School Fundraising

by Jeannie Vogel

When our school sold chocolate bars as a fundraiser, the school offered a cash reward to the student who was the top seller. After our daughter, Karis, approached friends and family, we challenged her to think of other people to contact. One local dealership had a name similar to the chocolate bar's name. So Karis decided to ask the owner, Patsy Lou, to give away candy bars with each car sold since they were both "world class."

I drove her to the dealership, but she marched in alone to meet Patsy Lou. Karis came out grinning broadly. Patsy Lou had bought 10 cases of candy bars, saying she was impressed by Karis' confidence and business sense. Karis won the contest and the $100 prize. Her initiative and creativity helped her achieve her goals.

Fundraisers are more than just a way to support your child's school; they're also an opportunity to help your child learn valuable life skills.

When determining whether to become involved in a fundraiser, you will need to decide how much time and money to dedicate to this effort. Including your kids in this discussion will help teach them time and money management. If a simple donation is more cost effective, have your child contribute a small percentage. If your family chooses to participate in the fundraiser, here's how to give your child the best experience:

Safety first. Since fundraisers involve money and the public, always discuss good safety measures with your children. For example, organize groups of at least two children, and make sure a parent or other adult is present. Caution your child against going into homes, opting instead to remain outside when making a sale. Also have your child collect money in a pocket or zippered pouch that's kept hidden.

Manners count. Kids can practice people skills when fundraising. Encourage them to make eye contact, speak clearly and remain upbeat even when someone turns them away. Learning to smile and say a polite thank you when rejected is a skill that will reap benefits in life.

Achieving goals takes work. When parents do the work, kids miss out on the pride of achievement. Encourage your child to explore creative ways to sell his product. Join him in the effort, but let him take the lead. Encourage your child to focus on personal goals rather than competing for a prize.


Copyright © 2011 Jeannie Vogel. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.

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