Fundraising is a key part of the SkillsUSA program of work. Without funds, it is hard to conduct most activities. In addition to helping to finance the local chapter, a fundraising activity can also provide many valuable learning experiences for students. From project management to forecasting profits, setting timelines, working in teams and being accountable for results, fundraising teaches many skills that will be needed on the job and in life.
There are many ways to raise funds for your chapter, from weekly donut or pizza sales to an annual health fair, car show, mulch sale, flea market, art show and other annual events. You can also team up with an established fundraising company to sell their products using their products and marketing materials. When possible, it is wonderful to incorporate the technical skills your students are learning as well as opportunities for students to speak to business partners and other adults. These are great ways to reinforce the skills being developed in the classroom.
To start, your chapter officers should work with you to determine a SkillsUSA budget for the school year to cover the costs of chapter activities, travel to competitions, official attire or contest uniforms, curriculum, equipment or other chapter materials. Next, determine what portion of the budget can be provided through student payment, a student activity fee or Perkins funding. The balance can then be raised through fundraising activities. Review your organization budget with your principal to be sure it aligns with school policy and procedure.
Student participation is an important factor in the management of money that will be raised for their benefit. Fundraising ideas should be approved by the whole chapter. And, all funds raised should benefit those students currently enrolled in your programs.