Comments: Ethical Schmethical (or “Undone by Fun Run”) (Or another RHYMEY Title, because SOMETHING has to Follow Praisy Maisy)

I did comment on Mir's ethical question (I don't think its ethical but I won't be getting all worked up over it. In fact, if they get a Wii, I would greatly enjoy pictures of Mir conquering Guitar Hero because I have a feeling that there is a bit of Slash in there and I'm curious if she would wear the hat.)

But for your question, for myself, I don't like to suggest amounts. You never know what position a person is in and I would hate to embarrass someone if they couldn't afford the suggestion. If THEY ask, you could say the school is suggesting $1 per lap but that the school should be happy to raise any amount. I would not divide up friends and relations but would let them know from the get go that there are two runners.

Good Luck collecting pledges. I, unfortunatly, have all of my funds tied up in wrapping paper that I refuse to sell but feel too guilty to send back blank. So, if you get the urge to wrap something, I'm your girl.

Posted by Em at September 11, 2008 11:31 AM

I am a wii bit confused. Each kid vying for their own wii? Aren't they several hundred dollars? I know 35 x 2 = $70 so if all kids in the fun run pool the school gets a game system??
I say, just have them ALL trick or treat for Unicef. And give the mini bars to mama.
Also, yes, Crack is main ingredient in Samoas. Those Girls Scouts are no fools when it comes to fundraising.

Posted by Elizabeth J at September 11, 2008 11:38 AM

I have no problem with the combining. And I wholeheartedly agree that I would rather just write a check to the school than have to buy overpriced goods to benefit mostly the vendor, not the school.

Mostly, though, I am now craving Honeybaked Ham.

Posted by Jill W. at September 11, 2008 11:44 AM

So, um, where's the "Pledge Now!" button on your blog page? Some of us might cave in, I mean, suck up, I mean, pledge...something.

We lived 1000 miles from family when my son was of the candy-selling school-age. He "earned" an air hockey table, though, selling the World's Finest Chocolate to sorority women. At age 7 he knew how to work it. He did ok at the fraternities, but it wasn't like at the sororities where there was much squealing over him and girls calling upstairs to their friends saying, "Come see this adorable little boy - and bring $$$ 'cause he has chocolate!"

He's our only, so there was no ethics debate on that score.

Now my younger sister's kids are in grade school, and (ugh!) you get an email with a link to a shopping page where you can buy crap to support their school. So the safety of long distance is no longer there. I'm with all y'all who'd rather just send a check to the school. Cut out the middle men (who probably look just like the characters on that wrapping paper)!!!

And I wouldn't feel comfortable combining pledges to boost one kid's score. But I do sneak snacks into movie theaters....

Posted by Lulu at September 11, 2008 11:53 AM

I will have to post an update on this on my own blog, but FWIW I did end up calling the PTO president to ask her opinion, which was more or less OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, OF COURSE THEY CAN COMBINE! and then this morning while I was at school helping to tally sheets I asked the ENTIRE COMMITTEE and they all said YEAH, WHAT SHE SAID. So no one seems to care.

In your case I think the kids go door to door TOGETHER and explain what's happening and that they are both participating and see what happens.

P.S. As of this morning (with only a portion of our proceeds counted) our Fun Run has outearned every other fundraiser in SCHOOL HISTORY. I am now ALL ABOUT the Fun Run, Wii or no Wii!

Posted by Mir at September 11, 2008 12:30 PM

I guess most people think it is okay to combine, but in the back of my mind I have doubts. There is an unfair advantage for families of multiple kids over those with 1 kid. That one kid has to do the work of several kids to compete.

Posted by Bob at September 11, 2008 12:45 PM

My favorite fund raiser of all time was the "no-show ball" from middle school. You send in money and then do nothing!!! There was no bribery for presents that the kids didn't need (this was long before they came out with a wii!). And they only did the one fund raiser a year and then you were finished. Of course you still had girl scouts and boy scouts and chorus and drama and .......

Posted by Cathi at September 11, 2008 1:38 PM

Yet another reason I'm glad we homeschool...

Posted by amy at September 11, 2008 2:10 PM

That's tricky. The suggested donation would make me uncomfortable. A dollar a lap sounds okay until you know they're each potentially running 35 laps! Yikes! I'd say let both kids go together to each neighbor/friend, but don't make a suggested donation per lap. But what do I know - maybe everybody is expecting the dollar-a-lap request.

Posted by Holly at September 11, 2008 2:19 PM

Our school actually has a fundraiser called "Write-a-Check." Which is exactly what it sounds like. And is the most popular fundraiser we do. Go figure...

