I would like to hear your opinion on children’s fundraisers. I honestly feel like we are just being tapped out as parents. Everything our children do has a fee it seems, and then once we pay the fee to join, next come the fundraising forms. I do not want to sound like a cynic but it never ends. We paid $125 for our son’s sports fees and immediately got fundraising forms to help buy new equipment. Our daughter is in band, which has its own fees, and now they are going to travel to play a concert out of state, so again the fundraising forms came home. I am tired of buying overpriced junk. How do you balance it all? — Ron G.
My family and I live on a nice street with residents of all ages — from young families to the elderly.One of the neighbors has four nice children, but there is a problem: The kids are constantly going door to door fundraising. Soliciting for scouting and school projects, they are able to raise a great deal of money on our street alone. But over the last 10 years my husband and I have spent about $1,000 supporting them, and we simply cannot do it anymore. Any advice on how to handle this and still maintain neighborly relations? — Bothered Neighbors
My solution to the “parents selling stuff for children” is this. I agree to buy up to $100 of whatever the child is selling. The child has to agree to take the sold items to a food bank or other charity, go on a tour of the facility, and get a tax donation receipt for me.The children get non-preachy exposure to those less fortunate, and a number of times the child’s group has adopted the charity as its project. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and have had a kid do a runner only once. — M.
The advice clippings were in my pile of articles. I love M suggestion , personally when it comes to filling in the holes voters and legislatures are leaving in schools’ funding for my nieces and nephews. I always ask to do a direct donation instead, and have been told every time that it isn’t allowed. I find this ludicrous. Here are my suggestions for schools to be more successful with their fundraisers. I would love to hear your’s
- Schools need to focus. They need to choose the critical projects that they want to fund, and commit to work hard to reach those goals and be open to all types of funding (like taking individual donations). In other words, they need to be extremely clear about what the school will gain if they reach their goal, and what’s at stake if they fail. Then, they need to be clear that if the goal isn’t met, they are going to have to do without. I think this is a good life lesson, and it can give students valuable experience and skills that they will need in the real world (presentation skills, motivational skills, goal-setting, handling money, etc.)
- They need to commit to promoting the hell out of these fundraisers. Volunteers need to be willing to send out emails, share on social media, and yes even pick up the phone to make sure that no one can claim “I forgot”. In other words, do away with the school economical bullying. I recall as a child there were always the trips to the gym to see who won. The children who don’t sell enough are made to feel like failures- bullying at its best. What are you saying to the kids that don’t sell enough? They aren’t good students? They don’t care about their school or aren’t “team players”? Let’s be honest, kids are NOT the ones selling this stuff. So, basically you are holding parents hostage- sell this or we will damage your child’s self-esteem. I, instead, try daily recognition of those students who have put in some effort to support their school.
I think of these things as the absolute minimum that a school or school group should be willing to do to be successful. If it seems like a lot of work, well, just how important is the thing they’re raising money for?