There is no requirement for a Parent Club to fundraise.
However, most clubs will undertake at least some fundraising as part of their role. As well as providing often greatly needed funds for the school, fundraising can lead to greater recognition and acknowledgment of the Parent Club within the school community. Fundraising could be a drawcard for new members if parents can see specific benefits for their children.
Tips for a successful fundraiser
- Identify the area requiring funding.
- Generate discussion with the School Council (see below), Principal, students and relevant sub-committees to ensure the identified need is in tune with budget priorities. Prior approval from School Council is essential.
- Decide how the funds will be raised. Consider suggestions from new members and even those which may not have worked so well in the past – may work better with the current parent community or at a different time of the year. Generally it’s best to go with the most popular and well-supported activity.
- Attempt to share the workload as widely as possible throughout the school community. (This encourages parent participation.)
- Be conscious of other schools/community groups’ activities in your area so as not to overlap or diminish anyone’s efforts.
- Seek approval from School Council regarding agreement for the fundraiser, as well as specific agreement on where the money will be spent.
- Go for it!
- If collecting cash, always have 2 people to count money – download our template (see below) to make the job easier.
- Keep good records of your fundraising activities – what’s worked well, quantity of goods ordered, what improvements could be made … to assist future committees.
- Be sure to acknowledge and value the efforts of everyone involved, however small the contribution.
Cash record template
Always keep a record of money collected. You can use our handy template to count the cash and also use as a record.
- Set a proposed annual fundraising calendar at the beginning of the school year.
- Keep an eye out for new ideas which might go well in your school community. Check our Fundraising page for ideas. Subscribe to Fundraising Directory for fundraising tips and newsletters.
- Fundraising should be included in the Club’s annual plan.
School Council approval
All fundraising needs to be done with prior approval of School Council.
Although not mandated, we believe the Parent Club needs to have representation, on not only School Council, but also sub-committees of the School Council. Being represented on these groups will ensure the Parents Club has a voice on the spending priorities of the school. When the budget priorities have been cooperatively determined, the Parents Club is in a strong position to negotiate any fundraising efforts it may choose to organise. If there is no Parent Club representative on School Council, we suggest you speak with the School Council President and/or the Principal and put a case for Parent Club representation on School Council.
Parents Victoria recommends that clubs approach School Council with a “package” including the proposed activity and how the funds will be used e.g. “hold a sausage sizzle to buy books for the library”.
What if School Council rejects our proposal?
No fundraising activities may be rejected by the School Council until it has considered a recommendation by a committee consisting of the School Council President, one other representative of the School Council, two representatives of the Club and the Principal. This provision is set out in the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Division 8, Clause 58(2).
Parent Clubs can legally conduct raffles, but they must first be registered with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).
See the VCGLR Community Gaming page for information on how to register. If you’re not already registered, make sure you leave 28 days for the registraton process to go through before you conduct your raffle. You will need to provide documentation including your Club’s constitution, membership list and AGM minutes.
You might find that your school is already registered with VCGLR. If so, raffles can be conducted under the school’s name, not the Parent Club’s. Since the raffle needs to be approved by School Council anyway, it will have the official school ‘stamp of approval’. Make sure that the School Council understands that this is a school raffle, not a Parent Club raffle, even though Parent Club volunteers may be doing most of the work. All tickets and promotional material should carry the school’s name and logo, not the Parent Club’s.
Raffle permits and conditions
- Once registered, you (or your school, as above) can run small raffles (where the total retail value of prizes does not exceed $5,000) without a permit.
- Where the retail value of prizes exceeds $5,000, a minor gaming permit must be sought from the VCGLR.
- Both small and large raffles are subject to certain conditions and requirements; see the VCGLR website for details.
Other fundraisers with gaming activities
Gaming fundraisers such as lucky envelopes, bingo and casino-style games are also subject to conditions and requirements by the VCGLR. See the VCGLR Community Gaming page for more information
No mandatory target
School Councils sometimes state – “we need you to raise $xxxx in a given year” There is no requirement for any PC to fundraise a particular amount per year or for particular items. However we do encourage all PCs to work in partnership with their School Council. If there is a dispute, try getting all parties together for a discussion.