“We cannot raise that much money. Our community just will not give it.” That is a common statement, and it is not true. Several examples will illustrate how money is raised.
Canal Winchester in Franklin County went from spending $.36 a voter in a failed campaign in November 2008 to spending $2.57 a voter in a successful May 2009 campaign. The levy committee set a goal of $2.00 a voter and raised more than was spent. Giving was done by people in the community and employees.
Groveport Madison went from spending $.55 per vote in November 2008 to $2.52 per vote in May 2009. It was not accident that the levy passed.
One additional key point has to be mentioned. Canal Winchester passed 14.82 additional mills and Groveport Madison passed 9.63 additional mills. After multiple failures the millage had to be increased to catch up.
Both levy committees raised over $3.00 per vote: Groveport Madison raised $3.11 per vote and Canal Winchester raised $4.56 per vote. Obviously, both campaigns had a balance left at the end of the campaign. SOS does not recommend leaving money on the table when there are voters who can be contacted. In this situation both levy committees did a superlative job in raising and spending money to effectively persuade voters to support a large school levy.
An east side, first ring suburb of Cuyahoga County with older, modest homes has every reason for not being able to raise money. The campaign began with over $100,000 in the levy committee’s bank account. They had $100,000 before a fundraising campaign even started. The levy committee raises money every year with standard events so that they do not face a frenzy of fundraising 120 days before the campaign.
This was accomplished by having a golf outing every summer and a cocktail party in the winter to raise levy campaign funds. It is part of school district’s levy committee’s program. This information is available from the campaign finance reports filed by the levy committee with the board of elections so it is not any secret about what is being done.
We would hazard a guess anybody who is anybody makes sure that he or she attends the cocktail party. Businesses and individuals also sponsor and attend the golf outing. Both events are a place for school district supporters to interact with each other and raise money for the levy campaign.
How can your school levy committee raise money?
- An annual pancake breakfast sponsored by the athletic teams to raise money for the levy committee.
- Reverse raffle and casino night.
- Service auction where residents buy leaf raking, yard clean up, and other home services.
- The PTA, band boosters, and athletic boosters raise money every year and will have ideas about what will and won’t work in your school district. The key is doing the events each and every year.