|The "Fun Run" t-shirt.|
I cannot be the only one…who completely understands the need for school fundraising, but hates it just the same. During our first year enrolled in a public school there has been a fundraiser of one sort or another happening every month, whether our children are being asked to peddle wares from a catalog or participate in a hoola-hoop marathon, there has been no lack of fundraising activities.
This list consist of my top 5 reasons I loathe school fundraising, they are in no particular order, I am annoyed by one reason just as much as I am by the next reason.
1. School Fundraising Pledge and Donation forms are deceiving.
Our latest version of school fundraising was the “Fun Run,” in which people could pledge a dollar amount per lap your child runs, with the run consisting of 36 laps. Problem was on the pledge form the only donation amounts listed were: $1, $5, or $10 per lap. We didn’t participate in this “Fun Run” fundraiser because the Sonny Boy was unable to get anyone to pledge a minimum of $36, of course when all was said and done, other families told me that they crossed out the dollar amounts and wrote in what they were comfortable with, fifty-cents a lap or a flat donation amount. Sorry school, but because we followed the rules of the pledge form, we didn't raise any funds.
2. The products the kids are asked to sell are EXPENSIVE.
One catalog the Sonny Boy had jammed into his backpack was glossy and full of professionally crafted photographs of many things a person will most likely never need. We took the catalogue to Grandma’s house, she sat down and browsed through the ten-dollar motivational plaques and twelve-dollar coffee mugs with finches on them, and when she got to the last page she decided she could maybe use a spoon rest with a whimsy squirrel painted on it, for the not-so-fair price of eight dollars and ninety-five cents. Unfortunately, we couldn’t guilt anyone else into placing an order for a twenty-dollar set of pot holders that feature a spring flower montage, even with the Sonny Boy’s perfected sad puppy dog eye look.
3. School fundraising is really just one more chore for Mama to do.
You cannot convince me that the school expects our children to go door to door in their neighborhood, with their trusty pooch at their side pulling a wagon, and ask the friendly-faced neighbors to buy whatever it is the fundraiser is selling, in the world we living in today. It’s the parents driving their kiddos from place to place or making the phone calls to the Grandparents and in-laws (what a joy), so the kids can hem and haw over exactly what the fundraiser is about and what they are selling. Not to mention, it’s the Mamas and Daddys managing and collecting the money, what kind of maniac would expect a kindergartner to be responsible for the money they raised? Not this maniac, that’s for sure.
4. The so-called prizes the children receive for their fundraising efforts are cheap and awful.
Sonny Boy is blinded, just as any six year old would be, by a stuffed raccoon key chain he would be awarded when he makes his first sale or receives a pledge. I know the idea is to motivate the children into wanting to participate in the school’s fundraising efforts, but when you dangle something shiny in front of a kid as an incentive to sell, the entire philanthropic motivation is lost.
5. The people in our family network all have their own fundraising kids, significantly shrinking our begging pool.
My family is well stocked with kids, with all the grandkids, nieces, and nephews, there is no shortage of pint sized Willy Lomans hitting the adults up for money to support their school, t-ball, or soccer team. Every member of our family has at least two (sometimes three) kids with a fundraiser happening at all times, we completely understand when our cause get’s turned down in favor of their own child’s current cause, but we’ve run out of people to ask, so once again, I issue an apology to the school.
Let me finish up this numbered rant by saying one more time, I understand the need for fundraising, but I wish there were better ways. I know that traditional bake sales are no longer viable because of the peanut allergy revolution and that most households are made up of two income earners, which makes gathering volunteers to help create fundraising events difficult, but there must be a better way….