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Burning questions

Hey, is it customary to sell wrapping paper or grapefruit or other random crap to your friends and relations as a fundraiser for your kid's day care center? I've never heard of it before today, and it strikes me as... odd. Now sure, I am happy to buy your wrapping paper to help stock the library at the local public school in some underfunded district, and have even been known to do so to help stock the library in the incredibly rich counties where we've lived, but day care? If the day care needs more money, shouldn't they just, you know, charge more?

And yes I know, day care costs a fortune around here. But our solution to the child care issue was to give up my entire salary. Does that mean I can hold a fundraiser to buy more construction paper and glue for Mia?

I'm not bitter about it or anything, it just strikes me as... curious.

Oh, and supposing you received this type of request in the name of your delightful and adored (and by no stretch of the imagination underprivileged) niece, just as a for instance. Would etiquette dictate that you pony up?

Comments (46)

I'd pony up, but if you would rather buy wrapping paper for Michael's preschool I can send that link on.

I hate all fundraisers, but then I'm kind of a cranky bitch too. I know that I hated doing them in school too and was always one of the people whose parents were the only ones who bought anything.

We are currently selling cookie dough for the private daycare/preschool that we send our daughter to. And um, yes, I'd rather just spend a little more in tuition than deal with the fundraising aspect.

And yes, you must buy from cute little nieces and nephews.

Our pre-school has a fundraiser in the form of coupon books. We're always happy to help by buying and selling some stuff. It's an in-home pre-school.

As someone who pays almost 400 a week for daycare (and no, I really can't afford that, but I have no other choice), I think it's absolutely crazy to ask parents to participate in fundraisers. My daycare has had them, but I never paid attention. Then only thing I participate in is teacher appreciation week because our teachers are awesome.

If someone hit me up, someone I knew well or was family, I would buy something, however.

How that works in my brain, I don't know.

Yup. Pony up. And prepare to pony up for the next, oh, 20 years.

I KNOW! My nephew's daycare did a fundraiser and I was just the same way. His parents pay tuition so why do they need a fundraiser? I did it last year but this year we pay tuition for our own daughter's Mother's Day Out so I won't be participating.

But my nieces who attend public school? Yes, I will buy their fund raising crap.

Elementary school and up - yes. Pre-school and daycare? Never heard of it. But yes, it seems like they should just be charging more if they need more. In which case I'd ask to see their books and see what they're doing the the arm and leg I'm already paying them...

My son's daycare/pre-school does fundraising several times a year.

I'm not a big fan of buying overpriced crap so that a (small) portion of that can go back to the school. Once I tried to just give them a check and by-pass the fundraising, but they gave me odd looks. So now I just buy one or two things (if I can find one or two things I can bear to own) and leave it at that.

I don't sell the stuff at work, and I don't sell to the neighbors. I might hit up family if we lived close, but that's not an option for us.

The one fund raiser I do like and fully participate in is the fall festival. The proceeds for that go to the teachers for their Holiday party. I bake for the bake sale (and buy a bunch of goodies too), and last year I manned the ticket sales. It's fun for the kids, so I don't mind going.

If I had a delightful niece, I would probably pony up something if asked.

Grapefruit?

Ugh yes I would pony up for an adorable niece (or in my case, nephew) but No ONE ELSE, dammit.

But come on! Yes that is exactly what daycare rates are for! To pay for the daycare. I'm also home full time with the kids, and we don't use a babysitter because it's just too expensive and we DROPPED MY SALARY so no childcare to make life easier, except, you know, us parents.

Now I'm thinking I'll hold a bake sale in the driveway.

Provided there are no extenuating financial circumstances, the relative should pony up for at least one small thing. If I were the mom of a selling child (that sounds almost pornographic, sorry) I would be sure to steer my child away from asking someone that I knew couldn't spare $10 in order to save everyone some guilt and embarassment.

Honestly, I would be a little pissed if someone asked me to support a fundraiser for a private school of any sort. Public schools need all the help they can get, but for private schools? That's what TUITION is for.

