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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
School Fundraising: So Much More Than Cookie Dough is a non-fiction business/finance book written by Sandra Pfau Englund, Esq. The author is both an attorney and a parent who’s been involved in school fundraising activities for over twenty years. Englund discusses the increasing role that school fundraising has taken on, especially since the recent recession, and she stresses the important fact that fundraising is a business, even if it is handled and managed by volunteers who often have no business experience and who usually don’t stay with the program for more than a year. She takes the reader through every step of the fundraising process: from incorporating your group, to obtaining tax-exempt status, surviving an audit, and making sure each and every dollar raised is accounted for. Each chapter concludes with a 10-Second Takeaway Summation that recaps the important issues covered, and links for any necessary documentation, forms, or other resources are included throughout the text. Englund’s Appendices include a grand summation of all the 10-Second Takeaways; sample government forms and document templates for each step discussed in her book; IRS registration forms, Operation Guidelines, and more. She also provides links to her own organization, Parent Booster USA.
Sandra Pfau Englund’s non-fiction business/finance book, School Fundraising: So Much More Than Cookie Dough, is an informative and instructional work that presents the legal logistics of school fundraising in a highly accessible and organized fashion. I enjoyed seeing how she imparts a wealth of what would normally be incredibly confusing and complex information in such a way as to guide the layperson through the process where practicable, and show them where they can safely delegate other aspects of the business behind fundraising to others. Her explanations of, and introduction to, non-profits is brilliant, and it helped me understand what had always seemed a confusing and complicated process. I appreciated the 10-Second Takeaways as they helped me recap the important issues covered in each chapter and I found the links provided to be most useful. While many consider law and the legal aspects of just about anything to be confusing and impossible for the layperson to comprehend, Englund’s presentation of this complex topic belies that notion in a big way. School Fundraising: So Much More Than Cookie Dough should be required reading for both PTO fundraisers and the school administrators who work with them. It’s most highly recommended.