Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Mayur Desai




School environments are key locations to improve children's nutrition and promote physical activity on a national scale. Competitive foods, high in fat and/or sugar, are widely available in schools. Fundraising practices have been identified as a key contributor to the undermining of healthy school environments. In order to develop strong policy initiatives for competitive foods it is necessary to understand current fundraising practices. The purpose of this study is to describe fundraising in Connecticut elementary schools for the 2009-2010 school year.


Respondents were solicited from a random sample of the 663 Connecticut public elementary schools, stratified by District Reference Group (DRG). Phone and paper interviews were conducted to collect information on prevalence and type of fundraiser, profit and total volunteer hours for each fundraiser, and knowledge of written school policy regarding fundraising practices.


Distribution of fundraisers and median profit were statistically different when stratified by socioeconomic status. Median profit, person-hours, profit-per-hour were not statistically different when stratified by fundraising type.


Descriptive data from this study suggest non-food fundraisers may generate similar levels of profit under comparable volunteer hours as food fundraisers. School fundraisers can have a positive impact on school food environments through evidence-based policy initiatives at the national level.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access