Before moving to NYC I had only heard of private school fundraisers from a fellow expat who moved to Connecticut. It sounded surreal…parents who spend tens of thousands of dollars on private school tuition then attend a gala to fundraise additional monies for the school – think: a live auction where you bid several thousand dollars for artwork created by your child’s class, trips to international properties donated by school families, VIP tickets to the concert of your choice, etc. Sounds lavish doesn’t it? Well, this type of event is a definitely a “thing” here in New York City. And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of it for public schools as well.
The fundraiser for our school is supposedly more low key than for other schools, as we don’t set a particular fundraising “goal”. Our event is meant to be a fun evening for parents to dress up and get together with the assumption is that everyone knows their own donation budget, and will donate accordingly. The donations go towards teacher education and financial aid/scholarships, so it makes sense.
That being said, the event is being held at a beautiful private club overlooking Central Park, featuring a full sit down dinner and open bar. Ticket prices cover only the event. There will be live and silent auctions as well as mystery boxes where you pay $100 and open up a surprise. This is a far cry from the wrapping paper, cookie dough and Mabel’s labels fundraising I am familiar with in Canada. Mind you, that was all public education and growing up in London, Ontario no one I knew would willingly buy an expensive ticket to a gala with the express purpose of then making additional donations.
Chalk it up to New York immersion, but we are attending, and I’m looking forward to our first NYC gala experience!