Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Five Reasons I Loathe School Fundraising



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.
The lap count from the "Fun Run."

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….

16 comments:

  1. I am with you... I'm a single mama and working long hours... I have little timeor patience even though I totally understand the importance. It is just another thing on my already full plate :-(

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    1. You have to wonder if the school is aware of just how crazy our Mama-lives are, but figure we can handle just one more thing...problem is WE CAN'T.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. So much work and hustling. So much money for crap we don't need. Crappy prizes! You covered it all! You are not the only one!

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    1. The PRIZES are possibly the worst part of the school fundraiser!

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know that I am not alone in my plight against school fundraising tactics.

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  3. We don't participate in school fundrasiers!

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    1. Thanks for sharing Robbie! I am glad to know that we aren't the only ones not participating in these school fundraisers.

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  4. I HATE the "prizes". My kids are old enough now to realize it's all just junk but when they were younger it was all about the loot. It makes them want to raise funds for all the wrong reasons. More pressure on mom.

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    1. Agreed! My Sonny Boy can't see the cause through the cheap flashlights and key chains offered up as incentive to get to selling.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. It definitely seems like there ought to be a better way!! High schoolers in our area are always selling the coupon books as fundraisers--it sucks to not buy one but when 3 or 4 different kids want to sell you one...

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    1. Rachel,

      This tends to be a problem we have as well, it's hard to buy from one kid and not buy from the other ones, but how far can our wallets stretch (not that far).

      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. This makes me so glad my kids' school doesn't make them sell stuff!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rabia! You are a lucky, lucky lady if your kids school isn't asking them to sell expensive (and useless) products to their loved ones!

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  7. I can agree with you on this one (even though I don't have kids of my own). I remember when I had school fundraisers and you were required to sell $X amount of product…usually meant my parents just ended up buying that X amount, because nobody has time for selling cheap junk!

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    1. Cheap junk is right! I remember asking my Dad to take the order forms to his work so he could sell the stuff for me...I guess what goes around comes around, because now I am the one selling for my kid.

      Thanks for stopping by Samantha!

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