Administrative Procedure 321: Fundraising - Students

Legal References

Education Act: Section 265 (1) (j) Duties of Principal: Care of Pupils; O. Reg. 298 Section 25 Canvassing and Fund-Raising; Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act and Regulations

Related References

1. Definition of Fundraising

Fundraising is the direct solicitation of funds in the name of the school through approved sponsorship activities and the sale of products and services in consultation with and upon the advice of the school community. Such activities may take place on or off school property.

2. Fundraising in Schools

2.1. The Director of Education and district staff members recognize that school-initiated canvassing or fundraising activities to support appropriate charitable organizations, community organizations or to improve the school learning environment, within the guidelines established by district administrative procedures, can serve as valuable learning experiences for students. Such activities are allowed in the schools of Avon Maitland District School Board.

2.2. The Director of Education has also been delegated the responsibility to ensure that:

2.2.1. Canvassing or fundraising activities are planned and authorized so that the safety of students is maintained;
2.2.2. Fundraising activities are developed and organized with advice and assistance from the school community, including students, staff, parents, and community organizations;
2.2.3. Appropriate safeguards are in place regarding the collection, deposit, recording and use of public funds; and
2.2.4. All funds raised and disbursed are recorded in accordance with Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) standards and the board’s Administrative Procedure 513.

2.3. The Director of Education delegates to school principals the responsibility of determining which fundraising projects may be undertaken at their respective schools consistent with the:
      • Administrative procedures of the board;
      • Municipal, provincial and federal legislation; and
      • Ministry of Education regulations, directives, and guidelines such as the School Food and Beverage Policy, Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, Facility Partnership Guideline, and the Broader Public Sector Procedure Directive.

3. Expectations for all Groups

3.1. The Intention of Fundraising
Funds are to be raised for school purposes. These funds are intended to compliment, not replace, public funding for education.

3.2. Communication and Involvement

3.2.1. It is expected that as each school develops a fundraising plan, consistent with the school board’s mission and values as well as its own diversity, values and priorities, it will communicate the plan to the school community which includes among others students, staff, parents, school councils, and community organizations.

3.2.2. Annual fundraising plans must be submitted to and approved by the Finance Department as per AP513.

3.2.3. As responsible members of their communities, it is important for all fundraising groups to consult the wider community to ensure coordination of community fundraising activities. Likewise, coordination with other schools’ fundraising activities is important. Major school fundraising events should be coordinated with those of local service clubs and charitable groups as well.

3.2.4. When school, student, parent and/or board organizations approach the general public for financial assistance of approved projects, the maintenance of good public relations with the community must be a prime requisite of any such fundraising project.

3.2.5. Participating in school-supported fundraising activities is strictly voluntary. Participants cannot be subject to penalties or denied any benefits if they choose not to participate. Care should be taken to limit the impact on classroom time for staff and students, and administrative time for principals and support staff.

3.2.6. Local businesses should be given reasonable opportunity to supply goods and/or services as part of any fundraising project. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that any fundraising activity does not result in any staff or volunteer benefiting materially or financially from the activity.

3.3. Safety

3.3.1. Concern for age-appropriate activities, safety of students and consideration for the community requires that canvassing, sales or solicitation of pledges not be permitted by elementary students under Grade 4 in public locations or on a door-to-door basis unless under direct supervision of the parent or guardian. Parental consent is required for all other students participating under the age of eighteen (18).

3.3.2. Privacy must be respected. The personal information of staff, students or other individuals should not be shared for the purposes of fundraising without prior consent. The use of personal information by school boards is governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

3.4. Compliance and Accountability

3.4.1. Those involved in the fundraising activity must ensure compliance with school board administrative procedures serving to support and protect staff and volunteers from legal liability through practices promoting accountability for the handling and management of the proceeds raised.

3.4.2. Any fundraising activity that involves the sale of food and beverages on school premises must comply with the school board’s administrative procedure on food, beverage, and nutrition.

3.4.3. When merchandise is being sold to the public in a fundraising venture, the principal will ensure that the public is getting fair value for money paid.

3.4.4. All funds collected and disbursed by means of fundraising are subject to the board’s regular audit and accountability requirements which includes the cyclical internal review and external audit of school financial records.

4. Capital Fundraising

4.1. When schools are planning and selecting capital projects which will be supported by fundraising activities the principal and school community must consider:
      • Requiring a viability review that examines alignment with the school board’s overall capital priorities and planning processes, the school improvement plan, and Ministry of Education priorities;
      • Analyzing costs for future maintenance and repairs; and
      • Restrictions related to conflict of interest and procurement policies.
In order to ensure that the planning of capital projects supported by school generated funds will comply with the above requirements, the school should consult with the Finance Department regarding the appropriateness of the fundraising initiative and the Facilities Department regarding the appropriateness of the capital project and its impact to the school building/property.

4.2 Capital projects supported by fundraising processed cannot:
      • Result in an increase in the student capacity of a school; and
      • Result in a significant increase in school or board operating or capital costs.
In order to ensure that these parameters are met the principal must obtain approval from the Superintendent of Financial Services prior to the commencement of the fundraising project.
Revised September 2012