My School, My Corporate Partners

I went shopping the other day for school supplies. For the first time, the folders and binders weren’t for me, but for my daughter, who’s starting preschool next week. After collecting the incredible amount of paints, markers, Kleenex, glue sticks, paper cups, and other things on the supplies list, I browsed through some of the sheets of colored paper from the school’s information packet.

Public and independent schools are different in many ways. For instance, in order to operate and thrive, independent schools rely on greater enrollment fees, varieties of fundraisers, and healthy community partnerships. One program I find particularly interesting involves gift cards. From the school, a person can buy a monthly gift card of a selected value that’s good as cash at one of a number of local businesses. A percentage of the money paid for the card supports the school. The higher the value of the card, the more money to the school. For example, I know I spend at least $50 per month at Target. So I can buy a $50 Target card from my school, no fee or surcharge, and a portion of that $50 supports the school. I can also buy a card for use at my grocer or any number of corporate retailers with whom the school is partnering.

Again, public and independent schools differ in many ways. Revenue laws may limit or prohibit publicly-funded institutions such as schools, libraries, and colleges from creating programs of this type. Yet I’m curious to hear from people whose libraries or schools are able to participate in these kinds of fundraising measures. What type of organization is it and how do local and/or state laws limit your abilities to partner and raise funds? How much leverage does your institution have? How measurable are the benefits?

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About Steven V. Kaszynski
librarian, editor, contributor

3 Responses to My School, My Corporate Partners

  1. Abby Havlicek says:

    As far as I know, neither my school, nor my library does this. But I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t. I’m going to look into that. I don’t live in a huge city or anything, but there are TONS of stores and places that could help fundraising. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Perry says:

    I asked my boss about this earlier and she didn’t know for certain. She said these things have something to do with tax situations. I don’t know. I’m not a librarian but I work in a library and I think the gift card thing is a pretty cool idea. I wish we could do that. I am busy but I have time to sell gift cards.

  3. Hey, thanks a million for chiming in. I hope you’ll keep us posted. I’m always interested in learning what people are doing and how they get things done. Cheers.

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