It’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