38 answers

School Fund Raisers Too Many Kids, What Do You Do?

I know schools need help and that's why they send home the annoying fundraisers. I have three kids all in school, who bring the fundraiser stuff home thru out the year. I buy from my kids to help out their schools but since it's on going thru out the school year, it gets to be quite spendy, espcially when I really don't need anymore wrapping paper, cards, candy, breads and cookies...etc. I have a hard time saying no to the neighborhood kids that come to the door. I can't afford to buy from every kid that comes knocking plus my own? What is the nice and polite way to tell kids not to come?

What can I do next?

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I just tell them, so sorry, "I already bought some earlier and can't get anymore at this time, but good luck!"

1 mom found this helpful

When I was a kid, I would get the folks telling me that they already bought stuff from so-and-so, so now I just let them know the same thing - already bought some things from another kid doing the same fundraiser so I am tapped out, sorry but good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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We don't do school fundraisers. At all. If it is an extra activity, like cross country or boy scouts, then we do them (we signed up for it so I feel that is different). At the beginning of each year, I send a note to each child's teacher telling them that we don't do fundraisers and not to bother to send the stuff home with the kids. It isn't safe for kids to go door to door, and with 6 kids, it is simply impossible to track all of the money and stuff. Each fundraiser that the school does, I send a check directly to the school for $10 as my contribution (which is usually alot more than my child could raise even if I did let them go door to door).

Once my kids are in 9th grade, and are responsible enough to handle the money, go out in groups and sell, etc., then they have the choice to participate in the fundraiser if they want. My older girls did decide to do fundraisers starting in 9th grade, but again they were usually for a specific thing that they signed up for like varsity cheerleading or something.

As far as buying from the neighbor kids, I don't. I don't even buy from my own, why would I buy from the neighbors. I do the food shelf, toy shelf, that kind of stuff, but why would I spend $10 on a roll of wrapping paper when I can buy a roll at WalMart for $1 (especially when the school gets such a very small portion of the actual sale).

Finally, as far as the prizes, we do something as a family when the school distributes the prizes - that night we go to WOW Zone or something and I tell the kids either I can spend the money on crappy popcorn or wrapping paper OR we can do something fun . . . they would much rather do the Zone :)

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Set a limit of what you can give for the year.
Contact the school to see how many fund raisers they have throughout the year.

See what the percentage is for the school to receive, and then see if you can give to the program and not purchase the selling items. The school will get more money if you can donate to the program and not the company sponsoring the fund raising.

1 mom found this helpful

I know, we are in the same situation. Our neighborhood has lots of kids and they all come to the door even though our kids are selling too. I have heard other parents say things like "I buy one thing from every kid" or put down other parents for not buying from other peoples kids. But I think it is crazy, I cannot afford to buy from every kid and the stuff is garbage anyway. It is such an awkward situation!!!!!

I Hate school fundraisers!!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Talk to your school and/or PTA and ask them if they have an opt out option. My son's school has this. Instead of buying/selling (and with most of these fund raisers the school only gets somewhere between 8-20 cents of every dollar spent) ask them if you could just write them a one time check amount for the year (it was $75 for my son's school). They get %100 of what you give (cuts out the middle man) and you don't have to buy/sell/deliver and spend all your time on this. When people try to sell to you, you can tell them you wrote a check and you've done your part.

1 mom found this helpful

A sign on your door that reads "No Solicitors".:) But you could also just be honest and say you don't have any money to buy anything.

1 mom found this helpful

To neighbor kids, simply say "I'm sorry, I've already bought some" or "No thank you, I don't need any at this time."

I NEVER buy anything from other kids, in fact in our neighborhood I don't remember the last time any kids went door to door as we all know that 90% of the houses in our neighborhoods have kids who are all doing fundraisers for various things so we don't allow our kids to even go ask.

