FUNDRAISING! Oh there’s that word that sends shivers up and down the spine of otherwise great parents and activity organizers. Besides the obvious MUST (a.k.a. financial) reasons which sometimes get offset by parents who would rather just pay higher registration fees, why must youth do fundraising? What do you think of fundraising?
A Fantastic Opportunity
Fundraising is a fantastic opportunity to teach youth important life skills including:
- Goal setting
- Working with a purpose
It also gives them self-confidence by teaching them:
- Basic public speaking skills
- To develop a sense of responsibility
- That they can earn their own way
And if those are not good enough reasons, it also offers the opportunity for:
- More experienced youth to develop leadership and organizational skills
- Getting parents families involved in their kids activities
- Promoting public awareness of the organization as a positive youth development program
Great fundraising skills not only helps our youth grow as responsible members of society, they can then take their new life skills to the other activities they might be involved in and help others improve their fundraising skills – sounds a lot like Leadership, doesn’t it?
Attitude is Paramount
Fundraising need not be a chore. However attitude and inspiration must start with leaders, coaches, teachers and parents. Applying basic life skills training such as being polite, good presentation, dressing well, and showing respect, fundraising can be a fun and exciting experience for everyone.
Take the time to have fun doing some role playing (skits/play acting) with the youth before you start your FUNdraising campaign. Act serious, silly, annoyed, playful. Ask questions like Why, Where, Who to help them be better prepared to deal different personality types and with different questions. Switch roles with them and make them the customer. Deal with issue like how they are feeling and how the people they are approaching might be feeling. If you are going door to door, how does the customer feel about you walking across their lawn? If you will be in front of a store, how will the shop owner or the customer feel if you block the entrance? Working through these issues will provide them with the courage, understanding and confidence they will need to have more fun doing it.
Turn it into a challenge or a game and then have other youth provide positive suggestions and encouragement
A Stake in the Program
Little things like teaching kids the purpose of fundraising and giving them a purpose (concreate reasons why are we doing this) can be a very powerful driving forces in keeping them determined and committed to reaching their goals. Whether youth or adults realise it or not, youth have more influence over your organization's success than anyone else for without them, the organization or activity would not exist. How many realize that youth are the ambassadors of their organization or activity when they meet other people, or even other youth?
Many organizations make the mistake of doing fundraising without telling the youth specifically why they are doing it. Then it never comes up again until the following year. Youth are much more likely to do an acitvity and do it well if they understand what's at stake. Throughout the activity year, let your youth about how much the activity they are doing costs and where the money came from -- their fundraising. They will not only appreciate it that much more, they will have more respect for equipment that was purchased using this money and will be much more likely to give their best next time they do fundraising.
If they are too young and inexperienced to understand the value of money, speak to them in terms of chocolate bars if that is what they sold. This tent was purchased by the sale of 500 chocolate bars. We had to collect 50 empty bottles to buy this hockey puck. We had to sell 60 bags of popcorn per person to pay for this trip. If the kids were involved in the fundraising, they will understand the value of things and put more thought into their choices and their actions. Don't only remind them of this when they break something. Praise them and express appreciation the rest of the time. Lead by example and they just might thank you too for being a great leader to them.
Fundraising helps youth today prepare for the ultimate roles they will play as the parents and leaders of our community and our businesses of tomorrow.
Can you think of any other single activity that can accomplish all this and more?
Put the FUN back into FUNdraising!
Helping your kids with fundraising is great. Actively take part by encouraging them take the initiative to enroll your participation and follow up with you. If they aren't sure how, be a great parent, leader or coach and teach them.
All children are capable of amazing things when you realize that they each have their own strengths. Their deepest fear isn't that they will fail but that your faith in them will be too little. Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightning or nor empowering about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. Children are meant to shine. They don't have all the preconceived limiting ideas that you've accumulated over the years. Putting them into a positive situation, give them your unconditional support, believe in them and they will go beyond your wildest expectations. As they do, they will unconciously give others, including you, permission to do the same.
As children grow up, one of the best gifts you can do for them is to prepare them to become an independant contributing member of society by reducing their dependance on and encourage them to have positive and loving relationships with those whose lives they touch along the way. Teach them to build on their strengths and learn from their mistakes. They will never feel like they failed.
Parenting, coaching and teaching aren't necessarily natural skills for most people. Just as every successful athlete has a coach to support and guide them, you might be surprised how a coach can bring out the best Leader, Teacher, Father or Mother in you too.
Need help working figuring out your particular challenges? Contact me today to discover the joys of parenting and develop a great relationship with your kids, your club, your co-workers and your clients.
With warmest regards,
Life Coach Michael Milette
Come Discover a Great Life!
Take what makes sense to you in life and leave the rest. --- Michael Milette