IHS student organizations face difficulties in fundraising

By Shonushka Sawant | Web Editor

Student fundraising is a ubiquitous presence in Irvington, whether it’s members of cheer selling bars of chocolate, Global Glimpse carrying around buckets of scented pencils, or members of DECA holding boxes of snacks. However, conversations with members of various Irvington student organizations show that fundraising has grown more difficult in recent years, especially for clubs that don’t have a major presence in Irvington.

“People are generally willing to donate money, especially to the more outstanding organizations,” said Zainab Salman, treasurer of the Robotics Club. “We’ve had a long list of people and organizations that we’ve turned to in the past, but even past sponsors seem to be unwilling to give grants. When we called JCPenney (long known for its support of robotics) the representative we tried to speak with hung the phone up on us. What’s more, people who we contact by e-mail generally choose not to reply, and those who do always return with a rejection.”

Even organizations as long-standing as marching band face difficulty raising funds. “It’s not so much that people won’t give money as that marching band spending has outpaced the speed at which donations come in,” said senior Margaret Sit, who has been in marching band since her freshman year. “The donations themselves are no harder to get as time goes on, but the hard part is that we always need more as the years pass.” This is also the case for choir, which obtains a great deal of its funds from student and parent donations. Over time, more and more people have become unwilling to do so. Irvington’s choirs participate in free concerts, but always provide a donation box; however, very little money is actually received.

“I suppose taking the commercial route to fundraising is probably advisable,” said Charu Garapaty, president of the new Earth Science Club. “After all, selling products which a majority of Irvington’s population would buy is probably the best route. You can never depend on donations from students because the donations depend on whether or not a person can donate or wants to. Even proceeds from Club Rush are patchy at best, and almost the whole school turns out for it.”

Not everyone has been suffering from low funding, however. For the past five years, ASB has been making more than the money it requires. “ASB’s strategy to obtain enough money to function properly isn’t complicated,” said Mr. Willer. “We get more than enough from holding dances and selling ASB stickers. The simplicity probably just originates from the nature of ASB, it’s not as easy for clubs.”