Author Topic: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting  (Read 5980 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Emmy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3791
fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« on: September 06, 2013, 03:03:16 PM »
Reading the family thread about opting out of fundraisers made me curious about the fundraisers you have seen/participated/had your kids participate (or opt out).  The fundraiser in that thread sounded pretty awful, overpriced stuff with school logo (which would have a very limited market) that students were expected to sell.  Worse yet is very little of the money goes back to the student.

My worst fundraiser was standing outside a convenience store in my band uniform with a can basically begging for money. 

Other fundraisers I don't like are parents standing by stoplights with can for kids sports teams.  I'm glad to support firefighters in my town in this way because they provide a service for everyone in the town, but I do think kids should do some of the work of fundraising for their own teams.

Some of the best fundraisers I have seen are gift cards to popular stores that give a portion back the organization.  People go grocery shopping and to the drug store anyway, so this fundraiser isn't pushing a product that people don't want or won't use.  Even if the organization only get 3% of the sales, most people would be happy to buy gift cards they will use as opposed to other odds and ends they don't want.

Another good fundraiser is having a restaurant donate a portion of the proceeds for a certain period of time to the organization.  The organization advertises the fundraiser and people simply eat at that restaurant.  It is usually a win/win because the restaurant gets a lot of business from the supporters of the organization.

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1211
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 03:21:28 PM »
Fundraising for coworkers' kids schools is sometimes done at work, but not too much and never any pressure.

One woman used to bring in catalogs that included gift wrapping paper.  It was expensive, but it was beautiful and high quality.  Her kids grew up, and I realized the other day that I really miss that wrapping paper. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

kymom3

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 493
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 03:42:26 PM »
One fundraiser I've done for a group I'm involved with is to get a sponsoring restaurant and pick a night during the week.  The restaurant gives a certain percentage of their sales for the day to the group.  Another fundraiser a different restaurant, that usually isn't open for breakfast, agreed to serve a basic breakfast--pancakes, sausage and juice for a flat price and we got all of that money.

Another one I've mentioned here is that our local racetrack allows nonprofit groups to help clean up during the racemeet.  It's 3 or 4 hours of hard work, but each group makes $500.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 04:02:04 PM »
One of my favorites was when the band paired with local theatres. Band members and family or friends would volunteer to either take tickets or usher at the shows. Instead of getting paid for the work, all the money went into that band member's fundraising account.

Ushers got free comp tickets for the show at a different date. I got to see Aida and The Phantom of the Opera at some of the best theatres in town for free because of it. And there were plenty of opportunities throughout the year.

I know our band hosted a Chris Cakes breakfast every year. We'd sell tickets ahead of time, but it would also be open to the public and they could pay at the door. People would come for a great breakfast. Band members would work at the tables (not making the pancakes though) and take shifts so everyone would get a chance to eat.

We tried one year selling candy and chocolates. It wasn't absolutely terrible, but it wasn't the greatest fundraiser either. But honestly, I can't remember too many more than that. We weren't expected to go out and hawk products for our band.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 04:25:45 PM »
I used to have great success with selling candy bars. I'd put up a sign in the employee kitchen, and then leave the box open (with the envelope of change) in my office. I made a ton--I could have a box going all year long, basically (after the first one, a coworker said, "Can't you just go to Costco/BJs and get a bunch of candy? You can sell it at a markup and give the money to the school. Or heck, keep it!"

And even when my office was right next to the big, open area, and I left it open after hours, w/ the candy very visible, I never had anybody steal candy or money. Some people would even stick a little extra in, so I was always ahead.

It was great, bcs it was actually cheaper than the newsstand in the lobby, and besides, people didn't have to get in the elevator.

And I didn't have to push; I just put up the sign. Also, I felt OK with the lower-earning coworkers' participating. I never felt comfortable asking them to buy stuff (never asked directly; just put up a sign).

