Monday, October 8, 2007

Cap off your FUNdraiser with an educational stunt

Before FUNdraising, my last book for Corwin Press focused on silly and educational stunts teachers and school administrators can perform to inspire student achievement. But in addition to tying the performance of these stunts to learning, many educators link them to fundraising goals as well.

Here are two new examples of educators ending fundraisers with joyously silly stunts. The first one comes out of southwest Florida, courtesy of The News-Press, which ran a nine-photo online package about a principal, assistant principal and guidance counselor who got their heads shaved in front of the student body to cap off a fundraiser.

How many other education stories get nine photos on the local newspaper site? Stunts usually provide great visuals and an offbeat way to tell a fairly standard story about a school's academic and/or fundraising successes. They're often catnip to photo editors and local TV news operations.

That's nine photos, folks, with the best one likely running as a section centerpiece in print, too. More people will look at such a photo and soak in the feel-good story related in the caption than will ever wade through the in-depth profile of the school's latest academic innovations. You want both types of stories out there, of course, but fun, flashy stunts are an excellent way to get the good word out about your school's achievements.

Here's a second story, this one from the Indianapolis Star:

"Forest Hill Elementary Principal Jack Lawrence challenged the school's more than 400 students to raise $15,000 through their PTO fundraiser, and he told them if they met that challenge he would spend homecoming day on the roof of the school.

"Students beat the goal by $800, and Lawrence set up his office -- with desk, phone, laptop computer and sunscreen -- and worked from the rooftop on Friday."

The kids will remember that day fondly for the rest of their lives. Stunts like this show students the human side of teachers and administrators and build a sense of cameraderie.

They can make any fundraiser feel special.

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