To my own kids there is one school fundraiser that my husband and I refuse to support because we just think the whole thing is so ridiculous (long story). It's one of those where they tell the kids if you sell X number of items you can when such and such a prize. It drives us crazy. So this year our kids were so upset about us not allowing them to try to earn this prize that we created our own contest instead. We provided possible prizes for the kids to earn through different chores around the house. We still support the school through quite a few other fundraisers but we sit this one out.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

my kids hated doing these-as i did..im all about helping-but i really dont feel its our kids job to raise money for the schools-thats what our taxes pay for.not to mention what a danger it is to our kids-i told the schools my kids will no longer participate in being pimped out-we never saw where the money went etc.and the kids that came to the door-said the same thing-at the beginning of the year i had to dish out cash for all holiday parties for the yr,plus lunches an feild trips-ran me about 400.00 between the 2 kids-so what was the extra money being used for?? no clue.so i put a stop to it-if there was a bake sale etc.we would gladly pitch in.i was a single parent working full time plus-every dime counted-their dad never helped out.no you do have the option to say ..NO...

1 mom found this helpful

It is not impolite to say no, if you can't, you can't, just be nice and say thanks for asking!

I would suggest that you take an active role at school if you can. Get involved in your PTA or PTO and change the fundraising modle if you don't like it, there are tons of ways for PTO's and PTA's to make money that do not involve children selling things. There truly can be something for everyone so that they don't have to spend money on the "middle man" type of fundraisers that many parents find annoying. Unfortunately, fundaraising is here to stay because taxes are not paying for things like field trips, visiting authors, academic contests (like battle of the books, spelling bees, etc) field days, and artist in residence programs, so parent organizations are picking up the slack on more and more of these items. Different communities value different programs, and that is something that you should can get involved in too, if you think that the money needs to go to programs that you would value more than what is going on now in your school community. There really is something for everyone, something that you can do only one time, something you can do from home, something that may displace your feelings of obligation (and annoyance) to purchase items you don't need. For some, money is short, and time is plenty, and your contribution should be valued as much as any other. If your school PTO/A climate is difficult, get in there and change that too, it can be done, and the kids will benefit.

I prefer to spend money at school when more of it goes to the children, and not the company who sold the goods, and straight donations to any PTO/A are always accepted! a $20 bill goes much further than a $20 order for wrapping paper in getting the kids on the bus to the art museum...you do have options.


1 mom found this helpful

"I'm so sorry, I can't do that today. Thanks for coming by, and good luck."

You could also go to the PTA and suggest that they set up a fund for the school. That's what our school did, and now parents just send money (the amount that they feel comfortable with) to the school fund, and we don't have to cope with lots of fundraisers. It's great.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you can simply just say "oh you know what, I'm already buying from my kids (or you could just say someone else) but thanks anyway...good luck!"

I think it's odd actually if kids in the neighborhood are coming to your door...are these kids in your own kids' school, that's odd if so, because it would seem obvious. Maybe if it's the older kids, high school or whatnot, just tell them you are doing some fundraising too and can't help right now.

1 mom found this helpful

I just tell them, so sorry, "I already bought some earlier and can't get anymore at this time, but good luck!"

1 mom found this helpful

The principle at our school specifically said pick one or two that work for you but we don't expect you to do them all. You just have to tell them no, I buy from my own kids. It stinks but you gotta do what you have to do.

1 mom found this helpful

I do purchase something (1 thing) from the neighbor children who come to my home. I also substitute teach so I get a bunch of them. I understand the process, my daughter is in high school. I only buy from children in my neighborhood and if i do not recognize them, I know they have been brought in to my neighborhood and I say no. We live in a neighborhood where kids are practically bused in for FR and Halloween.

I do not and never have allowed my daughter to go out and sell stuff that I know people do not need. In my opinion it is extortion and she does not participate in that aspect of it. We write a check.

What I like about the higher grade levels is that we just do a write a check campaign. This option works well for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

You do want you can and then you stop. My sons' school has several fundraisers. The two big ones are the Walk a Thon and the auction. Traditionally we purchase quite a bit at the auction so I don't feel compelled to have to contribute to the Walk a thon. (The only problem with this is that the kids get prizes for bringing in money so my kids get disappointed.)

I would just say, "Thanks for thinking of me. Unfortunately we already have plenty of_______." The child may be disappointed but you have to do what works for your family.

1 mom found this helpful

When I was a kid, I would get the folks telling me that they already bought stuff from so-and-so, so now I just let them know the same thing - already bought some things from another kid doing the same fundraiser so I am tapped out, sorry but good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You don't have to answer the door...

