Fundraising: Opt-in Programs Work Best

contributed by Valerie Bean (Pickering, ON)

IN A RECENT POLL, FUNDRAISING TOPPED THE LIST of things that parents dislike most about back to school.

I would have staked my baking reputation and handed in my first prize ribbon for the best homemade chocolate chip cookies (as voted by my son’s grade six class) that I was right,┬ábut I’d have guessed projects or making lunches would be #1.

Hockey season brings us the fundraising. And as we enter season number eight in fundraising for the Kid’s hockey, I dread knocking on the doors of friends, neighbours, and relatives to peddle that raffle tickets for a stocked bar fridges, scraves (awesome, though, in team colours), a third pub night, another golf tournament.

Opt-in programs work best. That way, folks who prefer not to fundraise can buy their share, those that want to can sell to their hearts content.

I’ve often joked that I’d rather take out a bank loan than circle the neighbourhood again selling hot chocolate door-to-door in February, or participate in another bottle drive, but here we are.

It’s almost autumn now and we’re back at it and I’m reminded of possibly the year our team secured the coveted Bingo fundraiser. That year, I had the pleasure of working the smoking section of a mid-week bingo. By the end of the night, my allergies were in full swing, I needed nose spray and my puffer, and, although a former smoker, I was seriously craving a cigarette.

Next time my turn rolled around, I paid $20 for a someone to work my shift. (And I wasn’t the only parent to do so.)

Thankfully, we haven’t had to work another Bingo. Yet.

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