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6252
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 04:45:43 PM »
I grew up in a small town in the 70's/80's. The HS band had 2 major fundraisers. One was the "Band Calendar". Local businesses would buy advertising, parents would buy a "birthday notice" for their kids so their name appeared on that date, and then they would sale the calendar. I think they had that same fundraiser for 30 plus years. The other was selling light bulbs. Band members take your order once a year for 4 packs of light bulbs in the wattages you wanted and they'd deliver then about a month later. The fundraiser was so popular that the local stores on kept minimal amount of lightbulbs in stock. I know they did that fundraiser from at least 1968 when we moved to that town (oldest sis was in band) till I was a Jr in 1981. A new band director decided to stop that one and switch to selling sponges and a cleaning solution. It was a major flop and lots of people who were used to having a years supply of lightbulbs on hand found themselves in the dark. 

My son's boy scout troop sells greenery for the Holiday season. Sales start in Sept and the greenery is delivered 2nd week of Dec. The quality of it is really good and the prices seem reasonable. It's the one thing my kids have sold (besides GS cookies) that people call and ask when DS will start taking orders. I like the set up too. Each boy has a reasonable minimum to sell and that goes to covering his costs. Basically sell 3 wreaths and a couple of garlands and your done.  His revenue over that point can then be applied to his costs to cover Summer Camp or High Adventure camps.

My kids also had the wrapping paper sales when they were in grade school. The first year I had sticker shock on the cost. But once I received it, I realized it was really good quality and larger roles than expected. They also had great bows. Now no one seems to sell from that brand anymore and I miss having it. The elementary school near us sales a different brand and I don't like it as much.

The one I really hated was my DD's middle school choir. Her choir director loved a brand of "gourmet" foods. It was powdered dip mixes, and syrups, and salsas. They were outrageously expensive. I was not going to pay $8 for a 8oz jar of salsa nor was I going to ask anyone too, especially after I tasted them and they were plain old salsa. The gourmet dip mixes were glorified ranch dips. The choir director was not happy with me when I told her we would not be participating but that I'd just write a check. She retalliated against my DD which pissed me off more.

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4739
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 05:59:16 PM »
I can't recall all the details of this, but it must have been a fundraiser that benefited my high school--in December you could buy citrus fruit from the school. They had oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines, and several different sizes/combinations that you could buy. I don't remember ever having to "sell" people on it, it was more like the school just advertised that it was happening and enough orders came in to make it worth their while. This was in the Midwest, by the way, so it wasn't like we had oranges just sitting around somewhere. One year I was in an agriculture class and we spent several class periods sorting the fruit as it came in on a truck. Kind of boggles my mind now that they would use school time for that.

Otherwise we were expected to sell stuff like popcorn to benefit our whole class (juniors, seniors, etc.). I was not into it at all and didn't feel like I had anyone I could ask to buy things. Plus, the money went to things I didn't participate in, like Prom. I mean, great for the kids who want to go to Prom and Homecoming and all, but why should *I* do work to support *them*?
~Lynn2000

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6593
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 06:11:21 PM »
Fundraising for coworkers' kids schools is sometimes done at work, but not too much and never any pressure.

One woman used to bring in catalogs that included gift wrapping paper.  It was expensive, but it was beautiful and high quality.  Her kids grew up, and I realized the other day that I really miss that wrapping paper.

Many years ago a CW brought in a catalog for her child's school fund-raiser.  It actually had some very nice things. 

There was a t shirt with the image of zebras that morphed into a UPC.  It read, 'Nature can't be restocked'.  I loved it and still wear it. 

POF

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2617
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 06:12:03 PM »
Our high school band sells pointsettas every - they are great and I always buy 3.

The National Honor Society runs a craft fair annually at the high school.  they rent tables and sell concessions. I think admission is $1.00

I hated the restaurant . com gift cards - I bought these once and they were so restrictive on the times etc - we had a hard time using them. I refused to let DS sell them.

