24 answers

Opting Out of Fundraiser Sales-Can We??

My son's school sent home catalogs for odering extremely overpriced wrapping paper, knicknacks, cookie dough & other junk food. I have NO interest in buying any of it, nor do I wish to bother my family/friends with it either.

My child is far too young to be out soliciting, even though I knocked on doors for 13 years to support my school. It seems that the schools now don't even want the kids going door-to-door.

Do any of you not sell the stuff, and instead just give a donation? If so, how much should we give?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ok, I'm writing my check!! It is a Catholic school, so the fundraisers are much more important for them, but I still can't understand selling crap, and I already have enough wrapping paper to last me a few years. Thanks for helping me get a backbone, ladies :)

Featured Answers

We usually just give a donation to the PTA instead of doing the fund raiser...this way the PTA/school gets 100% of the money instead of 10% of it.

Give what you can afford to give. There is not a set limit. What we do is we tell the PTA this donation is in lieu of Innisbrook or Sally Foster.

6 moms found this helpful

We don't participate in those fundraisers either. Too pricey and I don't want to deal with the hassle. I help the school in other ways throughout the year.

5 moms found this helpful

Give whatever you can afford directly to the school. Then they get 100% of the profit rather than just a small portion.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

We usually just give a donation to the PTA instead of doing the fund raiser...this way the PTA/school gets 100% of the money instead of 10% of it.

Give what you can afford to give. There is not a set limit. What we do is we tell the PTA this donation is in lieu of Innisbrook or Sally Foster.

6 moms found this helpful

We don't participate in those fundraisers either. Too pricey and I don't want to deal with the hassle. I help the school in other ways throughout the year.

5 moms found this helpful

Give whatever you can afford directly to the school. Then they get 100% of the profit rather than just a small portion.

5 moms found this helpful

I was told to donate $40 last year. Contact the person in charge of the fundraising committee on the PTA and ask them specifically. They will have a number for you, and won't give you a hard time about not participating.

4 moms found this helpful

If you can afford to give a donation, do so in whatever amount you can afford. We run a direct donation campaign and donations are usually $50 per family but plenty of people give $10 or $25 and quite a few give $75, $100 or more. Really, anything is welcome.

If you can't afford a donation, just ignore the fundraisers. Participation for the fundraisers I've been involved in over the years has ranged from 10-80%. No one is tracking who does and doesn't give (or if someone is, he or she has too much time on his or her hands).

If you want to know where the money goes and can't attend meetings, e-mail the treasurer or a board member and she should be able to provide you with a copy of the budget so that if you do donate or participate in a fundraiser, you know where your money is going. I am the treasurer at one of my children's schools and I am more than happy to let people know what we are doing with their money.

4 moms found this helpful

I do not participate. I donate via my tuition payments (Montessori) and my school taxes (which I have been paying for 15 years without having a child in the school system yet). I donate time to my son's classroom.

4 moms found this helpful

I stopped doing the books. When the school asked for ideas, i let them know what would work. If they sold chocolate bars or taffy apples, they would be gone before lunch at my job. For the books with gifts and wrapping, not many will buy. Everyone is on a tight budget and I do not have auntie this and uncle that to buy from us. We try to participate in something but not the books of stuff to buy.

3 moms found this helpful

I do not do the fundraisers. It's always something as you stated, over priced items and mine are too young to go door to door and I don't like bothering the neighbors or friends and family. The kids right now have a walk a thon we're suppose to raise money for. We're new to this area and don't know people nor do we live on a regular street. We live on a crazy road.

I don't buy the stuff either. I'll buy for Girl Scouts and stuff like that. Our problem is we've lived aboard military housing bases for several years and were lucky that there was a no soliciting order on base. We did not get people at our door unless they were kids we knew. Now that we're back to living in the civilian world, we've gotten people from all over! "Have you heard the word?" Yup, heard it it, got it, understand it and know it. Bu-buy! LOL

Don't feel bad about not doing the fundraisers. It's not mandatory. Some may make you feel guilty but you are not going to be the only parent who does not do it. There's kids who will turn in their paper and only their parents will be on there to save face, lol.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

3 moms found this helpful

We sold Scout popcorn for years b/c 1) it is good stuff
2) my husband and I were both leaders and 3) we strongly believe in the values and the life experiences that Scouting teaches!

But when it came to the wrapping paper sales (ick!) for the school, we still wanted to support the school but don't like the weird catalog with cards, wrapping paper, cookies and candy all in one. Really??? Such a strange mix.....

Also, almost 70% of the sales go back to the Scout troop, but I know from my PTA Board days that only 30 % of the sales from those fundraising companies go to school. We do not support that percentage.

So we would make a donation instead of about $20 - $30 per kid so that the kids class could hit "their goal" of the pizza lunch or the extra recess or whatever those classroom prizes are. That's what the kids want.

3 moms found this helpful

I recently asked a question & got some advice from you all about fundraising. The chairwoman who received it said one of the things she liked was allowing parents to opt out & donate.

I personally would give around $25 or whatever your school suggests (last year we did not go to the high school auction -- we were baroque & had no monet!)

And, this is weird -- I used to love those catalogs! I'd never let my daughter go door to door for that, although I did accompany her on girl scout cookie sales. I do hate the cookie dough & frozen stuff. Give me a break!

Hope you are able to opt out. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Ugh! I hate these things! I always send in a donation instead. I write a check to the Home and School association. Give whatever you feel comfortable giving although in recent years I give less to the home and school which goes to the school and more to my daughter's teacher which directly benefits my daughter's class.

3 moms found this helpful

I didn't have my daughter do this same fundraiser. When it came time to turn in orders/money, I just didn't. I don't think you're obligated.

