Author Topic: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting  (Read 6239 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2013, 07:31:03 AM »
When I was involved with a K9 search-and-rescue team, we often did outreach where we'd go to some local event and let people pet the dogs while we taught kids about dog and outdoor safety.  Sometimes we'd do a fundraiser for whatever (usually animal welfare) group was holding the event - get found!  We'd let kids pay a dollar to go hide behind some nearby trees and have a dog "find" them.  (Not exactly difficult for the dogs - we'd make a big deal about "not letting the dog peek," but usually there were only two or three hiding places the right distance away so the dogs got good at just running to those . . .)  Anyway, the kids always loved it, and they loved getting to choose which dog would come find them.  And the dogs loved getting the exercise instead of just being petted all day  ;D

jmarvellous

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2013, 09:45:52 AM »
Fundraisers I have given to:
  • Girl Scout cookies
  • Boy scout trail mixes
  • Attempted to give to a silent auction and lost
  • Bake sales
  • $1 plant sale
  • Gone to dinner somewhere and found out they were donating profits to a certain group if you mentioned the group, so I "mentioned" it because I didn't mind "donating"
  • Participated in a race that gave to charity

(I do NOT like giving to fundraisers; I will not give to door-to-door salespeople, child or adult, and I will not get an inferior or overpriced product just because it's a fundraiser. I am pretty young to be called a curmudgeon, but so be it.)

Fundraisers I haven't liked but have been ordered to participate in:
  • Candy sales (particularly of the "if you don't sell this candy you have to pay us for it anyway" variety)
  • Wrapping paper/candle/junk sales
  • Random crud catalog sales
  • Magazine sales
  • Coupon book sales
  • Carnivals (on the fence here)
  • Girl Scout calendar sales

I haven't minded doing things I found fun or helpful for a fundraiser, or selling good products at a fair price (fern sales for a dance (they were used as dance decor before sellers brought them to buyers), a responsibly done carwash, and Girl Scout cookies). I can't stand minimums, awful prize incentives, or sales pitches to children!

Tea Drinker

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2013, 02:19:32 PM »
I sometimes donate to/bid in charity auctions (some science fiction conventions have these, usually for a related cause). One year, at one of those, in between the books and knitted sea creatures and oddities, there was "pay to hold the baby for five minutes" because one of the members had brought his twin daughters. (This was at a convention where the auctioneer does a running stand-up routine, making it fun to attend at least for a while even if you don't want to bid.)

I buy Girl Scout cookies (my husband likes thin mints, so first opportunity of the year, I get some, which once included a troop set up near the turnstiles at the Harvard Square subway station), and buy from bake sales if they have something homemade that looks appealing. And I'll buy second-hand clothes from charity shops unless I actively dislike the charity in question, but that's more about either wanting a garment for less, or wanting something at the wrong time of year to find it in other stores.

I don't like fund-raisers of the form "donate money and I will walk X distance/read so many books/etc." because either I'm paying you to do something you enjoy anyhow and that has nothing to do with me*, which seems silly, or it's something pointless. Either way, the person who does the reading or the long walk gets any benefit from it; I don't. I don't mind "Hi, I'm raising money for MS/breast cancer research/AIDS research" but I don't care how many miles you walk or bike, and I really don't want someone hurting themselves by overexertion because they think I'll donate more money that way.

*If I pay for a ticket to a concert, or buy a cake from someone who likes baking, there's enjoyment on both sides; I'm not buying the cake because the baker is having fun, but because I want cake.
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GirlyGirl

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2013, 03:14:25 PM »
I wish more people would do this fundraiser:  http://www.butterbraid.com/

I would love to buy some, but they never do it here.

jillybean

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2013, 03:36:38 PM »
One of the parents at my kids' old elementary school started an annual golf tournament to benefit the PTA that always brings in lots of money.
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artk2002

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2013, 04:21:12 PM »
The boys' elementary school did wrapping paper; the company they used supplied good quality paper. It was also made clear that this was something for parents to do, not kids. It was optional in support of some technology programs and didn't involve competitions or stupid prizes. Just "If you'd like to support program X, here's the web site for wrapping paper sales. Just use our school's code so we get credit."

For the whole school (K-12), the parents association sells scrip for a number of businesses. You buy $25 of scrip and the school gets a percentage. As an alternative, they have an arrangement with at least one supermarket chain so that by tying your loyalty card to the school, the school gets some money each time you make a purchase. (They used to use scrip for this chain, but the loyalty card thing is easier.)

There's a big fundraising event every spring. They rotate the activity. There's an art show one year and the next year they have a "cabaret," which is a variety show put on by students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni; I've avoided it for many reasons, but I'm told that the show is amazing -- there are some very talented alumni at this school. For each of these there's a silent auction and a raffle of some nice prizes that have been donated by families and businesses. We usually bid on a few items, although we've never won anything.  (Actually, there are three events in rotation, but I've forgotten what the 3rd one is!)

Finally, there's a straight up annual appeal. Not too intrusive: We get one phone call and a couple of letters during the year. Some of the annual fund goes to teacher salaries and since my ex is a teacher, we don't donate a whole lot to that one. Nobody's complained about my $50/year. We donate so that the percentage remains high -- that's something that people giving grants look for.

Some of the school clubs (particularly the middle school) will do a regular bake sale or ice-cream sale at lunch to raise funds for their activities. My ex sponsored the animal rescue club which raised funds to donate to animal shelters.

There are no explicit sports or music fundraisers that I know of. I imagine that snack bar sales at games go to supporting the programs but that's about it. Students are expected to buy their sport "kit" (uniform, bag, warm up suit) and if they can't afford it, there's some financial aid.

