Monday, September 5, 2011

The New School Season Brings New Fundraisers...sigh

Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies


As early as the first day of the school, children begin coming home with backpacks full of fundraisers.

Bringing up kids can cost a pretty penny on it's own, never mind adding to it the enormous amount of donations that are asked for by their schools.

But, let's face it...anyone who's been to their child's school lately knows that these establishments aren't rich, and whether we realize it or not, many teachers and administrators donate out of their own pockets to provide the necessities in the classrooms and around the school.

I don't know about you, but our family isn't wealthy either, but if you're like me you want to help your school (and your child) as much as possible, but don't want to go broke in the process.

So what do we do? And how do we help without hurting our pocket books?

Have faith because there can be a balance!

First things first:

Here are 4 reasons you should support your child's school:
  • It helps fund many important programs for your children and helps teachers teach more efficiently with the things your fundraising dollars buy.
  • It shows your kids you care about their education and the future of their school
  • It helps your child learn about community involvement and goal setting
I know that there are some parents who throw the fundraising papers away thinking that they cannot afford to help at all, or frankly they just don't want to be bothered (or don't want to bother people they know), while other parent's tirelessly give and give and give, and ask and ask and ask...but just can't keep up; they exhaust themselves trying to help out.

Which leads me to the second thing (The solution-Or so I think):

3 ways to help with fundraising without going poor, or feeling like a pesky sales person peddling at work :
  • If you have multiple children rotate fundraisers and inform them that you will be doing this. For example: Johnny will sell cookies in September, Judy will sell magazines in November and Ally will sell gifts/candy from the catalog in April and you will give all of them change for penny wars and various fundraisers throughout the year.
  • Know what your co-workers like, and are interested in, and do those types of fundraisers at work only. (Some like goodies while others like gifts and some only purchase coupon books and magazines-know your donators preferences.)
  • Become a PTA/PTO parent (or family): Sometimes just donating your time can help. And many schools these days will accept your donation, of PTA/PTO fee without requiring you to actually participate. (Obviously there are tons of activities throughout the year which require man (or woman) power where your help could be utilized, but if you are unable to commit time, they surely appreciate your small donation of the PTA/PTO fee.)
  • Much like a corporation does, budget out how much your family will spend throughout the year on fundraisers (or how many physical fundraisers you will do, or how much you plan on raising as a family for the year).
Lastly:
Here are 10 things to do with what you purchase:
  • Give them away as birthday/holiday gifts
  • Use market day in addition to purchasing through the grocery stores (or find comparable items and replace them with market day or catalog food orders).
  • Use them to bring to housewarmings, holiday get-to-gether snacks and decor, and use them as thank you gifts or end of year teacher/bus driver/office gifts.

We may not all be able to give generously to each and every fundraiser, and maybe we don't always have luck raising the money we would like to, but maybe just pick a couple to participate in, pace yourself and your family finances and use the tips above to help.

Fundraisers are plentiful throughout the year and if you give all at once you will be burnt out (and broke). If you wait until the end of the year you may miss out on your favorites.

Your Teachers, Staff and Students appreciate you!


Truly,
Amber

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