A Case Study on the Value of School Casual Days

When it comes to fundraising, we all know what the go to is for a school – a good, old fashioned casual day! Everyone brings a gold coin donation and wears their favourite sneakers or sports jersey. We all know how it goes, and you can’t argue with it; it works. Although earlier this year, we took a slightly different approach with our casual day at Sunrise Morphett Vale, and can I say, the result was both encouraging and surprising as the generous, cheerful hearts of our students shone forth.

For our missional fundraising day in Term 3, we changed our process; we didn’t specify the amount students were to bring and donate. Instead, we encouraged each child to consider what they could give. Our thinking being, that if it was only 50c but it was given joyfully, then God is able to bless that. Afterall, Jesus drew his disciple’s attention to the poor widow who put her two mites in the Temple collection box and honoured her generosity above those who gave larger amounts but did it to impress people. God loves a cheerful, humble giver.

At the same time, we wondered whether removing the expectation of a specific amount would open up opportunities for our students to be more generous than when we stipulated the donation. We asked the students to each consider how they could be generous, rather than just give the “minimum” required to have a casual day. They were encouraged to pray about it and give from the heart, not the “law”.

We were astounded to find that the students raised almost double what would normally be raised by our “gold coin” donation. Many of them emptied their own piggy banks or did extra jobs at home to have something to give. Several parents mentioned how their children’s generosity also inspired them, and it touched our hearts to see them putting their faith into action in this way.
What a powerful reminder to us to never underestimate the faith and generosity of children. Seeing the student’s generosity in several mission focused fundraisers throughout the year has blessed us as staff. We are excited to see the children’s faith expressed in this way as they look to bless others and not just look out for themselves.

What an exciting future is ahead for them as they carry this perspective into their adult lives.