• Melanie Notaras

No Excuses, Time Poor Parents - it’s time you raised funds for your school!

Updated: Aug 13


I know, I know … you have multiple kids, your job, the kids have activities after school, there’s the housework that’s so overdue it makes a threatening librarian look meek, you burn water and SURELY if fundraising needs doing then someone else with less on their plate is already doing it? HEY! Stop making excuses! Whether you’re a single parent, shift worker – or even the mighty Elon Musk – here are 16 reasons why it’s important for YOU to be helping to fundraise at your child’s school:

1. You might be the connection the school or PTA* needs to get something done. If you do happen to be Elon Musk, you probably know a lot of people who could make things possible, and if you’re just an ordinary parent … guess what? You also probably know a lot of people. Your network may be just the thing!

2. You can make new friends! Do you know the main reason kids like school? It’s because they’re given a set of buddies (classmates) that automatically befriend them due to proximity. Your PTA is a ready group of friends waiting for you to join.

3. You can polish up skills. This is great if you’ve been out of work for a while, whether it’s minute taking, cooking, event organisation or letter writing, you can practise work skills and count them towards your CV. Don’t know how to do any of that? Your PTA is a friendly place where you can learn! And don’t forget the social skills – diplomacy and turn taking being foremost!

4. You can join and be a part of a community. Being involved in your PTA means being in a group of people who know and care about you, and your involvement in the PTA’s activities helps you interact with new people outside the PTA too. It feels goooood.

5. You can be a local hero, and revel in the kudos! When you fundraise for your school you make school better for everyone – and the parents appreciate it! I know from experience – personally I have directly organised and won a $2,500 competition which bought 600 new home readers for K-2, as well as two grants ($50,000 and $15,000) to create a rainwater tank and irrigation system for our sporting field. It feels absolutely fantastic when people thank you for the difference you have made to their children’s lives. Smile!

6. Your kids can feel special. When you are being celebrated by the school, they enjoy the glow surrounding you. They love it (and they're so proud of you).

7. You can have a night out of the house once a month – with adults! Are you a single parent without babysitting options? If your PTA offers free babysitting, it’s a night out every month where you get to be (sigh of relief) with adults. It might not be the most exciting thing, but it’s heaps better than sitting at home.

8. Your kids can make new friends. Our meeting was at night, and my kids loved walking through the dark to the PTA babysitting, playing football with their friends in the shadowy sports field for the two hours they waited for me. There were usually the same kids there every month – some they already knew, some from different classes that became friends – or strengthened friendships – with.

9. You can raise much more money with your time, than you could by simply donating. It’s great if you can afford to donate funds or purchase PTA sale items/events. But you can make a lot more money for your school by organising grants, competitions, business donations, and small and large events. Apart from the $67,500 I personally raised through competitions/grants, I also helped our P&C* raise $16,000-$25,000 annually by helping to organise trivia nights, car boot sales, election day barbecues, cake stalls and art show events – about $180,000 in total, in six years. That’s a great team effort!

10. You can demonstrate volunteering and community participation to your kids. Kids love it when you’re involved. It’s great role modelling, and your kids can also practice their skills by working beside you.

11. Your kids become more proud of their school due to your involvement, and that motivates them to try hard in class. It’s a well-known fact that children of parent volunteers do better at school. Why? If you show that you value their school by devoting your time to it, they’ll absorb that value and school will become important to them too.

12. Your kids can enjoy perks. The reward for our P&C kids (apart from getting to play in the dark while they waited for our meeting to finish) was being allowed to eat all the cakes, chips and dips left-over from our meeting! They also loved it when I ran the jumping castle. Perks!

13. You can be creative. Being involved in the PTA means you can have influence on the fundraising events your group runs. Our art show was a fantastically creative set up.

14. Just because it’s fun. You can chat, laugh, learn new skills, learn new gossip, flex your muscles and admire your achievements with a bunch of friends. That’s fun.

15. Your fundraising buys resources that help your children learn. The more you fundraise, the more resources they can have. With school budgets increasingly stretched, will your child miss out on the things they need if you don’t help?

16. To prevent injustice! Did you know that many teachers pay up to $700 per year for books, art supplies and pencils for their classrooms – out of their own incomes? It’s wonderful of them to consider their students so well, but it’s not fair – imagine if your boss required you to pay for computer toner, pens and paper stationery, so you could do your job?

OKAY, I PROMISED TO TELL YOU MY TWO CHEATING TRICKS:

Being time poor isn’t a burden, it’s a superpower! You’re a highly passionate being who’s ambitious with their time and used to handling plenty of tasks. You get the important things done. You’re awesome! When you want to add fundraising to your passions, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Just do these two things:

Pick a cause you’re passionate about, or a fundraiser you’d really enjoy doing. When you’re motivated, you’ll find the time.

And make sure you join the school committee – once you’re there, you’ll be aware. You’ll automatically put the job down on your list of things to do, and you WILL get the job done.

If you want to get the fundraising done, if you want to reap the fantastic results – then put up your hands busy parents. You’ll work hard to clear your plate, and you’ll achieve a lot for your children, their school, and yourself. Go for it!

*PTA, PTO, P&F, P&C, School Board – you know what I mean, depending on which country you live! I’m a P&C parent myself, but we’re all parent-school volunteers XX

This blog post was brought to you by My School Adventure - a reading fundraiser for primary, elementary and middle grade schools where we customise an exciting adventure gamebook novel to your school including 4 teachers as characters! Easy to run by one volunteer. To learn more please visit www.myschooladventure.com.

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