One of our goals has been to bring more focus and clarity to fundraising.
We believe we have made some progress – better reporting on tuition assistance awards, eliminating the requirement that each class lead a yearly fundraiser -- but we know we still have a way to go.
Our next step would change the way that our 8th grade raises money for its end-of-year celebration activities. For several years, 8th graders have celebrated graduation week with a trip to Hershey Park, a pool party, and some extras for the graduation dinner dance.
To pay for the week-long celebration, 8th grade room parents have raised thousands of dollars on their own, separate from the Home School Association, the fundraising arm of the school.
At times, the 8th grade and Home School Association have competed for the same fundraising dollars, despite our efforts to coordinate their projects, and some parents have found it confusing to keep track of them. Because the 8th grade fundraising campaign starts a year before graduation, there's an appearance that 8th grade fundraising is never-ending. When one class's campaign is ending, the next class's campaign is just beginning.
At the end of the month, there will be a hearing on a proposal to restructure 8th grade fundraising at SJB. Under the proposal, all fundraising would be directed by the Home School Association, and each year the H.S.A. would offer the 8th grade a designated amount to pay for year-end graduation celebration activities.
The amount would probably be in the ballpark of $5,000, which should be enough money to pay for a Hershey Park trip, a pool party and a cake for the dinner dance. The H.S.A. goal is to raise $35,000 to $45,000 in a year. Some believe the H.S.A. fundraising will increase without 8th grade fundraising taking place at the same time. The truth is that no one knows if it will increase and, if it does, by how much.
Many parents might be wondering why 8th grade parents aren't just charged extra fee for graduation activities. Already, 8th grade parents pay $250, an extra fee that's rolled into the tuition bill, to cover the cost of the graduation dinner-dance, diploma, diploma covers, pictures and newspaper ad.
Some parents can't afford to pay more. That's why classes started raising money in the first place. The students wanted all of their classmates to be included in the end-of-year trip. By raising money through fundraisers, students of all income levels would be able to go. But money isn't the only precious commodity. Volunteers are needed to raise money, and it is increasingly hard to find parents who can give their time.
Our goal is to move toward a clear, simple school fundraising strategy. With one major fundraising event and one minor fundraising event each year, there would be a great obligation to participate. The purpose would be straightforward. The school needs more than tuition dollars to pay for educational enrichment programs, refresh its technology tools, and provide tuition assistance to students who need it.
The proposal to bring H.S.A. fundraising under the wing of the Home School Association will be heard at the H.S.A. meeting at 7:30 pm on Nov. 30 in the Library.
Here is some background data.
Eighth Grade Fundraising Over the Years
School Year Amount Raised
Traditional 8th grade fundraising projects include T-shirt sales, Christmas wreath sales, snack sales (Concessions) during CYO basketball games, and Valentine Cards. Here are the average amounts raised by each 8th grade fundraising project over five years.
Project Average Amount Raised
T-Shirt Sales $1,774