Parents start fundraiser program to help keep more money donations for school

For-profit companies keep almost half of donations
Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 17:49:57-04

Colorful and loud, fundraising pep rallies go on at schools all around Tampa Bay. They are part of the Georgia-Based Boosterthon Fun Run program.

Schools give up big chunks of their donations to companies like Boosterthon that handle every aspect of the fundraisers.

But what’s not advertised, is that along with a $2000 base price, Boosterthon gets 48 percent of all the money collected.

“I just thought it was a waste. And unfair to the school and kids,” said parent Julie Yapp.

Yapp has two kids at Cypress Woods Elementary in Palm Harbor, and is part of a new effort to help their school keep a lot more of those donations.

Parents here got together, scrapped their arrangement with Boosterthon and created their own program called Eaglethon.

“There are lots of parents that have lots of skills. I had worked for not-for-profit. I had done events. Another mom has an MBA. We have a graphic artist, we have an audio person. We just kept finding more skills that we could add to the mix,” said co-chairperson Stephany Dawson

One parent’s company is donating the grand prizes. Another, all the brochures and posters. And Julie will even donate the Eagle costume.

“I want to encourage the kids and have fun and realize that they can be excited about raising the money,” said Yapp.

Eaglethon organizers said because of all the volunteers, they’ll only need about 10 to 15 percent of the donations to cover costs.

PTA’s are usually the ones bringing in the for-profit companies who’s price tag includes programs on topics like bullying and fitness.

They said they do it because even after giving up almost half, they still raise more money then they would on their own.

But at Cypress Woods, they are ready to challenge that.

“I think the school is benefiting more by keeping the money in then any program they might miss out on. And if they feel like like the are missing out on a program, then I’ll find a volunteer to do that too,” said Dawson.

Last year with Boosterthon running the show, Cypress Woods raised about $43,000, but only kept about $19,000.

All the profits this year will go toward building a new play area.