Monday, October 8, 2012

School Fundraisers Suck

“Today at school we went to an assembly and a man talked about winning stuff if we sold cookies!” Natalie told me seriously when we got home from school. “Look.” She pulled a packet from her backpack and I made a face. Ew. It was a fundraiser.

Look, I get that schools need to do these things to make money. But truly, they suck. No one wants to knock on doors and be like, “Hey! Buy some overpriced crap!”

Here’s the truth: I throw away the fundraiser junk. Now, before you think I’m this uncaring, non-donating person, here’s the thing: I DO donate. Directly to the school. And I do send the kids with money at that Secret Santa shop. But I do not do fundraising. Tommy understands this.



“I want to win this chicken thing,” she said, pointing to this odd toy that you could fling from your fingers. To win it, you had to sell two boxes of $15 cookies.


For cookies.

“The man also said we could win a LIMO RIDE!” Natalie squealed with excitement.

Oh, fun. So this man was getting a bunch of five-year-olds all riled up. I wonder if he had kids. Did he know how irritating fundraisers really were? Did he know that we, as the parents, had to follow the kids around as they knocked on doors? (I get that there are some parents out there who get a sick pleasure for this. They want their kids to be the best. Always.)

“You sort of get to ride in a limo daily,” I pointed out. “You ride in the backseat of the car while I drive you around.”

Natalie gave me a Look, the same one she’ll probably give me a lot as a teenager. “Mo-ommmm,” she groaned. (In her defense, my car is not like a limo at all. There are not plush seats. Instead you get stained seats and your hand will probably graze against something sticky. Then again. Maybe that's still like a limo. I haven't been in one for years so I wouldn't know.)

“Here’s the thing, Natalie. You have to knock on doors and beg people to buy $15 cookies. We’re in a recession. Not many people will want to fork out $15. And especially in this day and age when everyone is all “healthy this, and healthy that.” Some parents might recoil in horror at the site of cookies,” I explained.

Plus, we lived on base.

When you live on base, you can’t sell stuff. When you sign the lease, one of the big no-nos is NO SOLICITING. Some kids have been forgetting and have knocked on doors. Then people complain and the housing office has to send out letters to the residents reminding them that stuff CANNOT be sold. Which is fine by me, because I hate telling kids no. Some kids don’t shut up when you tell them no. It’s like they’ve never heard the word before so while you’re shutting the door, they’re still going on about buying their junk.

So if Natalie wanted to really sell cookies, we’d have to go off base, and the area around the base isn’t exactly safe. She could knock on a door and have a gun pulled on her. Or be tugged into a house and be held for ransom. Okay, MAYBE it wouldn’t be that dramatic but one never knows.

Could I ask family and friends? Sure. But I hate doing that. I never buy anything from them when they ask so why would I expect them to buy from me?

So yes. No fundraising in this family.

And Natalie is fine with it. She’s already forgotten about the flying chicken thing and has moved on to wanting an American Girl doll named Caroline. I guess she's BRAND NEW and is BRAVE or whatever.

Lucky me.


  1. I hate fundraising also...I would buy one or two for my daughter but that was it. I hate when my door bell rings and some strange kid is there. Now girl scout cookies are another story! I can't say no to!

  2. Some teens came by my house the other day selling crates of produce haha. They were for the Future Farmer's Association. I bought half a crate of oranges, for $15, because I'm a sucker :P

  3. ughhh I loathe school fundraisers. I dread the day.

  4. I hate fundraisers, too. But, my daughter has been doing several to offset her High School Choir fees which right not are at $140. If she goes on the spring tour we can add another $400. The stinkin' fundraisers help. Blah!

  5. I fully agree with you! I hated when the kids had fundraisers! Although it wasn't so bad when it was wrapping paper and Christmas cards. Still.

  6. I don't do the fund raising thing either. Like ever. My kid is lucky I buy the overpriced Girl Scout cookies!! I wish the schools would just stop. Seriously!!

  7. We also don't do fundraising. Especially since I found out that the money doesn't even go to the school, but to the PTO (which is basically an elitist social club in our neck of the woods).
    Stopping in from SITS!

  8. Ugh. I am with you. Alex has been in school not quite two months and she has already brought home FIVE different fundraising things, not to mention the field trip money that is needed ( which she DOES get to go to ) and 1 dollar for this, 5 dollars for that, school pictures, yearbooks ( for 2nd grade??) and all this other crap. Seems like something new every week. It sucks. I do not do them either, except the field trips.

  9. I seem to recall a few fundraisers I supported but never received the product. I like donations as well.

  10. I'm right there with you. I hate those things - I don't buy it, and I don't sell it. Done.

    I hated it when I was a kid and had to sell girl scout calendars and cookies. Now, it's the parents that sell stuff - at work. I get asked at home and at work. I still say no.

    How about do something useful? Like make those kids mow my lawn? I'll pay you for that!

  11. Ahhhh! You just brought hair raising flash backs for me! I hated the fund raiser's when the kids were in school..the prizes were crap and the things they were suppose to sell were crap. Stay strong man! Stay strong! I'm pullin' for ya!

  12. Fundraisers for extracurriculars don't bother me as much as for school. I guess because I ALREADY donate through my taxes!

  13. I kinda want Caroline too... because I'm secretly still 8.

    Re: fundraisers, I don't have to worry about it with my younger son because he totally forgets to bring home the packets. Oops!! The older one, well, I cave and get a candle or something. Fortunately I like candles.

  14. With you, I am currently ducking the football Team mom because I don't want to sell raffle tickets for the sport I already pay for my son to play. If she corners me I plan to tell her we don't believe in asking people to pay money for a chance to

  15. I have already done two fundraisers and it's not even November. I went to the PTA meeting last week... we get 50% of what is sold on this one. I went home, circled everything I'd like but really don't need... and then wrote a check for 50% directly to the PTA.

    And no one is giving me crap about it. And if they do, I'm not listening. :)

  16. The schools here like to do those coupon books and their strategy is to send one home with the kid to sell so parents feel like they have to buy that one. My sister told her kids they could each spend $2 at the dollar store if they would take them back and tell the teacher they weren't selling them. They were way more excited for their shopping spree than for any of the prizes for selling the books.

  17. Those are the worst! We live on post too and I always feel terrible turning kids down, but a)you aren't supposed to be doing it here and b) no, I don't want your $4 candy bar. Way to stand your ground!.

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