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The Principal’s Role in School Fundraising

When it comes to school fundraising, the principal’s endorsement is worth its weight in gold.

Principals, if they’re willing, can play a major role in the success of their schools’ fundraisers by working with the PTA or PTO to get parents, teachers and students excited about the program. Too often, principals delegate complete fundraising responsibility to someone else – often the school’s parent/teacher organization. Unfortunately, this hands-off approach can hamper a fundraiser’s success, which means students may miss out on that new computer lab or a field trip to the state capitol, among other things.

“The principal serves as watchdog
and sounding board for the entire school community,” according to Cynthia Francis Gensheimer, parent and author of Raising Funds for Your Child’s School. Gersheimer speaks from first-hand experience. With three children of her own, she has conducted a number of school and PTA fundraisers and recommends that school principals participate in setting goals. “They understand the school’s overall fiscal picture and can best identify shortfalls,” she said. “The principal’s endorsement is also crucial in committing school personnel – from teachers to custodians – to any school project.”

James Hodge, an elementary school principal in Bridgeport, Connecticut, put it this way. “Ultimately, I’m responsible for everything that happens in and around this facility, including fundraising,” he said. “I delegate as much as I can, but fundraising is just too important. I never let go completely.”

But how important is the principa
l in selecting the fundraising program itself and the fundraising service provider? According to Hodge, it’s very important.

“When it has this school’s name
attached to it, I have to know what’s going on – what products we sell, what vendors we use – because when someone has a question, they call me,” he said. “If I don’t know what’s going on, I can’t respond.”

Whether it is setting goals,
coaching parent volunteers, or motivating students, parents and the community at large, when the principal plays a strong role in the school fundraiser, it could mean the difference between success or failure.

Article Courtesy: Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers –

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