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Kids' fundraising
Old 10-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Kids' fundraising

When I retired, I expected to never be faced with having to buy stuff that co-workers and bosses' kids and grandkids were selling (of course, there was a rule against it, but not even the head of the company followed it when it came to her grandkids). I resisted---made sure that I consistently didn't buy, even if I really liked the person. The stuff they were selling was stuff I didn't need/want (wrapping paper, candy, home decor stuff), very expensive, and 20% or less actually goes to the school/team/band/cause and the rest to the company that makes/distributes the stuff.

But duh! I forgot about neighbors and their grandkids! We had one come by yesterday. It was a 14 yo grandson selling overpriced pecans (like $8 for 8 ounces) for his soccer team. I felt guilty not ordering something, but I also feel like I shouldn't have to. We do have no soliciting signs here, but of course, that's taken to mean no strangers/professionals soliciting. And this kid's grandmother is the first to cry about how she is on a fixed income.
Maybe if it was for a really good cause, like an impoverished school trying to buy musical instruments for their kids...But this kid goes to the school that is considered to be the wealthiest in terms of household income, so I think the kids will be able to play soccer even without the proceeds from fundraising.

Am I totally off-base about this? And do you think your reply is influenced by whether you have kids (and went through the fundraising bit) or not, as is the case with me?
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:32 PM   #2
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When I retired, I expected to never be faced with having to buy stuff that co-workers and bosses' kids and grandkids were selling (of course, there was a rule against it, but not even the head of the company followed it when it came to her grandkids). I resisted---made sure that I consistently didn't buy, even if I really liked the person. The stuff they were selling was stuff I didn't need/want (wrapping paper, candy, home decor stuff), very expensive, and 20% or less actually goes to the school/team/band/cause and the rest to the company that makes/distributes the stuff.

But duh! I forgot about neighbors and their grandkids! We had one come by yesterday. It was a 14 yo grandson selling overpriced pecans (like $8 for 8 ounces) for his soccer team. I felt guilty not ordering something, but I also feel like I shouldn't have to. We do have no soliciting signs here, but of course, that's taken to mean no strangers/professionals soliciting. And this kid's grandmother is the first to cry about how she is on a fixed income.
Maybe if it was for a really good cause, like an impoverished school trying to buy musical instruments for their kids...But this kid goes to the school that is considered to be the wealthiest in terms of household income, so I think the kids will be able to play soccer even without the proceeds from fundraising.

Am I totally off-base about this? And do you think your reply is influenced by whether you have kids (and went through the fundraising bit) or not, as is the case with me?
That stuff drives me nuts, I get hawked all the time. Unfortunately, my kids are in the schools, so now they are getting pushed to sell stuff for the schools...........

Yesterday was the 34th day of the school year. We have been hit up by school sponsored fundraisers FOUR TIMES already:

1)Scholastic Books
2)Market Day (overpriced food)
3)Market Day (overpriced desserts)
4)PTA Book Drive

DW is horrified, but I let the local PTA leaders have it yesterday at the book drive. I asked if they thought it was "over the top" to have FOUR fund raisers in less than two months........and her response was: "we do this every year".............
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
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Instead of buying the worthless stuff, just give them half the money and say you don't want anything.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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Am I totally off-base about this? And do you think your reply is influenced by whether you have kids (and went through the fundraising bit) or not, as is the case with me?
Selling is hard and the schools put a lot of social pressure on the kids. It's a huge setup.

Every kid who can find our door makes at least a $5 sale, most $10-$20. If they're selling Zippy's chili coupons or chocolate then they think they've hit the lottery.

Realistically how much do you expect to be hit up for a year-- $100? $200? If that money's not available in the annual ER budget then perhaps it's worth working a bit more.

And, yes, our Ford Taurus wagon can haul seven Girl Scouts* or hundreds of boxes of cookies.

*Well, technically eight but I was just a dues-paying member.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:56 PM   #5
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I think you are off base on this. Our democratic consumer society is all about buying and selling.

These fund raisers are healthy for the kids, the kids' parents and for you.

You learn to not feel guilty. After all, do you feel guilty when you switch stations on the TV or radio when a commercial comes on exhorting you to buy adult diapers? Or do you run right out and buy them? Anyways, it's good training for you.

The kids going door-to-door learn that not everyone likes them and that many people hate them. It's a good real-world experience. My kids do fundraising occassionally. They know that most people will reject them, but they have a good attitude about it. My 11-year old is not put off by the rejections. I'm sure it will help him get lots of dates when he is older.

