Funding action, 1% at a time!

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I believe that we should do something within the school community, to help people less fortunate than ourselves.

You may be thinking…”Hang on a minute…we already do that!”

So. Here’s my question, how is it funded?

Many of us have raised money before, with a class or group of students, in order to fund some action which we would like to take. Organised properly, a fundraiser can be a fantastic learning experience in itself, great for everyone within the school community.

However, the original goal of taking action to help the local community can fade away as the focus can shift to   “Let’s raise some money!”

… the timeline is eaten away faster than a home baked cookie… calamitous cupcakes!

The real shame is that the original intention of helping others is in danger of becoming little more than a gesture at the end of the process, squeezed in before the semester concludes.

I’ve been thinking about how action is funded so that we can get on with the real job of

…making a difference!

Here’s the idea:

Your school adds a small amount to it’s school fees, say 1%, to fund action.

The money collected goes into a bank account and becomes a fund. In my case it could be named “The VIS Fund.”

The fund raising part is now complete! Done. Dusted. Now where’s that ACTION plan?!

Here’s where it gets interesting:

People will know that the money is there, and available. They will talk. Ideas will spark and marinate, connections will be made, plans will be drawn up, things will begin to happen…

Faster than before!

The focus will be on helping the outside community, not on the raising of funds…

Here’s a possible framework:

  • Guidelines could be tailored for the school context eg It would have to be of clear benefit to the local community, non-political, etc, depending on where you live.
  • Anyone from the school community could have the opportunity to apply for some money to use, to fund an idea or project.
  • A SMART goal system could be used to apply for money, along with any other predetermined requirements.
  • A small group of students / teachers / parents, etc, could accept the applications and oversee distribution of the money.
  • Money is distributed and the school community goes to work!
  • At the end of each project (or calendar goal for ongoing ideas), a report (with expenses) must be submitted with a thorough reflection.

The school community can celebrate their achievements annually. Exciting stories of how your community has made a difference can be shared.

Properly managed, the experience will be authentic; students will have the chance to make things happen from their own ideas, to see things through, from the ground up. They could involve their families if they wish to create a project outside of school. And, because they bypass the fund raising, they can delve much deeper into the action in the same time frame. Nice.

As the fund grows from year to year, people can start to think bigger with their action. Imagine what you could do with $20,000, or more!

So, that’s my idea.

Imagine if every International School in the world started a fund like this.  That’s a lot of money, going in the right direction.

If this concept, or something similar, is already happening in your school, I’d love to hear about it.

If this isn’t happening at your school, why not share this idea, make it happen.

I’ll certainly share this with my school, as a ‘big, bold idea’ which are actively encouraged.

Who’s ready to make a difference?

1% at a time!

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