Girl Birthday Party Ideas For 2 And 4 Year Olds Simple Fundraising Ideas? One Woman’s Crazy, Adventurous Quest in Search of Ideas For Fundraisers

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Simple Fundraising Ideas? One Woman’s Crazy, Adventurous Quest in Search of Ideas For Fundraisers

When I started my parenting journey several years ago, I didn’t realize that I had also started a relentless search for simple fundraising ideas. Really, I had no idea that one of the main responsibilities as a parent would be to continually come up with ideas for fundraisers.

Even after I had resigned myself to the fact that fundraising would be a regular part of my life, I still had no idea it would be such an adventure.

You see I have three kids at school selling everything from pies to pizza. We are involved in drama, soccer, basketball AND I sit on a hockey board that is solely self-funded by — you guessed it — fundraisers.

I trade goods with friends, “I’ll take that pie and trade you some cookie dough…okay we’re even.” My family members won’t even answer their phone anymore for fear they will buy more things they don’t need.

We’ve done them all!

Let’s see, there’s the gift-wrapping/specialty-item/bakery sales. If you ask me, these types of fundraisers are overused and overpriced. Every time I turn around, my child has yet another catalog! In this economy, when I can buy wrapping paper for $1.00 at the local dollar store, why would I want a roll of wrapping paper that costs me $9.00? (So ​​what if it’s better quality, it’s just ripped off the gift anyway.) I’d actually rather write a check to the school then try to sell this stuff.

Of course, we’re so tired of selling stuff anyway, so half the time, I just make a good-sized order for my own family (reluctantly, of course).

Case in point: My daughter recently came home and mentioned that “The Cookie Dough Guy” said that if they wanted enough money for their trip to the Boston Museum, they were “encouraged” to sell at least two tubs of cookie dough (for $14.00 each!) . I spent $28.00 for two small tubs of cookie dough. I could go to BJ’s, buy a HUGE tub of Tollhouse Cookie dough for $6.99 AND buy my daughter’s admission to the museum for less than that! Why didn’t they just ask for the money for the trip? It is absurd!

And, how about those booths at craft fairs or festivals?

Okay, so if you’re ever asked to “man a booth for a few hours” be very careful. Our organization has signed up for a booth at our community’s Summer Fest in June. I signed up for the early shift (I would finish my shift and enjoy a fun filled afternoon with my family). Yes, first mistake. Funny how your “replacements” never seem to show up to actually replace you. So, there I was, 6 hours later “manning the booth”. If that wasn’t annoying enough, suddenly, the sky darkened, the wind kicked up and we were in the middle of one of those terrible thunder and lightning storms. Everything blew wildly; the canopy was about to fly. And the rain fell in droves. Needless to say, we made very little money that day. (Even putting the

“severe thunderstorm factor” aside, the event was not very profitable because although there was a lot of traffic, there was also a lot of competition.)

Oh and let’s not forget one of my favorite “simple” fundraising ideas, pizza kits and pies.

Ok, yes they are pretty decent sellers, but the logistics of the whole thing are crazy. First of all, you need to arrange an EXACT delivery time with the company because they have to keep the goods frozen. Then you have to let everyone know when that EXACT delivery date is and pray that they actually come to pick up their products. And, when they don’t. . .well, let’s just say, it was a very good thing I had a spare freezer in my basement to store some of those oversized boxes! And, don’t get me started on how I had to make a million phone calls to those people who failed to show up at our EXACT delivery time.

But, my all time favorite adventure was “The Bottle Ride”. The most basic of simple fundraising ideas. You collect, basically, people’s trash and exchange it for money. A piece of cake.

That’s what we thought too. The conversation went something like this: “We’re going to do a bottle drive!” “Yes!” “On New Year’s Day.” “Great idea!” “All those New Year parties! We’re going to make a lot of money!”

It became an obsession. I’m in the grocery store and I meet Mike. He says, “Hey, we’re having a New Year’s party, you and John should stop by.” Great, I think. Give his address to one of the drivers to pick up his bottles in the morning. I get so into it that I actually eavesdrop to find out where everyone will be partying.

So it’s New Year’s Day and with maps in hand and addresses of all those parties that happened the night before, we hopped in our trucks and headed out. Did I mention we live in Maine? We have been hit by several December storms and today we were in Nor’easter, as they are so endearingly called. (If you’re not familiar with the term, this basically means that the snow falls in modest crystals at a moderate but relentless rate until you suddenly realize you’re completely stocked.) That didn’t stop us, though. . . don’t worry, just join and start early.

Here’s a curious concept…an early start on New Year’s Day. Okay, so not everyone spent New Year’s Eve like me — in their pj’s, cozying up by the woodstove, going to bed early so we could get an early start in the morning for the bottle drive. At 9:00 am, if you had a party, you are NOT likely to be moving, let alone cleaning your house. So, many doors remained unanswered.

Finally, one neighborhood proved to be promising until we saw…the Boy Scouts. We couldn’t believe it. They also had a bottle drive! (It’s amazing how fast a bunch of not-so-thrilled-to-be-this-early-on-the-weekend teenage hockey players can actually move when they’re trying to get past the scouts.)

My friend and I decided, enough of this door-to-door stuff, we’ll hit the local restaurants and bars. We hit the mother load at our local Thatcher. We rock! Our hopes were high. Then, we hear, “Sorry, you have to talk to the manager and they don’t work on New Year’s Day” or “We have a lot of bottles in our shed out back, but unfortunately the plowman didn’t plow us out of. the last storm. Come see us in the spring.”

Okay, this is getting discouraging. We traded cell phone calls and met at regular intervals at the local redemption center. The snow came down faster than the plows could clear the roads and we realized it was becoming too dangerous to have vehicles on the road. With an army of twelve trucks, we headed back to the redemption center only to discover that it was closed due to the weather!

Now what should we do?

“Bring them to my garage” (What, who said that? Me? Note to self: you’re way too accommodating.) Of course everyone thinks that’s a great idea!

Before I know it, my garage is full of stale smelling beer bottles, my hands are sticky and cold, I’m exhausted, my husband is ready to divorce me AND my car is now outside covered in 18 inches of heavy, wet snow because no there is plenty of room in my garage!

Over the next week, my husband and I bagged the bottles and made several trips to the redemption center. Wow! We made $350 for 15 people, spending a cold, snowy day driving all over town. There has to be a simpler way to fundraise!

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