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Fundraising and PTO officers (legal question)

15 years 2 months ago #148989 by Jewel
With many fundraisers, it's not the child doing the selling much of the time anyway. So many times, Mom/Dad take the order forms to work or ask relatives/friends to step up and order for "junior".

However, those parents don't have an inside track on how much needs to be sold to win first place. They just do their best and hope that their child will win. In the case of this PTO officer, it sounds like she gets in all the order forms from everyone else, finds out that the highest amount sold is "284" (or whatever) and then makes sure she can turn in "285" or more to win it for her child. Correct? If that's the case, then she has breached the by-laws code of conduct by utilizing information not available to everyone else to create an unfair advantage for her child.

If she DOESN'T have access to all the other order forms, but just so happens to sell the most and her kid wins, I don't see anything wrong with that. She has a passion for the fundraiser and she/child win fair and square because of it.

If the prize is cash, a Wii, or a trip to Hawaii, it doesn't really matter. It all depends on whether or not the PTO officer used "inside" information not available to everyone else in order to make sure her child wins.

If you want to take the approach that PTO officer's children have to be excluded from winning even when every precaution is taken to ensure an equal playing field for all children competing for the prize, I can't agree. Imagine trying to recruit parents for open PTO positions and saying, "Besides putting in hours and hours of work for no pay and little to no appreciation plus lots of parent accusations and complaints, your kid is going to automatically be disqualified from winning any PTO contests whether you are the coordinator of it or not." No, thank you!
15 years 2 months ago #148988 by rkta
Not exactly. From information I have the child was not the one selling, but the parent/PTO officer. So she would know exactly how many to sell. I don't doubt the officer actually sold the most, just don't feel like her child should receive a cash prize for winning. Feels like being paid to do the fundraiser.

I didn't see anything specific in the bylaws about officers being able to win fundraiser prizes.

Like I said...I guess my moral gut says to me that a PTO officers child shouldn't be eligable to win fundraisers. Just one of the negative sides to being an officer. Kinda like if you work for ABC company and they have a contest you can't win??
15 years 2 months ago #148987 by Jewel
Your concern is that the child was given inside knowledge by his parent as to how much more he'd have to sell to secure first place and given time past the deadline to complete those sales, correct?

The "checks and balances" to prevent such behavior from a PTO board member is likely found in the ethics/conduct portion of your PTO's by-laws.
15 years 2 months ago #148986 by rkta
I guess the issue is that the parent made it clear that she was the one who did all the selling and she is the one that does the counting and decides who is the winner.
What would keep someone in that position from making sure their child won by selling some after all the other kids are done selling.

I agree it's not fair to the child if they actually won the sale themselves to penalize them from winning.

It just seems to leave a bad feeling in my gut.

When would you say something about it as another parent?
15 years 2 months ago #148985 by Jewel
As long as the competition was fairly won by the child or as long as the drawing for the prize was executed in an open and above board manner, why should the child be disqualified or exempt from winning or penalized in any other way because his or her parent is on the PTO?
15 years 2 months ago #148984 by rkta
How does everyone feel or is there 'law' about a PTO officer's child winning the final prize in a PTO fundraiser? And can the prize be cash?

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