I bet you've had at least one parent offer to run a home sales party with all the proceeds going to your group. The offer almost always comes from a generous place and usually sounds good at first. But my tip this week is to proceed with caution.

We had a very similar question and discussion on our message boards last week.

There are a couple of risks with these home parties as fundraisers. First, once you've approved one, lots of other parents who dabble in these parties are going to want to do the same -- and these days there are tons of them. There's also a legitimate question about whether these are actually good fundraisers. Not all are. There is such a thing as “not worth it,” even if you don't have to spend a dime. See my column called “The Fundraising Myth” for more on what makes a worthwhile fundraiser.

Finally, there's a pretty big question about fairness, especially if an officer or involved parent is also making money off of the sale. At the very least there can be an impression of insider dealing, which is almost as damaging as the fact of it.

The simple message is: Assess these as carefully as you assess all fundraisers. One could be a good fit for your group, but be sure to think about it fully before signing on the line.


P.S. Our 2014 Happy Healthy School Kids program is now open! Sign up now to get free health and wellness gift packs for parents at your school.