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Project Graduation   A How-To Manual

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ORGANIZING THE COMMITTEES

Committee volunteers are like a team that must play harmoniously to make Project Graduation a success. In addition to students, committees may include parents, school personnel, merchants, media representatives and any others who are interested in assuring that graduation night is both exciting and safe.

Organizing the committees is a big job. Each committee member must see himself as a member of a team, and not in competition with members of other committees. This is especially important when committees are contacting local businesses for donations of goods, services, or money in order that each be contacted by the best person for the job, once, in the most effective way.

The Project Graduation Chairperson must stay in regular contact with the committee leaders, and should attend the more important meetings of the committees. He or she should hold occasional meetings of the committee leaders to enhance communication and allow committee leaders to take an overview of the entire effort back to their committees.

Another important function of the Chairperson is to arrange for insurance coverage. It may be possible for Project Graduation to be covered under the policies of the Booster Club, PTA, or school. If coverage is to be arranged through a club, it may be necessary for all committee members to join the club to be eligible.

It is helpful for the Project Graduation Chairperson to keep a journal or other records of activities during the planning of the event to pass on to the chairperson for the upcoming year. A calendar noting the dates of major activities and meetings proves helpful. The chairperson should ask the leaders of the committees to keep similar journals to pass on.

Finance/Fundraising Committee

The duties of the finance/fundraising committee are to solicit funds and services for Project Graduation, keep exact records of donations and expenses, and organize any fundraising projects.

When soliciting funds, you might find it helpful to send letters to larger local businesses and civic groups and follow-up with personal visits or phone calls. For smaller businesses and private homes, teams of two committee members could solicit door-to-door. Volunteers who have done this in the past recommend taking copies of a flyer that describe Project Graduation,and including a phone number and address, to leave with those who want time to consider their contribution.

Regardless of how the fundraising/ finance committee chooses to contact contributors, it is crucial that the Project Graduation chairperson know which groups have been contacted so that the same people are not approached by other committees.

One person needs to be in charge of keeping exact records of donations and expenses. The committee leader of the finance/fundraising committee may serve in this capacity or appoint another member to be treasurer. The Project Graduation treasurer will be responsible for opening a bank account for the party, writing checks, and keeping a detailed record of available funds and expenditures.

There is an endless number of fundraising activities that may be organized by the finance/fundraising committee. A list of fundraising activities may be found starting on page 20.

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