From One Parent to Another

Making a Difference Can Be Easier When We Leverage the Resources Around Us

Please take a moment and read how we changed our school council and community just by thinking differently about fundraising

Post thumbail 1My husband and I have always been very active in education as students and now as parents. We set out in our early years as Yearbook Club President, Provincial Chapter President of OSAID, Activity Coordinator for Student Council, and Student Governor. And recently positions have been held as School Council Chair, and member on our Board School Council. We have always been active volunteers, and have always naturally led committees.

Our lives began to change 8 years ago, when we decided to build our first house in a small rural town in Ontario. We were both career oriented and it wasn't until 4 years later that we welcomed our first daughter Rebecca into our home, and then our second daughter Sandra arrived a short 13 months later. To say the least, life was busy and rewarding. It wasn't until Rebecca's JK orientation day at our local school that we found ourselves back into volunteering.

My husband and I had organized events that ranged from Ontario Summer Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, to Fundraisers for Read A Thons, Juvenile Diabetes, and Run for the Cure. Career wise, we both had positions within the Sponsorship, Advertising and Public Relations Departments within our organizations.

We spent our first year recruiting new parents, and developing ideas on how we could look for other ways to fundraise. Parents were tired of selling food items because they either ended up buying most of the product or had to solicit family members and neighbors constantly. And then of course there was the factor of selling unhealthy food choices.

It was very challenging to find other ways to raise money while maintaining school spirit and community engagement. In our second year, we raised over 75K for our rural school and only had to hold two major self-run fundraisers during the year, with a small team of less than 6 members. With these monies we were able to expand on our playground, purchase reading materials, ensure each classroom had a Smart Board, one classroom set of net books, new Physical Education equipment, brought in supplementary curriculum programs, enhance our snack program, and much more!

Because of our success, we were asked to provide some assistance to other schools within our board and get them kick started on how we raised our money. Further to this, I joined our Parent Involvement Committee for the school board and lent many tips on the "how to" for schools.

So why this new initiative..... We simply had to let other people in on how to accomplish their goals for fundraising while taking into consideration all of the challenges we have faced when organizing an event or simply fundraising. Those challenges we are all aware of; #1 lack of time; lack of volunteers; execution ; collection of monies; volunteer hours/burn-out; finding other sources of raising monies

So today our girls are in grade 3 and 4 and we continue to volunteer heavily in our school community. We have launched Raising Spirit because we believe that Schools, School Councils, and Volunteers spend so much time and many don't have the experience with fundraising that we thought we would offer our expertise and offer help to all Schools, School Councils, and Volunteers across Canada. Although, this site was developed for Elementary School Education in mind, we are constantly being asked to build out a secondary school or community site and we promise all in due time. However, if you would like to still use our site like some of our customers do today "Camps" – "Scouting Groups" – City Organizations and Private Companies we encourage you to and can accommodate.

PS. Remember Raising Spirit is about providing ways for you to raise funds all while increasing the spirit and engagement level of the children and parents. Creating a better place to learn comes when our children have the necessary resources to exceed when competing in a global environment.

Thanks and Good Luck! - Tammy & Tim