An informal poll re: school fundraisers

Part of my new PTA role involves running the school fundraiser, which means I get to hear lots of pitches.  A parent approached me yesterday to tell me that she’d had it up to here with the cookie-dough sales and peanut-chocolate turtles (and was I aware of the peanut-allergy epidemic?) and other tchotchkes that families were expected to buy in order to support the kids and their school.  Why couldn’t she just write a check and be done with it?

I thanked her for her candor and told her I’d keep her suggestion in mind.

For me, working on the PTO board is like living on another planet.  I’m the new kid and have little knowledge of what’s viewed as acceptable with regard to fundraising.  In order to raise funds, do schools have to sell things that nobody wants?  On one hand, I know there are folks who enjoy the traditional fundraisers, and some view it as a way to teach their own kids. On the other hand, the woman who approached me yesterday wasn’t the first to express that particular view.

So I thought, since most of live nowhere near Small Town, Michigan, many of you can offer a non-biased perspective.  So, whether you’re a parent or a student or someone who likes to contribute to these things -or just someone with an opinion…what’s your take?

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8 thoughts on “An informal poll re: school fundraisers

  1. joeyfullystated May 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm Reply

    I have written checks in lieu of purchasing cookie dough, and my PTO was grateful. One woman even commented that it made much less work for her.
    I have given cash donations to Boy Scouts, and received them as a volunteer in Girl Scouts, so I think it’s fairly common.

    • Julia Weston May 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm Reply

      That’s good to hear. I’d like to at least make it an option for parents who’d rather go that route. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Miss P May 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm Reply

    GOOD LUCK!!! I have done this in the past and it is very hard to get some people involved.

    • Julia Weston May 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

      Thanks – you’re not kidding! I’m going to do my best :) I keep getting, “aw, look at the new girl, all enthusiastic” looks lol! We’ll see how it goes. Thanks for commenting!

  3. School Fundraisers May 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply

    Having worked with thousands of school fundraisers, the most successful fundraisers consist of selling things people ACTUALLY like, want or need. Unfortunately, this eliminates a lot of your traditional school fundraisers like candy or cookie dough. But, the good news is that there are plenty more products out there that fall into the like/want/need category. Good luck!

    • Julia Weston May 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply

      That IS good news. That’s what we need – fresh ideas! Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. kyrielleadelshine May 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply

    I’d say offer a choice between a pledge for worthwhile kid activity -or- (choice being key if possible) to have some sort of “everyday stuff” catalogue to purchase from (i.e. groceries) that the school gets a percentage off. That latter is what my nephew’s school did and it made sense to me. That being said, I am neither PTO member, parent or school aged child, lol, so who knows. Just an idea :0)

  5. queenzdesire12 November 20, 2013 at 12:42 am Reply

    Hey !! Just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!! :) Check it out at:

    http://queenzdesire.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/maheshwari-sarees-scarfs-and-stoles/

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