How school fundraisers prepare students for life.
When most people think about school fundraisers, several things probably come to mind, like school groups raising money by asking family and friends to purchase items for a cause. Sponsors are most likely thinking about what type of sale they should have, the amount of money that needs to be raised, and what the money will need to be used for.
At the same time, if you're honest, you're also probably thinking of ways around having to do one in the first place. Unfortunately, for most organizations, the need to raise money is unavoidable.
Yet, of all the things that come to mind, one thing is probably never considered. Can school fundraising be suitable for students? What are some of the intrinsic benefits that we often don't think about? Well, as it turns out, there are probably several. Here are five that we thought of:
1. Fundraising is a Team Sport
Being a part of a fundraiser allows students to be part of something bigger than themselves. When students are involved in a sales campaign, they know the purpose. Whether raising money for school supplies, end-of-the-year field trips, or a new playground, many students will realize their contribution will help their group achieve its overall objective. And without them, the group will be less successful.
2. Achieving a Fundraiser Goal takes Discipline
Students also know that prizes are usually involved if specific sales goals are reached. They understand that if they want a particular prize, they'll need to work to get it. Depending on the prize, they'll learn how many items must be sold to get it. They'll figure out how to get it done if they want it. This helps them see cause and effect and that life is full of decisions and consequences. Students learn that despite any obstacles that may stand in their way, if they believe and stay the course, they'll eventually reach their goal regardless.
3. Taking Initiative and Influencing Others
They learn to take the initiative by asking neighbors, family, and friends to support their fundraising efforts. This teaches students about themselves because approaching people isn't always easy. Yet this is an essential part of being an adult. To be successful in life, we must learn how to communicate and express ourselves to others in a mutually beneficial way.
4. Learning the Art of the Approach
Approaching people is a valuable skill most people will need throughout life. Allowing students to approach people in a supervised manner to attempt to make a sale teaches them how to relate to others effectively. Students will understand that people respond more favorably to someone polite and can articulate their message effectively.
5. Handling Rejection is a Fact of Life
Not everyone will buy it, and that's fine. If they encounter rejection, the vital lesson to teach students is to be polite and professional. And how do they do that? By saying thank you regardless of the potential customer's response. We must learn to deal with not getting what we want every time. Adversity will happen to each of us on a routine basis.
So instead of sheltering children from difficult circumstances, we should allow them to learn how to deal with them in a controlled environment. It can be said that one learns about an individual's true character by handling adversity, regardless of age.
Even though fundraising projects offer extrinsic rewards, the intrinsic benefits may become more significant.
Can you think of other intrinsic benefits that school fundraisers offer students?
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.