You’re asking me to sell what?

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I have lots of memories as a child of my fundraising for school and other activities I was involved in. Most of them are around chocolate bars and hot cross buns and who could sell the most boxes. I’m sure the money I raised went towards something!

I don’t yet have children in kindergarten or school but want them to experience the same thrill of being able to participate in these activities. Unfortunately the fundraising choices I see around these days haven’t really changed over the years and in fact seem to have got worse.

Only last year in the tea room at work, someone was ‘fundraising’ for the Heart Foundation for their child’s school: Cadbury’s chocolates and the Natural Confectionary Company’s lollies. It kind of seems illogical given that Australia (and the world really) is in the midst of obesity, diabetes and heart disease crises. So we just sell more of the food that contributes to these issues?!?

I’d rather just make a donation instead of selling people processed food that I would never eat myself or feed my children. But that doesn’t really help my children be involved in and learn about the activity, and it kind of excludes them in a sense.

So it got me thinking about how I can best manage this situation before it comes knocking on my door. In fact, when I started looking into this, there are alot of mums and dads out there who feel exactly the same. And who are starting to have a voice to change the system.

So here are a couple of alternative fundraising options that I’m keen to explore when the time comes.

  • Organic snack packs – whilst I prefer and promote homemade options wherever possible, I understand it isn’t always possible so why not offer healthier and less processed options. The fact that this is still ‘food’ might mean its a better accepted alternative fundraising option. Companies such as  Whole Kids actually do this!
  • Sustainable kitchen essentials – think things like water bottles, food jars, reusable sandwich wraps, rubbish free lunch boxes and snack pockets. My Green Lunch Box4MyEarth, and Cheeki all participate in fundraising activities with their products.
  • Seed growing kits – a great opportunity for children to learn about gardening and caring for the seedlings as well as the bonus of the end produce. An environmental and educational option! Living Fundraisers do this.
  • Cards – Everyone needs cards for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, weddings, births and all other occasions.  Make Cent$ Fundraising provide a variety of handcrafted cards for all occasions that are available for fundraising activities.
  • Dryer balls – now these seem an odd one but they truly do save time, money and energy. Pop them in the dryer with your clothes and they will be drier much quicker. As anyone with children will attest to, the dryer runs pretty frequently in Winter. If the weather isn’t warm enough for a load to dry in a day, I can’t keep up with the volume of washing without the assistance of my dryer. Tumblemonkey felt dryer balls have been involved in many fundraisers.
  • Personalised labels, stationary, lunch boxes and more – always needed and necessary with children at kindergarten and school, Identity Direct participate in fundraising drives with their personalised products.
  • Calendars, planners, notebooks, tea towels, pillowcases, iPhone cases and more – Crazy Camel Fundraising supply a wide range of products allowing kid’s to be creative with their artistic abilities.

This is really just a small example of what is out there. The options are endless really if you think outside the box! The Fundraising Directory is a great resource if you’d like to browse for other ideas.

If you have children in kindergarten and school, I encourage you to look into these too and have a chat to those who organise the fundraisers. The more people who speak out about this proactively, the more likely we are to get change. And remember to have these alternatives to suggest or else it’s likely to fall on deaf ears.

I’d love to hear of any other alternative fundraising activities you have been a part of!

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