved from http:// www. kellerisd. net/community/communication Reid, K. (2004). District debates fairness in fund raising. Education Week, 23(25), 3. Retrieved from http:// web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com