It is the goal of the Ashland Public Schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities without additional costs or fees, however, some activities or trips carry additional costs for students to participate. Fundraising can help offset these costs, or can be a way for student groups to perform service work by raising funds to support external charities.
Fundraising is the collection of funds or items of value by means of solicitation of donations or by sale of goods or services to support singular or one-time items or activities. Unsolicited donations of funds, time, or items of value directly to the district, as well as the sale of tickets to scheduled athletic or performance events, are not considered fundraising.
Fundraising may not be used to support or offset normal operating costs, or reoccurring revenue needs, of student programing or activities, that should be addressed within the district budget.
School sponsored fundraising must be for the direct and equitable benefit of students. School groups may also decide to fundraise to support external charities.
All school sponsored fundraising must be conducted for a purpose, and in a manner, that is consistent with the Ashland Public Schools Blueprint for Continuous Student Improvement. All Ashland Public Schools policies on student and staff behavior, including regulations contained in school or athletic handbooks, will apply and be in effect at all times during fundraising activities.
The routine collection of fees by the district for specific purposes including, but not limited to, athletic or club fees, class dues, and field trip fees, are not considered fundraising and students who do not pay may be prohibited from those related activities. However, the district should provide financial aid or waive fees for students when possible and appropriate.
All fundraising activities, including those by external organizations, intended to benefit the Ashland Public Schools require approval prior to promotion of, recruitment for participation in, or collection of any funds or items of value related to the requested fundraising activity. Failure to obtain approval prior to engaging fundraising activities may result in the proceeds not being accepted.
Applications for Fundraising Approval Requires the Following Information:
• Name of Organization Coordinating Fundraising
• Description of activities including, expected times and location(s) of activities, and specific activities expected to be performed by Ashland Public School students or staff
• Expected sources of funds or donations (demographic groups, etc.)
• Intended use of fundraising proceeds (benefiting group or organization)
• Estimated expenses and proceeds
• Start and Completion dates
• Organizer Contact Information
• Applicant must certify their review and understanding of this policy
• Any other information the Superintendent, or designee, deems necessary
The Superintendent, or designee, will evaluate external organizations seeking fundraising approval to ensure they are an appropriate partner for the Ashland Public Schools, and that there would be no foreseeable issues or conflicts accepting donations of time, money, or items of value.
Approvals Required (approvals are cumulative, must obtain all that apply):
• Superintendent (or designee): All fundraising activities, including any modifications to previously approved fundraisers
• Building Principal: School based fundraising activities, including sports teams or clubs
• Athletic Director: Fundraising activities for sports teams/clubs
• School Committee: Fundraising related to activities requiring School Committee approval (i.e. late night, overnight, out of state, or foreign travel)
Applications may be rejected, or approval rescinded, at any time if requirements are not met or where the fundraising activity does not serve the interest of the district.
The Superintendent, or designee, will maintain a list of approved fundraising activities on the district website. The list must contain the name of the fundraising organization, purpose of fundraising, dates of fundraising activities, date of approval, and point of contact for activity. The list is intended to assist groups in planning fundraising activities, as well as provide the community with visibility of approved fundraising activities.
Upon approval, an organization is expected to use the phrase "Ashland Public Schools Approved Fundraiser" in promotional literature.
Applicants are encouraged to choose times and activities that prioritize participant safety, do not conflict with activities or efforts of other groups, and do not adversely impact or burden the Ashland community. Applicants should submit all known fundraisers for approval at the beginning of the school year, or as early as possible, to assist with scheduling and to ensure timely approval.
General Fundraising Guidelines:
• Participation of students, families, school faculty and staff, and the Ashland community in fundraising activities is strictly voluntary and participation may be withdrawn for any reason at any time
• Coercion to donate to, or participate in, fundraising activities and discrimination or consequences based upon level of success, contribution, or participation is strictly prohibited
• Fundraising activities should be age-appropriate and require an age-appropriate level of supervision
• Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited for K-5 students, and strongly discouraged for all other students
• Funds raised to support trips or group activities must support all trip or activity participants equally, regardless of their participation or success in fundraising
• Competitive prizes or incentives for higher levels of fundraising are generally discouraged. However, if competitive prizes or incentives are given, group (i.e. an entire club, class, or grade), instead of individual, rewards are preferred.
• Fundraising activities, including solicitations, publications, and promotions, shall have a clearly communicated purpose, and proceeds will be used strictly for that purpose
• Fundraising activities offering individual students special access to school events or staff during the school day are prohibited. All other fundraisers offering students special access to school related activities outside of the school day are subject to approval and must be awarded by a drawing, raffle, or similar method, that provides equitable opportunity for entry to all students.
• Fundraising activities should use electronic payments or payments by check when possible to minimize the amount money handled or managed by participants
• It shall be the responsibility of the organization conducting the fundraising activities to comply with all applicable policies, regulations, and laws related to the management, accounting, and reporting of collected and disseminated funds. School-based organizations will comply with all district financial management policies and procedures.
• Upon completion of fundraisers, the applicant must provide the superintendent, or designee, with a final accounting of the expenses incurred and funds raised
Fundraising questions should be directed to the Superintendent, or designee. Appeals of decisions made by the Superintendent, or designee, as well as requests for exceptions to this policy may be made to the School Committee. The School Committee will have the final decision on all appeals, exceptions, and matters not explicitly covered within this policy.
The Superintendent, or designee, shall promulgate procedures necessary to comply with this policy. Unless otherwise authorized by the School Committee, prior to being utilized within the district or dispersed from a district account, proceeds from fundraising activities must be accepted by vote of the School Committee. Where the School Committee has authorized administrators to receive and deposit money into, or disperse from, student activity accounts, those administrators shall provide a periodic report of those activities to the School Committee.
The School Committee reserves the right to reject any donation or proceeds from fundraising if it finds that the donation would not serve the interests of the District or conflicts with this or any other district policy.
This policy supersedes all other policies that may conflict with this policy related to fundraising.
ADOPTED: 31 July 2018