I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fundrasing Season

I was going through my feed reader this morning, and I saw Paid Twice’s post this morning about the season of fundraisers. She asked how you cope in the fundraiser season. Well the answer is I don’t.
Here is the scenario…
The little one will come in all excited about the prizes she could get if she sold this many of whatever the latest gimmick the school wants my child to peddle. First I have to tell her:

No, I don’t want her going house to house in the neighborhood with or without a parent to sell things.

No, I am not going to allow you to call everyone we know and ask them in your “cute” voice to buy something.

No, I am not going to take it to work to sell it to people there. (That is transferring the burden of work to me).

Then, I have to say “It’s not that I don’t want you to have the toys”; I will gladly buy you a toy I will even take you to the Dollar Tree and let you get the exact same toy that is being offered as a prize (We have found the same cheap plastic crap in the Dollar store that was on a fundraiser photo array of prizes)

I have three kids in three schools (I’ve mentioned this before) and I have to tell you I am feed up with the candles in the scratch and sniff catalog (No Lie), cds of the school choir singing, postcards which require you to fill in the relatives address and they can donate however much they want(and subject themselves to other marketing materials- no doubt) ,over priced gift wrapping, expensive frozen pre-cooked food, poor quality flags with the high schools name and logo (like the NFL flags) that are to mounted in your rear window ( and would have to be removed every time we came and left out of the garage - height) and the boxes of candy (I like the candy but I don’t want to sell) and cards that would let Hallmark off the hook for being overpriced.

I have finally told the kids before they even approach me to purchase anything – what would you rather me do? Buy for the school or buy for you? The only extra money we have is the money that has been set aside for Christmas.

The timing of fundraisers is always suspect to me. They begin this campaign at the beginning of the year when most of us have just purchased school clothing and school supplies (which get more expensive); do they think we would be more receptive to giving since we just sent them back. I know they cannot be “broke” all ready, are you seriously trying to make up for end of the year shortages at the start of the year. I know that they have budget shortfalls; I understand it all but I don’t believe that fundraisers are the way to make up shortfalls. Not all families participate in fundraisers, not all children have the social skills to go out to sell things, and not all families have the patience to participate so that places more of the onus on a few.

Why won’t a school come up with the “No Fundraiser Fee”? You pay fifty bucks or whatever amount up front and the school will not give your child a fundraiser pack. They will not approach you to purchase anymore crap that will be used in one sitting or be useless after one attempt at use. I would rather pay this Fee for each child and be granted a bit of peace. I would even be willing to pay the NO Fundraiser Fee twice a year. Say each school needs an extra eighty dollars per child. Wouldn’t it make more since to have four no fundraiser fee payments of twenty dollars than spend however much time and money promoting mass consumerism and trying to teach six year olds salesmanship skills; which at that age amounts to a lot of begging and not much else.

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