Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fundraisers

I hate fundraisers.  I said it.  I don't feel badly at all.  I acknowledge the need for fundraising.  I contribute in fundraisers and I know that fundraising efforts done (by our school specifically) have improved my children's education.  I am grateful for the opportunities it provides and I look forward to more.

But we are doing it wrong.  We as a society are doing it wrong.  Fundraising is less about raising money and more about the event.  We are having walks and runs in the name of awareness and cure.  We get totes, t-shirts and keychains to tell the world "I made a difference".  But the reality is only a portion of the profit goes to the charity in question; much more of the money is spent on paying a corporation to organize the walk, pay for the t-shirts and materials.

As a Girl Scout mom I have discovered the same thing when selling Girl Scout Cookies.  A very small portion actually goes back to my daughter's troop.  I wonder why we are spending so many hours selling cookies to get back less than $1 per box sold.

I personally have opted to donate directly to the school.  I no longer participate in Dine Out nights where just 20% of my total bill goes to the school.  Instead I donate at the beginning of the school year when I know the school will keep 100% of the money.

The most recent incarnation of these fundraisers are carnivals.  Not only are they outrageously expensive, but they are simply unattainable to our family.  The price is $20 for an unlimited wrist band per person.  I have 4 children that will want to play games, plus food.  We will top out at $100 for 3 hours of fun.  That's quite a chunk of change.  I know that $100 of that money will not be kept for the organization, because I know how many trinkets and lollipops we end up with at the end of the day.  I wonder what the actual profit is?

I would really like for organizations to just ask for money; no more trinkets, incentives, or selling.  Think of how much more money the organization would retain and how much less I would have to spend.  

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