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 Fundraising

Introduction

Catholic schools engage in fundraising activities for two distinct purposes:

  • Supporting outside bodies and groups
  • Resourcing the school.

As Catholic schools are part of the mission of the church, it is appropriate that schools engage in social action and social justice activities which are both educative and practical in outcomes.  Such activities should occur within the structures, ethos and teachings of the Catholic Church.

Supporting Outside Bodies and Groups

Brisbane Catholic Education Policy and Guidelines

Catholic schools should ensure that students, staff and families are offered opportunities to engage in social action and social justice activities.

Preference in fundraising should always be given to official agencies of the Catholic Church.  It is expected that all schools support:

  1. Caritas Australia (e.g., Project Compassion),
  2. Catholic Mission (e.g., on St Elizabeth’s / Mission Day), and
  3. The St Vincent de Paul Society (e.g., end of year hampers).

Support for other agencies should be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Is the philosophy of the organisation in accord with gospel values and Catholic Social Teaching
  • Is the organisation associated with the Catholic Church and its ethos  If not, is there a Catholic organisation engaged in similar activity that could be supported
  • Does the activity lend itself to an educational focus (e.g., does it assist students to participate in and understand the Mission of Jesus and the Church)
  • Are there high quality educational resources to support the activity which promote students’ understanding of poverty and marginalisation
  • Is the fundraising undertaken in a context of spirituality and prayer
  • Is the organisation accountable for its use of funds including administration costs
  • Does the organisation tie the use of funds to religious or political affiliation or purposes
  • Are those involved in the decision-making and administrative processes aware of the aims, background and authenticity of those receiving their donations

It is important to note that funds raised for a particular organisation or purpose must be given to that organisation or purpose. They cannot be diverted to another purpose after they are raised.

 

Micah Projects

Micah Homelessness Services (www.bhsc.net.au) provides a range of centre-based and outreach support services to individuals and families.  Services include:

  • information and support to access crisis accommodation and long-term housing, or to prevent homelessness;
  • proactive outreach to people in public space who are intoxicated or sleeping rough and vulnerable;
  • primary health care, personal care and domestic support;
  • opportunities for employment and to participate in recreational and sporting activities; and
  • proactive support to people with a disability, and to families who are at risk of homelessness, to maintain their housing and create a home.

Principal, Karen McIntosh, became familiar with this organisation following her participation in the Guiding Lights Program for Principals which is conducted by Brisbane Catholic Education.  She introduced the idea of “Basics Bags” into the school.  The Basics Bags contain toiletry items that are distributed by the Micah Team to the homeless people in Brisbane. We have continued with this project for the past few years because the concept represents an ideal learning opportunity for students and it is well received by all ages.   This project is done during Catholic Education Week as it is a time when schools are encouraged to engage in acts of kindness.

Heart Foundation

At the present time we have supported the Heart Foundation every second year by participating in the Jump Rope for Heart Program.  While this organisation may not meet all of the criteria suggested above, the death of a much-loved parent due to a heart condition inspired us to provide support.  The health and physical aspect of ‘Jump Rope’ also fits well into our curriculum.

Fundraising in Support of the School

At St Elizabeth’s, we are conscious of demands placed on families, particularly those demands that require a financial commitment.  For this reason, limitations are placed on the amount of fundraising that is done in the school.  In general, support is requested for five main events, the first two following direction from the P&F association in addition to the School Administration Team.

  • School Fete
  • Art Show
  • Year 7 Sydney Canberra Trip
  • Awesome Evening of the Arts
  • Book Fair

The School Fete is our major fundraiser for the year.  Parents are asked to contribute by supporting Free Dress Days.  This usually involves a gold coin donation or bringing in an item to be used at the fete (e.g., books, soft drink). Donations such as baking items are also sought.

The Art Show is a social event for parents.  Sometimes a request will be sent to parents to offer donations for a hamper to be raffled.

Sponsorship is sought for both the School Fete and the Art Show.

The Year 7 Sydney / Canberra Trip is a relatively expensive trip for families and fundraising helps to relieve the financial pressure. Year 7 families choose whether they wish to partake in fundraising or pay the full amount.  Clear guidelines have been set for fundraising initiatives, for example in terms of timing and in the nature of the activity.  At the present time, school discos are the only fundraising activity conducted by this group that has a direct impact on the children.  Parents without children in Year 7 should not feel pressured to support this fundraising venture (hence the reason why this group does not organise events such as a Mother’s Day Stall).  The advertising of events that support a relatively small group of families will always make clear the purpose of funds raised.

The Awesome Evening of the Arts is an opportunity for the school to display children’s artwork and for parents to see children perform in the Band and Guitar.  It is likely that a Speech and Drama performance will be included this year.  During the evening, several raffles of art materials take place.  Children enjoy the excitement of the raffle and are asked to bring something to school to support this activity.  Funds raised help to pay for the hire of art stands used on the night and a small profit is raised.  Our Book Fair is also held on this evening as it is an opportunity for parents to purchase books for their children and funds raised in this area support our school library.  (N.B. There are occasions when the Library may raise money for charitable organisations, e.g., engaging in MS Readathon.)

Other activities exist in the school in which funds may be raised (e.g., Tuckshop, Uniform Shop, Mother’s Day Stall).  The main intent of these activities, however, is to provide a service and cover costs as opposed to fundraising.