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How do you explain to your child why you don't want to her to do a particular fundraiser? (Time...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

(DD is a 1st grader in public school.)

 

This "Time for Kids" fundraiser asks that children get names and addresses of 7-10 family and friends.  They say the names "won't be added to any mailing list or given to any other source."  Although they are obviously going to add it to their mailing list because in the next sentence it says they will "be given the opportunity to order magazine subscriptions up to 80% off newsstand prices and there is no obligation or pressure."

 

I could go on about the myriad reasons I am bothered by this, but the short version is I think this is vile.  The school states that it helps them get the Time for Kids issues for all the students kids for free.  And they offer kids a prize for returning the packet filled out.  This is the part that has become frustrating.  DD is a sucker for "prizes" and gets really emotional about things like this.  On top of that she wants to be a good student and please her teacher.  (Among the other reasons I hate this crap.) 

 

Anyway, I managed to distract her last year from it and she forgot about it.  But she has been filling out the card starting with grandparents' addresses and has gotten really wrapped up in this thing.  Tonight I am going to have to deal with this one way or the other. 

 

I guess I am at a loss for how to do so without hurting her feelings and making her feel badly at school for not turning it in.  I generally am not thrilled by any fundraisers but I know they are sometimes needed and I can go with the flow.  But this one is just intrusive and is not something I agree with at all. 

 

This got long.  Sorry!

post #2 of 21

I see a couple of options here.

 

Let her fill out the form, give your friends and family a heads up, give them a graceful opportunity to tell you they don't want to be listed, and let them know you really don't want them to buy anything.

 

Explain to her how little of the money the school actually gets and brainstorm with her better fundraiser ideas, they present those ideas to the PTA.

 

Explain to her how little of the money the school actually gets and come up with another way your family can support the school and put that plan into action (donate an amount directly to the PTA, clean up the playground, volunteer, ect.)

post #3 of 21

For this fundraiser I'd start with what a fundraiser is for, then say that a lot of people don't like their personal information given away, and end with "I'm going to send Mrs. X a donation for the school."

 

Ds' only fundraiser this year only gave prizes for selling something like $150 worth of cookie dough which wouldn't happen even if we participated.

post #4 of 21

I also like the recommendation to make a donation directly to the school. Perhaps your daughter could personally present the check to the PTA president or fundraiser's organizer.

 

My kids generally don't sell in fundraisers if we can make a direct cash donation to the school. However, my son's school sells locally roasted fair trade coffee and organic teas on a quarterly basis. It's a popular fundraiser among the parents. I don't mind spending a little more money to purchace these items from the school since the vendors give the PTA a pretty decent percentage of the sales.

post #5 of 21


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post

 

I could go on about the myriad reasons I am bothered by this, but the short version is I think this is vile.  ....  DD is a sucker for "prizes" and gets really emotional about things like this.  On top of that she wants to be a good student and please her teacher. 

 

....I guess I am at a loss for how to do so without hurting her feelings and making her feel badly at school for not turning it in.


 

I agree that it's vile. Come up with 3 or 4 reasons explaining to your DD why it is vile, and just tell her no. She will be upset. You know her well enough to know it's coming, it's unavoidable. Just accept it. Let this be a growing experience for her. Just bite the bullet ONE time, and let her be miserable (I honestly think that over comforting is a mistake because it validates that getting freaked out about things like this is acceptable). Next time it comes up, it won't be as big of a deal to her because she'll already know where you stand and that freaking out gets her nothing.

 

I like the phrase, "I can see how you could feel that way, but none the less, this is what I've decided."

 

I'm really not big on bossing our kids around. I like to let my kids make *most* choices for themselves. But giving contact information to marketing companies isn't a decision that a child has the right to make.

 

It's never OK to give contact information for another person to a marketing company. Your Dd might as well learn that now.

 

Conforming to what is expected of us is a VERY positive trait, but only to a point. Work with your DD on times when it's OK to say no to what every else is doing. Life is all about balance. She needs to find her center. This is an opportunity for growth for her.

 

Good luck!!!!

post #6 of 21
What Linda said.

I *hate* seeing DS disappointed. Moreover, i was the kid who always felt "different" in school and at least part of that was caused by my parents (won't go into it here, but they were objectively kind of weird and anti-social and my mom was an alcoholic). Therefore, I know how it feels and go to great lengths so that DS feels like he fits in. However, I would have to say "no" to this and just let him be disappointed and not fit in. As Linda said, sometimes everyone just has to suck it up and take a stand.