Posted by Amy-Go at September 11, 2008 2:51 PM

I would NEVER suggest a buck a lap! It is ON THE SHEET!!!! WHich is AWFUL I think. You can check 5 2 or 1 buck a lap. Which is...INSANE.

Then there is a little place undere that to write in your own amount. I think I will tell them t ask the neighbors for a QUARTER a lap. Because, LORD!

Posted by Joshilyn at September 11, 2008 2:54 PM

I have no kids/nieces/nephews but friends with kids. When they need pledges I find it easier to pledge a flat rate like $10, here take it now, don't bother me anymore until you have my samoas for me! I do agree the fun run is a nice idea, gets the kids exercising and you don't have to buy junk you'd never use anyway.

Posted by Melissa at September 11, 2008 3:51 PM

Whoo. Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons that I'm glad I live in Germany. Everyone here is crazy like a box of frogs, but at least the schools are properly funded.

Posted by alala at September 11, 2008 4:23 PM

heh. I am a Scrooge and throw out all fundraising crap as soon as it slyly wiggles through my front door and begins to make loving googly-eyes at me. yesterday Bookey said she had to do blah-blah so she could get a Scooby-Doo tshirt. I got right up, marched in her brother's room, found his Scooby-Doo tshirt from kindergarten and put that sucker right on her, dropping the fundraising paraphernalia in the trashcan as the shirt went over her head.

Posted by Elena at September 11, 2008 5:10 PM

Seeing as how Mir already knows if it's considered ethical or not, I'll pass because nobody cares if I would combine them and then cheat by adding my own hefty donation.

I usually just write a check there and then for my own set amount...usually twenty dollars. It just makes it easier. Although I do love the Samos and chocolate popcorn but by the time it arrives I had either forgotten or given up... because it seems like five centuries later.

Posted by Cele at September 11, 2008 7:48 PM

Combine... who cares! I think sending the kids around to the neighbors together is a great idea. I agree with the donation people. I (and my parents) forget the wrapping paper, magazines, cookie dough, etc.. and just give the flat donation. The school gets 100% of the money and I spend less in the end. Win-Win!

Posted by Rene at September 12, 2008 1:26 AM

Last year I convinced the fundraiser lady to do an either-or thing. Either make your kid go bug people for money OR let Mom write the school a check.
The school gets 100% of mom's check and less than 40% of the money raised from hours of door knocking, email sending and dog petting. When the kid wanted the plastic toy prizes the "sellers" were getting- Mom took her to the dollar store and gave her five bucks of shopping joy.
Seemed a good solution at the time, and yes, I always sponsor the neighbor girl who goes to the fancy Christian school on her annual fun run. And then I ask her to watch the hamster for a weekend.

Posted by lindasands at September 12, 2008 8:33 AM

Gah! NO CLOWNS. No fanged and creepy clowns. Not on wrapping paper or anywhere.

What else? I'm inclined to think combining is okay. I'm inclined to think 25 cents is good for the neighbors. And I TOTALLY agree that Samoas=crack.

Posted by Aimee at September 12, 2008 10:33 AM

Bless Mir's heart & yours. Yes, please combine--yep, $1 is a bit much; yep, fund-raisers are a pain in the patootey; yep, the fun-run is likely better than the rock-a-thons that were so popular, but . . . whatever you all decide, please fund-raise. I was a secondary English teacher for 31 years in our state's public schools. I sponsored cheerleaders, juniors, seniors, literary, created and sponsored a literary magazine for the kids, and the list goes on. From experience I know what the schools do and what the sponsors do for students. The real beauty of fund-raising money is that everyone--parents, teachers, and students can see where the money goes. At this point, the state has cut 2.2% of our high school's budget--that's $600,000 plus--and they have cut millions from budgets around the state. Fund-raisers are a royal pain, but I hope you, Mir, and all of your readers understand that there is a real need for them. Now that I'm "retired," I'm still not done. My son is a junior this year, and has decided to "have a life," as he says. What that means is that there will be more fund-raisers in my future. Not just the addictive samoas, but I suspect there will be Krispy Kreme runs at 4 AM in my future. Really, the fun run is a great idea. You ain't seen nothin yet. But . . . ya know what? It's worth it . . . every penny and every crappy wrappy paper you buy.

Posted by aiken314 at September 12, 2008 12:14 PM

I'm with Amy (a few comments up). I have never been more happy to homeschool. Of course, I've had my share of fundraisers.. what with blue and gold cub scout popcorn and sausage. It's awful when your kids knock on a door.. and you know the resident is home.. yet you only hear faint mumblings that sound like "duck and they'll go away." It's doubly awful when those residents are your own kids grandparents!

