Portrait Press Fundraising grew out of my experiences as a parent with two kids in the Brooklyn public school system. Like many parents, I was surprised how much the school counted on the PTA to support essential programs for its students—and a bit intimidated by the amount of money we needed to bring in. As I pitched in to help, I was encouraged by the results we were achieving, but I felt we could do even better if we could offer something more compelling and meaningful. If I was getting tired of T-shirts, mugs, baseball caps, and other generic, made-in-China merchandise stamped with the school logo, how could I expect other parents to keep buying them year after year?
As I thought about it, a vision began to emerge. Why couldn’t we offer something more interesting and creative—something that parents would buy eagerly, not just out of a sense of duty, and that their friends and family would be thrilled to receive as gifts? It should be useful, personalized to reflect the unique personality of each class—and definitely not made of plastic.
That’s when I decided to set up Portrait Press Fundraising, a creative, community-based alternative to the usual school fundraiser.
Something else occurred to me along the way. As a conscious consumer, I strive to choose products that advance the values I believe in. Portrait Press Fundraising can provide the same kind of opportunity for the parents who choose to work with us. By banding together to support education programs beyond our own schools, we can help even more kids at a time when budget cuts and deficits make this kind of assistance more important than ever. For this reason, Portrait Press Fundraising applies part of its proceeds (beyond the money you raise for your own school) to a grant designed to help a less fortunate U.S. school realize its vision for arts education, and in so doing, serve as an inspiration for other schools. To reach out to kids in other parts of the world, we also support organizations that work to improve access to education overseas. Visit our Grant page for more information on these programs.
With Portrait Press Fundraising up and running, nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping cash-strapped schools like mine provide a rich education without compromises for every student. I hope you’ll join me and make every fundraiser unique and memorable for your students, your family and friends, and your entire school community.