I would also complain to the PTA or school about these kinds of fund-raisers, if you haven't already! Sorry you're in this situation. It sucks!
post #7 of 21

I would tell my kids it is never a good idea to give out someones personal information.

 

If there was no way around *not* participating(unlikely) then I would fill out the cards with fake info. Direct donations are so much better but few schools will ask for cash.

post #8 of 21

Our kids have known from the get go that we do not do fundraisers, period.  They know the reasons why:  It is unethical for companies to use them as an unpaid sales force, the schools only get a percentage of the proceeds and the unethical companies get the rest.  We do not hound friends and family to buy overpriced crap, and we don't buy overpriced crap that we do not need.  We do not compromise the privacy of our friends and family to benefit unethical companies. 

 

We are happy to support their schools and we make a honking big contribution on back to school night and we are done for the year.  If they want to participate in other activities, we pay for what they do, consider it entirely our family's responsibility, and do not expect other people to subsidize their activities.

 

The kids still get a little spun up when the PTA people do their marketing assemblies and talk about prizes, etc., so sometimes we need to repeat the conversations, and they are a little disappointed.  But they do understand, and they know all the fundraising is wrong. 

 

No way would I ever fill out cards like that.  Although, if pressed, I might be tempted to fill them in with the names and addresses of the PTA officers or whoever else was behind the fundraiser.

post #9 of 21

Could be fun coming up with obviously fake names and addresses. (33218, 33220, 30159, 30335, 21271, 21299, 43253, 43267, 43269, 43285, 43286 are zipcodes that don't exist)

Mr. and Mrs. Teddy Bear

2498 N. Snuggle Lane

Flufenstuffing, OH, 33220

post #10 of 21

 

Quote:

 

It's never OK to give contact information for another person to a marketing company. Your Dd might as well learn that now.

  

 

ITA

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

Could be fun coming up with obviously fake names and addresses. (33218, 33220, 30159, 30335, 21271, 21299, 43253, 43267, 43269, 43285, 43286 are zipcodes that don't exist)

Mr. and Mrs. Teddy Bear

2498 N. Snuggle Lane

Flufenstuffing, OH, 33220



This was my initial reaction as well.  I don't know how the OP's DD would react to obviously lying, though.

 

That said, I would be tempted to enter my own name and address, but misspelled in a distinctive way.  You could make it a project for your DD--- use her name but use her middle name misspelled and her correct last name with your address.  Then watch for the next year if she starts recieving junk mail.  If she truly doesn't, then perhaps next year you could reevaluate.  If she does, she will really understand why you don't want to do that to your friends and families.

 

Additionally, though, at my kid's school they just pay for their TFK subscription and it is less than $5 per kid per year.  Giving out personal info AND then selling  magazines seems like a pretty cost ineffective way of raising that little money!

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

LOL.  That is tempting.  ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

No way would I ever fill out cards like that.  Although, if pressed, I might be tempted to fill them in with the names and addresses of the PTA officers or whoever else was behind the fundraiser.



 Thanks all for the replies and ideas!

post #12 of 21

dont worry. my dd is in 3rd grade and STILL a sucker for prizes. 

 

we've seriously talked about fund raising since K. i abhor most fund raising. my particular favourite is Girl Scouts which i call free child labor. however we do some because when we joined GS we committed ourselves to doing it. so we dont all go out of our way, but do our best. 

 

dd understands the philosophy of fundraising and even in first grade learnt to discern between acceptable adn non acceptable fundraising. 

post #13 of 21

We pick and choose on fundraisers, and I've set some serious boundaries in this area.

 

The ultimate cry fest at our house (which finally hardened my heart) was cookie dough. They weren't supposed to go door to door, just sell to friends, family, and parents' co-workers.

 

1. Our family lives out of town (and I wasn't willing to pay for shipping)

2. all our friends had kids at the same school,

3. I don't work (so no co-workers) and

4. DH is a boss, so selling things at work isn't an option for him.

 

I let my kids each pick out one kind of cookie dough and that was it.

 

One of my DDs acted like I was the meanest mother in the world, and she truly seemed to desire death over taking her form back in with just ONE container of cookie dough ordered. Sadly, my special needs DD isn't tied into social cues enough to care, and momentarily, I was thankful she has autism.  hide.gif

 

Anyway, after that one incident, it all got better.

post #14 of 21

If you are not already I would also suggest that you get involved with the PTA and see if you can direct things to fundraisers that are less objectionable to you.

