Author Topic: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting  (Read 6529 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2013, 07:55:37 PM »
Years ago, I was purchasing something at a shop, and noticed a large "Donate to Charity X" sign at the counter. There was, unusually, no indication of what Charity X was for, just lots of pictures of smiling people. I asked about it to the gentleman who was working at the till. He explained that the charity was a con, gave me some basic information on how it operated, and implored me to do my own research and not just take his word for it. I then asked why he would have donation containers for Charity X placed so prominently. He said it was so that people would ask and he could inform them of the scam. Several of his family members had lost quite a bit of money on it, apparently.

I looked it up and it seems like he was right. I saw similar donation tins at other places and avoided them. A few years later, the "charity" was shut down for its less-than-legal practices (stealing the bank account information of people who donated, for one thing).

Tea Drinker

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2013, 10:59:37 PM »
I'm reminded of a fundraiser I saw quite a few years ago, at Powell's City of Books, in Portland, Oregon (an excellent bookstore). There was a large sign over the cash registers that said that if you wanted them to donate 10% of what you spent to the local schools, just say "It's for kids" when you check out. I don't know how much that raised for the schools--the cashier seemed a little surprised when I said it--and I hope the goodwill and publicity were worth it to them.

Yes, logically, they could have just quietly written a check to the Portland school district for however much they felt like, but this is sort of the reverse of the stores that ask me to donate to charity: rather than asking me to let them use my money to later announce "XYZ Corp helped raise $$$$ for charity in 2013" it's entirely their money: this wasn't even "we will match your donation," it was "say the magic word and the duck will give 10% of what you spend to charity."
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Library Dragon

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2013, 11:22:46 PM »
I'm reminded of a fundraiser I saw quite a few years ago, at Powell's City of Books, in Portland, Oregon (an excellent bookstore). There was a large sign over the cash registers that said that if you wanted them to donate 10% of what you spent to the local schools, just say "It's for kids" when you check out. I don't know how much that raised for the schools--the cashier seemed a little surprised when I said it--and I hope the goodwill and publicity were worth it to them.

Yes, logically, they could have just quietly written a check to the Portland school district for however much they felt like, but this is sort of the reverse of the stores that ask me to donate to charity: rather than asking me to let them use my money to later announce "XYZ Corp helped raise $$$$ for charity in 2013" it's entirely their money: this wasn't even "we will match your donation," it was "say the magic word and the duck will give 10% of what you spend to charity."

Love Powell's!

We do something similar called Businesses for Books.  We advertise that during X period Y business will give % to the Library Foundation. It's been done for lawyers, tax prep, gift stores, etc. Smaller businesses get the benefit of our advertising for them.

My favorite HS fundraiser was for our thespian troupe. We sold bagels and cream cheese during morning break.  We never had to market, there was always a line.

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Thipu1

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2013, 09:37:36 AM »
When I was a child, the Lutheral church would have the annual 'Ball and Chain' dinner.  This was held in the church hall and was a served meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes and the best Cole slaw I have ever tasted. 

You could see through the kitchen pass-through that the food was being prepared by the ladies but the servers were members of the church men's club.  Just about everybody in town looked forward to this and it always sold out.   

Also, the local volunteer fire department had a Christmas tree sale with a twist.  They sold Scotch Pines and, at the time, these were a novelty. Other lots didn't sell them.  They were more expensive than the average tree but they were beautifully full. 

Buying one of these trees became a point of honor because everyone who visited your home during the holiday season would know that you supported the fire department. 


Hmmmmm

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2013, 12:18:56 PM »
Reading these reminded me of ones from my childhood that weren't school focused. I think my favorites were the ones where I got to eat.

The local Rotary club did an annual pancake supper to raise funds for the volunteer fire department. I loved going as a child. All the men wore goofy aprons and chefs hats and had pancake flipping contests.
The Lion's club did a spaghetti dinner and "dinner theater" where they'd do silly skits usually lampooning the town leaders.
I remember attending lots of chili suppers where the donations usually went to offset medical costs for a local family in need.
But my absolute favorite was a small town where some friends of my parents lived who had an annual fried chicken dinner. Oh, that was the best fried chicken anywhere and they aslo had some light as a feather yeast rolls that I can still smell 30 years later.

