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District School Board of Niagara
Policy School Operations

G-19 Fundraising / Canvassing Initiated By School

Date Feb 2023
Review Feb 2028

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) recognizes that schools are continually striving to provide the best learning environment and opportunities for their students. The DSBN endorses a collaborative approach to fundraising initiatives by schools, students, parent groups, student councils and school councils that is consistent with the DSBN’s Strategic Plan and with individual school plans for continuous improvement. School-based fundraising is a local activity, and the DSBN believes that the goals of fundraising go beyond money to reflect the creative and collaborative efforts of parents, students, teachers and the school community as such, should reflect the values of the school community. Underlying these efforts is the belief that it is not the responsibility of parents or school communities to raise funds for basic educational requirements but rather that school communities may raise funds to enhance programs and support school initiatives. 

Any fundraising activities that involve the sale of food and beverages on school premises must comply with the School Food and Beverage Policy (Policy/Program Memorandum 150). The nutrition standards set out in the policy do not apply to fundraising activities that occur off school premises. 

Fundraising activities must also be compliant with: 

  • Municipal, provincial and federal legislation; and 
  • Ministry of Education guidelines and policies, DSBN’s Community Use of Schools Policy, the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive, and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. 

Complementary to Publicly Funded Education: 

  • Funds raised for school purposes are used to complement, not replace, public funding for education. 
  • The purposes for which funds are collected are consistent with the DSBN’s Strategic Plan. 
  • Activities support student achievement and do not detract from the learning environment. 


School-Generated Funds 

School-generated funds are funds that are raised and collected in the school or broader community in the name of the school by a school- or parent-administered group, including school councils. These funds, which are administered by the school, are raised, or collected from sources other than the school board’s operating and capital budgets. 

These sources include proceeds from fundraising activities, donations, fees for supplementary learning materials and activities.


Fundraising is any activity, permitted under a school board’s policy, to raise money or other resources, that is approved by the school Principal and for which the school provides the administrative processes for collection. Fundraising activities may also be supported by the school council or a school fundraising organization operating in the name of the school. Such activities may take place on or off school property. 

School Community 

The school community refers to students, parents and guardians, school administrators, and staff, members of the broader community and partners, as well as others, who support the local school and student achievement.

    1. The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) approves of the concept of the sale of goods or services by students for purposes of raising funds for extra-curricular activities, equipment, trips, etc. The experience gained by students in marketing and accounting is a positive benefit, as is the provision of programs which are funded through these activities. All funds raised are to be used for the direct benefit of students only. 
    2. Provincial regulations require that prior approval of the DSBN must be obtained for any canvassing or fundraising conducted by pupils on school property, as well as for all school-initiated activities off school property, inclusive of fundraising activities initiated by parent/volunteer groups. This policy on fundraising activities for schools fulfils the intent of these regulations. 
    1. All canvassing and fundraising activities shall be conducted at the discretion of the Principal and shall be carefully considered to ensure that they do not interfere with the delivery of program; the Principal, in consultation with school staff, the school council and/or parent group would exercise judgement so that the fundraising activities do not become a burden to the community, parents or staff; and do not occur too frequently. 
    2. Student participation shall be on a voluntary basis. Competition and/or sales incentives shall not be the major focus of a fundraising strategy. 
    1. In any fundraising program, the safety of students must be given primary consideration. To ensure optimal protection of students, emphasis should be placed on in-school fundraising. 
    2. Where there are school initiated canvassing and fundraising activities outside the school, Principals must ensure that appropriate safety precautions and supervision are outlined to all those involved in the fundraising activities. 
    3. If out-of-school fundraising activities are chosen, Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 students may participate only with the prior written consent of a parent/guardian. 
    4. Student fundraising activities should be age-appropriate. 
    Principals may grant approval to participate on a voluntary basis in supporting non-profit organizations operating in the interest of children or the community at large. All fundraising is to be collected directly by the non-profit organization and not by the school themselves. Consistency with DSBN policies and procedures should be considered when supporting non-profit fundraising activities. 
    Principals are required to ensure that school-initiated canvassing and fundraising are conducted and reported in a manner consistent with DSBN Policy and Procedures regarding Financial Accountability of School Based Funds. 
    • A fundraising activity does not result in any person, including school board staff or volunteers, benefitting materially or financially other than identified within the approved scope of the activity. 
    • Fundraising has a designated purpose and the proceeds are used for that purpose. 
    • Transparent financial reporting practices to the school community are in place. 
    • Appropriate safeguards are in place regarding collection, deposit, recording, and use of public funds.
    School Council and Parent Group activities have liability insurance coverage through the Ontario School Boards' Insurance Exchange (O.S.B.I.E.) if the activity has been approved by the Principal, AND school staff are assisting or involved in the planning and supervision of the activity. 

    However, the Board's liability coverage may not apply to some School Council and Parent Group activities, which may necessitate the School Council or Parent Group obtaining independent liability insurance for activities that are NOT under the jurisdiction of the DSBN.