Board of Education Policy 3271: Solicitation of Charitable Donations

Prohibition of Direct Solicitation during School Hours

In accordance with New York State Board of Regents Rule 19.6, the Board of Education prohibits the direct solicitation of charitable donations from students on school property during school hours. Students shall not be directly asked to contribute money or goods for the benefit of charity during the hours in which they are compelled to be on school premises. “School hours” means the regular school day, from opening bell to closing bell, and includes homerooms, lunch periods and any other non-class time during the school day. This prohibition applies to solicitations by all school and non-school persons and organizations, including students, staff and school-related organizations, such as Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs).

Separation of Fundraising from Instruction

Fundraising activities and instruction may not be intertwined. Student participation in curricular activities during the school day, where that participation generates pledges of money or goods, is not permitted. Participation in fundraising shall not be a factor in the calculation of a student’s grade for any course or subject, nor be a basis for awarding extra credit.

Passive Collection and Sales Permitted during School Day

The Building Principal may allow students to participate during the school day in a food or clothing drive for the needy under the auspices of a not-for-profit organization, or in a collection of donations for hardship situations involving students or community members. The food, clothing, other goods or funds may only be collected in a non-coercive and passive fashion in a common area.

Ticket sales, bake sales and sales of items such as school supplies, T-shirts, and sweatshirts are permitted during school hours provided the transactions are non-coercive and do not intrude into classrooms. Fundraising activities involving food must include healthy choice alternatives and must comply with the district Wellness Policy, Policy #5661.

Notifying Students of After-School Fundraising Permitted

School personnel and organizations may distribute flyers or other literature, put up posters or otherwise notify students of voluntary out-of-school fundraising activities for school related purposes or for the benefit of a not-for-profit organization. However, school personnel may not act as conduits and collect funds from students on behalf of a charity for which they recruited students, even if the funds were raised by students off school property and not during school hours.

Approval of Building Principals

Prior approval must be received from the Building Principal for any fundraising activity conducted on school property, or that has a direct connection or benefit to the school. The Building Principal shall ensure that such activity does not infringe on student learning, and shall take into consideration other fundraising efforts so as not to place undue pressure on parents and community to contribute. Building Principals shall notify the Superintendent of Schools of such activities at their schools.

Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs)

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit the customary flow of information and written materials between the schools, PTOs and parents. PTO envelopes containing PTO fundraising information and order forms may be sent home with students, and students may return PTO envelopes to the school and to their teachers.

Distribution of Policy

This policy and any regulations established by the Superintendent shall be distributed to all Building Principals, teachers and PTOs, and shall be posted on the District website and otherwise distributed as deemed appropriate by the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall periodically inform the Board of fundraising activities in the schools.

Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Personnel

Soliciting of funds from school personnel by persons or organizations representing public or private organizations shall be prohibited. The Superintendent of Schools shall have the authority to make exceptions to this policy in cases where such solicitation is considered to be in the District’s best interest. The Board of Education shall be notified of these instances.

Distribution of information about worthwhile area charities may be made through the Office of the Superintendent of Schools as a service to School District personnel.

New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1
Education Law Section 414
8 NYCRR Section 19.6

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7450 — Fund Raising by Students

Adopted January 23, 2018