My town also did the annual "put someone in jail" and they had to raise their bail to get out. While doctors and police officers didn't get arrested, most of the business men or women got arrested every few years. I remember one year the HS principal got arrested. As the teachers were raising money for his bail, the students were raising money to "bribe" the sheriff and judge to keep him in. The student's won so he spent the entire day in jail and everyone got a good laugh about it.

twiggy

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2013, 12:48:12 PM »
I was in HS in 2001, and several groups raised money for the red cross after 9/11. StuCo was doing a walk a thon, but it kind of flopped, and the football team did something also, but it didn't earn much either. One teacher just went down to Costco and bought a few boxes of tootsie roll pops. Anyone who wanted to could get a box and sell the suckers for a quarter each. He also had the box in his classroom and he bent the no food/drink in class rule to allow us to eat the suckers in class. That was wildly successful. But, he hadn't gotten prior approval from administration, so he had to stop. Same teacher also paid to have t-shirts made up. They had our school name in block letters with the letters's background being the American flag. He paid for the shirts to be printed, sold them for $20 and put all the money in the School Donation To Red Cross fund. Both of his fundraisers were more successful individually than the other clubs/organizations combined.

I remember one year in elementary school the Chess Club sold pies at Thanksgiving. That was very successful, but only lasted one year because the pies were all home made. And my dad was the coach. So, when all the volunteers backed out, Mom ended up doing all the baking, and Dad had to deliver all over town. You see, my aunt was a producer for a local news program, so we (a bunch of cute grade schoolers) got to be on the weather segment plugging our pie sale. The house smelled amazing all the way to Christmas, but we didn't have any pies for our family Thanksgiving dinner, and Mom didn't make cookies that year either :(
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2013, 02:48:37 PM »
Interestingly, tonight and tomorrow I'm going to restaurant fundraisers (the kind that donate a percentage of proceeds to an organization).  Tonight is for soccer and tomorrow is for my daughter's school.

I am a sucker for wrapping paper sales, since the wrapping paper is generally cute and very high quality.  Unfortunately, my sources for wrapping paper keep drying up as kids get older and change schools, or coworkers leave the company for better opportunities.

One of my favorite fundraisers was by a fire house near where I used to live -- they'd set up a car wash in a parking lot and use the fire hose to wash the cars.  It was a lot of fun, and they did a really good job.  (And I'm sure that's why there was always a long line of women waiting to get their cars washed.  :))

daisy1679

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #52 on: September 10, 2013, 03:14:59 PM »
I just remembered the "Kiss The Pig" contest my high school did as well. There a 4-5 teachers involved, each teacher had a jar in the office. Kids would put money in the jar over a short period of time (I think it was two weeks), and whichever teacher had the most money in "their" jar had to kiss a pig at the next assembly. That was wildly popular with the students, for obvious reasons. (And the teachers involved had all volunteered for it, no one was forced). If I remember right, the principal "won"  ;D

My sons school just does a "Fun Run" like most of the schools around here. This is their only PTO fundraiser, and although each student has a "goal" for donation (usually $50), you can pay yourself or ask others to donate. We usually just ask the grandparents for whatever they want to give, and pay the rest ourselves. Then on fun run day, the kids run/walk laps around the track. Although the laps are recorded, you don't get anything special for it (and no prizes based on how much money you raised either). The PTO always exceed their goal although I think that's partially because the individual goal is set higher than needed (I added it up one year, if every kid had sent in the $50 individual goal, they would have raised almost twice what the total goal was, so I assume they set it high knowing some kids won't bring in $50, and some will exceed it)

RebeccainGA

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2013, 03:39:48 PM »
I was the editor and fundraiser in chief for a cookbook in high school, raising money for our drama program. Got the paper donated, the printing donated, the binding donated (three different companies) and we put it together with recipes from parents and staff. I still have one, and use it occasionally - it made buckets of money, because there wasn't any overhead (volunteer labor and donated materials).

