GBEBD: Online Fundraising and Solicitations – Crowdfunding

  • The Falmouth Public Schools ensures that all students’ tools and supplies are available. Teachers may request additional materials, and, in the event that a family cannot provide them, the school will. This policy is not intended to fundraise for basic classroom supplies.

    Falmouth Public Schools’ employees shall comply with the following provisions relating to online solicitations and the use of crowdfunding services for school-related purposes as well as all applicable laws, regulations and District policies/procedures.

    The Superintendent shall have final authority to approve any online fundraising activities by Falmouth Public Schools’ employees and shall determine and communicate to Principals the circumstances under which online fundraising proposals shall require Superintendent or School Committee approval in accordance with law and District policy (KCD). The Principal of each school shall approve all online fundraising activities within his/her building prior to any employee posting any such fundraising solicitation.

    Any solicitation shall be for educational purposes only (e.g., field trips, supplies, supplemental materials, books). The solicitation of personal items (e.g., coats, nutritional snacks) shall only be to benefit students directly. To the extent an employee solicits any technology or software, the employee shall secure the prior written approval of the Director of Technology or designee prior to any such solicitation. Any employee seeking to display or post a photograph of a student in conjunction with a fundraising solicitation must first secure the written consent of the student's parent or guardian in accordance with District policy (IJOE).

    Employees shall not use a crowdfunding source, or set up their appeal in such a way, that they are asking for donations directly from people over whom the employee making the request has authority, or with whom the public employee is having official dealings (i.e., parents/guardians of students in a teacher's classroom - the solicitation can say "Classroom X needs tissues and crayons," but it shouldn't be directed to parents/guardians who have shared email addresses with the teacher for purposes of communicating about their student).

    Employees using crowdfunding services shall periodically disclose in writing to the Superintendent the names of all individuals whom the employee has directly solicited in any manner including but not limited to written or electronic solicitation. The Superintendent shall maintain these disclosures as public records available for public review.

    Employees may only use crowdfunding services that send the items or proceeds solicited by the employee directly to the employee's school or to the school district. Employees must verify under the crowdfunding service's terms and conditions that they meet all requirements for such solicitation. Items or proceeds directly sent to employees are considered gifts to the employee and may result in violation of state ethics laws.

    If an employee's proposal is approved by the crowdfunding service, the employee agrees to use the donated materials solely as stated in the employee's proposal.

    If a solicitation is not fully funded within the time period required by the crowdfunding service, or the solicitation cannot be concluded for any reason, every attempt will be made to return donations to the donors. Donations unable to be returned shall only be used as account credits for future solicitations.

    Unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent in writing, all goods and/or proceeds solicited and received through any online solicitation shall become the property of the School Committee, and not of the individual employee who solicited the item(s) or funds. The employee is prohibited from taking any such item(s) or funds to another school or location, without the Superintendent's written approval.

    LEGAL REFS:      MGL 44:53A71:37A268A:3268A:23;

                             Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion EC-COI-12-1

    CROSS REFS:     GBEA, Staff Ethics/Conflict of Interest

                             GBEBC, Gifts to and Solicitations by Staff

                             KCD, Public Gifts to Schools

                             IJOE, Videotaping of Children in the Schools

     

Last Modified on April 22, 2020