Fundraising - If Not Me Then Whom?

Growing up in a small town in the early 1980's fundraising was just a part of being involved in elementary school fundraisers, sports teams fundraisers and other fundraising activities. I can remember endless fundraising-a-thons, i.e., walk-a-thon, swim-a-thon, skate-a-thon etc., and of course there was always chocolate candy fundraising sales.

I can remember there were always the keener kids who every year blew everyone else in the school out of the I wonder if their parents worked in huge companies or had very large families to buy up their entire stock!

I asked my parents recently about their feelings toward fundraising when we were kids and my mom replied, "Oh, it was just another part of being a parent." My mom said her only concern was sending us door-to-door; she was not comfortable with the idea.

So like every other parent they did their due-diligence and took the product to work to pawn off on all of their obliging colleagues, of course with payback later!

Fast forward to the 2000's when attitudes appear to have changed, parents no longer feel like it is another part of their responsibilities and kids are not so keen. It seems now that parents believe someone else should pay or fund their children's school and other non-profit activities, whether it is the government (always the favorite to blame), the Board of Education, or whatever association/organization is offering the program.

I understand that parent's financial obligations are heavy and they already pay taxes, but of course someone has to make up the difference. It always seems to be the same handful of parents that participate (maybe the same keener kids of the past that blew everyone's chocolate sales out of the water!).

Has the idea that fundraising is just another part of parenting been lost? Do we expect too much of everyone else, and not enough of ourselves? Or is it that financial constraints are heavier, people are busier, schools and organizations are needier.

I am not sure, but I do know that without fundraising, our schools would be weaker, our programs would be extremely expensive, and our kids would not have the opportunities at hand. So, someone has to do it, I guess the big question is..If not me then whom?

Amy Franklin makes her living as a Fundraising Consultant. After many years in the not-for-profit sector, followed by a few years in sales, Fundraising felt like a natural fit. Amy loves the work, and enjoys working with a variety of organizations, schools and sports teams. She currently assists in making sure their proprietary Fundraising MatchmakerT service finds groups the right type of fundraising solutions to review.