Read this in PDF: Fundraising Orgs 411
One of the areas that seems to cause the most confusion for parents in Albany is the multiplicity of fundraising organizations and what they fund. As the school year gets started and these campaigns launch, you may want to
know more about these groups.
1) What are the fundraising organizations that contribute to Albany Elementary Schools?
– Albany Elementary Giving Campaign (AEGC)
– Albany Education Foundation (AEF)
– Albany Music Fund (AMF)
– PTAs at all three schools
2) What do they do?
– SchoolCare--funds specific, salaried teaching positions at all Albany schools. As a trusted fundraising entity, the district counts on SchoolCare to fund staff each year. Decisions are made based on the annual funding priorities spring survey (distributed to both parents and teachers) and by working closely with the district. SchoolCare brings in the most bucks,
raising nearly $290,000 in the 2013-2014 school year. They also ask the most, requesting $500 per student. Fundraising goes on throughout the year and you can make donations online. The main fundraiser, a phonathon, is in the spring.
– Albany Elementary Giving Campaign (AEGC)–funds the elementary enrichment programs. These are subjects taught by specialists during the school day and include art, chess, poetry, and puberty education. Cornell has used their AEGC dollars to fund music, but with the district committed to providing weekly music instruction in grades 1-3, they may now make a
different choice. PTA officers at each elementary form the AEGC committee, but these donations to not go into a PTA account, they are deposited directly with the district. The AEGC drive starts off the year in September, and is a wonderful example of how the Albany community works together cooperatively. The same push is made at each of the elementary schools, identical materials are used. The money is then divided up according to the number of students at each elementary. Goal is $75,000,
they ask $100 per student.
- Albany Education Foundation (AEF)--directly supports teachers through a grant-writing program. Teachers submit small grant requests for equipment, field trips, etc. AEF writes checks directly to teachers for the winning proposals. Main fundraiser is the Chocolate and Champagne Gala in February.
- Albany Music Fund (AMF)–supports music education throughout the district. They strongly lobbied the district for elementary music education and the district has responded with a new program for 1-3 grades, 30 minutes of music weekly. AMF fundraises at band and choir events and with a letter campaign in the fall.
- PTAs at all three schools–PTAs have a dual role, fundraising to support the educational programs at their school, but also working to build community ties. Building a strong school community is no small task, and involves bringing together parents, teachers, students, and staff. PTAs also strive to build relationships within the local community…to other schools, businesses, and neighbors.
3) Why are there different fundraising organizations?
All the fundraising organizations do great work. Most professional fundraising experts agree that the way to maximize donations is to ask often, ask for different purposes, and ask in different ways (auctions, raffles, walk-a-thons, etc.).
4) Can I just write one check?
Write one check?! Well, no, not at this time. It is probable that if we tried to switch to that system, all these organizations would lose revenue, and consequently, our kids would lose programs and supplies. It is easier on family budgets to write multiple small checks throughout the year. Plus, you remove the opportunity for all kinds of community/parent/school interactions. These events fuel our social web and improve our community.