Be cautious about third-party solicitations.

May 15, 2014

From time to time people attempt to use emotional solicitations regarding children for personal profit.  The “pitch” usually goes something like this.  “I’d like to give you the opportunity to improve character in our schools by providing a donation to purchase some of these little books for children at school.”  Or, “With your help we can eliminate drug abuse in our community by putting this program in every third grade classroom.  All it takes is a small donation on your part.”

If you encounter any solicitations like the ones described above, stop the solicitor and ask several questions.  First question:  Who are you?  Second question: Who authorized you to solicit money on behave of our schools.  Third question: Can you show me any documentation (letter, etc.) that authorizes you to collect money for the school?  Fourth question:  Can I get your name, address and telephone number so I can ask the school about your solicitation of my money?

If you are a local business owner, you should be especially careful.  Local businesses are usually the first to be targeted in solicitations like this.  The school district and the sixteen individual schools do not endorse or support solicitations by non-school third-parties.

When funding solicitation is necessary for programs, materials, activities or advertising events, the requests should come directly from a school or the school district.  School-based requests will involve school staff or students representing a specific school, school club or school organization.   The only exceptions are longstanding non-profit school support organizations like the Haywood County School Foundation, school sanctioned booster clubs or authorized Parent Teacher Association.