On School Fundraisers.

Last week at work, we printed 2 different fliers as well as the envelopes used for a local school fundraising company. You know, the cookie dough and kitchen essentials (in this case) stuff that your grandchildren and/or coworkers children beg you to buy every year.

What I find amazing (and sad) about these fundraisers is that everyone can agree that the stuff is too expensive and the actual amount of money going to the schools is too low and yet, it’s still the preferred way to donate! I was talking with my 60 year old coworker and said it was sad that no one donates money unless they get something in return for it and she agreed with me. I then made an off hand comment about how food banks would actually prefer to receive money so that they can buy the food directly from the manufacturers at a discount. She told me that she’d never donate that way because you never know where the money actually goes (how many hands it passes through). I agree with that point and am usually the first to complain when 80% of the funds raised by an organization go towards “operating expenses”. Later, she mentioned that her grandkids would be bringing a similar fundraiser to her soon enough and she hoped that it was something worth buying. I laughed when I reiterated that no one donates without getting something, but it probably went over her head.

Why should we pay $10 for the ice cream scoop we don’t need or $14 so we can make 40 chocolate chip cookies when we know that the classroom might only get $5 or $9 (if that much) rather than the full amount we’ve paid? Why not give the teacher the $10 or $14? Are we afraid that she’ll pocket the money instead of using it to buy crayons? I’ve heard a lot of parents complain enough when they spend a small fortune buying their kids school supplies only to find out that the supplies are pooled together and split between all the children in the classroom. Because we all know that the other parents didn’t do their job buying their kids supplies (sarcasm intended).

As it is, I guess these fundraisers seem like the safest way to donate to schools and hey, at the very least, even if the school doesn’t see a penny of the funds, at least the donor got something for their money.

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