Question: Earmark Donated Funds for Separate Purposes

Is that a common practice in PTOs to allow parents earmark the funds they donate to the school for the designated purpose? What are the pros and cons for that? Another question, if PTOs are designating the purpose when donating funds to school?

Asked by ask99



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It's not common as a general practice to give parents an opportunity to specify how the money they donate is used. If you're raising a significant amount through donations, it's simply too limiting to have parents say, for example, "my $25 is for field trips." It's more common to accept a single larger donation for a specified purpose -- eg $200 for the computer fund. On the other hand, parent groups do typically tell schools how to use the money they donate. And in many cases groups simply pay for specific items rather than actually giving the money to school first. If the school needs money to pay for buses for the field trip, you might simply pay the vendor. One thing to keep in mind: When you donate money, you can specify a purpose. But once that money is out of your hands, you no longer have control of it. If the school decides to spend the $6,000 you donated for interactive white boards on repairing the roof, you can complain but you can't stop them from doing so.

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