It's the new hottness, and I HATE it. I even hate it for non-profit thingies like public schools, but I ESPECIALLY hate it for profit-making businesses such as daycares. I think it is R-O-N-G wrong.

I never do it for my own kids, but if it were an adorable niece? ...Sigh.

My day care has done fundraisers for specific things only. Like a new tire swing. Not random no reason at all things. I would only buy if it's something I were interested in anyway. The odds are good that the kid won't notice yet anyway, and you can save your good aunt points for when they actually care.

But my kid's dance school does fundraisers every year. They sell cool things like coupons that are actually useful, so I don't mind doing it so much. I still have the occassional "But she's only 4 years old" thought run through my head though.

And it's not even about whether I could afford to buy it. It's that it's overpriced (even if I were wealthy I would not pay $10 for a roll of wrapping paper), and that the fundraising company IS for-profit even if the school is not.

AND I think it's wrong that they use children for this. Really, really wrong. They give them a total motivational seminar first, too. Well, probably not to daycare kids. But to schoolkids, they do. Get them all pumped up to sell sell sell! I REALLY object to it. (Um, obvious much?)

In fact, you know what they should do? The school should sell $30 tickets, of which they get to keep ALL the money, not just a part. For your ticket, you get to have your child NOT attend the assembly and NOT receive the fundraising crap to bring home. I don't mind supporting the school, but I don't want to support the fundraising company OR the fundraising concept.

Private schools around here sell candy and raffle tickets, I guess that's similar. Fundraising for daycare does seem wrong though.

At first I was going to say that you shouldn't buy a thing but then I saw that it was for your niece and that's a slightly different can of worms. If the request can be ignored -- go for it. If not, you might just have to buy a few rolls.

No, never heard of this before. I find it absurd. I understand fund-raising for PTAs, playgrounds, libraries, and schools in general, but not daycare. Not getting this at all.

Your points are all very valid. I think that it is common for day care centers to fundraise, despite the obvious idea that they could charge more. Here is what I think you should look at: Are Mia and Owen going to require that you fundraise in the future? If so, pony up so that they buy the chocolate almonds for gymnastics.

Public elementary school? Yes. Pre-school? I don't think so. Would I do it for an adorable niece? It would depend on if the niece or my sister would be hurt if I opted out. But if I did, I would bitch loudly and longly to her parents.

Sometime in the 8 years between my kids the fund raising disease spread to pre-school. I was shocked when I found out. At first I thought my daycare lady was hitting me up to by from one of her kids. I always feel awful hitting people up with that stuff my self, so I'd totally play the sstay at home card on this one. Just tell them that they are the only grown ups that you ever see. ; )

Trust me ... if you have ever had to sell fruitcake for a band fundraiser, wrapping paper and candy bars are a welcome surprise. Last year my daughter sold candy like Skittles and M&M's and Snickers for a fund raiser. Comes in a neat box and is cheaper than a vending machine or grocery store.

And the idea of reciprocity is expected in fund raising. You sell girl scout cookies you better expect to buy some boy scout popcorm\n.

As far as a fundraiser, do you really want them to keep raising the price? No you don't.

Knot

When we were in a full day daycare, we had no fundraisers.

Now that we are in a partial day preschool at a local church that is non-profit, we'll have 2 - 3 fundraisers already. We talked to them, however, and they are ok if we give them a "love" donation vs. doing all the fundraising crap.

is it standard? Yep.

I'd pony up... something. How much would depend on who the kid is, how much it is, and what it is (for example, I'm pretty well set on grapefruit...)

Wow, fundraising has made it all the way down to preschool! I thought I was finally off the hook now that my kids are grown, but I got hit up yesterday by my managers kids. I honestly would rather just fork over 50 bucks and get it over with.

Daycare...I thought i read preschool. I would have to think about that.

All of the above comments are exactly WHY at my preschool we don't do fundraiser. If parents want to support something, they can support the church our preschool is located in or just give us random money..yeah, that'll work.