3 moms found this helpful

No - we don't do it because it is overpriced stuff and I think it's ridiculous. I volunteer my time each week AT the school. About 2 hours per week, and once a month for teacher birthday luncheons. Don't feel bad about it. Just do some volunteering or make a donation if you feel the need. Ask the PTA or your child's teacher if there is a certain project or thing of great need you could contribute to.

3 moms found this helpful

I opened the backpacks, saw that , and said...."oh yeah, we're not doing that" and threw it away. Kids whined. I bought them a $1 toy at Dollar General. Everybodys happy.
It also helps keep my fundraising co-workers at bay. They bring that to me and I tell them, I wont show you mine if you dont show me yours! Again, Everybodys Happy.

3 moms found this helpful

Well, sorry to say this, but I usually just ignored them. At first we tried. But later down the line I didn't have the energy and really truly all of it is really very overpriced. Don't feel guilty.

2 moms found this helpful

You don't "have to" participate!
I know some moms that pitch it out as soon as they get it.
I know some moms that sell the stuff.
I know some moms that send a donation.
Whatever is right for you is the best thing to do.

2 moms found this helpful

I say find out what the school needs and donate stuff.. Most schools always need extra supplies.. Do a general donation of what you can afford that way you know what was spent is going to school.. I do not do the fundraisers myself

2 moms found this helpful

You absolutely do not have to sell that stuff! I always hated that! When my son was little I would buy the least amount just so he wouldn't feel left out and get a little prize but that's it!

2 moms found this helpful

I just give a donation - about $30.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't sell, and I don't even donate. I pay dues, and I buy tickets to attend events. I donate when I can or for a particular need. But I never feel obligated to do this. And I definately don't feel obligated to sell.

2 moms found this helpful

Nope -- I don't sell the stuff. I ask whoever is in charge of the sale (usually there is a PTA person in charge) and find out what percentage of the sales REALLY goes to the school. It's outrageous how much the school actually gets (sometimes only like 3-5%). Then I go from there. I usually just write a check for 20 or 30 bucks, depending on how many fundraisers they're planning for the year. The ones that really tick me off are when they promise the kids crappy prizes for meeting sales goals. Last year they had a limo ride to lunch at McDonalds if they sold 75 pkgs of $15 cookie dough. I had to explain to my Kinder kid that a limo was just a reallllllly big car and that I could take her to McDonalds. grr.

1 mom found this helpful

At our daughter's Sr high school level cheerleading..... they had cookie dough sales (GROSS).... Each girl was requested to sell a certain amount. We had a "buy-out" option of $140 which is what the profits to the cheerleaders would be if they sold however many containers that were the "goal".

For a cheer fundraiser, we sold game day t-shirts. Each girl was to sell 10 packs of 5 shirts for $25....... Opt out was $250.

For cheer tailgate party tickets... each girl was assigned to pay for 7 tickets in advance of $49. THEN, they had to sell the tickets. Our daughter didn't have a problem selling her tickets because we told her .. you sell it you keep the $$. This was only selling to students during the lunch periods.

We DO NOT do door to door, etc and I get hit up all the time with neighbor children. Many times, I offer to just make a donation but they want to sell the quota so they get a prize and donations don't count toward the quota.. BLAH

I have never allowed my daughter to go hound neighbors, friends or family for products we all do not want or need. I am happy to donate to the cause. Sometimes it is frowned upon and I don't understand why... free money!!

However, at the Sr High School level........ you are given the info for selling and the quotas expected THEN.... the rep gives you the buy out amount!

Good luck. I hate these too.

1 mom found this helpful

Have seen lots of these fundraisers come home from school (PTA and principal based) and sports teams over the years--and as kids get to high school, it gets even worse--the money needs increase. My son never wanted to participate, but my daughter always did. We participated on a limited basis--we bought some stuff and sold some stuff and sent a check in lieu of donation in other cases. I would usually send a check for $20-$25 dollars for the main fundraiser. I really hated that they would offer the kids incentives for meeting certain sales goals. We have generously supported the school and clubs and our local education foundation with direct donations and auction items. Please become involved in the schools or club activities and find out the true costs and how the money is spent. Are these things that you choose to support? Are these things creating opportunities for your child or other children?? Some of the most successful fundraisers our (elementary) schools have done are school wide carnivals with a dinner (bbq or spaghetti) and a silent auction. These can generate a lot of money for the school or PTA, but they require a lot of volunteers. At least these events gave people a chance to become part of the school community. Ok (not to the original poster, but to the other respondents): you pay taxes, you pay tuition --do you know what that pays for, how it is being spent and how "extras" are paid for??? Now what about that field trip that you sent $5 for--what was the admission cost, what were the transportation costs, what was the sub-pay that the school had to pay if the teacher was away from her other classes to attend ?? How did the school cover the costs for the kids that couldn't pay to attend?? Your field trip was probably subsidized by the school. I think everyone wants the best education for their kids and one of the best ways is to become involved in your schools and be apart of the decision making or provide input.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is in 10th grade now, so I have been victim to school sales for years. I just pick and chose what I want to "sell". I used to order at least one item from the type of catalog you mentioned - I had stacks of tissue paper and curling ribbon LOL, but never offered those types of items to any one else.

We have had great fundraisers - through band - ones that offered really nice products at very good prices - that when I brought them to friends and co-workers sold really well. Just had one last month that was a $20 BOGO card good for the next 12 months at a ton of local restaurants and entertainment venues - honestly, folks at my office asked to buy those.

But, these types of good fundraisers are few and far between. So I don't stress over selling things. If I write a check, I usually write one per year, for about $50 dollars and call myself done.

I do remember my school fundraising days - I knocked on a lot of doors - but I also remember selling better stuff than they do now.

:)

1 mom found this helpful

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