Last week, I asked if a parent group can fundraise too much, and I suggested that the answer is definitely yes.

The follow-up question, though, has been "What counts as a fundraiser?" You might not be surprised to find that I have some thoughts on that, too.

The best way to think about it is that as a parent group, you are always either asking your school community for a favor (money, support, time), or you are serving your community (events, communication, appreciation, spirit, growing involvement). And your goal should be to do a lot more of the latter than the former. That's the recipe for vital, growing groups.

So when you're deciding if something counts as a fundraiser, ask yourself if you're asking or serving. Obviously, a gift wrap sale is an ask. You're asking a parent to buy through you something they might or might not be able to buy somewhere else. But clipping a label or a box top is also an ask. As is asking for donations to your auction or for parents to eat at Applebee's on a Tuesday night (even if you call it "Spirit Night"). Even asking parents to pay for popcorn at movie night is, yes, an ask.

As a leader, you can see the huge differences between a catalog sale and selling popcorn at the movie. But your parents just see it as you in their wallet again. The fewer times you can dip into that wallet, the better.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what defines too much fundraising. Join the discussion on our message boards or on our Facebook page.