I should note that this is a private school, so all funding comes from tuition, grants and fundraisers.
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Lynn2000

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2013, 04:51:19 PM »
Someone I know lost her mother to cancer a few years ago, so she and her musically-inclined friends do a variety show every year to raise money for research for that cancer. I've never attended but I'm told it's well-done and substantial, as well as genuine and emotional--a lot of the performers are similarly people who've lost someone to the cancer. So presumably the majority of the money taken in actually does go to some other program that supports the cancer research, as opposed to just paying for the group's expenses in putting on the show--I sometimes start to wonder, as fundraisers get fancier and fancier, how much money actually goes to whatever charity/group they're promoting.
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TootsNYC

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2013, 05:32:31 PM »
Though remember that as the show gets fancier / is more heavily promoted, it RAISES more money. Much more money than you'd be able to raise if you didn't spent the money to make it a really great show, or to pull in more participants/ticket buyers.

So percentage doesn't necessarily tell the story. There's a great TED talk about that.


Because, really, this is what's going on
Fundraisers I have given to:
  • Girl Scout cookies
  • Boy scout trail mixes
  • Attempted to give to a silent auction and lost
  • Bake sales
  • $1 plant sale
  • Gone to dinner somewhere and found out they were donating profits to a certain group if you mentioned the group, so I "mentioned" it because I didn't mind "donating"
  • Participated in a race that gave to charity

Actually, nobody is *giving* to a fundraiser when they buy Girl Scout cookies or plants.

You are purchasing a product.  It's a business proposition, actually. (The rest of jmarvellous' post actually makes that very clear.)

And if that product is not good enough, you  might not buy. The better the product (and it takes money to produce a more enjoyable and high-quality concert--especially if you are going to be charge more money for it), the more likely you'll get purchasers, and purchasers willing to pay more money.

And if you can't advertise, you won't have as big a market. It's completely a business situation.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2013, 05:38:08 PM »
I'm a member of a costuming group (I've mentioned it elsewhere) and our chosen charity supports families with premature babies. Every year at conventions we raise heaps of money, and most people do give after a photo when they hear about our charity, especially parents.

gentlebutterfly

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2013, 05:44:55 PM »
My best and worst fundraisers both came from my high school band.

The best one we did was sell Christmas trees. We had a stand in town and people could come buy their trees from us. It was low pressure and it got us outside in the December air (this was Florida, so it was nice in Dec.) and actively participating in the fundraiser.

The worst one was trying to sell Vidalia onions. We were supposed to sell them by the 5 pound bag, but no one really wanted 5 pounds of onions. I think we were supposed to try to sell them to local restaurants and such, but most of us just ended up selling a bag or two to our parents. The truck with all the onions came during a period when I was in band, and we had a substitute that day. I remember having to help unload the onions off the truck and pile them into the band library... not so fun.

kherbert05

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2013, 06:01:08 PM »
Variation on the Christmas tree one. The Boy Scouts used to collect the dead Christmas trees and take them down to the beaches that were had erosion problems. The trees were placed along the dunes to help trap the sand and rebuild the dunes.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2013, 06:05:49 PM »
According to Stephen Fry, zoos like old Christmas trees. They give them to the elephantsand the polar bears.

lilfox

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2013, 07:41:14 PM »
This thread keeps bringing back memories - before I would have said I probably did fewer than 5 fundraisers, but now I'm recalling many more.  So thanks for that, internet, I had just about blocked out all that stuff.   :P ;D

In addition to the ones I mentioned earlier, I remember participating in a skip-a-thon (jumping rope), a rock-a-thon (rocking chairs), and a swim-a-thon (swimming laps).  The first two were elem school and ridiculous in hindsight.  I doubt I even signed up more than a few "sponsors," since everyone we knew and socialized with were also kids/parents at this same school (small overseas community).  Also, seriously?  Rocking a chair for an hour for probably a couple of dollars total is just inane, and I don't remember much about the skip a thon but given the age group involved, I'm guessing our attention spans gave out long before our energy did.

The swimming one, though, that was a pretty big effort.  Since it was to raise money for the swim team road trips, at least we a) were doing something physically taxing to earn it and b) improving our skills and endurance doing the very thing we'd be competing at in what was effectively a bonus extra-long practice session.

I've also done a few charity runs, where the entry fee is the donation (though I wish they'd use more for the fundraising and less on the included ill-fitting t-shirt or other swag I'll never use).  I like those because I feel like I'm doing something healthy for me while benefiting the charity.  On the other side, there are others like some of the 24 hour charity walks that just seem excessively prolonged, I can appreciate the dedication someone might feel to do that while still thinking that is not the greatest use of one's time and energy.

Bluenomi

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2013, 07:46:08 PM »
When I was at school fudge was popular. $1 per bar which made it the cheapest of all the fundraising lollies/chocolates going around and it was really, really good fudge. We'd actually hunt down the girls who were selling it.

I couldn't have made a bucket during the school read a thon since I was a huge reader but they didn't believe I'd actually read that many books and made me reduce the number. Just because most other people barely managed to finished a book or 2  ::)

Someone at work has the fundraising chocolates set up and she does a roaring trade. It's cheaper than what the cafe here sells and easier to get too. Plus when she orders it, I get to help pick  ;D

Daycare's best so far has been the Hot Cross Buns at easter. They come from a good quality bakery and are actually cheaper than buying in store and get delivered the Thursday before easter having been baked that day. Daycare get a pretty good cut as well which is nice.

One of the worst are the sports teams washing windows at traffic lights. Accident waiting to happen that one.

dawnfire

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2013, 07:50:22 PM »
another good one done by my sons school. It was a school cookbook. family submitted favorite recipes and they were collated and made into a book. It sold for about $5-10