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Voluntary Contributions


Amina_Hussain
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Hello

 

Just thinking ahead to September....and wondering how to promote fund raising and budgeting ideas.

 

However I am considering of asking parents for a small regular donation. Are there any preschool settings out there who ask for voluntary contributions towards snacks, art resources and extras like cooking?

How much do you ask for and are parents willing to pay?

 

I'm considering a minimal amount like £5 - £10 every small term. That is once their children are funded as I feel every little helps and I would rather be using our fundraised money which isn't always that much towards new equipment and replacing or updating play items.

 

I would be interested to hear your views and experiences.

 

We don't charge a registration or waiting list fee.

 

Many thanks in advance

 

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Will watch with interest, It's something I've thought about a lot in the last 6 months or so particuarly as fundraising isn't being as well supported like in the past.

I've always been a little cautious because of this 'funded children need to be free' clause; but as you say it is a voluntary contribution I know our local primary schools do it and a friend who has a child at a private school has it as a monthly direct debit, apparently that is what they were told was needed when they joined the school!

 

I'm a little dubious as to whether parents will pay it though as if they don't support general fundraising would they support this?

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Will watch with interest, It's something I've thought about a lot in the last 6 months or so particuarly as fundraising isn't being as well supported like in the past.

I've always been a little cautious because of this 'funded children need to be free' clause; but as you say it is a voluntary contribution I know our local primary schools do it and a friend who has a child at a private school has it as a monthly direct debit, apparently that is what they were told was needed when they joined the school!

 

I'm a little dubious as to whether parents will pay it though as if they don't support general fundraising would they support this?

Possibly they would thumperrabbit, because they don't have to do anything, they don't have to attend anywhere, buy anything, give anything, make anything etc. "Time poor" parents often just want to put their hands in their pockets.

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We are introducing a voluntary contribution towards snack in September of 20 pence per session. As funding does not cover outgoing costs and hasn't for sometime now we have had to consider other alternatives to increase revenue and remain sustainable.

Not something we really wanted to have to do, but needs must. Our funding contract states we can ask for a voluntary contribution towards things like snack, extra curricular activities etc, so as long as we also allow parent/carers the alternative of bringing their own snack in we should be okay with this. Nobody has objected so far.

The quicker this Government sorts out the underfunding the better, although I don't hold out much hope that this will truly happen in real terms.:(:(:(

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Hi

we have been requesting a voluntary contribution towards snack and printing cost for the last few years. we ask for a £5 voluntary contribution every half term. we do this for funded children only and give each parent a named envelope with a slip attached with our request. we usually have a good response but there are always a few who never contribute. I believe that our treasurer keeps a note of who pays it and then we claim back gift aid if they are a tax payer.

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We have worked out that parents are more willing if there is something in it for them sooooooooo - how about a monthly contribution, maybe direct debit set up, and then a monthly prize? Along the lines of a '100 Club'? The prize would be dependent on the amount of money paid in for example £50 in total received in Sept so prize paid out £10 so 20%. So the more they encourage others parents (or local people) to join in the bigger the prize. You might have to apply for an annual gaming licence from the local council. I think one larger prize rather than 3 smaller ones. You could have it so that you only have prizes each term?

 

I think I might go and set this up myself. My village has one set up to raise money for the church and a local nature reserve also does it. Much larger sums than we would deal with. :P :1b

 

Sorry got a bit carried away there. Just thought of the downside - who is going to do it all???? :rolleyes:

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Parents bring in a piece of fruit to share for snack, so that helps cut costs there. We also ask for £1.50 per half term for cooking activities, but this generally does go back to the member of staff who has bought the ingredients. It's such a small amount though that we're considering dropping it from September. I'm not sure if we're even supposed to charge it for funded children - it's just always been the way and I didn't know different when I took over in September!

 

Otherwise, our fundraising is mainly at Christmas and local village summer fete, and we struggle to get contributions for those to be honest :(

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We have the collection tubs, one hung to trolley, one on library table.

Our biggest revenue one is the raffle each year we tie it in with the Christmas nativity as his mothers uncle and the world come and we sell them on the door, drawing it after the show. We make hundreds on this! The prizes are good too and costs us nothing except time and raffle books.

We have been thinking of doing the local bingo thing where you sell a square like on bonus ball with one winning each term a good % of the money, leaving us with some.

I've also been meaning to contact local supermarkets to ask for fruit donations too, I'm liking the asking parents to donate fruit might pinch that one.

Can I say too our tombola last Xmas went down a storm you ask parents to fill jars with things bobbles, cars, Lego, sweets costs nothing, it was that popular I already have a massive stash of large coffee jars ready lol x

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I know a good few private nurseries who hold summer fates etc, and they usually go down a storm! also they get decent raffle prizes as more parents work for a company that may donate a gift of some sort. I would not think you shouldn't be fundraising as a parent as long as I knew it was going to something in particular id support you x

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Being a private setting, I don't feel I can do fund raising. Also (being a small private setting) I wouldn't have time to organise it.

