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Parents Talk: Frustration Over Fundraisers

School fundraisers - a good cause or a pain in the neck?

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend about her frustration with a school fundraiser.

Her daughter, a kindergartner, had just come home with materials to help raise money for her school. Instead of forcing her to sell items like wrapping paper or candles, she opted to make a donation to the school instead.

A day after she made the donation, her daughter came home in tears because she found out that because she didn't actually sell anything, she didn't qualify for the prizes. If you're 5 years-old, not getting a trinket like all your friends can be devastating.

What do you think? Are school fundraisers just asking too much of parents and students? Should there be a grade level where fund-raising begins? Tell us in the comments.

Avril F October 10, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I think any sort of fundraiser can be problematic. If you decline doing the packets, but instead have a local business sponsor an activity...then you are making the school a venue for advertising. For the poster who stated public schools can't mandate participation in fundraisers, that isn't made very clear. In the ICCSD music and sports kids of a certain age are required to participate in Kinnick cleanup on Sunday mornings. It isn't presented as optional at all. In fact if you go to a football game you can hear numerous reminders about these cleanups.
PaulRevere October 10, 2012 at 07:51 PM
TIME TO RIOT!? Maybe all these fundraisers are an omen for what is coming. TUITION for Public Schools. Now how is that for simplicity. No more fundraisers. Why not get a serious Petition to make Public schools and their Teachers accountable to the Parents. Ever ask why your Real Estate taxes are not enough to support ALL the costs of using Public Schools? It is time to change how schools are funded. All Parents should vote out mandatory Teacher unions and their massive Pays/Pensions and demand Regular paid teachers just like the Private schools use. Guarantee you will all SAVE big Real estate taxes, if you do that. No more Fundraisers---EVER!.
William October 10, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Public schools do not have the authority to require students to participate in ANY fundraising activity whether it be selling overpriced junk, cleaning up, or donating cupcakes for a bake sale. If this is not the case in the ICCSD, then this practice should be reported to the Iowa Department of Education. Students can participate in extra curricular activities, including sports and music, and decline to participate in any and all fundraising activities associated with that participation. Of course, some coaches do not make it clear that participation is voluntary because they desire the funds kids raise, but nonetheless, all fund raising done by students cannot be mandatory.
Gary W October 18, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Fundraisers are a thing of the past. I send a check to my kid's school each year and my company matches that gift for which we both receive a tax deduction.
csporty October 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I personally think fundraisers are a great way to teach children at a young age the basics of selling merchandise. Face it, we all end up selling something in our adult years! Whether owning your own store and selling material items, or running for an office and selling your own ideas, at some point in time learning how to convince others that they need what you have becomes important. We have two children and at one point we had five fundraisers going at the same time, so I understand what parents are saying, it's just that I have a different perspective. In today's world success is more about who you know, and if your children sell to the same group each year they are gaining contacts that will last a lifetime. Our daughter is a great example, her childhood fundraising contacts wrote some fabulous scholarship letters that ended up paying for almost all of her first year in college. And yes, we take our children out, in rain, snow or sunshine. It's a perfect way for families to spend time together.

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