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NO product sale this year...maybe!

21 years 2 weeks ago #79580 by Publisher
This is always such an interesting topic. A couple of thoughts from me:

1. 3 of a kind -- I would really hesitate about calling the $200 a "membership fee." I'm a huge fan of calling all the parents in your school members, because it sets a great tone of community and openness. A $200 membership fee does juts the opposite. It sets a really high bar for inclusion -- the opposite of most of our involvement goals. If you're going to make it $200, I'd say call it something else ("support donation"??) and still keep membership quite open/easy.

2. We do see quite a few schools trying the donation-only method, and here's the typical reaction. The first time it's tried, there's often a good bit of success (similar $$ brought in to the fundraiser that's replaced). But each successive drive brings diminishing returns. Most of the groups I've seen try the donation method eventually go back to fundraisers in a short period of time.

21 years 2 weeks ago #79579 by jepto
Replied by jepto on topic RE: NO product sale this year...maybe!
What will you do for the families that are unwilling to pay $200? Will those children not be able to attend the assemblies or go on field trips?

I would go ahead and do the fundraiser this year. You might send a note home with the fundraiser information telling families that if they would rather just donate or collect donations here is your tax id number etc... That way they have a choice. Last year I personally had several people tell me that they would have spent about $20 on something they don't need in the book and just give the $20 as a donation without the PTO suggesting donations.

Then right after the fundraiser poll the families on the fundraiser vs. donation etc... I think that if you ask 8 or 9 months after the fundraiser people aren't going to remember what the did and didn't like about it.

Also, if you've been using the same fundraiser your families may be getting tired of it. Maybe try something different. [img]smile.gif[/img]
21 years 2 weeks ago #79578 by mykidsmom
We do this but more on a "this is what we need your support for, how much can you give." basis.
Most of our families give $20 (not a "rich" area) but what has surprised me are the grandparents and family members that send in cash!

Have you ever seen on public TV how they do their membership drive? For a donation of $125 we'll send you this book, for $250 you can get the book AND puppets! You know the more you send the better the idea.

We had the same thing happen with our PTO, we are fed up with buying T-shirts, pies, etc and would rather just write a tax deductable check!
21 years 2 weeks ago #79577 by Mark's Mom
Replied by Mark's Mom on topic RE: NO product sale this year...maybe!
We polled our parents on this. And the majority even the "wealthy ones" would rather get "stuff" for there $$. You may want send out questionare in Sept. to get EVERYONE's input, you couldn't have possibly spoken to all 300! Personally I would rather write the check and take the write off than buy a bunch of junk, so we will offer that option with all our product sales. i.e catalog I usually spend/solicit $100 in sales and school gets $50. I'll just chuck the catalog and send $50. Saves me $$ and school gets same amount. You may want to give them the option and make everyone happy.
21 years 2 weeks ago #79576 by NMmom
Replied by NMmom on topic RE: NO product sale this year...maybe!
Our school is very diffrent. We have 65% of our students recieving free lunches. We have a hard time getting $3.00. I agree with the concept for the wealthier parents but could you do grants or something on that line for the ones who will never be able to afford it? You may turn out looking like a clique.
21 years 2 weeks ago #79575 by 3 of a kind
NO product sale this year...maybe! was created by 3 of a kind
As PTO president, quite a few parents came to me last year expressing their thoughts about product sales. They don't NEED the products nor do they like the hassle. They would rather give cash and be able to write it off as a donation. After much debate in our last PTO meeting, we agreed to eliminate our product sales. We will instead send out our membership letter indicating the $200.00 membership fee will include, but not limited to: School T-shirt, yearbook, assemblies,field trip bus @ each grade level, art masters program, scholastic news, fall carnival, teacher supplies & seminars, special school events, technology, library, etc...

I would like to get some input on this idea. Has anyone done this before? What are some of your pros and cons?

We are a K-6 with approx. 300 students. The majority of families are on the "higher income" side. We do have some that may not be able to afford this. We thought they would be able to solicit other family members for a donation just as they would a product sale.

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