Schools of the Sacred Heart has clarified its fundraising policy to comply with the expectations of with being a 501c3 non-profit organization, which means a change for some student-led clubs that collect funds for outside organizations.
Dances and bake sales are still encouraged, but students must complete a proposal form in order to assure funds they raise will go to their charity, according to Head of School Rachel Simpson.
“It’s more of a clarification of what the school can do legally,” Ronald Bannerman, Vice President of Finance and Operations, said. “The obstacle we run into is that a 501c3 cannot raise money for another 501c3.”
“An organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual,” according to the Internal Revenue Code.
Clubs can continue to raise awareness for their causes by having dances such as Smile Ball and holding annual events like the Simple Gifts Fashion Show, but each club must come up with a formal proposal if it wants to raise funds for its cause, according to Sarah Leffert, Vice President of Advancement.
Each proposal must go through a special committee, currently comprised of Leffert and President Ann Marie Krejcarek, for reviewing charity proposals and the experiential benefit for the student body. The committee will meet bi-monthly in order to look over requests.
“We hope to have both faculty and student representatives join the committee throughout the year,” Leffert said.
The committee was formed to educate the community about how the school chooses to fundraise as well as to approve fundraising. The committee will also examine the appropriateness of the mission of the charity in accordance to Goal 3, “Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.”
Proposal forms are available to any student or club. Those who wish to use the school to fundraise must complete a formal proposal. The point of the proposal process is to assure that the school is raising funds for organizations that are a hundred percent charitable, according to Leffert.
“The school will limit the number of external programs the students directly raise funds from the school community, but this does not limit the participation of our students in externally organized fundraisers,” states the proposal form.
Applicants must state for whom and where the money will be going, how has the school been previously involved in the organization, and how the community can evaluate the organization in the proposal.
“The form isn’t difficult,” Simple Gifts Sophia Kelley co-chair said. “It’s just detailed.”
A separate section on the form requests facility use for fundraising activities. All requests to use the school facility go through the same process, but external organizations requesting complimentary use of facilities are reviewed by the Business, Advancement and President’s offices.
Proposals must itemize budgetary needs for the project, including how to raise funds, how long the project will last, and how the community will be informed of the project. The proposal forms are available in Activities Director Devin DeMartini’s office.
“The forms are not hard or impossible to do,” DeMartini said. “The new policy exists to hold the community accountable.”