Ugh, fundraiser time - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-04-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but I haaaate how the schools get kids all amped up about selling stuff for fundraisers. My DS had an assembly today and came home so excited to sell the junky stuff in the catalog. Seriously, I've never in my life spent $9 on a roll of wrapping paper and don't intend to start now, even if $3 of the money would go to the school. But DS is all worked up about the crappy prizes -- if he sells 5 items (which would total an average of $50), he'll earn a ... plastic monkey keychain. Yeah. For $50, of which $15 goes to the school. I just ... uuuggghhhh.

I don't want to burst his bubble, but OTOH I do want him to understand the way these things actually work, and how a direct donation would actually benefit the school more (as well as keep these junky products out of our house), and that we could buy an ugly monkey keychain for $1.

Oh, and the catalog is littered with typos. In one product description it says, "Hanging jewelry organizer with hanger (included) to keep jewelry neat and accessible. (Hanger not included.)" Say wha...? lol.gif
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:55 PM
 
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Lol

I was just listening to a colleague vent about those blasted monkey keychains.

The vent went on for nearly half an hour. She's furious about how a salesguy got her 4 year old a hyped up for a stupid monkey.

My niece's school does a "walk-a-jog" fundraiser. Kids get sponsors to go to the school and run laps on a Saturday morning. No money goes anywhere but the school, and the kids get a lot of exercise. I've heard of schools that do a reading fundraiser. Kids get sponsors for number of pages or books or minutes read.

While not perfect, these sorts of things seem so much more in line with the mission of a school.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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I hate fundraisers with a passion, but yeah, preaching to the choir! :D I don't want to sell stuff, I don't want my kids knocking on doors, I don't want to buy crap myself. 

 

My biggest pet peeve is the stupid fundraisers where they amp up the kids about a class party and then hold it over their head, "only if everyone sells 3 items will you get it". No one wants their kid to be the reason why there wasn't a class party. 

 

I just bought 85 bucks in chocolate for three kids because of this. 

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Old 10-04-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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My preschooler goes to a coop so we have our first fundraiser now: selling Christmas poinsettias... greensad.gif

In the spring the school is having a garage sale which I am very excited about! Saving all my junk and donations from decluttering to benefit the school! Ftw!!

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Old 10-04-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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I so don't want to buy stuff. Glad our school doesn't do much of that. We do have a Scholastic Book Fair and I'm okay with that, but we don't do any wrapping paper or cookie dough (I don't eat those kinds of cookies or any really since I'm trying to be gluten free now). We're having a district-wide "Walk For Education" this weekend where you get sponsors to donate money, or your Mom and Dad fork over all of it (:owaving). We walk down the main street in town to the administrative offices where they have a carnival set up on the grounds with bouncy houses, etc. We did a concert fundraiser with about 5 different parent bands. We do a big school fair in the spring, too. 


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Old 10-05-2013, 05:28 AM
 
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We always have an interesting discussion about fundraisers in my house, because it if is a product, my DH believes, and to some extent I agree, that it is a form of child labor. Corporate profits being made by little kids running around selling stuff. Because the school makes some money, but mostly the corporation makes money by selling all the stuff in the name of nonprofits. They produce all these cheap goods so that this racket can continue. Girl Scout cookies are the worse example of this, but it's true for all of them. And yes, the way the company manipulates children into doing it through prizes is just wrong.

 

That said, we often do participate, but just at the bare minimum because it's just not one of the things I want to ask my kids to give up because of our way of seeing it. All their friends are doing it, (And it would be hard for them to reply to the question 'why aren't you?' ....."My father thinks it's child labor".....puzzled peer walks away......)  We never go door to door or ask the relatives. 

 

I prefer the fundraisers that are just straight up---can you write a check---to the ones that are gimmicky stuff. 


 
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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Yeah, the Walk For Education is the only fundraiser where it's set up so that kids can go door to door or ask friends/neighbors/relations. We don't do that, though. I'd rather just write a check and be done with it, so that's what we do.

