Why School-Age Fundraising Develops Life Skills

Efforts towards a shared goal help kids see the big picture

While fundraising can be a necessary means to support school programs, extracurricular activities, educational field trips, sports, or events, it also offers an extremely beneficial learning process for school-age children.

We often overlook how fundraising and working toward a shared goal can help develop a child’s character and life skills.

“Before you launch a sales fundraiser, you probably already have a clear idea of how it will benefit the school,” explains PTO Today.

“But product sales can also provide some tangible learning opportunities for students. Talking to potential customers, tracking orders, handling money, and delivering goods all can teach kids lessons that will benefit them in other areas of their lives.”

Further, working together to reach something bigger and beyond individual capability builds character in children and rewards their dedication to the cause. School fundraising provides the most value and delivers the best results when framed as a team building exercise – think “we have a problem to solve, and we can do it together by…”. “The skills learned from team building are important parts of personal and group development in children.

During team building activities, children have the chance to communicate with each other and work towards a common goal.

By practicing being an effective team member and team leader, children develop confidence in their own abilities,” reports PennState Extension.

As you unfold each plan for fundraising, explain how these activities pose an opportunity for children to build character and develop life skills. School-age fundraising teaches students how to:

1. Communicate Their Needs

Even from infancy, we may encourage our children to communicate their needs. Fundraising presents an opportunity for children to step outside their comfort zone and ask questions for help, involvement, an order, or a donation, and appropriately manage the response.

Asking for something is not always comfortable, or even second nature. Fundraising can help children make the connection between having what they want and asking for what they need.

2. Develop Business Sense

Yes, business sense, to some degree, can be seen as a necessary life skill. From jotting down orders to delivering fundraising items, the basic structure of school fundraisers teaches children how we get from A to Z in a commercial sense. The logical fundraising process helps children understand commerce, the exchange of goods, and the value of a dollar.

3. Set Goals

Every fundraiser has a goal. Sharing that goal with the group sets the team up for success. For children, it allows them to envision the process from action to reward. Team goal setting and discussing all of the activities it will take to meet that goal helps a child understand how their actions today lead to a certain outcome tomorrow. Learn how to get SMART about your fundraising.

4. Accomplishment Goals for the Greater Good

“Studies show that people—especially young people—with a strong sense of purpose are happier, healthier, more motivated, and more resilient,” explains Greater Good in Education. Fundraising activities not only offer children a sense of purpose but also a sense of accomplishment upon completion.

Fundraisers relay what it means to do something for a team or group, or something bigger, for the whole school. Children, by nature, want to help. Learning how they can do so, even on a small scale, helps them see the bigger picture.

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