Parents Balking At School Fundraising

Schools seem to be calling on students more and more to help them raise money.

And, as CBS News correspondent Susan McGinnis reports, as the number of school fundraisers have grown, so has frustration.

"I don't believe it's appropriate for the schools to use the children to fund their own education," objects Beth Eagleson of San Clemente, Calif., who says families today have limited time, and fundraising is a huge imposition.

"We have to pitch the merchandise, collect the money for the merchandise, and deliver the merchandise, and I'm not, as a mom and a family, set up to do that," she says.

And, after years of being asked to sell things such as wrapping paper, Eagleson finally had had enough.

"I simply called the school and called the principal and said my son will not be participating any further in sale-type of fundraisers," she told McGinnis.

And, McGinnis points out, she's not alone.

At Dutch Neck Elementary School in Princeton Junction, N.J., parents voted to do away traditional school fundraisers.

Principal Scott Feder says they "went away, and now we do a 'Write a Check' campaign, where we send a letter home and the parents respond with sending in what they feel is appropriate."

Checks are written directly to the school, are tax deductible, and are producing as much money as traditional fundraisers did. Feder says the school even exceeded its goal for the campaign, two years in a row.

How much time do parents save by just writing that check?

"Maybe a week's worth of hours, hours and hours and hours of time," says Feder.

Many schools are turning to the Internet for new ideas for fundraising.

One site helps them create school directories where businesses pay to be advertised, then they're distributed free to families.

And on PledgePlay.com, you play video games in return for making donations to a school.

One Web-based fundraiser, at the Infant Jesus of Prague parochial school, in Flossmoor, Ill., brought in more than $1,200 in Easter candy proceeds. And Principal Thomas Sedor says it was an improvement over some past fundraisers.

Another site offering innovative ideas for school fundraisers is Fundraiser Help.
  • Brian Dakss

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