Really and truly, it's okay to say no. You decide on exactly how much you will spend. You spend that amount through your own kids. When another child asks, tell them you have already spent your school fundraiser money for your own 3 children, and you can't spend any more. Then smile and say good luck, and that's it.

All my best,

I'm surprised that parents are sending their kids to houses that HAVE kids in school????? They know you are in the same position!

My parents never let us do ANY of the fundraisers when we were in school. MOST of them give the school such a small percentage of the money, it's a joke! You'd be better off giving the school the $15 instead of buying wrapping paper and them MAYBE getting $4 to $7........ So, if you really feel like you should do something, just donate STRAIGHT to the school and skip the fundraisers.

And tell any other kids that come to you that you just don't need anything right now. Thanks for thinking of you and good luck!

I go through the same thing with girl scout cookies every year, all of the kids in my family hunt me down to buy cookies... and I give each of them $2. I spend less then what the box of cookies would cost, I give more than what they would earn from the cookies, and I don't have the calorie ridden snacks sitting around my house. It is a win on all 3 sides.
Same thing with the cookie booths at the store, I give $1 each time I see one and get asked to buy cookies. I am a bit biased towards them since I was my daughters troop leader and I know how much they need to earn money for the troop in order to do anything outside of meetings.

Maybe you could try something like this with the kids selling stuff. Have your kids sell to your family, and when someone ele comes looking... give them a couple of dollars, maybe keep a couple of money orders or checks laying around for $2, that way you can make sure it gets to the school. ( You could even write the check out directly to the childs teacher so they can use it for THAT childs classroom)

Good Luck!

just tell them that you're own kids are selling and you buy from them. their parents are telling other neighbor kids (maybe even yours!) the same thing. they understand and appreciate an explanation more than just a door slam. i got to the point of not even buying the same junk from my own daughter. i didn't need it and couldn't afford it. wish schools could shake it up a little with different types of fundraisers. it's also sad they have to raise money just to survive.

S. m

I just say not at this time but I don't have neighborhood kids coming to my door it's from my nieces..I'll look at the stuff if it is something I need and would purchase anyway then i'll buy.But they only have them a few times a yr.as for my son in school and now that i'm on the PTO we have regulated what we want to sell we have weeded out the junk fundraisers and the pricey ones as well.Don't fell bad that you don't from others you have your own to look after.I just don't want to spend that kind of money knowing that I c an get it else where for cheaper and better quality

I would just say "Sorry, I already purchased some from my children".

Just be honest, and say in a friendly voice, "I'm sorry, but my kids are also having school fundraisers, and I can't afford to buy more than I already do from them" It's the truth, and there's no reason to feel bad about stating it nicely. I can't blame them for asking, but all you have to do is say, "no thanks" In past years, my girls have worked really hard on their school fundraisers, but I suspect we all may have reached burn out this year. I really don't want to take them around the neighborhood or call Grandma and Grandpa to sell stuff again. Writing a check and being done with it is sounding better and better to me now that I've had kids in school for 7 years.

I guess if their parents want to buy from your kids... LOL I always tell them no. I used to feel guilty about it, but not anymore. I sort of laugh to myself though because we homeschool, and I never send my kids out to raise money for their school. I already pay way too much in taxes for the schools that we don't use. But, that's a totally different topic. ;)

I just say no thank you when they come, and point out I have a child in their school I will be buying my items from.

I also have three kids. This year all three will be in three different schools. 5th grade, 1st grade and second year of nusery school. I help out with different functions at school that is run thru the PTO. However I am NOT able to continual spend money on things we don't need.
Does it even need an explanation if your kids attend the same school as the kids ringing your door bell. Be polite and say no thank you my kids attend that school and leave it at that.

I just let them know that I already bought from someone else.

I give one check a year to the school - I just make a donation. I tell my children not to bother bringing home any fund raiser information - and they don't. If they are made to bring it home, I send it back with a note that we have already donated and we will not be participating.
As for the kids that come to the door, you can simply say "no thank you" or "I'm sorry, I can't give right now". If they can leave something -- like our band does -- you might choose to give at a later date. (If the kids who come to the door are fund raising for a specific thing -- like band or music - I am apt to give them a check.)
That said, the kids should not be fund raising door to door without an adult present. This true for students of all ages -- including high school students. Our band students fund raise door to door -- one adult per 2 students for their safety.

