Author Topic: Kids' fundraisers  (Read 1828 times)

o2bfree

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Kids' fundraisers
« on: May 22, 2017, 11:40:31 AM »
A coworker just popped into my office and handed me a catalog and form to buy junk food I don't want for a fundraiser for his kid's elementary school. This sort of annoys me because

1. I already pay taxes to support schools.

2. I have no kids, so my tax share already goes to other peoples' kids.

3. I've heard that most of the money for these fundraisers goes to the company that handles the products, not to the cause. I haven't looked into this myself though.

4. He used the hard-sell method, not just leaving the packet in a public area for people to see, but coming into my office to push the goods.

I feel put on the spot and will probably buy something. But I don't feel good about it.

How do you handle these fundraisers?

phred

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 11:55:12 AM »
I always ask how much of the sale price is the organization's/school's cut.  I then write out a check for a little more than that and hand it to them.

Sadly, the school tax no longer covers fripperies

Frankies Girl

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 11:55:28 AM »
"I'm so sorry, but I don't buy stuff like this."

Said with a pleasant expression.

Hand back the brochure and walk away.

If they persist or use hard sale tactics, then the blank stare and confusion type response usually works.

coworker: "Oh come on! It's to help little TiffanieLynn get prizes! Just find something on there - you could just give it to someone as a gift!"

You (looking puzzled): "Oh, no thanks. I don't need anything." And hold out the brochure to them so they take it back. If they don't, throw it away as soon as they leave (if they insist on leaving it with you).

And then either excuse yourself to go do something "I need to go see Bernetha about this invoice, so I'll see you later!" or just walk away. They'll get huffy likely, but who cares?

And if they are REALLY rude and in your face, I'd actually tell them so: "Hey, I don't know if you realize it, but you're coming across pretty aggressive about trying to get me to buy this stuff. I've already told you no several times, and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop harassing me to buy things I don't want."

And if they are REALLY REALLY rude... I'd go tell your HR department and get them to shut this asshole down (because someone that is that aggressive and rude really needs to be told that harassing coworkers to buy their kid's stupid school fundraiser stuff is not a good use of work-related time).

bognish

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 12:16:05 PM »
I only do kid fund raisers if the kid does the asking and if its a sale the kid delivers. I look at it as the kid learning how to work, not the most efficient charitable giving. If its a fund raiser and not a sale I usually donate to match the amount the kid has given from their own money.

nobody123

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 12:38:55 PM »
We have an unwritten policy that management can't sell their kids' crap at work (to avoid any sort of conflict of interest stuff).  We do let non-management folks drop order sheets in the break room, and folks can order if they want, but we don't want people wasting their time at work pushing their kids stuff.

I'd just drop the form back off on coworkers desk and be done with it.  You don't owe an explanation for not ordering.  If they make a remark, just ignore it and walk away.

MayDay

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 01:02:08 PM »
If they left it with you, just pop it back onto their desk sometime when they aren't there, with no order.

o2bfree

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 01:09:39 PM »
If they left it with you, just pop it back onto their desk sometime when they aren't there, with no order.

This is what I ended up doing. The Skype status indicator comes in handy sometimes, I was able to see when he was in a meeting!

Laura33

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 06:27:49 PM »
I hate this crap.  I understand the PTA doing it -- our school budget doesn't cover extras, so it's really the PTA that funds after-school clubs and all.  For them, I write an annual check to support that.  But it pisses me off when the daycare, for which I already pay over $600/mo for approximately 3 hrs/day before and after school, has the gall to ask my kid to sell more crap to make more money.  No, sorrynotsorry.  I don't play, and I refuse even to pretend to.

And I really, really have no patience for parents that attempt to do the selling for their kids -- dropping stuff off in the break room is fine, but the dad doing the door to door would just reaffirm the correctness of my decision not to play. 

mm1970

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 06:37:34 PM »
A coworker just popped into my office and handed me a catalog and form to buy junk food I don't want for a fundraiser for his kid's elementary school. This sort of annoys me because

1. I already pay taxes to support schools.

2. I have no kids, so my tax share already goes to other peoples' kids.

3. I've heard that most of the money for these fundraisers goes to the company that handles the products, not to the cause. I haven't looked into this myself though.

4. He used the hard-sell method, not just leaving the packet in a public area for people to see, but coming into my office to push the goods.

I feel put on the spot and will probably buy something. But I don't feel good about it.

How do you handle these fundraisers?
Well, I'm the one hitting up my coworkers, that's how!

1.  So does everyone.  You went to public school right?  Be aware that depending on the district, schools are broke.  The costs to fulfill pensions are rising, and little things like computers, music, science, PE, and art are now "extra", meaning, not covered by the district budget.  And certainly not things like assemblies and field trips.