 

Our PTA hates having the kids sell things. On the rare occasion we sell stuff we tend to have parents manning a table at an event instead of order forms home with kids. Even then we'd rather do hot dogs on conference night or a bake sell then cookie dough, wrapping paper, ect.

 

Our biggest fundraiser is a knowledge-a-thon that does have the getting sponsors. But, at least it's pure profit and it goes to encouraging the kids to learn something. Otherwise we do carnivals, bingo and the like.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

Additionally, though, at my kid's school they just pay for their TFK subscription and it is less than $5 per kid per year.  Giving out personal info AND then selling  magazines seems like a pretty cost ineffective way of raising that little money!


TFK is a $4 subscription at our school.

post #16 of 21

Our principal did a fundraiser called "Schoolmall" which sounds similar. The kids came home with a booklet to put names and addresses in. One of my friends had her kids put down the teachers' and principal's addresses. I thought that was a good idea.

 

FWIW, I have gotten those from nieces and nephews. They sent me one thing about the magazine sale and I just pitched it. I never got anything else from them.

 

Does your school do Scholastic book fairs? We use the points we get from those to get Scholastic News for the kids instead of paying for Time for Kids.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post


That said, I would be tempted to enter my own name and address, but misspelled in a distinctive way.  You could make it a project for your DD--- use her name but use her middle name misspelled and her correct last name with your address.  Then watch for the next year if she starts recieving junk mail.  If she truly doesn't, then perhaps next year you could reevaluate.  If she does, she will really understand why you don't want to do that to your friends and families.

Since it is incredibly difficult to get off junk mailing lists, instead I'd put the school's address with "Attn: J. Mail" as the name to send it to. Then ask the secretary if s/he ever spots mail to that name coming to the school. Then you'd have a really convincing argument against the fundraiser next year. Or maybe, could happen, nothing would show up and you could add teachers' and PTA board members' addresses to the list to your heart's content next year.
post #18 of 21

Why drag the teachers into it?  Isn't the PTA the ones who decided on this fundraiser?  Not only would I not want to put friends or family's names on this list I wouldn't want to put teacher's names on this list if they're not involved in this at all.

post #19 of 21

Yeah..at my kid's school, its not the teachers' who decide fundraisers. it's the PAC, (parents advisory council). I don't love the magazine fundraisers. I just ignore them actually. I can't afford much, so I volunteer time instead. I go to most PAC meetings, I was on  committee for one fundraiser, etc.

 

I second the idea of getting involved. Go to PAC meetings (or whatever your school calls it) if at all possible. Not only do you get a vote on what fundraisers are done, you also get a vote on how the money raised is spent.

 

As for explaining to your daughter, well, I think the best you can do is explain why you aren't comfortable with it, and accept that she'll be upset. Our magazine fundrasier was just selling magazine subscriptions. you gave the forms to people, and they only filled them out if they wanted any magazines. I didn't even do that. No one I knew was interested. So i do agree on not doing that particular fundraiser. I'm lucky my kid didn't care...but, she's in kindy this year...so sounds like next year she may be upset if i don't do it. *sigh*. I do hate the prize aspect, especially in the lower grades, b/c it isn't up to the kids or their fault if they don't sell any subscriptions. That being said, I get why the PAC decided to do it-it rasied a lot of money, and I'd probably vote yes on doing it again. (again, this didn't invlolve giving names nad addresses to the school-so ymmv)

post #20 of 21

They don't put you on a mailing list. They use the names to send a one-time mailer. What they said in the literature isn't contradictory. 

 

That said, if you don't want to do it,  just explain why. I firmly believe in telling my children when I have a principled opposition to something and not just coming up with some convoluted pre-planned spiel about it. I won't let my son join Boy Scouts (just as an example, not because I want to discuss BS). I explained to my son that they promote beliefs with which we disagree and which ones. He was upset because he thought it looked like fun, but I didn't hear anything about it after the day I explained why.

 

Our PTO is actually really great about coming up with cool fundraising ideas that don't involve selling junk to our friends & family. They have a "family fun night" where you pay $5 per kid entry fee and go into a "dance hall" room, an art activity room, and jump in bouncy houses. There are food and t-shirt sales booths as add-on fundraising. They raise about $8,000 doing it, and I'm pretty sure that's far more than they'd earn doing something like wrapping paper or candles.

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