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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Fundraising Activities (including fetes)

Policy

This policy outlines the required processes for planning and conducting school fundraising activities.

Summary

  • Schools may undertake a variety of fundraising activities, including special events such as a school fete. 
  • Any fundraising activity for the school must be approved by school council.
  • Schools and school councils must ensure that fundraising activities and funds are planned for and managed in accordance with this policy.  

Details

Fundraising activities may be undertaken:

  • to establish or augment a school’s general funds; or
  • for a specific school purpose

Fundraising activities can be organised by:

Activity organisers must:

  • obtain approval from the school council before conducting the fundraising activity
  • ensure public liability insurance covers any activities undertaken

To ensure events are effective and achieve their goals and objectives, the risks to their delivery must be identified and assessed. This should take into account risks in relation to:

  • financial handling
  • wellbeing and safety
  • visitor experience
  • infrastructure
  • resources

Important: Schools must manage any incidents or hazards that are identified during fetes or other school fundraising activities in accordance with Department policy, refer to Reporting and Managing School Incidents.

School council — approving or rejecting a fundraising proposal

The school council has responsibility for approving or rejecting a fundraising proposal from the school community.

Before rejecting a fundraising activity proposed by a parents’ club or any other member of school community, school council must ensure that they consider a recommendation made by a committee consisting of:

  • the president of the school council or the president’s nominee, who must be the chairperson
  • one other representative of the school council elected for the purpose by the school council
  • two representatives of the group, or body proposing the fundraising activity, and
  • the principal

The committee must consider the proposed fundraising activity and make a recommendation to the school council about whether the activity should be approved.

As part of the school council approval process, it is recommended that the school council and the organising school community member(s), or parents’ club, discuss how the funds raised will be spent. This is to determine what is in the best interests of the school. The agreed purpose (e.g. install shade sails, upgrade the library books or computers, or to augment school funds) must be included in the minutes of the school council meeting at which the fundraising activity is approved.

Commercial operators

Where a commercial operator has been engaged there must be a written agreement setting out:

  • the terms upon which the school council will permit the operator to come onto the school premises and set up their equipment including complying with indemnity and insurance requirements
  • the particular service to be provided
  • if there is a specific location for the operator to set up
  • the financial arrangements

Wherever possible, school council, as a legal entity, should enter into written agreements with third parties for the purpose of school fundraising activities, rather than individual members of the school community.

Refer to: Contractors — Insurance and Contract Arrangements

Fundraising Methods

Schools and school councils can raise funds for the schools using a variety of methods. The below information provides guidance on some common fundraising methods used at Victorian government schools.

Donations

Schools may receive tax deductible donations if they hold Deductible Gift Recipient status. Refer to Finance Manual section 9 — Funding Sources and Finance Manual — section 15 Taxation for further details.

Raffles and Bingo

If a fundraising activity involves a raffle or bingo or other minor gambling activities, permission and instructions must be obtained from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, refer to: Community and Charitable Gaming.

School fetes or events

Careful consideration must be given to the types of activities to be included at school fetes and other school events.

Amusement rides and structures

When hiring amusement rides and structures school councils should obtain the following from the supplier:

  • any information about the safe use of the item that the supplier can provide
  • the class and the plant registration number of the structure
    Note: Only Class 2 structures must have registration.
  • the hazard identification, risk assessment and control of risks that have been carried out in relation to the design and manufacture of the plant within the control of the supplier. If it is not practicable for the supplier to provide this information, then the supplier must be able to ensure the risk arising from use is eliminated or reduced so far as is practicable.
  • evidence that inspections and maintenance have occurred on the item between hirings and leasings, and the records of inspections and maintenance
  • evidence prior to the supply of Public Liability Insurance in an amount of not less than $10 million for any one event. The insurance must be current, cover the ride or activity supplied and note the Department.

Sale of alcohol at school events

For the Department’s policy on Alcohol at School Events refer to: Alcohol at School Events.

Activity organisers should also seek advice from Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation before undertaking any activities involving the sale of alcohol.

Fundraising event budget

Prior to any event being conducted schools should prepare a budget using the Department’s Fundraising Wheel. The Fundraising Wheel will help set out the expected costs and revenue, and indicate the GST options available. Refer to GST Fundraising Wheel.

Information and guidance on GST implications and treatments for fundraising events is available at Apply the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to fundraising.

Allocation and use of funds raised

All funds raised for a Government school by fundraising activities must be held by the school council in trust for the purpose for which they were raised.

Any funds raised from a parents’ club activity must be held in a separate sub-program account in CASES21, and must be held separately from funds used for the club’s administrative purposes.

Use of funds raised via fundraising activities

Where funds were raised for the purpose of the general establishment or augmentation of school funds (under regulation 58(1)(a) of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (the Regulations)), the school council may determine how those funds are spent. Before spending the funds, the school council must consult with the principal as to what is most desirable in the interests of the school. The school council may also consult with a parents’ club or other members of the school community, as appropriate.

Where funds are raised for a particular school purpose (under regulation 58(1)(b) of the Regulations):

  • the school council, as trustee, must ensure that these funds are expended only for that specific purpose. The school council cannot choose to allocate the funds to a different purpose (for example, because the funds are needed elsewhere, or it would be inconvenient to use them for the original purpose). Doing so could be a breach of the school council’s duties as trustee of the funds.
  • If, as a result of subsequent developments, the agreed purpose for the funds ceases to exist, the school council should contact community.stakeholders@education.vic.gov.au for advice.

School-level policy on fundraising

It is not mandatory for schools to have a school-level policy on fundraising but if schools or school councils wish to have a policy to provide the school community with an overview of the school’s approach to fundraising, there is a Fundraising Policy Template on the School Policy Templates Portal. Schools can modify the template to suit their local circumstances.

Fundraising for Charitable Causes

Principals are responsible for considering any proposals to fundraise for charitable causes. In deciding whether or not to fundraise for a particular charitable cause, the principal may:

  • consider whether the methods used to raise funds for any specific charitable appeal are appropriate
  • seek written advice from organisations promoting fundraising activities on the percentage of funds raised that are directed to the named charity

Relevant legislation

Department policy on the required process for planning and conducting school fundraising activities

Reviewed 20 July 2020

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools
  • School councils

Contact

School Operations and Governance Unit School and Statewide Services Division

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