The Big Change Project started as a small idea.
In 2010, as the economy was struggling and both families and states were tightened their belts, school districts were forced to make drastic cuts as a result of lost funding. The responsibility for coming up with the money to pay for programs and services fell onto the parent-teacher organizations and other local funding sources.
Our local elementary school was no different.
After many years of volunteering in our schools and in our community, we were approached to take on the task of organizing and leading our school’s fundraising efforts as a team. As we approached the challenge of fundraising for the upcoming school year, we had to face the difficult economic realities.
Our fundamental question was how do we raise the needed funds to support our school and the students while at the same time responding to the challenges of our economy? How do we fundraise without “FUNDRAISING”? How do we do it in such a way that didn’t feel like we were asking families to reach for their wallets (or hide!) every time they saw us coming?
We decided to look at the BIG picture.
We realized that by combining events, streamlining sales and offerings, making small changes to our existing efforts, creating service opportunities and using our contacts and connections, it was actually possible. And, we could make it fun! BIG FUN!!!!
One of the fundamental changes we made was to incorporate a service component to our vision. We strongly believe that the more you ask your community to support you, the more you should support your community.
In the end, we not only reached our goal, but went above and beyond – raising an astonishing 180% of our budget which allowed our PTO to fund valuable enhancements to our school and enrich our children’s academic experience.
But it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of school families, local businesses, corporations and community groups all coming together.
The results of this combined effort reinforced our belief in a new approach to fundraising. Fundraising should be a win-win-win for the entire community. BIG fundraising can be done while providing BIG service for someone else. This approach has proven incredibly successful for multiple fundraising projects we have coordinated.
Because deep down we are teachers (and talkers), we “NEED” to share what we learned with all of you. Our goal is to change your thinking about fundraising. Remember, fundraising is FUN!!! There are so many ways to engage people in your fundraising efforts, to build community partnerships through fundraising that benefit everyone, to provide a service while at the same having BIG fun while making BIG money. Isn’t that what’s it all about?
Thus, the Big Change Project was born….
Join the project! Share your ideas, the ways that you are raising BIG, the partnerships you are forging in your community. We want to hear from you. Together, we will create new ways of thinking BIG.