Use Kids’ Fundraisers to Teach Money Lessons
It’s happened again. Your child came from school (or soccer practice, or play rehearsal) with a catalog, an order form, and a directive to sell, sell, sell. It’s fundraising time, and the pressure is on. If your first instinct is to take the form to work and get your coworkers to help your child reach their goal, it’s OK. We’ve all done it. But when you do that, you’re actually missing out on what can be a great opportunity to teach kids some good financial lessons. Here are some things kids can learn from participating in fundraisers:
Goal Setting — No fundraiser is complete without the promise of a shiny new bike or the latest gaming system up for grabs for the child who sells the most. There are generally lots of prizes available to kids who reach certain sales thresholds. Sit down with your child to decide what prize they would like to win, and determine together how they can reach that goal using the time and resources available. Be sure to reinforce the larger purpose behind the fundraiser to keep it from becoming all about the prizes.
Basic Math — Fundraisers are an opportunity for your child to put their addition, subtraction, and multiplication skills to good use. If it’s a cash-and-carry fundraiser (like candy bars), help your child learn how to count back change the old-fashioned way (a rapidly vanishing art). If they have to take orders, help them total up their customer’s purchases and calculate how much more they have to sell before reaching their goal.
Entrepreneurship — Encourage your child to come up with ideas for how and when they’re going to sell and help them think of innovative ways to let friends and family know what they’re selling. Talk with them about the importance of good customer service and explain how to interact with a customer before, during, and after the sale. You might be surprised to find you have a budding business owner on your hands.
Take a look at some other innovative ways you can help your child learn about money.