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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 12:44 pm
Putting the “Fun” Into “Fundraising”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Booklist reviewer, sometimes Likely Stories contributor, pal o’ mine, and all around great guy Frank Sennett has a new book out: FUNdraising: 50 Proven Strategies for Successful School Fundraisers (Corwin). Oh, and did I mention that he’s a serial blogger? Because he’s starting a new blog to further the ideas in the book:

We’ve seen a backlash in recent years against the old-fashioned product sales that force parents to twist arms at the office until colleagues buy items they don’t want or need in hopes that others will return the favor when their children’s fundraisers roll around. Of course, some school sales drives remain welcome traditions in their communities – and more power to those exceptional exceptions, I say.

But where that backlash exists, it isn’t against schools, or even fundraisers. Some communities, shell-shocked by a never-ending stream of sales, have adopted an annual cash-contribution model instead. This shows that participating school families are still willing to support education; they just don’t want to be harassed in the process.

Wouldn’t it be better, though, if schools entertained and delighted those communities with their fundraisers instead of trading annoying sales for obligatory pledges?

Personally, when I underwrite the construction of a new gymnasium, I don’t need to be entertained first. But then I don’t even ask to have my name on the building, either. I’m different that way.

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