Catholic schools engage in fundraising activities for two distinct purposes:
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.
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:
Support for other agencies should be assessed using the following criteria:
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 Homelessness Services (www.bhsc.net.au) provides a range of centre-based and outreach support services to individuals and families. Services include:
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.
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.
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.
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.