The kids' parents learn that their kids are not particularly special as well.

And to let you know it's not all bad: Some folks at work have actually liked some of the quality stuff sold through fundraisers. They have asked each year when school starts if those items will be available again.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:24 PM   #6
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These kids aren't "selling" door to door. They are begging for hand outs. The kids aren't hated. It's the scam that's despised. The real profit goes to the promoters and the buyers get overpriced stuff that they don't want, delivered when they don't want it. If the cause is worthwhile give them the money and have them keep the stuff.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:38 PM   #7
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I have split feelings about this as I remember when my DD was in school/Girl Scouts/riding and was on the selling side. Some of the stuff was pretty nice -- still love those GS Thin Mint Cookies! -- she'd hit up a few friends/family and I'd let folks at work know in a very low key fashion that she was selling it and if anyone wanted it, let me know. (Quite a few looked forward to the GS cookies and I had standing orders from some coworkers for several years!)

But I did put a limit on how many of these things we'd get involved with each year...I said no more than four (one a quarter)...otherwise we'd be selling stuff every other week.

Now, when the kids come to my door, if it's something I can use (....Thin Mint Cookies come to mind), I may buy -- or I may not. If I'm interested, I do ask the kid to make their sales pitch because I do think they learn presentation skills from it -- and the younger the kid and if he/she does a particularly good job with their spiel, I'll give her/him a couple of extra $$.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:53 PM   #8
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We never buy anything from our neighborhood street urchins. I tell them that I hope that they sell as much as they can but this is not one of the places that they will be able to sell their cookies, candy, popcorn, magazines, etc.

When my kids were trapped in this situation I always just made a cash contribution to the school, sports team, church, cub scouts, boy scouts etc. The Girl scouts would never let you bypass the process and would only let you buy the cookies, but not contribute directly to the troop.
So DW bought the cookies:confused:
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:48 PM   #9
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Every kid who can find our door makes at least a $5 sale....... If they're selling.........chocolate then they think they've hit the lottery.
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Some of the stuff was pretty nice -- still love those GS Thin Mint Cookies!

Now, when the kids come to my door, if it's something I can use (....Thin Mint Cookies come to mind), I may buy........
The kids hawking gift wrap, candles, knic-knacs, or other crap that you order from a book or flyer......get the "bum's rush" from me.

But when the neighbor kids in Little League, Pony League, and the local grade school sell chocolate bars......and I always make their day!!! And those GS Thin Mints!!! YES!!!

"Hi, my name is Goonie, and I'm a choco-holic."
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:56 PM   #10
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And, yes, our Ford Taurus wagon can haul seven Girl Scouts* or hundreds of boxes of cookies.

*Well, technically eight but I was just a dues-paying member.
If we read about a Taurus full of cookies being carjacked, we will think of you.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #11
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My kids are always asked to sell stuff. After sitting here with $60 of boxed popcorn from cub scouts - and no one in the family even eats popcorn, I said enough. We no longer buy even from our own kids - don't need and don't want the stuff. Last year I gave the PTO the percentage of a hypothetical $100 in sales. This year, new school, I tried to get the PTO to tell me the percentage earned - got no response, so that is what they got -- $0.

I know the schools are strapped, and the $$ is used for play/sports equipment and other things that the district no longer pays for, but I would rather they ask directly for a donation for a specific project than this begging.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:42 PM   #12
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I just wonder how much of this fund raising, especially for the scout troops, is for the benefit higher-ups in the organization?

Looks like a lot of the kids are getting used by adults to me.

What do cub scouts need the money for? From what I remember, you went to someones house after school and did a few crafts. Once in a while we went on a hike and got blisters from new shoes. We even toasted some marshmallows over a camp fire in someones backyard. Learned that hot coathanger wires will indeed burn your fingers. And we learned not to cut our fingers with the knife when you sharpened the stick to burn your hotdogs.

Sure didn't cost much to be a scout when I was a kid. Just show up and have fun.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:03 PM   #13
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When my kids were in school I got fed up with these things, too. They were told not to go door to door, but instead to sell to friends and relatives and have Mom or Dad sell the items at their workplace.

My husbands office was overwhelmed with sales all year and I didn't work. All our relatives were out of town and all our friends were from the same school neighborhood and were also selling. So I would ask the teacher how much the kids were expected to sell and how much of that was profit toward the fundraiser. Then I would just write a check for the profit and send it in along with the unsold candy/catalog/whatever.