 

The other things, the Scholastic Book Fair, and the School Fair are run by the parents so we do the selling (of books to other parents and/or kids, and of tickets for games at the fair to other parents). The fair is a huge money maker for the school, more than $20,000 last year and the kids love it.


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Old 10-05-2013, 07:08 AM
 
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And this is why my kids aren't in 4-H. The one day we went, they went on about how the fruit sales were starting and passed out expensive fruit/candy sale catalogs.   I refuse to allow my kids to be used as underage miniature sales people for some big company.    They will never go door-to-door or begging from friends and neighbors.  N.E.V.E.R.

 

When my son was in public K, they had a couple sales promotions, but I think I just ignored them and tossed them in the recycle bin.


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Old 10-05-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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We never participated much in school fundraisers. There was only one that the band would do for which we liked the merchandise, the band got a higher percentage than usual and didn't mind spending the money because it supported small business women in Africa. Other than that, we just make donations to the school. The kids understood early that I could either spend 30 dollars on wrapping paper and the school be lucky to get 12 dollars of it or I could write a check to the school directly and they could have it ALL. Yes, it means they didn't get "prizes" but they stopped caring about them once they understood the economics of it all.

 

These days, our schools have been doing more straight donation drives or jog-a-thons for which they get 100 percent of the money. It's been more successful and so nice not to have junk to peddle.


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Old 10-05-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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I dislike the cheap goods fundraisers, although I'm always tempted by anything to do with reading, eg. Scholastic books and the magazine fundraisers. We have the catalogue for the magazine fundraiser sitting on the table right now. I said that I wasn't going to renew or buy any subscriptions this year. I have a number of reasons such as environmental concerns and cost and really, I don't need any magazines. But now I'm having trouble resisting the lure, lol! Luckily we are way past the age where DD wants the "prizes" for most sales. 

 

We usually attend the school craft fair near the winter holidays and the art sale in the spring. It's an art school.  The art work is very well done and some pieces sell for very respectable prices.  These are the types of fundraising events that I can get behind.  

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Thankfully our school only does cool fundraisers, like Pie Auctions, Jog A Thons, etc.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm tempted to tell DS, "Okay, I would spend $50 if I picked out these 5 items. Your school would get $15 of that, the company that makes the products would get the other $35, and you would get a monkey keychain. We can either do that or, since the whole point of this is to raise money for your school, we can give your school $35 and buy you something of your choice for $15. Which do you want to do?"
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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I hate fundraisers too. I ask the PTO how much money they're hoping to raise from each kid, and then just give them that much money. One year they were hoping each kid involved would raise $15 for the PTO. I said great, and handed over $15 and said we'd do that instead of sell stuff. Now they include in the flyer about the fundraiser how much they're hoping to raise from each kid in case a parent doesn't want to participate in the sale but still wants to support the PTO's fundraising effort. I don't mind giving them money - they do good work - but people are asked to buy too much stuff and I don't want to contribute to that.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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I don't mind the wrapping paper fundraiser as much because it isn't hyped up. A catalog comes home and we buy or don't buy. Id be annoyed too if they really pushed the kids to do the selling.

I absolutely detest the Christmas shopping one where you send the kid with $5 or $10 for them to shop for junk for the people in their lives. That one is kind of hard to avoid because the kids see it happening in school and what kid doesn't want to buy best dad ever coasters for dad, huh? Or a rose pen for mom. So I feel some pressure there. I can't believe some parents spend $100 on this crap. One time, a kid was even sent with a blank check!
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post

I don't mind the wrapping paper fundraiser as much because it isn't hyped up. A catalog comes home and we buy or don't buy. Id be annoyed too if they really pushed the kids to do the selling.

