Can Your Fundraiser Really Bring the Community Back Together?

Short answer: Yes!

When fundraising shifts from a mindset of selling products to a mindset of raising money via an activity or by participating in an event, this has the power to unite the community.

  • Student Impact - Teaching the merits of being a part of a grassroots movement to bring about change in a place that matters to them (their school and community).
  • Empowered Schools - Through athon fundraising, schools can easily create an event that engages students, makes it easy for parents, and inspire the community to get involved!
  • Unity in the Community - Fundraisers based on donations teach students how to be little activists for a cause they believe in and how to communicate to friends and family about why they are seeking donations. This inspires your community members to take part.

The old way of fundraising - selling chocolate and pizza kits and coupon books from door-to-door - will not survive in a post-pandemic world. Communities need to see that students are actively participating in your event in order to raise donations.

Fundraising is about more than a monetary exchange. In fact, fundraising can be a profound lesson about giving back, being a part of community, and how one small action can lead to great change and impact. This is not only important for you to realize as a Fundraising Chairperson or Parent Group leader, but it's also important to communicate to parents so they see how donation-based fundraisers are positively impacting their children and community.

Teaching Charitable Lessons Through Your Fundraiser:

Students will naturally pick up on the positive, philanthropic lessons taught through your fundraiser. But, there are also practical ways that you can instill these lessons throughout the donation period:

1. Show Them They Are a Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves

Where are the funds going from your donations? Pick 1-3 items/initiatives/programs and in your (virtual) kick-off assembly, show students how raising money for these items will make an impact not only for them, but also for teachers, staff, future students, and their community.

If you are using our online donation system, FundHub, the fundraising pie chart (an illustration of where your funds are going) is really helpful!

Not using FundHub? Take our online tour to check it out!

2. Communicate to Parents the Importance of Emphasizing the Communal Aspect of Your Fundraiser

It's important for parents to see your fundraiser as a meaningful way to teach their children about compassion and charity. Encourage them to take part by giving them tools, such as ways to explain the fundraiser to their kids or handouts that illustrate how one action can lead to great change (think of a pebble being thrown in a pond and the rings that form from the impact). Equipping parents with these tools increases the level of engagement from students.

3. Teach Students That There is Always More Than One Way to Give Back

The great thing about taking action for a good cause, is there is always more than one way to give back. Allow students to explore all of the creative ways they can be a part of your fundraiser, such as creating videos to gather donations, or working as a class or grade to win fun competitions based on getting the most donors or community sponsors.

Other ways to widen the impact of your fundraiser:

  • Donate books to the school library (great if you're hosting a read-athon!)
  • Give away lightly worn tennis shoes to a local shelter (perfect fit for a Fun Run or Jog-Athon)
  • Create classroom gifts for staff and administrators as a "thank you" for helping them reach their school fundraising goals

Students, teachers, parents, and entire communities are feeling the isolating effects of COVID-19. Just like the pebble in the pond, sometimes great things come from small actions. Your fundraising event may seem small in comparison to the upheaval of the pandemic, but it might be just the thing your community needs to come back together.

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