I only have 1 in school and my youngest started pre K just last week and I don't mess with fund raisers at all. We live on a Military base so there are 3 schools of kids running around selling the same stuff at the same time most of the time! It's silly really. I tried one that we were able to do online since we could ask family and friends that didn't live here. One person bought something!!!!! So not worth my time and effort to set up.

Don't feel bad about not buying from your kids or other kids. You'd really be amazed at how much stuff the PTOs get for free or next to free and sell and make a LOT of money on!! They also get money from the State and Federal governments.

If you really want to help your kids' school, do the box tops or Campbell's soup labels and send those in!


When my kids were in school I told other children that I had one in the same school and already bought.
I also sent my fundraiser stuff untouched back to the school. My kids are only allowed to sell Cub Scout popcorn and Girl Scout cookies.
I have bought the teacher things she has needed throughout the year, hand sanitizer, kleenex, cups, etc.
At the school in NC, the PTO had a pizza dinner during the book sales carnival and other evening funtions. THEy got cheap pizza, sodas and sold them for $1 a slice and .50 a cup.

We have put a no soliciting sign on our door and when kids come to our door that do not understand the sign I just tell them we have a no fund raiser rule.
I do not buy from my friends kids and I do not ask them to buy from mine. I volunteer my time to school and I feel that is my way of giving. I

I don't participate in the fundraisers. I volunteer at the school(s) when there is something going on, but we just don't have the budget to buy "stuff". In our school district, they even do picture day 2 times a year. We only buy the fall one's. I never buy anything from anyone soliciting.

Fundraisers are awful, right? I get that school funding is tight. I mean, I already have to buy teacher supplies along with crayons, pencils, and notebooks. We have to attend festivals, sock hops, and ice cream socials which are all thinly veiled fundraisers. And that's all fine. But...!

All our friends and families have kids that have fundraisers too! I cannot afford to buy a "little something" from everyone and so we have had to make the sort of awkward decision to only donate to our school. That means we do not buy things from anyone else and that means we cannot ask family ad friends to donate to our school. The end result? I have cut out the middle man. I don't need any more junk anyway. So I just give the school $20 cash directly for each kid (we have two). That is about what the school would earn if we sold $100 worth of junk.

I never purchase products I don't need. When the neighbor came over selling Happenings coupon books I simply asked how much the school makes off them and then wrote a check directly to the school for that amount. For my son's school I only buy things (like garden plants) that I know I would buy anyway. Instead I buy extra school supplies for his classroom, contribute toward upkeep of classroom pets, or other ways to directly infuse money into the school.

You can simply say, I am sorry but my kids are selling the same things. Here is a $1 or $2 donation. It isn't the same as a purchase but it is straight profit.

Just say "Oh! I'm sorry, my kids are doing that same sale."
And for the craziness of some sort of fundraiser every month/week/etc., just do what you can, when you can. Your kids don't have to participate in every, single fundraiser. Or any at all if that's what works best for you.

I only buy from my kids and no one else's and sometimes I don't even buy from my kids. It really depends on our budget. I don't buy things I don't need. You can volunteer at school and send in your box tops, milk lids, soup label. Help in other ways.

I have a friend who buys from the first 2 people who come to her. She does not have any kids. When a child comes to your door you should say sorry but I bought something already. You know instead of buying stuff from each child you can give money to the school periodically. Find out things they need such as paper, markers, etc and purchase those items for them. They will appreciate it just as much.

First of all, neighborhood kids should not be coming to the door. At our school, the kids are instructed to ask family and friends without going door to door. All should be under the supervision of parents.

In addition, if you know a person who is in the PTA or PTO, perhaps you can suggest healthy fundraisers. Here is a website of our ongoing healthy fundraiser at our school:


I would say to the kids that you don't need those items right now and not feel guilty. If you want, I'm sure their school organization would accept a check instead of a purchase.


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