Buy This

school fundraiserIt’s that time of year again. My kids had only been back to school for less than a week when they brought home the fundraiser brochure. This year my daughter was selling jewelry, boxed candy and “Michigan” themed products. My son’s school was pushing cookie dough and coffee. My 9 year old daughter immediately showed me the prize sheet and asked if it was possible for us to sell 50 items so she could get the cool flashlight.

In past years, my husband and I have taken the brochures into our workplaces and sold items there, but this year I explained to my daughter that the company I work for is showing signs of closing soon and people are afraid of losing their jobs. The last thing they need is to spend money on junk, um, I mean high quality items, from her school. I told her she could pick something out from her fundraiser package for herself and one thing from my son’s. Since my son wasn’t offered prizes based on how much cookie dough he sold, he didn’t seem to care as much about selling huge quantities.

I remember going door to door to sell candy bars and M&Ms when I was kid. My parents never took the candy into work to sell, so whatever profits were made were my own doing. The candy was usually only 50 cents or a dollar, not 10 or more dollars an item like the catalog fundraisers today. I don’t recall receiving prizes unless you were one of the kids that sold the most in the school.

A fundraiser my friend of mine showed me recently was all items priced at $5.00. Granted, there still was nothing I really needed, but at least I would only need to waste a few dollars on it. Why do I do it? I can’t help it. I see one of those catalogs and I have to look. I’ll browse the pages over and over until I talk myself into something. It’s probably a good thing that the kids aren’t doing the selling personally anymore because I know I would be a sucker for their cute smiles and end up spending even more.

Some fundraisers I actually like. I have gone out of my way to find strangers that are selling Value Cards or coupon books. I like the make your own pizza kits. One school in our area sold crafts made by the students. This was marketed to the family of the child, and was not something for parents to push on coworkers. What a fresh idea! The relatives get something personal while supporting the school.

My inlaws have asked if they could just donate money directly to the school instead of buying fundraisers. I used to just brush them off and write their name down for some item I think they could use. But this year, I noticed the order sheet actually said the school will accept cash donations in lieu of an order. Maybe people are finally get fed up with the sales pitch and complaining to the school administrators. And most surprisingly, the administrators are listening.

Image courtesy of Old Shoe Woman

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8 Responses to Buy This

  1. AmbitiousSaver says:

    This is what my kid’s school does. I like it a lot better because 3 kids all holding fundraisers is exhausting and my friend’s get tired of it year after year. However, the donations per child are up to $40 this year compared to $20 last year. But I’m still very thankful I don’t have to sell anything and deliver it to anyone.

  2. Debra says:

    I like the idea of just donating $ rather than buying something. I never know what the profit to the school is for buying a $20 item but can I just give $8. Fundraisers I’ve liked lately: run-a-thons or read-a-thons or selling gift cards.

  3. kdmoffett25 says:

    My son’s school collected money for their AR tests. You could send what you wanted. I liked this approach better because I was more willing to send in $20, where my daughter’s school required us to pay $5.25 for the tests. Had they done it the way my son’s school did, they would have earned more.

  4. Monkey Mama says:

    Our school focuses more on parent donations and events (silent auction and golf tournament) to raise money. My impression is they raise more money this way anyway.

    I’d probably donate rather than buy crap anyway.

  5. leslie says:

    School fundraisers are one of my pet peeves. When the fliers come home from the school with my son I just pitch them. I also generally don’t buy anything from other fundraisers. I do make an exception for girl scout cookies (I was a girl scout for a LOOOOONG time and I love Trefoils) and boy scout popcorn.

  6. Uhg, I really dislike these fund raisers. I actually enjoy the neighborhood kids coming to the door. Its usually how we keep up with what is going on with cheerlaeding, little league, brownies, etc. What I dislike is that I sometime have to say no.

    My kids go/went to a private school, they always have, and now that my youngest is a senior in HS we are still committed to buying the fundraiser things from the HS. As both my kids play sports there is also the additional responsibility of “Selling” fundraiser items. So in addition to paying say $700 for my duaghters golf team or football when my son played we are required to “sell” another $100 in christmas trees or candies.

    Just this week the door bell has rung three times with buying requests. I just bought 4 christmas trees for my daughters school, and two of the request where to buy christmas trees. I really don’t like telling the kids no. If there was an option of the type of product you could be and maybe even price ranges it would make it easier to help these kids with thier sales.

    I already have to give away three christmas trees, i certianly couldn’t buy any more.

  7. ThiNg says:

    The boys brought home magazine subscriptions for selling this year. I refused to take them to work. We are constantly reading tips to save money and one of the most common is to cancel subscriptions!!

  8. Gail says:

    I hate school fundraisers especially now as I have no children in school yet we pay heavy duty school taxes. I think I have and will continue to pay my fair or not so fair (depending on how you look at it) share.

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