2.  See #1.  You are repaying society for your own education.

3.  This is likely true, depending on the company and the product.  It can be as high as 50% (like for magazines), but is generally more like 20-30% (for candy sales).  If you don't want to buy the stuff (like candy), don't buy it.  I'm not a fan of junk food either, and our school hasn't done one of those fundraisers in many years.  They did bring in needed money, but they are still a crap-ton of work.  And not enough people to do the work.

4.  I prefer the "soft sell" myself (stick a sign up list on my office window).  But a simple: "I'm not interested in those products", should suffice.  Mostly I sell things like raffle tickets and entertainment discount books.  I know which coworkers are interested (mostly in the discount books).  If they don't want one, I don't push it.  Sometimes people hit me up for the same kind of thing.  I have no problem giving 5 bucks here and there.  For example, if one of the wealthy schools hits me up, I'll pass.  But one of the poor schools?  I'll give them a few bucks.  (Instead of buying something, I'll make a donation.)

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 08:33:52 PM »
A coworker just popped into my office and handed me a catalog and form to buy junk food I don't want for a fundraiser for his kid's elementary school. This sort of annoys me because

1. I already pay taxes to support schools.

2. I have no kids, so my tax share already goes to other peoples' kids.

3. I've heard that most of the money for these fundraisers goes to the company that handles the products, not to the cause. I haven't looked into this myself though.

4. He used the hard-sell method, not just leaving the packet in a public area for people to see, but coming into my office to push the goods.

I feel put on the spot and will probably buy something. But I don't feel good about it.

How do you handle these fundraisers?
Well, I'm the one hitting up my coworkers, that's how!

1.  So does everyone.  You went to public school right?  Be aware that depending on the district, schools are broke.  The costs to fulfill pensions are rising, and little things like computers, music, science, PE, and art are now "extra", meaning, not covered by the district budget.  And certainly not things like assemblies and field trips.

2.  See #1.  You are repaying society for your own education.

3.  This is likely true, depending on the company and the product.  It can be as high as 50% (like for magazines), but is generally more like 20-30% (for candy sales).  If you don't want to buy the stuff (like candy), don't buy it.  I'm not a fan of junk food either, and our school hasn't done one of those fundraisers in many years.  They did bring in needed money, but they are still a crap-ton of work.  And not enough people to do the work.

4.  I prefer the "soft sell" myself (stick a sign up list on my office window).  But a simple: "I'm not interested in those products", should suffice.  Mostly I sell things like raffle tickets and entertainment discount books.  I know which coworkers are interested (mostly in the discount books).  If they don't want one, I don't push it.  Sometimes people hit me up for the same kind of thing.  I have no problem giving 5 bucks here and there.  For example, if one of the wealthy schools hits me up, I'll pass.  But one of the poor schools?  I'll give them a few bucks.  (Instead of buying something, I'll make a donation.)

OP, while I can see why one would be opposed to further support of public schools, I have to side with MM1970 on this one.  Public education and common classroom experience of kids from varying backgrounds form the bedrock of society, and everyone benefits from well funded public schools, not only the students and their parents.

However, the fundraisers for schools where parents have to peddle overpriced stuff nobody needs are not the way to overcome lack of tax funding.  I wish more schools just requested cash.  My kid's school does and I know when I donate that 100% of the funds will go to the school.  The PTO brought The Fun Run in last year - the rep for the company that runs those was allowed to enter classrooms and got the kids pumped up about hitting grandparents for the dough.  The school gets 51% of what's raised, the company pockets the rest.   I have no idea why the PTO did it.  I really wish they stayed with the direct cash only option.

If your colleague is too aggressive, just say no.  You are not obligated to give.  I wouldn't, either, in the situation you described.  Why reward anyone for obnoxiousness?

MsPeacock

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 04:25:42 PM »
Hidden deep in the recesses of some of those catalogs is an item number for just a donation (sometimes). The kid gets a credit for an "item" sold for whatever crappy "prize" is being dangled in front of them, the school gets the full amount, and you don't have a junky totchke to get rid of. I won't buy the stuff - and both my kids bring home things from the school. My kids aren't even interested in doing the sales. It is all overpriced and the schools get very little of the funds. IMO, the PTA spends a lot of time and energy on these stupid sales and with those "points" from products with very little financial return for the effort. I write a good size check ($100-150) at the start of the year and then toss some money towards specific events (teacher lunch - I put in $10 or whatever).

Anyhow - just say "no thanks" - as most people will - and get on with your day.

Agree w/ others points as already stated re: taxes and public education.

Pigeon

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Re: Kids' fundraisers
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 04:59:07 PM »
I don't buy overpriced fundraiser crap from my own kids' schools or from anyone else's.  For my kids, I make a substantial direct donation to the school (PTA generally, but some other school organizations like Friends of Music) on back to school night.  I then toss the catalogs that come home in the recycling immediately.

I don't ask other people to contribute, nor do I contribute to other kids' school fundraisers.  If asked, I just say no thanks.  It's never been an issue.