Ups, downs of school fundraising

Published On: Feb 18 2014 06:07:50 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 07:45:00 AM EST
TAMPA, Fla -

Miranda Westrich’s favorite subject is math. Fundraising? Not so much.

“They put a lot of pressure on us” said Westrich, who is a fourth grader.

So far this year, she has raised $350 selling cookie dough. She’s also gone door-to-door with candles and wrapping paper.

“They flash all these toys and prizes, limo rides and Spongebob lunches at them, and they come home and they’re brainwashed.” explained Mandy Westrich, Miranda’s mother. "They’re like ‘mom we need to sell like 800 cookie doughs.’”

Westrich limits where the kids can sell. Dad doesn’t bring it to work and no knocking on neighbors’ doors.

But not all students and parents find fundraising as a burden. Angelina Woodring, another elementary school student, is a fan of fundraising.

“I go to my grandma’s house a lot so when I go over there I would bring the envelope with the catalogues over there,” she said. “We only have it for a couple of weeks and I like to sell as much as I can.”

“The money for the teachers helps them to buy things in their classrooms like science kits.” explained PTA President Tanya Hilkert.

If there’s good participation, $60,000 can be raised.

“A lot of parents are under the impression that public education should be completely free,” said Amy Christensen, with Leading Edge Fundraisers. “The schools really do need the parent’s support.”

She says the money raised can pay for books like these, clinic nurses, and copy paper.

Schools usually hire a fundraising company if there is a product involved. Some companies keep 40 to 50 percent of the profit. Christensen says walk-a-thons can be done without a company since there is no product involved. She says typically there is 25 percent participation in most school fundraisers.

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