I absolutely detest the Christmas shopping one where you send the kid with $5 or $10 for them to shop for junk for the people in their lives. That one is kind of hard to avoid because the kids see it happening in school and what kid doesn't want to buy best dad ever coasters for dad, huh? Or a rose pen for mom. So I feel some pressure there. I can't believe some parents spend $100 on this crap. One time, a kid was even sent with a blank check!

This.  

 

It matters more how the thing is presented and run, to me, than what they do each year.  

 

We usually do not buy anything unless its something we would use.  One of the local teams has this AWESOME local grocery coupon card that you can reuse all the deals on for the entire school year.  They somehow missed us last year and I would love to find them and pay them the $15 for their card.  Another group sells overpriced burger something coupons that are the same ones you get in the paper.  No thank you, but take this as a lesson in economics. :)  Stuff that is widely available for free has a very low demand point when sold for $20 a pop!

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:49 PM
 
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Go to the PTO meetings and ask that they swap out a readathon or a jogathon instead. We stopped doing those stupid cookie dough and wrapping paper sales once we realized most people hated that stuff and the school hardly made any money. I think we made something like $400 on the wrapping paper as opposed to thousands of dollars on the low overhead fundraisers (fun run and readathon).
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Go to the PTO meetings and ask that they swap out a readathon or a jogathon instead.

The school already does a jogathon, book fair, holiday boutique, and silent auction too, and this crapfest is already in full swing so there's no changing it now. I'm on the PTA board and I have voiced my displeasure in case that has any sway for next year. I hate to say this, but hopefully this fundraiser won't bring in too much money so that they'll do away with it.

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Old 10-07-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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I have found they'll drop a fundraiser if you can think of something that brings in at least as much money...and you're willing to head it up.

 

Do you guys do Square One art (www.squareone.com I think)?  It's simple and usually brings in a much bigger chunk than the fall merch.

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Old 10-07-2013, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you guys do Square One art (www.squareone.com I think)?  It's simple and usually brings in a much bigger chunk than the fall merch.

Yep, we do that one too. Holy geez, listing them all at once makes me realize how many different ways the school asks for money!! And I'm usually happy to give it, it's just this one that annoys me.

There's no way I'm heading up a different fundraiser -- then all the parents will direct their wrath at me! lol.gif I don't care if they don't do away with this one (it'd be nice, but I won't make a stink) -- I'll just not participate in the ones I don't care for.

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Old 10-07-2013, 05:10 PM
 
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I too would just ask how much they wanted from each. Hold and would write that check. My youngest goes to a K-12 school. They ask for a $100 check up front when the school year starts (it's a choice school Nd you know this when you come in, low income kiddos can have it waived) the lower school does the kid are fundraiser and both the upper and lower schools do their own carnivals/silent auctions. That's it; love it!
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Our school has stopped all selling fundraisers but asks for straight donations at the beginning of the year. We do a fall book fair, a family dance night w/ silent auction, a readathon, and a 5K/fun run in addition to the district-wide Walk for Education.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:11 PM
 
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The giftwrapper fundraiser is the biggest fundraiser we have in terms of money. It usually brings in a few thousand $.

I've always wondered about that. LOL

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Old 10-09-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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It wasn't too bad when my dd was in elementary school.  But now that she is in middle school, there are school fundraisers as well as fundrasiers for the different clubs and things in the school (Band, Student Council, Chorus, Dance Team, and the list goes on and on).  I generally just give a donation to the school and if the Student Council has a dance or something, I donate cupcakes, cookies, etc.

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Old 10-12-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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I know I'm coming into the thread a little late, but I'm also a hater a fundraising and when my children have to do it I give straight up donations.  Boy Scouts was the worst.  I'm just so freaking lazy and I hated, hated doing it.  I would just buy a crap load of popcorn and send a couple of emails to the relatives and they would throw in some $$ or buy popcorn.  But damn the door to door/store thing just drove me nuts.  My kids do a huge spring fundraiser at school.  I am SO not looking forward to that. 


