Let The Fun(draisers) Begin

Do you know what school starting back up is synonymous with? Aside from early mornings where everyone bitches, doesn’t eat their breakfast, and then whines about being hungry? And also loses the mate to every single pair of shoes they own?

Fundraisers!

I’m pretty sure they shove the fundraiser forms at kids the second they enter school on their very first day. Forget school handbooks, emergency contact forms, and all that crap — fundraiser forms are priority number one. This means that basically from late August until mid May, anyone with a child is a social pariah. People will go great lengths to avoid being asked if they want to support Little Johnny popcorn or fruit crate fundraiser.

I hate school fundraisers almost as much as I hate zucchini, and that’s saying something. It’s like that song from Annie, It’s A Hard Knock Life, where the little orphans are singing about all the shit Miss Hannigan makes them do, but with adults and selling useless crap instead of cleaning.

It’s the hard-knock life for us
It’s the hard-knock life for us
Always making us sell useless shit
To buy more cheap Chromebooks for your kids
It’s the hard-knock life!

(Excuse me while I go rewrite the disgruntled parents version of Annie.)

When I was a kid, we had one big fundraiser for school where we sold wrapping paper. Apparently at Christmastime, there was a massive shortage of wrapping paper, so it was crucial to sell the same thing you could buy at Walmart at a 300 percent markup. And then there was a fundraiser with the softball team where we sold candy. Candy wasn’t a problem, since most people didn’t cringe when they saw you coming their way with those big boxes of M&Ms. Except for that one lady who yelled at me for trying to kill her because she was diabetic, anyway. (That’s every 10-year-old’s dream — to rid the world of the diabetics. Sigh.)

Things are different now. They sell lots more useless crap now, and depending on which school your kids go to (not the boy’s), the kids who sell the most useless crap are treated like celebrities for a day. One year there was a limo ride to a local pizza place, followed by playing in a bounce house rental. I think that was the same year, at least.

There’s also the “Fun Runs.” Little Man has repeatedly asked what the heck is supposed to be so fun about these Fun Runs, but I’m not really sure.

Maybe an inflatable obstacle course would be lots of fun, but jogging around a track or inside of a gym isn’t anyone’s definition of fun. Some years they do Color Runs, which I have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand, it’s fun to squirt my kid in the face with the colored chalk stuff, but on the other hand, I have to let him ride home in my car. We’ll call that the Sorta Fun Run. (By the way, I was so disappointed at the first Color Run. For whatever reason, I thought we got to throw large paint balls at the children. We did not.)

It is my dream that one day the schools will have fundraisers that the parents will actually enjoy. Instead of being forced to wait tables for a night at a restaurant so the school can keep the tips (whoever the hell came up with this horrible idea for a fundraiser can go straight to hell) or harass coworkers to buy garbage, we need fundraisers that are actually fun. There has to be a way  a person can raise funds while not hating their own existence, right?

Ultimate Dodgeball

There are two ways you can go with this. First, parents vs. other parents. Charge $10 per participant and have fun launching balls at the heads of the other parents you loathe for an hour. Second, parents vs. kids. Same idea, plus you get to unleash some of that pent-up aggression over certain individuals leaving messes all over the house again. Borrow balls from the school, meet in a public space, and it’s all profit.

Drink-A-Thon

Instead of getting people to pledge a buck or whatever for your kid to walk a quarter-mile, how about getting people to pledge money for each glass of wine or beer you drink? Some of the…more seasoned…moms would probably be able to raise the rest of the funds needed to build the new playground in no time at all.

And if you aren’t a drinker, then get people to pledge money for each glass of water or Coke you drink. You’re with other adults, kid-free, having fun, and raising money, so it’s a win-win situation.

Adult Fun Raffle

Some schools have Fundraiser Raffles where they get people and companies to donate all sorts of stuff, you buy a bunch of tickets, and then you put your ticket in the bag for whichever item you want. Some of the items at these raffles are neat, but others just blow. (Why the hell would I want to put my ticket in the $1 oven mitt raffle vs. the beach weekend raffle?)

At the Adult Fun Raffle, there will be no oven mitts, kiddie art classes, or coloring book sets raffled off. Gift cards for the local pub, babysitting vouchers, date night supplies, etc. will all be raffled. Baked goods — but not the kid-friendly kind — will be raffled. You get the idea. We’ll even let Karen raffle off the rest of her Pure Romance stock, and we’ll take her word for it than everything is unused.

See? Fundraisers really can be fun. Or at least not kill-me-now painful.

If you could come up with a fun fundraiser, what would you choose?


Good news on the book front — I finished the rough draft. Anyone who emailed me about being a beta reader for the book can expect an email soon with a PDF file of the book. If anyone would like to be a beta reader and hasn’t already gotten in touch with me, email dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com.

