No Fun in Fundraising
In the spring all teachers who advise a club or coach a sport meet to plan the fundraising calendar for the next school year. The idea is to coordinate the events so that they don’t overlap and students won’t be selling more than one thing at a time.
In September the freshmen sell candy bars for the first two weeks. The Spanish Club is next with their green plant sale. October opens with juniors selling tickets for the spaghetti dinner. Then the seniors take orders for grapefruit to be delivered around the holidays. The basketball teams take orders for school t-shirts and shorts, and by then it’s late November. That’s when the drama club sells Christmas wrapping paper and the cheerleaders sell candles. This is also the sophomore magazine sale. Everyone gets a 2-week reprieve around the holidays, and then in January the Science Club takes orders for flowers to be delivered on Valentine’s Day.
And so it goes. Heaven help the class or club that goes rogue, selling mints or nuts or apples without reserving the dates on the calendar!
I don’t know which is worse, that kids are always selling something or that there’s never enough money in the budget for uniforms, field trips, and competitions.
I don’t have a problem with kids fundraising for something really special – a senior trip to Washington, D.C., for example. It’s OK for kids to put time and effort into something they really want. If the Spanish Club wants to go to Mexico, fundraising may mean that everyone gets to go, not just the kids whose parents can afford it.
But do we really want this army of kids badgering parents and relatives to buy something every couple of weeks? Some parents have told me they’d rather contribute $50 at the beginning of the year for extras and forget the fundraising. Then kids wouldn’t have to waste their time selling stuff their families don’t want or could buy cheaper if the fundraising company wasn’t getting 60%. I think they have a point.