IGDFA: Fund-Raising Activities

I: Instructional

The Board of School Trustees (the “Board”) appreciates that fund-raising at the school level is often necessary if a school wishes to improve the level of extra-curricular activities or if a school wishes to purchase equipment that is not supplied by the Ministry of Education or the Board.  The fund-raising activity can often be a rewarding event for the students, parents, and teachers.  The common goal of the event can be an excellent life skills lesson and enhance the curriculum.  To ensure that individual schools and parent advisory committees (DPAC’s) are allowed to retain their initiative in involving communities, the Board will continue to support decision-making for fund raising at the local school level.                                                                                                                                               

Purpose of Fund-Raising 

Fund-raising activities should be pre-defined and have a clear purpose.  If fund-raising activities are planned, there should be involvement of school administration, staff, and the PAC’s.  Goal setting should be reviewed at the start of each year.  Parent involvement in fund-raising is essential, and all parties should work to avoid misunderstandings.  Where student councils or graduation committees are participating in fund-raising, it is important that the goal of the activity be communicated to the PAC and parents.  Fund-raising goals should be directed to items and expenditures that are not supplied by the Board or Ministry of Education; for example, fund raising for prescribed or authorized texts supplied by the Ministry is inappropriate.  Schools may also be involved in some philanthropic fund-raising activities, and the organizers should be sensitive to the total demands being placed on a community. 

When the goals of a fund-raising activity have been achieved, an accounting should be made to the PAC, school, and community.  Where there are surplus funds following the expenditure on an item or service, the funds should be placed in the same account for next year or appear as an agenda item to be discussed.  Fund-raising is not seen as a means to acquire a bank account of uncommitted funds.  Although funds should be expended for the committed purpose, an operating account with a reasonable balance may be maintained. 

Nature of Fund-Raising Activities 

When selecting a fund-raising activity, the school staff and/or PAC should review and abide by the following criteria:

  • the activity should be consistent with stated Board policy, e.g. nutrition policy, casino nights; 
  • the activity should be consistent with the Board's educational goals for the students; 
  • the activity should be acceptable to the community and be sensitive to the values of the community; 
  • the activity should avoid unsupervised soliciting. 

Participants in Fund-Raising Activities 

Although fund-raising activities often involve parents, students, and teachers working together, there must be no coercion or pressure to obtain the involvement.  In addition, age of student participants should be taken into consideration when selecting a fund-raising activity.  The fund-raising event should be planned around the voluntary participation of students, teachers, and families.  Where there are cases of financial need, the school should be sensitive to the possible embarrassment of students, parents, or guardians.  Parents have the right to not participate in an activity.  In addition, as some parents consider competition in fund-raising to be unhealthy, the school and/or PAC should be prepared to respect this position. 

Accountability for Funds 

The Board recognizes the different methods presently employed in the handling of funds raised by schools, student councils, and PAC’s.  A fund-raising group must adopt a consistent approach that is meaningful to the group and provides regular financial statements to all concerned.  In order to monitor the situation, all schools and PAC’s will submit an annual report of their major fund-raising activities to the associate superintendent - area.  The report will include the goals for the year, the method used to raise funds, the total amount raised, and expenditures during the year. 

When students and/or staff are sponsoring an event, a separate trust ledger card can be set up.  The banking and signing authority will be most often through school accounts and the One-Write System.  Where the PAC retains sponsorship for the fund-raising, the committee must choose to use one of the three systems: 

  • PAC’s may use the school's One-Write System, if desired.  A separate trust ledger card can be used with statements submitted to the PAC.  The school will be responsible for banking monies, and the ledger card will be available to the parents upon request.  Under this system, the principal will require written authorization of the PAC executive before the spending of funds.
  • PAC’s may open a bank account in the name of the group.  Any two of three designated members of the executive are named as authorized signatories of the account.  Regular financial statements will be presented to the PAC executive and community.  Individual members of the PAC may be held liable for the group funds. 
  • PAC's raising and handling large sums of money may wish to consider incorporation under the B.C. Societies Act.  This protects individual PAC members who act in a responsible manner from being personally liable for the funds.  In these circumstances, a bank account will be opened in the society's name, with any two or three designated members of the executive as signatories. 

If an PAC petitions to become a society, its constitution should include a section ensuring that the principal of the school is a non-voting member of the executive and is present at meetings.  The PAC should not be independent from the school. 

Some fund-raising activities have involved the receipt of substantial donations and the establishment of trust funds.  Where the donation is made to the Board, the funds can be held in a separate trust account by the Board and later be returned to the school for administering.  These funds will be acknowledged with the Board's registration number for tax deductible purposes and be eligible for a tax receipt. 

Funds of a permanent nature (i.e. principle is invested to earn interest and only the interest income is expended) may be administered by the Accounting Division of the Board, in accordance with the instructions set out by the school.  Scholarship funds fall under this category, and it is recommended that scholarship funds be administered by the Vancouver School. 

DMT Responsibility:  SUPT.

Cross References: 
IGD: Co-Curricular and Extra-curricular Programs; JL: Student Gifts and Solicitations; IICA: Field Trips and Excursions
Adopted Date: 
Monday January 16, 1989
Revision Date: 
Aug 1990
Sep 1994
Jan 1999
Feb 1989