Here’s a personal story submitted anonymously…
My kids are a mixed bag of emotions about the end of summer and the return to school. Like most moms, I’m also ambivalent about back-to-school time. I’m thrilled my children are returning to the hallowed halls of education, but not quite as excited about the fundraisers they will be participating in.
Love the School, Hate the Sales Pitch
As a parent, I know fundraisers are an important and relatively simple way for local schools to generate extra income. I fully support fundraising activities that aid schools in acquiring new books, technology, and extra-curricular activities. My problem isn’t with the act of fundraising, it’s in the execution.
The biggest challenge facing a fundraising kid is safety in sales. Let’s face it, not many parents are comfortable with sending their progeny off alone with a wagon and a stack of products these days. Door-to-door sales by school kids has been on the decline for years. This means more parents are peddling pizzas, popcorn and wrapping paper at work.
Realistic Goals Deter Real Rubber Ducky Meltdowns
This year I hope to alleviate some of the headaches involved with my kids’ school fundraising, while still supporting their educational opportunities.
Here are a couple of ideas we’re trying this year that simply change the sales approach. With luck, my kids will meet their fundraising goals, help their schools, and I won’t be stuck paying for a wall of candy bar boxes!
First, our plan is to set fundraising goals my kids can reasonably achieve. This may seem like common sense, but those prizes are there to entice your offspring to forget pesky things like collecting the right amount and delivering the products months after the event has ended. I think this should curb some of the confusion, as well, for all who are involved.
Divide and Conquer Your Family and Friends for a Good Cause
Keeping in mind that for every family member and friend my kid is selling to, other kids they know are also doing the same. Encouraging my young entrepreneurs to consider their customer base seems like a great idea to build reasonable expectations of sales.
If Great Aunt Betty has 15 kids all calling her for every single fundraiser, it becomes overwhelming and often heartbreaking for Betty and the students.For families with multiple school age children, this is even more important. It’s helpful to explain to your kids that this is often why some potential customers refuse to participate in fundraising.
Not every fundraiser is selling products; some are donation based, and pledge events, such as hoop shoots and jumping rope. This can add up quickly if your kid is athletic. Make sure customers know the chances of him or her making every shot or jumping a thousand times before pledging large sums.
Fundraisers Really Should Stay FUN
Most importantly, make sure your child is safe, supported, and enjoy fundraising events. Today’s kids are savvy and resourceful; listen to their ideas to keep this fundraising season fun and prosperous.