Yes me too, Wildflowers. However, if we do small things like having their photographs taken and I get commission for it I put that towards their parties etc.

 

I do know of private settings in my area who ask for a voluntary "top up" contribution to the funded hours and being an affluent area parents do not complain! I think they have an almost 100% success rate with this approach. It is not a condition of the setting, that these voluntary contributions are made, if a parent did not, they would not chase them for it.

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We do a twice yearly 'Phil the Bag' collection. Most parents are always wanting to get rid of old clothes and textiles/shows for recycling - we have a collection week and we just keep reminding them all to bring their bags in and to ask friends and family (Phil the bag provide us with the bags to hand out) and they come and collect it all on the Friday or following Monday and weigh it in and put the funds straight into our bank account - we get about £130 - £170 each time. Its not too much work to organise a couple of times each year and it saves us having to collect money and bank/record etc. every week

 

http://www.philthebag.co.uk/how_does_it_work.html

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Being a private setting, I don't feel I can do fund raising. Also (being a small private setting) I wouldn't have time to organise it.

Yes me too, Wildflowers. However, if we do small things like having their photographs taken and I get commission for it I put that towards their parties etc.

 

I do know of private settings in my area who ask for a voluntary "top up" contribution to the funded hours and being an affluent area parents do not complain! I think they have an almost 100% success rate with this approach. It is not a condition of the setting, that these voluntary contributions are made, if a parent did not, they would not chase them for it.

I too don't fundraise - mainly because we don't have the time! We do have a photographer once a year and any comission goes to buying a resource.

However, although we are considered a Private business - we arent entirely free of restraint eg Not being able to charge what we consider a sustainable fee - No Top Up Funding! So if you have the time/enthusiastic staff etc then I personally do not see fundraising as a problem.

Will take the tip from Foreveyoung and tap up our village store for fruit or maybe ask for heathy snacks to be brought in. Its very difficult to stay in the black with so many outgoings......

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Being a private setting, I don't feel I can do fund raising. Also (being a small private setting) I wouldn't have time to organise it.

Blimey try telling that to any private school...they would think you were mad!!! All private school that I have ever known fund raise. It can be for something extra (trip/event/hatching eggs etc) or to get a specialist in for for some additional training to benefit their children or even just for a new piece of equipment. a VERY expensive private school is just trying to raise 50 million to support bursaries!

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Yes you are right that most of them have a charitable arm (this could be a pta of course) have you asked your parents if they might be interested? I now do very little fundraising as my pta handle it (raised £3,500 this year!)

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It's something we've been considering... we have decided to ask for snack at 50p per week or they bring their own which quite a lot do anyway.

I'm also going to start charging 50p for breakfast, for all children.

I've lost nearly £40,000 due to the funding this academic year, we get £3.52 and currently charge £4.20 an hour, rising to £4.40 in September. I need to start charging for something....

 

We do fundraise at Christmas and Summer, we have two fayres and raise about £1000 at each, but I have amazing staff that are willing to give up their time to help us. They are popular events and it's a great way to engage with parents :)

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Dear all,

 

Thanks again for your views and comments.

We are only a small setting but I think more can be done around fund raising and it could even be a way to bring together my new staff team, new committee, the parents and children.

 

I also like the idea of asking parenting to contribute towards fruit for the week as again it will give the children a sense of community by them choosing the fruit they bring and then share at snack. I suppose I could then use the voluntary funds towards the basics (raisins & breadsticks) or exciting extras (pineapple / cheese / cherries).

 

It's certainly an exciting time for me to review and reflect on all aspects of my preschool.

 

Thanks again

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  • 2 weeks later...

We use our local authorities library service which we have to pay for so I put a voluntary contribution of £5 onto the invoices each term, even our funded children. As it is voluntary we are allowed to do it but we, as staff, don't see who pays and who doesn't. Only my treasurer knows that. I think that is a better way so there is no feeling of resentment from the staff.

 

As to fundraising, we are a small pre-school so have always needed parental input and have found that we have never raised much when they have had to do something to help us do it. So, we held a sponsored walk whereby the parents didn't have to do anything and we raised £500!!! Some parents actually said that it was easier to just give money than attend some do or another.

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Parents donate veg and fruit. We had pineapple, grapes, bananas, melon, strawberries, apples, peppers, cucumber and carrots this week!!! They bring in oranges, pears and other fruit when on special offer in the supermarkets.

Other donations of raisins, crackers and breadsticks etc are also brought in. We are very lucky.

 

V

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We used to send out a 'shopping list' of items each half term that we asked parents to donate which included fruit, veg, tissues, baby wipes etc. We stopped doing it following advice from our LA Advisor (remember those???).

 

I think that I may re-word it to make it clear it is voluntary and start again in Sept. We used to stagger sending it out so that we did not get inundated with bananas or cucumbers and end up wasting food.

 

It's really useful reading what others groups do.

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I find if I send out a 'thank you' for all the donations of cleaning stuff, soap, tissues ect, etc we are then inundated with stuff! seems to work much better than asking for it. As long as it is clear it is voluntary then despite LA advisors 'advice' you can ask for it.

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