Our daycare has had fundraisers. But she's also a home daycare provider and was raising money for a specific goal (a new playscape). We were given the option to fundraise, donate or decline. We donated just because we knew how hard it is to own your own business and she's very affordable. When A was in private daycare we did not fundraise. They were already charging an arm and a leg.

after 30 comments i'm guessing you have your answer. At our elem. school, they gave the option of just donating money, then you dont have to volunteer and we dont have to sell stuff- not one person pony'd up. Maybe its the same thing in preschool.

My ex-sister-in-law would constantly bring those types of things to my ex-mother-in-laws house when she knew the whole family was going to be there. There was no etiquette involved, just a "Oh btw, Kid's School is having this fundraiser, the sheet's on the counter if you want to buy anything." We'd normally buy Christmas paper (that was not cheap in the slightest) because the rest of the crap we wouldn't use. Sometimes we wouldn't buy anything but most of the time we would.

It's unfortunate that the schools are so underfunded, which is exactly why 90% of the time we helped them out with our "donations". Of course, this was primary (er, elementary?) school not daycare.

Wow... I haven't heard of preschool's doing this, but.. Yeah, I'd pony up if it were for my neices or nephews. But, yeah.. I'm with ya. Seems like the preschool should just charge more. Eh.. just wait til you see the list of crap [read:school supplies] you have to buy every year before school starts!

I've heard of fund raising for school, where there's an obvious school or charity-related cause in mind. I can't really wrap my head around fund raising for a private daycare... unless they're doing it as a charitable thing? Maybe the profits are going to something like that?

Either way, I totally had people say no to me during fundraisers when I was in elementary school... and I totally don't hate them now, so you *can* say no.

No, you don't have to buy anything from your niece especially since it's not your niece who's doing the selling, it's her parents, right? When she gets older and asks you herself you might have to buy something. But I'd wait until that day because the fundraising hell is going to go on for a very, very long time.

This is just the beginning. Fundraisers for soccer, baseball, day care, school, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, gymnastics, field hockey, football, soccer, National Honor Society, school trips to Toronto and Washington D.C....

Oh, and just so you have something to look forward to, they brainwash your kids when they get in school. They hold assemblies to tell them what they will win if they sell more than anybody else in the school (A limo ride! To Dairy Queen! For you and your 10 best friends! You only have to sell 50 bajillion magazines, but you can do it! Johnny did it last year!)

For self-preservation, I no longer shill for any organization. If they want/need more money, they should ask for it.

I usually just send in a check rather than bother my family/neighbors trying to sell them stuff that they probably don't want and buy out of guilt. But I do think that unless the day care is non profit they should be able to fund it using the fees. And usually the only thing we buy from nieces is girl scout cookies (because the thin mints are sooo good).

Stop before you start! All 3 of mine came home selling wrapping paper the other day and want to ask everyone and it gets to just be too too too much! If every Grandparent has to buy from every grandchild or every aunt has to buy from every niece/nephew, in the interest of fairness - it's insane! I've stopped and I've also stopped paying for the ridiculous picture packages the schools offer. Enough is enough. It's constant money out and as another poster wrote, I'd rather just pay a small increase in tuition than to be saddled with this "fundraiser", especially for a preschool/daycare. Why not just ask parents to supply a book to stock the library? We have an agreement in our family - I won't ask you to buy things from my kids and you won't ask me. It works. Wow, this sounds all very grouchy. I guess I'm just tired of constantly being hit with requests for money - fundraisers/school supplies/pictures/gifts for so and so/etc. Too much. :)

I recently took my daughter out of a daycare for that specific reason. She was there a little over a year, and in that time there were 8 different pictures taken, 7 different fundraisers, and they constantly asked for "donations" over the tuition I paid.

When there was a party, parents were asked to supply all the cups, napkins, plastic ware, chips, juice, etc. The school only supplied pizza for the party, which was usually donated.

