Accepting Donations that Require Commercial 'Branding' on Campus

I need to replace the tables in our outdoor lunch area. I also need to purchase workstations for classroom computers. I don’t have enough money to do both. A local fast food restaurant has offered to donate all the outdoor tables I need, however, their logo is stamped on each table. It’s tempting, because I could use the money saved to buy the workstations. What would you do?

Principals across the country are struggling with this highly emotionally charged issue. At the extreme ends of the spectrum, proponents argue that in these financially turbulent times, the end justifies the means, and opponents say that students should not be exposed to ongoing ‘commercials’ at school for any reason; even if it means doing without something.

When I was a principal I avoided donations that required ongoing ‘branding.’ However, I was happy to publicly recognize and thank businesses that made donations to the school. I was able to establish a number of ongoing partnerships on this basis.

You know your community, your students, and your school’s needs. You need to make your decision based upon what’s best for your students and what will be acceptable in your community.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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