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Children And Fundraising - How To Get Your Child Involved

Mar 15, 2008
Many of us experienced school fundraisers as kids. We had the task of going door to door selling chocolate bars, magazine subscriptions, wrapping paper and more to raise money for our schools or activities.

While we still have fundraisers, the methods of fundraising have changed. Going door to door is quickly becoming outdated and the focus for methods has shifted drastically.

As a parent, you might find yourself still working in fundraisers. It's a fine line between making it your job and instilling the values of fundraising to children. While parents do need to be more involved in the process, there are still ways you can teach your child the importance of fundraisers.

Who's Doing The Selling?

Don't fall into the trap of doing all the selling for your child. Sure, it's great to solicit friends, family and co-workers, but you have to draw the line. The whole idea behind the child participating in the fundraiser is for him or her to achieve a sense of pride from a job well done. Children have to learn that not everyone will say "yes". Keep your child motivated, let them pitch the sales and teach them how to gracefully deal with rejection.

Competition

While fundraising does entail a good amount of competition, your child shouldn't be made to feel any less than the child who had higher sales because a parent had more contacts at the office. The child has to learn that every little bit counts towards the greater good. Their contribution and hard work is important even if they don't have the biggest numbers of sales.

Who To Sell To

Before your child embarks on her mission, take some time to discuss who to sell to. This can be difficult, considering so many children in the same neighborhood most likely knock on the same doors. The child should know that when someone says no, this person shouldn't be bothered repeatedly for future fundraisers until the person gives in and buys something. Sit down and make a list of people to visit. Keep the list so that the next time a fundraiser comes around, you can avoid asking those people to contribute again. If you have several fundraisers a year, it can get expensive for people to contribute to each one. Come up with several lists and rotate them through each fundraising event.

The Sales Pitch

Speaking to strangers (even if they're friends of the family) isn't easy for many children. Take some time with your child to practice his or her sales pitch. Do a few rounds of pretend sales before going out and fundraising for real. One site suggests that parents scope out potential customers by asking if they might be interested in seeing what products their child has to offer. If the potential customer is open, go ahead and let your child follow up.

Keep in mind that you should never allow your child to go door-to-door alone, unless you know the people well. Do allow your child to do all the talking when trying to pitch a sale. After all, even if your child doesn't sell a thing, it's the effort that counts.
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