How to negotiate school fundraiser hell


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If you have a child who's just started school, chances are you'll be asked to get involved with fundraising activities.

Not everyone feels comfortable hitting up friends or family for money, but there are ways to tackle fund-raising requests that aren't too painful.

Some parents get their kids to do the asking. It's hard to resist a child asking for sponsorship but they should always be accompanied by an adult if fundraising involves door-knocking around the neighbourhood.

school fundraiser hell fundraising

Always explain what the funds will be used for. Be as specific as possible and state the fund-raising target your school is aiming for. People are more likely to give when they see a connection between their money and what it will help to achieve.

Make it clear that any contributions are appreciated - but not obligatory.

For fundraisers like chocolate drives or catalogue sales, take the items into work and let your colleagues take a look at their leisure.

Or, if the fundraiser is along the lines of a walkathon, give people the option to make a lump sum donation.

Even small kids can cover a lot of ground, leaving some donors considerably more out of pocket than they expected.

Be sure to thank anyone who donates, and graciously accept any knockbacks.

You could have a few years of fundraising ahead, and you'll quickly get to know who the regular givers are.

If you feel strongly about approaching people for fundraising money, voice your concerns to the P&C.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.