Lounging on the couch after a long day at work, I get a 9-1-1 text from my nephew, Matt , telling me that I owe him a $45 check. He is promoting a high school fundraising campaign for his football team to fund new equipment, uniforms and gas for the bus. To meet his assigned goal he needs me to buy four 2-lb. tubs of cookie dough. Immediately! Because the money is due tomorrow and it’s 9pm and he has homework to do.
Oh, and I can’t tell his Mom about our 11th hour communication because she’s been yelling at him for two weeks to get the stuff sold. So, he told her he already turned everything in.
I’ve got some problems:
1. I don’t want eight pounds of cookie dough in my house (my husband’s ticker has to keep marching the beat for three more years until the stock options vest, not to mention it is almost swim suit season)!
2. Wedging several tubs of cookie dough into my freezer will be difficult. It’s already stuffed with the cookie crack the Girl Scouts are pushing—4 boxes of Thin Mints (from my niece), 4 boxes of Samoas (another niece), 3 boxes of Tagalongs (from the neighbor girl) and 1 box of Do-Si-Dos (from my co-workers daughter).
3. Matt wants me to write a check. Location of checkbook? No clue!
Who uses checks anymore? I do all of my bill paying/banking online.
After handing over half my life savings to the Girl Scouts via my checkbook, I tossed it somewhere…
There has to be a better way to fundraise!
Two nights later, my niece Shannon sends me a message via Facebook. Her high school is raising money to replace all the windows in the school building…here we go again! I post a rant on Facebook about my frustration with school fundraising. I don’t need, nor do I want any more candy bars, cookies, candles, gift wrap, or holiday cards. I support education, I support sports programs, I support music and art. I don’t support repeated requests to buy a bunch of junk and junk food. I am sick and tired of ordering new checks just to pay for all this stuff. Besides, how much of the overall sales go back to the school programs?
My zealous pound of keyboard keys is interrupted by additional messages from my niece. Her school is using a social fundraising platform. I had never heard of using one, so I assumed I’d now be adding an order of party supplies to all my other junk. Shannon explains that by fundraising online and using social media networks to fundraise and all dollars donated go to the actual campaign. She gives me a link to their fundraising page, but tells me I’ll soon get an email with a link to view the online campaign. Through the link I’ll be able to make a donation using my credit card!!! The really cool thing is, I can share the campaign with my Facebook and LinkedIn contacts and encourage them to donate too. And, because this is 10x easier, they will.
I get a final message from Shannon in caps, “THE WINDOWS AT MY SCHOOL ARE GROSS—I’M EITHER SHIVERING COLD OR BOILING HOT. I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S THEIR FAULT MY GPA WENT DOWN LAST SEMESTER! SAVE MY GRADES—DONATE A LOT!
No checks, no cookie dough, no problem!
Better come up with a new business plan Otis Spunkmeyer, your days are numbered! Why? Because online fundraising for a cause is so much easier and was much more successful for all of us involved!