Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

School fundraisers: Love them or hate them

Posted September 1, 2010

Some good news came in the teacher assignment packet we got the other week for my daughter. Instead of asking kids to sell wrapping paper or some other product, the PTA at her school will just seek donations instead.

The PTA sponsors some great events and programs at her school, which all sound well worth the money. But I can think of about a million other things I'd like to do besides turning my five-year-old into a saleswoman, going door-to-door and calling in favors to all my friends and relatives. Because, let's face it, is there anything in any of those catalogs that people really want or are such good deals that they can't be passed up? And there are enough families who attend the same school in the neighborhood that we'd end up just selling to each other.

So I hope this proves to be a smashing success with so much money raised that a wrapping paper catalog never passes my front step.

But I'm sure many of you have those catalogs in your past and future. I'd love to hear some of those horror stories and advice!


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  • julianne Sep 3, 2010

    Most of the fine print on the fundraisers that are sent home with my kids state that 40% of what is raised goes to the company - the wrapping paper company or the cookie company or whatever. If your children are selling items, they are ABSOLUTELY free child labor for these companies. I refuse to make my kids into free child labor, despite the strobe lights and fun music at the huge school assemblies showing them things they can never win.

  • labmonkey69 Sep 3, 2010

    What's wrong with children today is people without children trying to tell others how to raise children. It should be kept in mind that people are like snowflakes all are different and unique in their own way. I applaud the parents for loving and protect small children, far to often I see the opposite parents that have no time for their children and leave them to fend for themselves. Of course I would imagine that is a good life lesson for those children as well that you can depend on no one but yourself.

    Small children should be sheltered and loved, and gradually introduced to the hard aspects of life, exposing a small child 5-6 yr olds to the propoganda associated with these fundraisers is unacceptable. If the schools need more money because the education lottery fund is pilfered to meet other state obligations due to mismanagement of budgets contact the parents. Don't use children as a tool to reach a PTA or school funding short fall.

  • shall6 Sep 2, 2010

    Lots of comments! The money is being raised by the PTA for special events and programs that they put on ... a festival, cultural programs that wouldn't otherwise be provided at the school and sound like they are above and beyond the usual scope of the school. And they do support extra equipment and other things that the school wouldn't normally be able to afford. That's why I was happy to write my check for this type of fundraiser. And I probably would have just written a check to the PTA if my child came home with a catalog to sell things.

    I had no idea that there were prizes associated with how much is sold! It makes me wonder what percentage of what is sold is actually raised by those fundraisers.


  • flicker Sep 2, 2010

    I must agree. I really dislike the way they hype the children up to win prizes--really nice prizes like limo rides--prizes my children will never win. I usually just buy a couple of things to qualify them for the minimum prize which is usually some time of school wide show--BMX, Magic, Animals or such. I would honestly prefer to donate the same amount I spend on products so they got all the money. Maybe I'll pass on the brochures this year and just write a check to the PTA. I understand the need for more money in the schools. I don't mind giving it, I just don't like the high-pressure sales tactics on the children.

  • GRush Sep 2, 2010

    Did you ask your child's teacher what the school is raising money for? Many times it is not for extras, but to replace things that they can't buy with other funds due to rules about how the funds are allocated. It isn't the school's fault many times that they don't use money the way you think they should; it is the fault of the government in how funds are assigned. So, while working toward changing the rules about funds, don't cheat your school out of something they need. Fundraisers can be a way to teach kids about work and money; don't make them go by themselves at first when they are small, but take them with you when you can and as they get older let them do the asking. They can learn a lot about persistence, politeness, working for a reward, etc.

  • bonnnie Sep 2, 2010

    I think they should stop all those fundraisers. The items are over priced and overrated! Not to meantion that some kids have to sit out of activities because they didnt sell!or better yet their parents didn't sell the items or buy them.

  • Mugu Sep 2, 2010

    Your 5 year old needs to learn the facts of life where life isn't all about sugar cookies and happiness. This is a learning experience about life and you need to step up to the plate and not coddle your child. That is why children are so screwed up nowadays, too much helicopter parenting.

  • dafamilyzoo Sep 2, 2010

    Just yesterday my kids came home from school, fundraiser packs in hand to sell Cookie Dough for the fall. My 5 year old has only been in school less than a week, but yet has been given this stuff and he watched a video on all the "cool" stuff he could win. He and his brother go out and after 4 people told him "no", I could hear him out in the street crying about not selling any cookies and winning any prizes. I don't agree with the fundraiser stuff at all. We cannot even get into school good without the information being sent home. I was close to contacting the PTO leader of the school.

  • Mugu Sep 2, 2010

    I am totally against using the children as a implement to raise money for their education when the government is wasting more money than they could ever raise in their lifetime.

    Starve the people and they will eventually revolt.

  • GWALLY Sep 2, 2010

    yep...I support the schools...I work and pay taxes! I also pay sales tax which is then returned to the county for schools. So go ask the gubment' for a contribution or (a novel concept) cut out the program or better yet go to the central admin. office and fire 40% of them....and wallah there is your money!!!!!