So, with two daughters and many sports, schools, girl scout troops, and teams throughout three states...we have done our fair share of fundraisers. I don't mind the girls doing it for a good cause. I also don't mind helping them out. We do have trouble with a couple aspects of selling things though...these are questions that come to mind when you mention fundraisers to me.
1. Will my child be expected to sell things to strangers? Going door to door in new neighborhoods (or where we live now--a lack of a neighborhood) just doesn't sound safe. I don't care if it's one girl doing it or three at a time...do you want pretty teenage girls going door to door to people they don't know?
2. How about standing in front of a grocery store? That seems a bit safer because I'm sure pedophiles don't buy groceries. Yeah, I'm being a smart-alec there for a moment...sorry! Maybe it's because I've sat at many a girl scout cookie sale table in cold,snow, wet and/or windy weather so that my girls can get 25 cents a box for their troop. Booths in front of stores is definitely a way to catch more people in a shorter amount of time--that's the part I like--hit those quotas quickly!!
3. Will the group we are fundraising for actually benefit from the sale? Girl Scouts make very little off their boxes of cookies. Are we really giving up our family time so that they only get 5% of the sale? When you create a fundraiser, for it to be worth the time and effort put into it, don't settle for less than 50% of the sale. Seriously people, there are lots of organizations out there that offer good fundraising opportunities...check them out carefully and compare. Get that 50% minimum into your pocket...or just move on to another option!
4. Are you selling something you believe in? Is selling cheap, made in China items that you are sure to see in the next garage sale worth it? Is it good for the environment? Does it support your community or your country? Will your neighbors or family members be on the next episode of Hoarders because they buy so much of the junk? If it's not something you would buy...don't sell it!
5. Are you selling something worth the money? With our economy the way it is...and everyone's budgets tighter than ever...is the consumer getting a good deal? Selling a $10 ticket to a car raffle...nice idea. But think of the thousands of people buying those $10 a pop tickets, only one person will win the car. The other 3,999 people....well thanks for the donation.
6. So why not just ask for a donation? Present a good sponsor letter if you are on a team sport or if you are raising money to go on a group sponsored trip. Tell people you know your story and offer your services to pull weeds, to babysit, to clean house, to chop wood...anything in exchange for a donation to your cause. Taking money from people with nothing in return just teaches your child to expect handouts. If you don't mind that...just plop them on a street corner with a cardboard sign!
7. My biggest pet peeve? Car Washes! The weather is never nice the day you plan it. Parents end up doing most of the washing. The kids don't do most of the work for a couple reasons...
- they are busy texting
- they are great avoiders--spending time in the bathroom or getting a drink or finding a dry towel (these are the ones who avoid chores at home too)
- they don't know how to wash a car (NOOOO don't use that sponge that was in the gravel on that new Lexus!!)
- they are busy flirting with the cute football player in the pickup truck (who they've spent 30 minutes washing and drying his car so he doesn't leave)
- they are there because they HAVE to be...need I say more?
So we told our coach that we would be happy to pay for our uniform in monthly installments. If they have team activities--such as car washes--we would be happy to be there, but selling a $10 chance for a nearly nonexistent opportunity to win a car...it just goes against our moral fiber.
I think we will work on number 6 this summer. So if you see us coming...don't run...just find our 14 year old some work! If that doesn't work...maybe she'll be at the corner with a cardboard sign by September!