A colorful array of canned goods

No more Campbell’s Soup labels? How shall we raise money for schools?

by Sandra Pfau Englund on Jul 11, 2016 07:24 pm

Campbell’s Soup has announced that there will be no more Labels for Education after July 2016. For 42 years, collecting soup labels and turning them in for a penny per label has been a mainstay of school fundraising. However, participation in the soup-label-program has dwindled. The company says it will continue funding education through its Grand Stand for Schools sweepstakes started in 2015 in which 100 schools are selected at random to receive a $10,000 grant. 

I remember early on in my marriage, even before we had our three children, my husband carefully removing labels from Campbell’s soup cans and cutting them down to a convenient size to put in a plastic baggie. It was just as his mother had done his entire life, except she stored them in a tissue box. I tried to be team-player but must admit I was never as consistent as my husband in the label-keeping department. Yet the sudden demise of the program comes as a shock to my system. 

According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, the power-label-collecting-schools often raised $1500-2500/year on labels and used the money earned to purchase playground equipment and technology items. Every dollar counts but in truth $1500 doesn’t buy a very big jungle gym or many computers. I’d like to think that schools and their volunteers are focusing on bigger-dollar-fundraising programs, except what Parent Booster USA sees is more sales of chocolate bars, cookie dough, and pizza. It’s still food sales…just less healthy food. 

So maybe the real reason that Campbell’s is discontinuing its program is that people just aren’t buying soup or at least Campbell’s soup? The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the biggest soup company in the U.S. has seen declining soup-sales and profits for the past several years. The decline is thought to be due to milder winters curbing demand, and competition from smaller soup companies offering what seem to be fresher and more natural ingredients. 

It will be interesting to see how schools fill-in-the-budget gaps without soup labels. How will your school booster club raise funds this year?

Sandra Pfau Englund

Founder of Parent Booster USA

Sandra Pfau Englund was a working mom in 2004 when she volunteered for her son’s elementary school PTO. The nonprofit and tax law attorney quickly became mired in trying to organize the group’s finances, tax-exempt status and fundraising compliance. If it was this complicated and time consuming for someone with her professional knowledge, she wondered how other parents and booster groups managed. From that experience, Parent Booster USA was born.

Sandra is a sought-after subject matter expert and has been quoted by NBC’s TODAY show and in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, among others. She is published and speaks throughout the country on issues related to nonprofit legal liability, financial controls and audits in a post-Sarbanes-Oxley world, board development and fundraising.

Learn more at sandrapfauenglund.com.


Running an Effective Meeting

Sandra Pfau Englund

Aug 30, 2019

Booster club bylaws often reference Robert’s Rules of Order as the “rules” for managing a meeting. Have you ever read Robert’s Rules? It’s a good way to get a good night’s sleep!

O.k., so, having no rules leads to muddled, oftentimes chaotic meetings. On the other hand, using strict Robert’s Rules of Order can result in confusion or imbalance, dominated by those very few who understand Robert’s Rules. According to Sandra Englund, founder of Parent Booster USA, it’s far better to use a simplified form of parliamentary procedure. Using Sandy’s Simple Parlipro for Nonprofit Organizations, you provide a solid framework for your meeting that encourages everyone to participate and stops any one person from controlling it.

Meetings should not be all about the rules. According to David Gillig, Senior Vice President of Children's Hospital and Health Center in San Diego, a meeting should be 80% inspiration, learning and fun, and 20% business. Busy parents are more likely to attend if they feel as if they will gain something for themselves, and their kids, out of the meeting. We recommend that you start the meeting with something fun or educational — our parent engagement blog talks more about this.

Place reports at the end of the meeting; consider providing digital or written copies of reports that parents can read outside of the meeting. No one wants to sit through standard reports. One exception is financial reports. Always include the treasurer’s report. The treasurer’s report should include a written budget and a report that shows how money was raised and spent. Making bank statements available is a good way to help ensure accountability. You can read more on financial accountability here.

It’s good practice to put start times for each item on the agenda. This helps ensure that the meeting stays on track and flows effectively. It’s particularly important if you are discussing any controversial issues in which it is more likely that someone will filibuster! Having a rule that each person gets an opportunity to speak once, before anyone is given a second opportunity to speak, helps encourage more participation.

Below is a sample agenda to help you get the most out of your booster club meetings. Start your meeting by reviewing the agenda. This is where you can explain the “rules” you’ve set for the meeting, including for example, that you will work to stay on-time to help ensure that the meeting starts and ends accordingly. You can also mention here, or just before the Q&A time with the principal, that each person will be provided the opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks for a second time. The report time is kept brief to allow the bulk of time to be given to the information provided by the principal. Minutes need approved; although a little unusual, we included approving the minutes at the end to allow more time for the more important matters up front.

ABC Booster Club
1. Call to order & Review of Agenda 6:00p
2. Guest speaker – Principal Melissa Everly discusses school remodel plan 6:05-6:25p
3. Q&A 6:25-6:35p
4. Financial report 6:35-6:45p
5. Other reports 6:45-6:55p
6. Approve minutes from prior meeting 6:55p
7. Next Meeting 6:59p
8. Adjourn 7:00p

Planning and structuring your meeting for success if the key to having an effective meeting.


With PBUSA membership, we file all the IRS and state paperwork. We keep your booster club up and running year after year.