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Fundraising And The Misery It Brings

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

If there is one event that I shy away from, it is fundraising. It is made worse when I know the item that is being pawned off is not good. Having two youths involved in activities, I have become too familiar with this event, and I shall always hate it.

Walking door to door in blustery 40° weather is no fun as an adult. Watching a child do the same while trying to sell and item I do not think is very good is horrible. Youth 2 spent an hour of our time visiting approximately twenty houses only to sell to two houses. Two other houses donated. This can be considered a 20% success rate for our hour of pain. Hearing how rude some people are is saddening. The next day, Youth 1 and Youth 2 spent an hour selling in a snow storm. The success rate was much better. For their pain, I washed the dishes and took out the garbage as they were selling.

The problem with this fundraiser is my two youths are expected to sell their entire allotment. If they do not, they are then expected to purchase the leftover or the parents are expected to do the same. Sorry. I can not justify taking money out of the budget an alterating the needs of the family.

Every parent dreads doing this. We understand the necessity of it. The biggest problem of fundraising is the item that is to be sold. The majority of items are not desired. Often times the items are overpriced candy or pizza. There are cheap items that can be purchased. This makes selling very difficult. Now apply the door to door selling approach and you have pain for all.

I have been on fundraising committees. That too is no fun. The goal was always to find an item a person would want and target that individual. Flowers are an example. Depending on the time of year, flowers can be a wanted item and churches are a nice place to sell. If you can negotiate a fair price with a nursery, your selling price will be in line with the market. We did that. In fact our prices were slightly cheaper. The goal was to minimize the pain to the participating families and provide an item the customer wants. When you sell $1,000 of flowers on a first time fundraiser without pressuring, you are doing something right.

I still hate fundraisers. A saleperson I’m not. Doing all of the leg work to set up the function is more enjoyable.

Next in line for Youth 2 is another fundraiser for soccer. Sigh. We will be given the pizza forms or whatever it is to sell. We will buy $20 worth of items we don’t want and return the form. At some point, my neighbors will dread seeing us. That is why we limit what my children sell. This current fundraiser is all my children will sell. The pizza forms will not be sold.

Having lived on all sides of fundraising, I find no pleasure. I have purchased items from sellers, sold and run fundraisers. None of it is fun. I am actually counting down to the days I no longer need to sell. Youth 1 is less than a year. Youth 2 has five or six years left.

Have I mentioned I hate fundraisers.

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