I also did a fundraiser for Heifer International with the middle school class I taught at church - we had fancy yarn donated, the kids and I (mostly me, unfortunately) made hats with the yarn looms I brought in, and sold them at the annual craft fair at church. We did raise a few hundred dollars, but it was a LOT of work.

daen

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2013, 04:54:36 PM »
I was once on the bus when a couple of girls I had never seen before got on carrying very familiar boxes - the brown cardboard boxes with the World's Finest fundraiser logo on it, the ones that held my favourite chocolate-covered almonds. They sat down behind me and started talking about the fundraiser.

After a stop or two, I turned around and said, "Excuse me. Are you selling chocolate-covered almonds? Because I'll buy a box if you are." The girls looked surprised, and hurried to pull out a box for me. Probably the easiest sale they made that day.

(I would have bought a box from each of them, but I was low on cash.)

Also regarding WF chocolate-covered almonds - when my older cousin was selling them and I was in elementary school, I emptied my piggy bank (with parental permission) to buy a box. Ever after, when I was doing any kind of fundraising, my cousin would always contribute at least a little something, because I had once spent all my money to buy something from her.

mime

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2013, 07:31:03 PM »
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

I love this idea! I can picture my middle child wanting to do this again and again and again!

I just had some teens from a football team come to my door selling a set of keychain tags with discounts for a few area shops (5cents off per gallon of gas, get a free bagel at the cafe, etc.) The tags were $20 and re-usable for a year. One of the tags was for a $25 gift card for a warehouse club when you renew your membership. $25 from them is almost as good as cash for me, so I come out $5 ahead right away. That was an easy sale!

I remembered another fundraiser that was so dis-liked that it was eventually stopped: a toilet is placed on a church member's front lawn. It was then up to that church member to contact the youth group and pay them $50 to have it moved to another member's lawn. Sure, the idea is kind of cute ("hey, mime! why's there a toilet in your yard  ;D?", and an amusing photo-op), but it was a problem with some neighborhood covenants. A member could pay $50 "insurance" upfront to keep the toilet from ever getting placed in their yard, but after a bazillion fund raisers from the youth group that were basically "gimme some money!", this felt like "gimme some money or else!"

baglady

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2013, 10:06:33 PM »
I really dislike those stand-in-the-middle-of-traffic-and-collect-money things. I consider them obnoxious, intrusive and a traffic hazard. I admit my extreme dislike is fueled by an incident years ago when I was *very* eager to get out of town for a weekend, and traffic was delayed by one of these coin drops/barrel drives (so named because they had one of those orange barrels used to divert traffic in road construction zones standing out in the road).

I don't know if they still do it, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving had a fundraiser where they sold red ribbons with the M.A.D.D. logo. You were supposed to tie them to your car antenna to show you support the cause. My problem was with the name of the campaign: "Tie One On for Safety."

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Pen^2

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2013, 08:00:40 AM »
... I'm not sure what's wrong with "tie one on for Mother's Day," but I'm guessing it's a euphemism of some sort?

I really, really love buying ribbons for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. I can never manage to make them look decent on my clothing, so I put them on my bag. It has several dozen of them all over it! When there are those temporary stalls of people in shopping malls selling them to raise money, they'll approach me as I come near but then see my bag and sort of say, "Oh sorry, I didn't realise you'd already bought one, so I won't bother you." I'll respond with, "I want more please!"

I can see that selling small snacks (chocolates, sweets, etc.) might be preferable to some people over ribbons, which aren't useful over limited decoration, but my bag looks fabulous, so there :P

RebeccainGA

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2013, 09:27:18 AM »
Tie one on is a euphemism for drinking alcohol to excess - for a group like MADD, not something they should be advocating.

Kari

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Re: fundraisers - good, bad, and interesting
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2013, 09:49:31 AM »
I've seen some interesting fund-raisers around my city. Often kids hold signs for their school or sports team and shout at cars for money, rattling their tin cans. But my favorite are the ones who work for it: a group of students will set up a drum line and play on the sidewalk. When done in high-traffic areas, I've seen them march into the street during red lights to perform for the cars. So long as they get out of the way by the time the green light comes, I enjoy the show. Also, I get a kick out of the little boys dressed up in suits who sell pie on the island in the middle of the street. Baked goods! Brought to your car door by well-dressed, polite children! What magic is this?