Florida Gators Fundraising Scandal

Will the Florida Gators fundraising scandal bring NCAA sanctions? It’s anybody’s guess how far the scandal will spread and what effect it will have on the defending national champion Florida Gators football team.

The scandal erupted when the University of Florida’s new “Gateway of Champions” fundraising campaign offered Gator boosters unprecedented opportunities to both support and enjoy the school’s powerhouse football program. For a mere $5 million dollars, you can join the team for breakfast and ride the bus with them to a game.

Even worse, the Florida Gator’s fundraising scandal has caught up returning star quarterback Tim Teboe in it’s nefarious web. Boosters were asked to cough up $25,000 for the so-called “Very Nice Gator Experience” which included a chance at a Gator souvenir that all true Gator fans covet, a choice sampling of Tim Teboe’s toenail clippings.

Other’s caught up in the scandal investigation at the University of Florida include Coach Urban Meyer’s next door neighbor, who not only charges $10,000 to allow visitors to sit on his deck and gawk at the coach’s family, but also offers brown bags stuffed with choice morsels from Urban Meyer’s dog’s droppings.

With millions of dollars flowing in, the cash transactions triggered a federal investigation that cleared the money as not being counterfeit, but no one knows how to stop the cash flow itself. Currently, students are being paid to launder the cash in residential dorm laundry facilities before returning the scandal funds to Florida Gator fundraisers.

Click here for latest breaking news and further details on the latest in the Florida Gators fundraising scandal.

High School Fundraising Controls

Tennessee passed some new legislation this summer to tighten controls on high school fundraising, specifically taking aim at booster clubs.

In a move to erase illegal fundraising, fraudulent accounts and the misappropriation of booster club funds, the new laws are aimed at creating a system of checks and balances that will require each individual school and county school system to be held accountable for each dollar spent.

Each school and school system has until July 1, 2008 to be in complete compliance with the School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act.

For years, high school booster clubs have operated to provide financial assistance to high school athletic programs, as well as school clubs and organizations.

But as money continued to flow from outside sources into the school and through booster club presidents, treasurers, school principals and even athletic coaches, how that money is spent and exactly how much is furnished has sometimes been difficult to track.

Booster clubs are not the only organizations affected by the act. Educational foundations, PTA/PTO and any other non-government organization supporting students are under the umbrella of this act.

In an effort to keep money raised by parents who represent a booster club separate from students who raise money for their own clubs, organizations or athletic programs, the law stipulates that two accounts be set up — the Outside Account and Student Centered Fundraising account.

I think this is a good move by the State of Tennessee to bring accountability back to high school fundraising and would hope to see similar legislation adopted in other states.

School Fundraising

I get a lot of questions about school fundraising – what works best, which fundraiser should we do, how can we do better with our next one, etc.

Well, there isn’t any one answer that applies to all situations, but there are some generalities that do apply.

  • Parents need to be motivated
  • You can’t fundraise all the time
  • You have to make the most out of each opportunity

So, what does that mean you should do?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I always recommend no more than three fundraisers a year with two of them being event oriented.

You motivate your school’s parents by clearly explaining the need for funds, what the money raised will be used for, and why each parent should pitch in and help to improve the school.

In return for pitching in on your one big fundraising product sale, you won’t need to fundraise all the time.

You make the most of your opportunities by adding in additional fundraising activities to your events such as silent auctions, raffles, live auctions, etc.

You also get the most out of fundraising product sale by also offering an alternate product with a high perceived value and a large profit margin such as a two-for-one pizza card. That way, if a customer doesn’t want to buy something from your catalog (or even if they do), you’ve got a great offering to snag some extra profit.

Click here for more tips on school fundraising.

School Fundraising Success

Just posted a new article on school fundraising success.

You have to decide which approach you want to take:

1 – Sell products
2 – Organize an event
3 – Sell raffle tickets

For elementary schools, I always recommend that you do at least two events a year and one product fundraiser.

Do some sort of athletic-based event in the fall, a product fundraiser in Oct-Nov timeframe, and a school carnival in the spring.

Click here to read my tips for elementary school fundraising success.