Posted by Melanie at September 12, 2008 5:31 PM

My own children just had their Fun Run this week and now we're collecting the money. I so hated asking for donations when I was a kid that I don't make my kids walk the neighborhood. Plus, all our friends have their own kids in assorted Fun Runs. So we basically only hit up the grandparents. And since I have 2 kids involved, I too hate for them to have to cough up a minimum of $60-70. And I think the pledges have to be in $1 increments. BUT... I do encourage the "flat donation" option.

We're also gearing up for Cub Scout popcorn sales (this year I'm going to make him hit up the neighbors since several scouts in the neighborhood have moved, and, frankly, I don't feel like forking over $150 in popcorn myself this year), and my daughter will be selling Girl Scout cookies. At least those sell themselves.

I HATE all the fundraising -- I'd just as soon write a check to the school and be done with it.

Good luck!!!

Posted by Terri at September 12, 2008 6:06 PM

"Oh boy, the fun," says the lady readying for hurricane #2 down in the Deep South, who's also supposed to be working the football concession stand, selling raffle tickets & Krispy Kreme cards all tomorrow afternoon.

Thank Gawd fundraiser goodies carry the negative calorie effect, or I couldn't walk thru a doorway by this point in life with 3 teens who through school community clubs, Boy & Girl Scouts, band, football, baseball, basketball, bowling, etc. ad nauseum. And that's all on top of private school tuitions!

Feel ya pain. Schools (and parents) would be less stressed if they gave us the write-a-check-and-skip-the-fundraisers option. Or, if you could choose to WORK or FUND the events; not both!

;) Have a good day now!

Posted by angie at September 12, 2008 8:03 PM

We are mid-fun-run ourselves right now and I feel your pain! We have combined. The older ones have no interest in the junky toys, so they have abdicated to their little sister. It also adds the "cool factor" of showing up at school every day and saying, "I'm not doing it. I refused!" while not actually getting in trouble b/c they tell the teacher, "I'm letting my sister have my pledges so she can earn the scooter."

I hate the $1 suggested per lap, and really hate that flat donations and pledges for less than $1/lap don't count towards the prizes or recognition. But I agree that the fundraisers provide lots of necessary and great things for the school, and if all the people who SAY, "I'd rather just write a check to the school" would actually DO that then we wouldn't have to do all of these fundraisers.

Just hang on. It's almost over and they won't remember that they didn't get the crazy hair ball by Christmas.

Posted by Jen at September 12, 2008 10:04 PM

I cannot believe that all these schools are doing the "Fun Run" and that company is making soooooo much money!!! I'm all about free enterprise but they must be making a killing. I had a huge problem with the fundraiser and I had a sit down talk with my kids. I don't believe our schools are true charities. At our school, extras are purchased with PTA money. I had a huge problem with my kids asking the neighbors to sponsor them, and giving the impression that this was for charity. Only 51% of the money raised went to the school! So therefore, I allowed the grandparents and 2 close friends to sponsor .50 a lap (so the kids weren't ostracized) and then I wrote a letter to PTA and attached a personal check that said I was having a very hard time with this fundraiser and I didn't doubt it would do well, but I wanted MY money to go directly to the school. We do an "opt out" where people can make a donation at the beginning of the year ($35, $50 or $100+) and we still do fundraising, too. I think our school budget is too high if we have to work this hard and our parent volunteers can't be used in the classroom because they are too busy helping with fundraising!!!!! Write a letter and a check and have a "sit down" with your kids.

Posted by Kim at September 12, 2008 11:37 PM

In an effort to KEEP friends, family and church associates, we backed out of this a long time ago...my oldest is 28, my youngest eight. I have an agreement with everyone on this street...you don't ask me, I won't ask you. They can ask the grandparents, but not my sister who has two grandkids selling stuff or my brother who has two of his own kids selling stuff or the cousins who are all selling stuff...usually the same stuff we're selling! It sort of helps delay that point where people dread to see you coming!

Posted by CountryGirl at September 13, 2008 8:25 AM

we're having a read-a-thon, where they're supposed to make a personal goal to read so many minutes in a 10-day period. they're supposed to ask for flat-rate pledges, paid up-front. meeting the goal is on an honor system, tho they do have a sheet to fill out showing what/how many minutes they read.....The pta volunteers run the program (no "company" running it), so we get 100 percent of the proceeds. (we had a kids dentist donate t-shirts, companies donate prizes for most minutes read and most money raised, etc.) i'm volunteering time with the project, so i'm just giving my girls a penny a page. that much from me, poppa, nana and maybe a favorite uncle, and i feel they're donating more than enough. plus they really earn something for themselves with all the reading!!!

Posted by dramamama at September 13, 2008 11:22 AM