Moms Everywhere: “We Hate School Fundraisers”
Hate school fundraisers as much as I do? My instinct is to fully ignore them, but that never works. Their motivational speakers ( I call them “pushers”) have a way with kids. They convince them that they, too, can sell enough magazines to win an X-box.
So my kid comes home all pumped up to sell, sell, sell. Except he can’t drive, read, or write yet. So who has to drive him around to sell? And call or email the relatives? Me! And there is little I hate more than selling stuff.
Besides, I feel terrible asking people close to us to buy overpriced stuff as a “favor” for my kid. I need to save my favors up for when I really need them. Like when there’s dollar oyster and wine night at my favorite restaurant and I need a free babysitter.
I asked some of my online tribe who also hate school fundraisers how they cope and got some great responses:
–I just tear up the forms and toss them in the trash. I will not subject my kids to the hell of school fundraising. I’ll write the check so they can focus on what they are at school to do: learn, grow, and have fun. –Crystal Ponti, Mommifried
–I sent a check for $50 to school with my kid with a note in the memo that said: “Box tops are the reason I”ll lose my mind”. The teacher emailed me to say that he thought it was pretty funny and also that we donated more than they would have made from those damn annoying things. I sent him an email back that read, “just don’t get me started on candles and wrapping paper.” Anyway, we have a pretty good relationship with the teachers now. I think they thought I was kidding. (I WAS NOT KIDDING…) –Sarah Cottrell, Housewife Plus
–I have a huge issue with school fundraising (aside from the fact that they’re a pain in the ass). Often the kids get little treats or rewards for raising a certain amount of money. I think this is cruel to the kids who can’t fundraise. And the schools that are less affluent don’t have parents organizing fundraisers and active PTOs. Fundraising should be a district wide event with the money allocated evenly to each school. The stuff our schools spend money on is sometimes ridiculous and not furthering the kids’ educational needs. –Gretchen Kelly
–I always just ask the school (1) how much they get of the purchase price – usually 50% and (2) what’s the target amount they’d like each student to sell. Then I just write a check for that. They should advertise that as an option UP FRONT, in bold letters, to all the parents so those who can and want to can opt out of hawking tubs of frozen cookie dough. –Jenny Evans, Unremarkable Files
–My school does a Yankee candle fundraiser. Our dining room came with these really nice mounted candle holders, and I thought, perfect, I’ll finally order some nice long tapered candles and support our school. They freaking don’t sell those types of candles! So I gave up. –Gail, Maybe I’ll Shower Today
–My son attends a Catholic school, so there are usually a couple of fundraisers per month. Last year I bought a lot of things I neither needed nor wanted; this year I’m volunteering my time for fundraisers. A few weeks ago we sold raffle tickets at a local grocery store for a few hours. It wasn’t terrible, as I got to chat with another parent, and we both were there for the same reason — to “bank” some volunteer time so we don’t feel guilty when we ‘skip’ fundraisers (like the crappy overpriced “gourmet” food catalogues). –Lauren Stevens
–Maybe if they stopped making our kids sell total crap, we would like them more! -Lauren Lodder, Mommy Owl
–Our schools have these catalogs they send home that are filled with overpriced food items that look amazing but cost more than they’re worth. The annoying part of it is they expect kids to take these orders, fill them and then deliver them. Because parents don’t have enough going on they throw this in the mix as well? They need to choose products that people actually want and will use and can afford and make it easier for them to get non-local friends/family to order from them. I just tell my kids that I’m not about to harass our family/friends just so they can earn prizes they can get at the Dollar store. –Tonya, WhyNotMom.com
–My daughter’s school is in a low-income area, and it seems like everything they do is a scheme to make money from the parents. Whether it’s an email to 6+ people or candy and popcorn magazines, every chance they get they push. Creating little mini pushers by giving each class an incentive! I can’t afford the craziness. -Christina Marie
–Our school gives an option for each family to donate a set amount the beginning of the year. This way, if you CAN afford to give more, you just add it to the check to cover the families that can’t cover it. Less buying stuff you don’t want and soliciting family members to do the same. I think it’s genius. –Kim Bongiorno