Fundraising is pretty much a part of being a parent these days. If your kids attend public schools, or if they are involved in any extracurricular activities, then you know that pretty soon it’ll be time to sell something. Whether you are selling coupon books or cookie dough, here are some helpful tips to help you navigate fundraising season, here are some helpful tips from Gabrielle, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, to help you navigate fundraising season!
Parent’s Guide to Product Sales
Do not feel pressured to participate.
You are not required to sell 100 candy bars. You know what your schedule is like. You know what you can handle. If the Fall fundraiser just does not fit into your life right now, do not fret. There will be another one in the spring.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m supportive of my children’s activities, and I do on occasion help with product sales. But there are times when I would much rather write a check than have to sweet talk my neighbors into buying another magazine subscription.
Have your child set a goal.
If (When) you do decide to sign up for the fundraiser, make sure the child sets a realistic goal. Goal-setting is a skill that your child will use the rest of his life. You might was well get them started early.
Children’s goals are often guided by the shiny prizes and plastic toys offered as rewards for selling. Consider that it is usually cheaper and more convenient for you to buy the prize outright, than trying to collect hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your friends and neighbors.
Instead, talk to your child about what they can reasonably expect to sell and then set their goal just a little bit higher than that. It gives them something to work towards, and to be proud of at the end of the sale.
Set a budget.
You will always be your child’s biggest supporter and therefore you are likely to be their best customer. If my child, or any child for that matter, is just a couple of items from meeting their goal, I am likely to make a purchase to make up for the difference. I always place my order last, just in case.
However, be careful not to be a crutch for your child. They shouldn’t depend on you to always make those last few sales. That is a good way for you to end up with 10 tubs of cookie dough (and 10 extra pounds.)
Start collecting money early.
There will always be one family member who placed an order that you probably will not see again until Thanksgiving. Get the money at the earliest possible time, and try to turn in everything a week before the actual deadline. Have everything counted and collected before you hand it over to the fundraising coordinator. They will thank you.
Confession: I take all the cash and write one check. Fundraising coordinators love me.
Fall product sales and other fundraisers are a great way to support your children’s activities. They also offers some valuable life lessons, but they are not without pitfalls to both your wallet and waistline. Be careful. Have fun, and sell, sell, sell… or not.
From iFamily to Yours,