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Author: Erika

I’m a SAHM to two kids. When I’m not doing all the typical mom things (diapers, soccer, etc.), I like writing, reading, and playing games. Clearly I live the life of a rock star.

31 thoughts on “Let The Fun(draisers) Begin”

  1. ok so I’m going to confess something…I once won the “most pledges” for the fun run in elementary school. But it wasn’t really the most people. I’d get my grandma to donate $1 a lap, then divide it up among my cheaper family members and say the all were donating a quarter. And I did that for a few more people until I had like 50 pledges…and then I basked in the glory of…I can’t even remember what I won, lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m glad to see this is normal. My daughter just started preschool and in the first flyer it mentioned the “upcoming Yankee Candle fundraiser!” I can just see myself buying whatever the amount is necessary and not bothering anyone about it… but I like your ideas better.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Funny you should mention this. I have done the wrapping paper fundraisers (I kept all the sample swatches and use them in my crafting), and the other assorted spell-a-thon’s etc. Most of the time I just bought some things myself and did not have the kids go around and pester the family or the neighbors. They never won anything for getting the most but I let them pick out something they wanted from the fundraiser so it was all good to them. ANYWAY, I have been thinking of offering a fundraiser to the local elementary schools in the form of the mini-albums I make. Almost as bad as the fundraisers are the yearly school photo packages that you end up having a bunch left over of and you don’t know what to do with them. For every order of an album I get, I would donate a percentage to the class. I’d be targeting mostly the class that is graduating and the class that is coming in. I’d offer customization with the kid’s name, etc. What do you think? Would you pay $30 to $50 (depending on the number of years) for an album that you could put the pictures in and have a little room to write about the highlights of that year? The album would span the entire elementary years K to 5 or 6, whatever year it ended. Would you be interested in having me put the pictures in too or leave it blank for you? Say 5 or 10% of each album sold would go to the class? Just a little poll since you brought it up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was so funny!! I laughed out loud!!

      The kids at my school create art and parents can buy things with the art on it. It is actually a very clever fundraiser.

      My fundraiser would involve going to the state capital while legislature is voting on a public education budget and asking the senators and or congressmen to buy seventy five packages of frozen cookie dough, or magazines they don’t read, and yes, wrapping paper that is horribly overpriced. Maybe a yankee candle or two while they are at it? Maybe invite them to buy tickets to another mediocre spaghetti dinner. And like the “rent a wrestler” program we have here to fund athletics they can come do yard-work for me. Car washes? Pancake breakfasts? Make a wreathe at Christmas…..
      I have done so many over the years!!
      (@Scr4 – Maybe I am from a poor school, but $50.00 seems like too much. It is a very creative idea though!!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the input, Beth. I love your idea of getting the politicians to buy the wrapping paper! As to my mini-albums, I would probably make a range of prices depending on if they wanted it personalized or if they wanted me to put the pictures in. Standard could be $25 or so.

        Like

    2. Usually the things the kids can win (if they sell a reasonable amount of stuff) can be bought at the dollar store. Crazy!

      That’s a neat idea. I would definitely consider buying something like that. I think a lot of parents would love to have something like that!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘ Drink-a-thon’ brilliant! I haven’t been much of a drinker since maybe 3 kids ago but I would support it! 🙌🏽 I agree, schools and their fundraisers, no fun at all! Parents have enough on their plate to start getting them to harass family to make obligated/unwanted purchase! 😣

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I sold Girl Scout Cookies and Candy Bars. That’s it. My kids go to the same damn high school we went to and now they have candy bars, wrapping paper, mums, fun runs, color runs, there are a lot of runs, I mean, I don’t even remember what the ones in the spring are called, tchotchkes, kitchen wares, candles, popcorn, cookie dough, and bake sales. Of course, athletes have no fundraisers, cause they make a killing on tickets and concessions. *grumbles* I buy the spirit wear, the mums, the candy, and I write a check for the rest, because my oldest is 25 and I am Long Time Annoyed at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are only two problems with the piss-up-o-thon fundraiser. One – it wouldn’t go down well with the local education authority (but we won’t worry about that), two – you’d blow all the money you made making bail the following morning 🙂

    I think I’d be tempted to march into the headmaster/mistress’s office at the start of term and say “here’s 50 quid for the school fund, now leave me alone for the rest of the year”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We just got a new principal and vice at my boys school and they’ve already announced there will be NO fundraisers. She will apply for grant money. Who hooo! Good luck with the book. I’d love be a beta reader but I’m currently waiting to beta read another author…. if only I had all the time ina day to read all the books I wanted to!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My kids are older now. Over here they do casual dress days. Which you have to pay a gold coin donation. So $1-2 each kid times that by about 1000 kids and whola 1-2K just having kids wearing casual clothes for the day. And if you do that every month that’s 12-24K by doing nothing 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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