We also had the citrus sales when I was in high school and it was really good tasty fruit ! yum

magician5

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3449
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 06:20:55 PM »
My son came home from college one weekend with the best fundraiser sighting I'd ever heard. It's not a mass-participation thing, but one group of students was raking in the bucks out in the "quad" with just a simple sign: "Pet The Puppy, $1". Absolutely mobbed!
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

daisy1679

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 62
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 06:21:25 PM »
The best fundraiser we had in high school was our "music card" one. For $10, you could buy a card that gave you discounts at several local places (i.e. 10% off at Taco Bell, 5% at the drycleaner, etc. There were about 20 places on the card) that was good for the whole year. We never had any problem selling those, and anyone who bought could easily make their money back (+ more) over the course of the year because the discount was given on every purchase you made that year. Plus, the school got most of the money (just had to pay the cost of creating the card)

Erich L-ster

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 665
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 06:29:58 PM »
The worst I've ever seen was set up at a stoplight at a busy intersection. The group of kids was on the side of the road and swarmed the line of cars that was held hostage by the stoplight.

It was across the intersection from a school and they had adults with them so apparently somebody thought this was a good idea.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 07:31:27 PM »
Fundraising for coworkers' kids schools is sometimes done at work, but not too much and never any pressure.

One woman used to bring in catalogs that included gift wrapping paper.  It was expensive, but it was beautiful and high quality.  Her kids grew up, and I realized the other day that I really miss that wrapping paper.

I will send you my DD's catalog she got the other day and you can stock back up on the wrapping paper!   ;D ;D

The cookie dough/pizzas for preschool was the worst because I sold so dingdangity many of them I had no room in my freezer to put them all before I delivered them!

lilfox

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1782
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 07:41:38 PM »
The fundraisers from when I was in elementary school were the "catalogs of useless junk" type and the incentives for the kids were more useless junk, except since we were kids, we thought plastic yo-yos and big ticket items like skateboards were So Cool!  I realized what a waste of time it was when my parents made me try the door-to-door thing - I absolutely hated that and gave up after a few of our neighbors gently turned me down.

For HS band, I remember holiday greenery was the big seller, and at least one year there were poinsettias and bags of oranges - they might have all been part of the same 'holiday' fundraising effort.  I did NOT go door to door, I think my dad would ask around his office if anyone was interested and we bought some for or placed orders on behalf of relatives.  We also did car washes (fun) and raking yards during/after the falling leaves piled up in the neighborhood around the school (sort of fun), both for donations.

The most mis-guided one was selling boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the streets.  Our group was assigned to a business district.  Turns out, there's not much foot traffic most of the morning after everyone has already arrived at their offices, and very few business types want to buy a whole box of doughnuts anyway.  We did end up selling individual doughnuts to a handful of passersby, but all told it was a bust.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11606
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 07:58:45 PM »
DD's been a kindergartener for all of two weeks and she's already supposed to sell wrapping paper  :-\

My best high school fundraiser: my AP English teacher was retiring the same year I graduated.  He had never gone to the graduation ceremony, but my class was determined to get him to come since he was "graduating" too.  One girl asked him point-blank - if we raised $2000 for the charity of his choice, would he come?  He agreed, so the "$2000 for the class of 2000" was born.  We all worked our tails off because it was something we, the students, were organizing - not something the school pushed on us.  We sold food at the cafeteria, hosted a giant garage sale (that was fun!), even talked the principal into sitting in a dunk tank at a local fair.  And we did get our $2000  ;D

Best college fundraiser: my roommate had a work study job at the greenhouse on campus, and was constantly bringing home plants (they'd trim things and end up with extra seedlings/cuttings).  So we went and bought a ton of cheap clay pots, had the more artistically-inclined dorm members paint them, and planted an assortment of flowers and other greenery in them.  Sold them for $5 and $10 on the quad and made a killing - turns out we weren't the only students who felt the dorms were a bit sterile  :-\

(In an interesting twist, the coleus my roommate brought back freshman year is still going strong.  It's had cuttings transplanted to five states and my parents' house now has a healthy coleus bush descendant next to the driveway!)