 

 

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Old 10-13-2013, 12:57 AM
 
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I never paid much mind to it, I loved winning prizes as a kid, and we buy from my husbands 7 year old brother. However, reading this thread, I really have an opinion! You ladies are SO right. Innisbrook (wrapping paper fundraiser here) is so godly expensive and all the products that aren't wrapping paper are junk. We just dropped $40 on 3 bags of popcorn. $40 for 3 bags....$40!!!!!

I'm hoping to join the PTA for my daughters school next year, and definitely will make it a point to suggest and even volunteer to do the planning of fundraisers like walk-a-thons. She will be attending a public charter Waldorf school, so I'm sort of hoping the fundraisers are already a bit better than the norm smile.gif

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Old 10-13-2013, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just talking to some friends about this issue, and two of them mentioned that their schools follow a non-fundraising model, where families are asked for a straight donation at the beginning of the year, and then there's no fundraising at all after that. The school sizes and resources differ, so at one school the amount requested is $325 per family and at the other it's $200 per family. Not all families can contribute, but both schools are still able to fund all their programs this way, and they do art, music, science lab, family fun nights, etc., just like my school does.

Between my 2 kids, I easily spend that amount among all the various fundraisers. I would be thrilled to just write a check (where 100% goes straight to the school) and be done with the headache of fundraising. I'm going to bring up this idea at the next PTA board meeting at my school.

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Old 10-13-2013, 03:10 PM
 
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Our school has the write a check campaign. I was so glad to not have to sell anything.

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Old 10-15-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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I have come to vent.

 

I am not an active member of the PTO at DS's school so I really should get involved to enact change but I don't have the time.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peony View Post
 

My biggest pet peeve is the stupid fundraisers where they amp up the kids about a class party and then hold it over their head, "only if everyone sells 3 items will you get it". No one wants their kid to be the reason why there wasn't a class party. .

 

Stuff like this makes me see red.  Little kids (at least my little kid) can't understand that not all families have the time to devote to sell junk or it goes against their values.  All they know is there is a fantastic treat being dangled in front the them and they don't want to be the one to ruin it for everyone.

 

DS's school recently had a fund raiser where he (me) was suppose to provide names and addresses of friends and family so a company (I can't remember the name) could solicit them with catalogs.  The school was paid $x for every contact provided.   I wrote a note saying I was not providing such information and not participating.  No doubt it caused much eye-rolling.  I did include a check in lieu of participation.

 

Growing up, there was a religious school that ran a weekly 50/50 fundraiser during football season.  The students would sell tickets throughout the week and the drawing was held at the Friday night football game.  It raised thousands every week (a friend's father won it one time and his winnings were over $4,000) but eventually got shut down because some faction had an issue with the gambling aspect.


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Old 10-15-2013, 08:23 AM
 
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When I took over as PTA president we stopped doing any kid centered sales. We used to the the wrapping paper/cookie dough/trinket sales and I HATED the rep. that would come in and get the kids all jazzed up and ds would come home and be ready to sell except we have a small family and live in a small town so who was he supposed to sell to??  We stopped doing anything that didnt' make 50% profit.  Now we are down to a walk a thon (2,000), Entertainment books (1,100) and a candy sale (2,000) and that's it.  Everything else is garbage (soup lables, box tops, milk caps, milk bags, McDonal's receipts) and we bring in a ton of money/credit.  We sell SCRIP cards and that's my personal favorite, it's money you are spending anyway, so buy the gift card from school and use it.  Done.

 

Last week I brought up stopped all outside sales and doing a giving campaign.  Donate what you can and we won't ask you to buy anything.  It saves money, time and resources.  I've spent at least 20 HOURS dealing with these Entertainment Books, I'm so over it.  People don't realize how much time goes into the sales, it's better for everyone just to write a check.  

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Old 11-08-2013, 12:18 PM
 
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How does a readathon work at an elementary school?

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