6102 Procedure – District Fundraising Activities

The district fundraising programs for students will: (1) promote PreK-12 education; (2) provide educational experiences; and/or (3) address local funding obligations that support the educational mission of the district; and/or (4) promote the effective, efficient, or safe management and operation of the district.

District fundraising activities may include: (1) soliciting gifts and donations that are reasonably related to the pursuit of the district’s objectives; (2) entering into interlocal agreements with other governments which generate additional funds for school district activities; and/or (3) operating various revenue generating enterprises consisting of the sale of goods or services that are produced by, or that are linked to, the district’s educational program. The purpose or use of such programs will be consistent with the policies and programs of the district.

Proposals for district fundraising programs that entail significant sums of money (more than $5,000) will be reviewed and approved in advance by the superintendent (or designee) to ensure compliance with the following procedures. The superintendent (or designee) will make all compliance determinations. All other district or school fundraising proposals of less than $5,000, including those organized by parent organizations or booster clubs, will receive prior approval from the principal.

All donations shall be consistent with the policies and programs of Bellingham Public Schools. Fundraising programs shall not conflict with other fundraising efforts, or request classroom supplies or other supplies/property that the district already possesses. Additionally, recipients must verify that the district is able to adequately support, store or maintain the gift received.

If any donation exceeds $5,000, the finance office must be informed so that the donation can be acknowledged and approved by the board, following the district’s established procedure.

Cash donations must be deposited within 24 hours of receipt per RCW 43.09.240.

Fundraising programs conducted by students are addressed in Policy 3530 and ASB guidelines.


A.    Any fundraising program charging fees will satisfy the following criteria:

1.      Fees for persons attending or participating in such programs will only be charged when attendance or participation is optional, not mandatory;

2.      Students will not be charged a fee to enroll in a curriculum-based activity that involves a district fundraising program;

3.      A program will not be created or continued that will require the allocation of district funds when program-specific resources are insufficient or exhausted; and

4.      The program will be in compliance with WAC 392-138-105 regarding any waived or reduced fees.

B.     Any fundraising program characterized as a “business enterprise” activity will satisfy the following criteria:

1.      For these purposes, “business enterprise” will be defined as any non-Associated Student Body activity that sells goods or services for district-related purposes on an ongoing basis;

2.      Such “business enterprises” will sell products or services that are appropriate for the program’s education purposes and/or promote the effective, efficient, or safe management and operation of the district;

3.      Such enterprises will not be created solely for commercial purposes;

4.      Such enterprises will purchase inventory in accordance with applicable district policy and/or practices; and

5.      A business enterprise program will not be created or continued that will require the allocation of district funds when program-specific resources are insufficient or exhausted.

C.     Any fundraising program using donated personal items or services for an auction, sale, and/or raffle will satisfy the following criteria:

1.      Donated items or services must be free from health and/or safety hazards;

2.      Donated items or services must be given voluntarily by individuals or businesses; and

3.      Appropriate solicitation on the part of students, parents or appropriate district personnel is permissible, but actions of students and parents cannot bind the district to any contractual obligations.

D.    Any fundraising program that requires contracting with a third-party vendor or promoter will satisfy the following criteria:

1.      The contract will further PreK-12 education and/or promote the effective, efficient, or safe management and operation of the district; and

2.      The district will enter into contracts consistent with district policies and with appropriate authorization of the superintendent (or designee).

E.     Any fundraising program involving the production and/or sale of goods or services, such as a vocational education program, will satisfy the following criteria;

1.      The superintendent (or designee) must authorize the sales of any goods produced and/or any services provided by the education program;

2.      The proceeds from the sale will be used to enhance or to expand the education program(s), as determined by the superintendent (or designee);

3.      To the extent required, all goods produced or services provided from an educational program will be assigned to or owned by the district; and

4.      Individual compensation for the sale of goods produced and/or for the services provided will not be permitted, except as authorized by the superintendent, in accordance with applicable laws, district procedures, and/or practice.

F.      Any fundraising program selling surplus school personal property will satisfy the following criteria:

1.      Such programs will not violate applicable state law or school policy governing the sale, lease, or rental of surplus and obsolete school personal property;

2.      Such programs are permitted only as provided in RCW 28A.335.180; and

3.      Such programs follow the district’s policy for the disposal of surplus property, Policy 6881.

G.    Any fundraising or donations from a program that uses crowdfunding, shall be considered district property if it has the following characteristics:

1.      Gifts and donations are sought through a crowdfunding website by:

a.       The district, a district employee, or other volunteer or agent of the district; or

b.      Using the district’s name, referencing the employee’s position with the district even if the district is not named, or requested on behalf of district students; or

c.       District employees acting in their capacity as district employees, or the district’s students.

2.      Funding from a crowdsourced activity is identified as intended to benefit the district.

3.      Private individuals may use crowdsourcing sites and donate items to the district. However, he/she may not use district resources while engaging in private crowdsourcing activities. Also, district employees acting as private individuals shall not represent themselves as agents of the district.

Crowdfunding is the process of requesting a specific gift or donation to fund a specific purchase or project, typically through website or social media designated for this purpose. Crowdfunding does not include requests for donations the district makes using the district’s own website or social media.

Contracting with crowdfunding websites that process cash donations through third-party vendors where the third party vendors receive a percentage or amount of the donation as payment for services, are prohibited. Such sites include the following: SnapRaise, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter.

Online fundraising sites may be used to solicit non-cash donations of supplies, materials, or equipment. These shall be shipped directly to the school site or warehouse; be consistent with district standards; and become the property of the district. Such sites include Donors Choose.


Adopted/Previous Revisions: April 10, 2012
Updated: April 20, 2016