My kids got plenty of lessons about earning money. They didn't need to be selling overpriced candy bars to the same people over and over.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:00 PM   #14
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Am I totally off-base about this?
Only to the extent that you're making something out of nothing. Of the zillions of minor annoyances that pop into my life, this one isn't even close to bubbling up to the top.......
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:03 AM   #15
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I just wonder how much of this fund raising, especially for the scout troops, is for the benefit higher-ups in the organization?

Looks like a lot of the kids are getting used by adults to me.

What do cub scouts need the money for?
Why do you even ask? Of course for the salary & benefits of Chief Scout Executive (whose comp package last year is over 1 million: How American Institute of Philanthropy Rates Charities ) and his cronies.
I wonder if Baden Powell would approve.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:43 AM   #16
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What do cub scouts need the money for? From what I remember, you went to someones house after school and did a few crafts. Once in a while we went on a hike and got blisters from new shoes. We even toasted some marshmallows over a camp fire in someones backyard. Learned that hot coathanger wires will indeed burn your fingers. And we learned not to cut our fingers with the knife when you sharpened the stick to burn your hotdogs.

Sure didn't cost much to be a scout when I was a kid. Just show up and have fun.
Well, as a former scout leader (cubs and boys) - I can tell you that at the local level, it can get expensive if you have motivated kids earning belt loops, beads, patches, etc... The awards and associated scout paraphenelia are NOT cheap! We'd have a list of all the awards to purchase at council, and sometimes break the pack/troop awards kitty!

I believe fundraising/begging is a somewhat necessary and useful evil to develop skills that will probably come in handy later in life.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:20 AM   #17
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I feel better about it if the kids do something to actually earn the money. A value added activity, even something simple like a car wash, is better than the thinly veiled 'begging' (paying $10 for a $2 candy bar or something).

I think the kids would learn more, and get more self esteem out of actually working for the money. Might be tough for the really young kids, but I bet a little creativity would go a long way.

My daughter was a member of the National Honor Society in HS. A bright, motivated group of kids. One of their 'accomplishments' was a fund-raiser, which basically meant hitting up parents and relatives for $20-$50 donations. I dunno, that is OK I guess, but I would think bright kids could do something more constructive than just re-distribute wealth. How about a little wealth creation to go to their cause? I expect more from the top level HS students.

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Only to the extent that you're making something out of nothing. Of the zillions of minor annoyances that pop into my life, this one isn't even close to bubbling up to the top.......
Geez, I don't think the OP was saying this is the #1 problem facing America today! If we limited every post to top issues, where would we be? No off-tasting milk threads, .....

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Old 10-25-2007, 10:43 AM   #18
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I think there are different categories to the kids fundraising. When i see kids on the street - outside markets, roaming parking lots, or even door-to-door, full of candy bars saying they are raising money for an after school program or something, I don't give - I think it's the adult's jobs to fundraise for those kids programs and the kids shouldn't be sent out in the street to sell this stuff.

If it's a school thing, then i will consider it, but if there is nothing of any value, then I tend to not.

I am sooo happy DS's school so far, opted out of this crap-fest and asked directly for cash donations.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #19
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I just bought outrageously priced Boy Scout popcorn and some pizza coupons from places I don't go to. I did this because they are neighbor kids that I know and like, I never buy from the kids I don't know.

I have never let my kids fundraise. The elementary school they attended luckily had a direct donation drive every year instead of fundraising. Not so for the middle school where there was a hard sell to earn money for "prizes" selling magazine subscriptions. The amount the school got out of the deal was miniscule. Instead, I sent a direct donation to the school. Now it's high school sports clubs and chior trips. No way, either we can afford it or my kid works to earn the money, I refuse to put the burden on friends and neighbors.

And now I'm getting it at work too, with pressure to participate in Combined Federal Campaign activities (raffles, meals, coffee breaks, parties, etc.). I choose to instead write one nice big check each year, that way I can: 1. contribute to the charities of my choice; 2. make sure the full amount goes to charity; 3. claim it on my taxes; 4. chose not to have my name given to the charities; and 5. not buy doughnuts and other stuff I don't need or want.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:38 AM   #20
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Don't get me started on the office wide (all state offices) fundraising united way campaign that lasts for a month - bake sales, silent auctions, walk-athons, lunch time bingo, etc. We are asked to donate items and then purchase them or participate in the activities in addition to mass distribution pledge forms that can accept monthly payroll deduction. A lot of disruption, time and implicit pressure.

Sure, it is good support for local programs, but again, I would rather give directly and without the communal push.
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