Friday, May 25, 2012
School Fundraisers: Just Say No to the Sales Push
A public response to School Fundraisers: Just Say No to the Sales Push
So, here we have an article that is of the "I'd rather" variety.
'I'd rather do something else than to participate as requested.'
It's really a declaration of failure to sway someone away from a course of action with no better solution. It's also irresponsible. Crazy example... If you were to try to convince my son to not wear his seat belt he would freak. 'But that's not safe!"
But here we have an article suggesting that fundraisers are booming business and just to opt out.
So, what's the deal?
My experience with donation drives is that they are not the end-all-be-all of fundraising solutions. Sure, a school can host a successful donation drive but they do not work as well as this article would suggest. If it were so simple, we'd just be donating like crazy and our industry would gladly be doing something else.
So, here's my criticism and you can do with it what you wish...
You get a fundraising packet from your school complete with some excitement from your kid. Instead of rallying around the cause and being excited to do your part, you throw the packet away, give your kids the 'I'd rather' speech and then send in a few bucks direct (or forget about it completely). You may even go as far as to make the volunteers hosting the fundraiser feel bad about it.
That's pretty harsh indeed. Here's a few bullet point. If you go around the fundraiser, here is who and how everyone is effected:
• The school is out money - your participation in the fundraiser would have very likely outweighed your donation (even at 100% going to the school).
• The fundraising company is out money - shipping catalogs and materials your way just to be recycled is very costly.
• Your kids learns funky lessons about generosity - isn't it better to show your kids how overly generous you are under the terms requested?
• The school is hurt - by avoiding the fundraising company, does the school loose an ally? I contend they do. Fundraising companies create incentives based on sales, not direct contributions.
• You're hurt- with all the wastefulness of recycling packets and going around the fundraising company, you may just be left with cheaper products at higher prices.
So, what if you're wrong and a donation drive at your school raises a mere shadow of the funds raised by previous fundraisers? What if a donation drive is not sustainable over time and even with short-term success, there is a downward trend following the first drive.
I've seen all this first hand and what seems like the solution, begins to look like just an alternative.
I'll leave you with that. I know this is pretty harsh and a lot to consider - especially about a topic few are critically thinking about. I'm here if you'd like to continue the conversation.
Please leave comments below or at twitter.com/believekids
Ok, until next time!