Fundraising Frustration Syndrome or FFS as we call it here at Scholmark, is reaching its peak as schools across Canada are hitting the pavement selling anything you could imagine to raise a few dollars for their schools.
FFS is a seasonal disorder, it comes every year, because school fundraising has not changed much in the last 50 years. While the range of products has expanded since the early days of the chocolate bar, and the door knocking has been replaced by emails, texts and online systems, the frustration remains the same. There is so much pressure on parents to deliver more funds that we expect that FFS will only increase as the school year progresses.
Symptoms of FFS may include fatigue, lack of motivation and despair over the fundraising approaches currently used by schools.
Parents have indicated that their biggest complaint is that so much effort is required to make a one-time sale, only to get a few dollars. Parents are also tired of going back year after year to their friends and relatives with the same product while their stockpiles of spices, wrapping paper, magazines and coupons pile up or expire.
Some products appear better than others and give schools the ability to collect additional funds with each subscription renewal but this has limited benefits. Renewal rates are about 15% in the first year, drop to 5% in year two, and almost zero in year three. This is not a sustainable way to fundraise.
Parents experience despair not only at the limited options available to schools but also with the tactics used to encourage the sale of these products by both the companies that supply these products and the school’s organizers. Do you really want to push 50 units to receive a pencil? Or 500 units to receive a $20.00 gift card? This represents a great deal of effort by parents, at a time when everyone in the community is targeting the same people with the same stuff that no one really wants. It is simply exhausting and frustrating.
The truth of the matter is that your friends and relatives would be just as happy to support your child without pushing a product that they do not need. Also, some parents themselves would rather do their part to support their child by simply making a donation and being done with it.
So how do we change this culture in the school system and change the mindset of school fundraising? We do this by raising awareness and making it easy to make donations. This is why we created Scholmark , to help with FFS. Scholmark makes online donating to the school of your choice easy, and helps schools fundraise strategically and sustainably. Find out about our free fundraising support for schools.