I've been thinking about our annual school fundraisers. Yes, my son is selling cookie dough and coupon books. While I think it is important for kids to learn that it takes money to run the school programs, it's very difficult for me, my family, and my friends to support each other's schools. I mean, how many candy bars, coupon books, and popcorn tins does a family need? And not ALL the money we pay for these items goes to the school - only a percentage of the sales is directed into the school.
At Benjamin's last school, they requested a donation from each child and/or family - not mandatory, mind you. They suggested $65 payable to the school's PTO to be used for various needs at the school. While it was so easy just to write the check each year, I realize not all families can spare $65...or even spare $5! Additionally, just having the parents write a check doesn't really teach the students about supporting their school. Oh, the school also had a fundraiser where families would donate items or services and ask area businesses to do the same. Then they would have an auction and dinner in the spring. Yes, this is another expensive way to raise funds, but the money did go directly to the school because all items were donated.
So I have been thinking about all these school fundraisers and how we could possibly approach this differently. I recall as a teenager, there was a "slave day" at the church, where families would be able to take home a teenager to do chores around the house and yard. They would pay money to the youth group instead of paying the student for his or her time...hence the term "slave day". With most kids at a school living in nearby neighborhoods, this probably wouldn't work too well. And again, many families just don't have the money to donate to schools.
Another thought I had was to have a child sign up for a chore at the school and have a specific Saturday in the fall and spring set aside for things like cleaning the desks, cleaning up the school grounds, washing windows, working in the flower beds, etc. Parents, neighbors, grandparents, etc. could "sponsor" a child for the time or chore they completed. This way, the student builds pride in his school and works to get the money sponsored for their chores. Students would solicit money from parents, grandparents, neighbors, businesses, etc. for either the number of hours they put in or the number of chores they did or something like that. There could be a prize for the student who rasied the most money, one for the student who put in the most hours or completed the most chores, but these prizes should be limited to something small to eliminate spending a lot of the proceeds destined for the school on the student.
Am I crazy? Does anyone else feel this way about fundraising?