I asked for advice back in March about my high school booster club’s art show and received a lot of helpful comments. I’ve run into yet another conundrum and thought you all might be able to share your wisdom once more.
Our show was a great success and the student artists were all paid healthy commissions for their pieces via check. The problem is that over half of the students have not cashed their checks. A few of the students have said they didn’t care about the money and threw out their checks the day they got them (which is kind of nuts to me!)
We have several thousand dollars floating around in outstanding checks right now. The only way I know to properly reconcile this is to wait until the checks go stale in September, and pay the bank fees to formally cancel them. I planned for this to happen for two or three checks, not 35. That’s $1000+ in fees! Not to mention the fact that our bank balance is going to be super wonky next year.
The teachers want to informally “void” the uncashed checks after a few more months goes by and add the $$ back into our books for use, but that is risky. If a kid decides to finally cash that check even after it goes stale, the bank could clear it. We don’t have a lot of funding to begin with. That could really mess stuff up.
There isn’t much more I can do about this situation today, but I do want to avoid this problem for next year’s art show.
So—is there any other way I can pay the student artists next year to avoid this issue? Can I pay them in cash instead? I thought about gift cards, but the fees would be expensive.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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