We paid every other Thursday, on every other Wednesday, the director would ride me - "It's been two weeks, do you have a check?" or the popular "I am having trouble paying my staff, make sure you have a check in the morning for me." I would usually hold the check until thursday afternoon. Sorry, but, my $240 for those two weeks IS NOT going to pay any one providers salary.

The last straw came when I got a phone call on a monday morning, from the owner who was over seeing things while the director was out of town. The owners (hub and wife) had a combined age of 372. Anyhow she calls me and says "You need to bring food for your daughter right now, it would be a shame that I couldn't feed her because of you." Infuriated because my husband and I had just stocked her cubby the previous thursday, I marched right over, cleared out her cube, and never took her back.

Parents - don't let yourself be bullied by your provider.

Oh, it's totally normal. For better or worse. Our preschool used the $ for special events costs - the fall hoedown, puppet shows, etc. We sold Sally Foster, which is really good paper. Our elementary school doesn't have sales fundraisers, and we actually have parents who complain that they're running low on SF paper. I point them to the preschool :) I always just sent the e-mail to grandparents and aunts with a "no pressure. It's just good paper I thought you might like" message. Selling a couple hundred bucks worth wasn't a problem.

Now, the cookie dough they sold - ugh! Tried some myself one year. Never even tried to sell to anyone else - I'd have felt horribly guilty because it sucked. Stick with the Tollhouse tubs from Costco.

Wow, for a private daycare. Really??? Man, I'm not sure what I'd do. Public schools I get, preschool I get but day care?? I probably would since it was family but I would be annoyed.

DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THIS BULLSHIT! I pay over $1000 a month for her to go to daycare, and I refuse to sell wrapping paper. Or join the, get this, PTA. At a daycare.

The PTA does provide a fun activity a month, like a moon bounce or a clown or something, but I feel that the owner should pay for these things, or maybe just skip them all together. I need childcare while I'm at work. Period. She's getting Pre-K out of it, too. Great. But the moon bounce, skip it if it means I have to sell wrapping paper and gertrude hawk, and cookie and pizza dough.

And get this: they didn't even do a book fair last year. You know, the one fundraiser that really benefits the children? Because it was too much work for the PTA, when we could be out selling wrapping paper instead.

Also, I do their taxes for free, but they are still annoyed with me that I don't take a more active role. I told them that I was saving the $500 they'd normally have to pay me to prepare it. So to me that's as good as raising $500.

I am violently opposed to fundraisers, but they are a necessary evil. I worked as a church youth director for years and years and it was all about the fundraisers. When we weren't doing one, the kids were bringing me form after form after form. I finally set some boundaries. I would buy one thing from each fundraiser from the first kid that asked me. Period. (Except for girlscout cookies, because we all know that they contain crack or meth or something and you must have several boxes to finish your fix) And then I was done. AND, when it came to relatives, same thing. One thing from the first person who asked me. And if I asked a relative to buy something, I certainly prefaced it with - I'm not expecting you to buy anything, but here it is if it looks interesting to you.

My hubby has about two dozen nieces and nephews and we regularly buy for the school fundraisers. However, when we got the first request for a daycare fundraiser, we told the mommy: the day you make a nice contribution to Johnny's daycare, we will happily purchase random crap to raise money for your daycare. Until then, all bets are off. She has not asked again. When I buy, I make sure it is useful stuff (the giftwrap is usually pretty good).

If the little niece looked at me with her big brown eyes and asked, pretty please? I probably would buy one tiny, little thing, something I could then donate to a women's shelter if possible. I hate bringing more crap into our lives even more than I hate the idea of a fundraiser for a private school. One thing's for sure, my children will never participate in one. They have better things to do with their days than hone their sales techniques.

Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

We homeschool, so we're responsible for paying for everything we do. I do participate in the fundraising that my friend's son does for boyscouts, but I'm sort of fed up with it and I'm not going to do it anymore. I just decided that right now. Hmm, I think subconsciously I was annoyed all along!

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So the Fish Said...

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