Fundraising in the District

It’s important to note that the term fundraising is a catch-all phrase for all school-related activities that generate revenue and in-kind resources to enhance school programs and support school initiatives. Fundraising activities may include, but are not limited to:
•sales of products and/or services
•paid advertising
•solicitation of monetary and in-kind donations

How does the district manage its fundraising?

classmunity logo

The Verona Area School District has contracted with Classmunity, LLC for all district fundraising functions (click here to visit our campaigns in progress!). Classmunity is a web-based fundraising management service designed to assist K-12 school districts in doing two things:
1. Provides teachers an easy pre-approval process for fundraising ideas, grant applications, product sales or even local business solicitation for donations -- we no longer rely on using the clumsy one-page fundraising approval document or verbal/email approval of fundraising campaigns. Teachers can quickly and easily create campaigns, and administrators can easily approve/deny/request revisions to fundraising campaigns.
2. To raise money easily, professionally, and securely by offering a specific website for community and family members to donate with ease. Details below...

How does the process work and how does a staff member get their funds if they use the fundraising function of Classmunity?

As shared above on this page, Classmunity has two specific functions:
1. When setting up your fundraising event through Classmunity, you will simply be sharing your fundraising idea with your administrator. On the last screen, when you click submit, your administrator will automatically get an email asking him/her to review your fundraiser...they can approve it, ask for revisions, or deny it.

2. You can also choose to use Classmunity to actually help you raise online funds. For those who you have used Donor's Choose before, you similarly set it up (still submitting your idea to your administrator through Classmunity first to gain approval). Classmunity allows you to set up your fundraiser, choose giving levels, select the account code your fundraising funds should be directed to. It will also allow you to sell tickets for an event and even offer an incentive for people to donate or buy tickets!

If you are using Classmunity's function to raise funds through the software, one of the fields you will need to fill in will ask you what account you desire your donations to be deposited into. Be mindful of what account you are having the donations deposited into. If you are absolutely sure you are spending the funds in the current fiscal school year, the funds may be deposited into a fund 10 or fund 21 account. If your fundraiser will be ongoing, beyond the current fiscal school year, or if you are unsure whether you will be spending the entire donation amount in the current fiscal year, then please deposit the funds into a fund 21 account. If you do not already have a fund 21 account set up, see your site budget secretary to have this done prior to submitting your Classmunity proposal for administrative approval. 

Staff can then access their fundraising dollars the same as if they are doing a deposit themselves. They will fill out a "Direct Pay" form, attach the invoice for administrator sign off for us to pay.

Important Note about Epic and requesting grants:
We desire all grant ideas to be approved through Classmunity BEFORE you apply for the grant. Please DO NOT approach Epic for grant opportunities. Epic wonderfully supports our school district in multiple ways, annually donating between $75,000-$100,000 a year. Not only do many staff members approach them from our district, but HUNDREDS of grant applications come in from other businesses locally and around the nation. We certainly do not want to over extend the number of requests being presented to them from VASD and risk losing the major funding we are already receiving. They will forward any VASD requests to the VASD public information officer which are not run through central office first, so please be mindful of not reaching out directly to them. We apologize for the inconvenience.

What types of fundraising events are required to be approved through Classmunity?
To begin, the Verona Area School District Board of Education has a "suite" of fundraising board policies (listed below) which includes the official adoption of Classmunity, VASD’s fundraising software program. Click on each one to read details:
Policy 370 Co-Curricular Activities & Programs
Policy 840 Public Gifts to the Schools and Sponsorships
Rule 840 Procedures for the Acceptance of Gifts and Sponsorships
Policy 850 Sales and Solicitations Involving the Schools
Rule 850.1 School Fundraising and Solicitation Procedures
Rule 850.2 Procedures Governing Facility Naming Rights Associated with Sponsorships 
Policy 851 Advertising Involving the Schools
Policy 852.1 Material Distribution to Students Through the Schools
Policy 881.1 Relations with School Support Organizations

Any event that collects funds from parents, community members, or businesses will need to have a Classmunity Campaign created and approved prior to collecting funds. Examples of such campaigns include:
Donors Choose fundraising page built online
Trip Funding Efforts (high school class going abroad)
Football discount card sales 
Product sales in schools (brownies, flowers, etc.)
Restaurant nights
Athletic Fundraisers

We encourage PTO’s, Booster Clubs, Charter Schools or other parent-led district groups to also use Classmunity to help raise additional funds (group leaders should contact the district Public Information Officer by clicking here for password access and instruction if needed.) Again, this platform can assist in helping groups raise additional dollars online, especially for fundraising events that involve an external site, such as a carwash, where not everyone can attend, but can still donate toward the fundraiser online! More importantly, Classmunity will ensure every dollar you raise safely makes it back to you!

"Cheat Sheet" on using Classmunity:

If you are NOT using Classmunity to help you raise funds:
•Then you are only using Classmunity to simply gain approval from your administrator. Once he/she approves the idea, you are finished (since you are not utilizing the fundraising function).
•When you are submitting your fundraising idea for approval, you can ignore utilizing the customized receipt since no one will be submitting funds through the Classmunity page (for example, if you are using a Donor’s Choose page or submitted a fundraiser idea that does NOT require online donations, no one will be needing a receipt. BUT REMEMBER: if you are holding a carwash or some type of event that people may not necessarily attend, they could STILL donate to your event online, so you might want to still utilize Classmunity's ability to let people donate!
•YOU CAN NOT use Go Fund Me to raise funds...(teachers have been forced to pay taxes on their fundraising income by using their own personal finance information). Please use Donor's Choose as a third-party fundraising site to avoid challenges.
•If you are using Donor's Choose as your third-party fundraising page:
-The title of your fundraiser can actually say “Donor’s Choose” page or make mention in your notes that you are utilizing a third-party website to assist you—AGAIN…THIS IS IF YOU ARE NOT USING CLASSMUNITY TO ACTUALLY BUILD YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE ON.
-You do NOT need to enter an account code (only use an account code if your fundraiser is using Classmunity to raise funds--work with your front office staff to obtain the correct code)
-You have no need to select dollar amounts for various donation buttons since donors are giving through a 3rd party website or paying at your actual fundraising event rather than donating online (again, remember that if, for example, your fundraising event was a carwash, you may still desire to build a basic Classmunity fundraising page, since this will allow someone who is out of town or cannot make your carwash to still be able to donate online to the organization!)

If you are using Classmunity to help you raise funds:
•If your fundraiser is bringing in cash or checks on the side (those who are not donating online through your Classmunity page), you will need to enter those as a “batch” in Classmunity—just label those entries as “Batch” when you enter them daily onto your Classmunity page (as if you are donating those checks or dollar amounts towards your fundraising event).
•Make sure to put an “end date” on your fundraiser, which may mean putting the last day of school if the fundraiser is ongoing. You can then cut/paste the page to rebuild it for the summer or following school year to continue raising funds in the next school year calendar
•You are able to customize your receipt for your campaign (again, not needed if you simply submitted your idea to your administrator to use a Donor’s Choose page), but please do not delete the receipt default statement that shares a donor must visit with their tax advisor to learn if their donation is tax deductible. But you can add a personalized message to that statement thanking them for making a difference for your classroom or organization that is holding this specific fundraiser.

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