Tired of School Fundraisers? You’re not Alone
In just a few short weeks, parents around the country will make their yearly pilgrimage to Target to shop for new school supplies for their children. While most stores offer deep discounts for these supplies and many states offer tax-free weekends, even the most frugal parents will end up spending a pretty penny on pencils, backpacks, headphones and all the paraphernalia that comes with a Western education.
Yet, those expenses pale compared to what teachers spend yearly on their own classroom costs. According to data from the 2015-2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey, teachers spend an average of $479 on supplies to supplement their teaching.
Nikki Harper, a middle-school science teacher, calculates that she spends close to $600 a year on supplemental lesson plans and activities, classroom materials and supplies.
“My school provides what it can, but budgets get cut every year, and the administration simply doesn’t have the resources for “extras” like Kleenex and hand sanitizer.”
On back-to-school night, Harper has a wish list posted on her classroom door where parents can sign up to bring items, but not everyone follows through with their promises.
While wish lists can be a useful way to have parents donate supplies, an online fundraising platform like WonderWe Pro may be a more efficient option.
“In my experience, it’s sometimes easier to buy the supplies myself and know I have what I need. Parents get busy and forget. I totally get it, but I also don’t want to deal with 30 runny noses come October.”
WonderWe Pro allows teachers the ability to create an online fundraising page that makes it easy for parents to donate money in a matter of minutes, saving them a trip to the store and teachers the hassle of having to remind overworked parents.
Classroom supplies aren’t the only expenses a teacher will encounter. Often, donations are needed for classroom parties, field trips and school fundraisers. Rather than wasting time and paper creating fliers that don’t get read (only to be found, months later, stuffed in the bottom of a student’s packback), WonderWe Pro makes it simple for parents, grandparents, aunts and neighbors to donate toward the particular event.
Danielle Myles, a mother of three, has participated in dozens of fundraisers over the years.
“Truthfully, I’d rather donate money than buy one more roll of overpriced wrapping paper or trash bags I don’t need, “ she said. Even though children are supposed to be in charge of doing the sales, often, parents end up not only doing most of the work, they are the ones buying what their children are selling.
WonderWe Pro’s mobile responsive feature makes it convenient for anyone to donate money from their phones with a few simple clicks. And unlike cash or checks that can get easily lost on its journey from home to school, the app’s secure and safe encryption ensures that all funds are deposited into the proper accounts.
Unfortunately, every year, school budgets get cut deeper and deeper; fundraising is an annoying but necessary evil to make up for the deficit needed to fund important extracurricular programs that often get left out of yearly budgets like arts and music programs, libraries and field trips.
Heather Borchdt, a former PTA president, spends hundreds of volunteer hours managing her daughters’ school fundraisers, from wrapping paper sales to discount shopping cards.
“If we’re completely honest, most people don’t want or need the stuff we’re selling. Relatives buy it to be nice, but I’m pretty sure I still have a tub of cookie batter I bought from a neighbor kid 5 years ago. What am I going to do with 5 pounds of double fudge dough?”
While field trips and Kleenex are integral classroom needs, teachers often spend their own money on even more serious items, like food and clothing for their students.
“It’s difficult to watch students suffer and do nothing,” said Harper. “When your kids come to school with no winter gloves, you’re going to make sure they have it, even if it means taking money out of your own pocket.”
Maddy, a teacher at Harvard Elementary School in Chicago, started a WonderWe fundraiser when she noticed her 1st-grade students didn’t have proper winter clothes. They used the additional funds for Christmas presents.
School fundraisers aren’t going away anytime soon, but Wonderwe Pro can make the fundraising process less stressful, time consuming and tedious. For more information on how WonderWe Pro can help your school’s fundraising needs, check out our website or schedule a free demo today.