The last few months, the world has changed dramatically in so many ways. For many, that meant taking schools from the classroom to the computer screen… and the cancellation of many programs including field trips, afterschool sports and clubs, extracurricular activities, proms, graduation ceremonies and even fundraising efforts, as many spring carnivals and other events intended to bring in much needed money for the school had to be cancelled or rescheduled for a later date.

Apex Leadership Co is hopeful that come the new school year, students can return to school campuses and that people will be able to continue to support the fundraisers that are essential for schools around the country — not only for the monetary boost but also for the important lessons that fundraisers teach children. Apex shares some of the fundamentals that fundraising provides for students.

Accountability — Being accountable to something gives children a sense of cause and effect (for younger children especially) and helps them understand how accountability can benefit them in many situations outside of a fundraising event. When children understand they are accountable for their actions, they understand they have a choice to make and they have the power to create the end result, good or bad. Whether that means a behavior/action, studying (or not!) for a test, or being part of a group effort such as raising funds for their school can teach children how important being accountable is — to one’s own self, to their class or school (in the case of a fundraiser) and beyond.

Financial Responsibility — Naturally, raising funds involves a great lesson in economics! Creating a group or schoolwide goal for the fundraiser and pinpointing what the funds will be used for (playground equipment, technology, etc.) as well as breaking this large goal down into smaller goals such a specific amount to aim for as a classroom as well as per individual student can help kids understand the value of a dollar, but also give them a financial goal to be responsible for, in part. Fundraising also gives children a real time example of how working hard and earning/saving money can result in a big payoff — such as how the funds can benefit the school as a whole and every student.

Motivation — Another great lesson that fundraising teaches students is motivation… not only about how to motivate themselves and others, but also how different people are motivated by different things. Some students may be motivated to raise the most funds, for example. Others may be enticed by reward, which is why the Apex Leadership format works so well using a prize system for school-wide, classroom, and even individual based rewards, so kids can earn thank you gifts for their hard work. Developing self-motivation to complete a task at hand is another powerful characteristic that can serve one well in life.

Team Work — Working together to accomplish a single goal is one of the greatest lessons that children can be taught at a young age — and a valuable asset to have as they navigate life. From group projects in school to working as a team in a corporate business environment, team work comes down to the fine art of people skills. Understanding how to work within a group of varied personalities can be tricky and effective… and learning to lead a group to a accomplish a cohesive goal is even more so. Team work teaches compromise, cooperation, utilizing each person’s unique skill set to best benefit the entire group, delegating, taking responsibility for one’s “role” in the team and effective communication.

Communication — Speaking of communication, it’s another extremely valuable life lesson, especially in today’s text- and email-driven society. Being able to speak one’s mind, speak up, and articulate their thoughts in a way that makes people want to listen is invaluable in nearly any situation. However,

communication is just about talking. It’s also about listening, putting off non-verbal clues (intentionally or unintentionally) through body language, friendship, empathy, respect, open-mindedness and standing out from the crowd. Learning how to effectively communicate with people will give students an edge on life.

Leadership — Fundraising is a great way to develop leadership qualities for any child. When there is a goal at stake, there also should be planning, innovation, creative thinking, coming up with ways to overcome obstacles, finding solutions to problems and more. Good leaders also need to understand how to encourage others to help achieve the goal (such as asking friends and family for their support/donations); the importance of strategic thinking when it comes to envisioning the end goal; and being flexible enough to “roll with the punches.” For example, when trying to raise funds, there will be some rejection that comes in the form of people that simply can’t or won’t donate to the cause. Being able to move past this without letting negative feelings or doubt creep into one’s mindset, staying positive and continuing forward are other characteristics of a leader.

Self Confidence — Interestingly, self-confidence can also be built by hearing that dreaded word “no.” Especially for younger children that may be used to getting their way, hearing the word no and moving past it to receive more ‘yeses’ can help encourage children to keep going… and that helps improve self-esteem. Many other parts of fundraising help build self-esteem including hard work, goal setting — and achievement. Enjoying the reward at the end of the project (whether it’s a fundraising or another goal down the road) may also motivate children to reach further to larger goals they may have previously doubted they could accomplish. As students push themselves through challenges and achieve their goals, their self-confidence will grow.

There are so many positive and valuable reasons to host a fundraiser that benefits the needs of a school or youth group. But the underlying lessons that fundraising teaches students are also invaluable as these children grow and develop into the next generation of leaders. Apex Leadership Co is proud to be a part of helping students develop these skills through fun and encouraging formats that are age appropriate, and that challenge and support children as they do good for their schools.