Lift Up Your Voice: Arts Education Fundraising at Pope John Paul II Academy


Event of the Month: The Big Bucks Raffle

The benefits of music education are vast and varied, but sources for fine arts educational funding are, unfortunately, not. A commitment to music education is all too often a commitment to seeking out donations to music programs, and every school has its own solution.

Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy has made good on both those commitments.

Serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, the private Catholic school is located on multiple campuses in the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods of the city of Boston. The faculty, administration, and staff, including M. L. Greenidge, the Director of Advancement, pride themselves on an “exciting and challenging curriculum based on high academic benchmarks,” including, the “largest fine arts music program in Boston for elementary schools.” Every week, six hundred fifty students at PJPIICA take music classes.

PJPIICA’s year-round fundraising campaign involves the sale of Bishop’s Blend Coffee, a premium coffee roasted exclusively for the Academy by Caffe Appasionato Coffee Company in Seattle, Washington. One half of the proceeds support overall student experience. More information on purchasing Bishop’s Blend Coffee can be found here on the school’s website.

But, as in most schools, there is always a need for more funding.

To help support this amazing music program, along with other student needs including scholarships and reading and writing literacy, the school runs their annual Big Bucks Raffle, a cash raffle. This year’s raffle will be held on March 30th, with the students selling tickets beginning in March when they return from their vacation.

For the last two years, raffle ticket printing was done in-house, but this year the decision was made to outsource the job to a professional online ticket printer. Greenidge had never used such a service, and didn’t really know anyone who had, so she went to Google and came across Eventgroove.

The website, she found, was “easy to use,” so she had no trouble designing the tickets just as she wanted them. She chose the Color Money Raffle Ticket, and when her order arrived a few days later, she was impressed with the product and the quality. “I didn’t know what I was buying,” she explained, and had never purchased raffle tickets online before, so she “just went based on the website, which was accurate.”

The turnaround, Greenidge says, was “faster than I expected.” Her tickets actually arrived before she thought they would, and she was very happy with the order, which exceeded her expectations but was still very affordable.

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