Talk About Preventing Heart Attacks

Non-profits are really getting smart. Donations are down and normal fundraising efforts are failing. What do you do when you need to raise a lot of money fast? You call in the kids; that’s what you do. Non-profits have been partnering with school systems for help with fundraising campaigns. It’s brilliant. With a cause in their hearts and the promise of cool prizes for their efforts, kids hit the streets on a mission. They are to ask all of their neighbors, relatives and family friends to support the cause of the moment by purchasing an overpriced item or by simply making a cash donation.

The current cause for our local school district is the American Heart Association. The premise is that you sponsor a kid to jump rope in an effort to promote heart health and reduce heart attacks. Trouble is, by the time the umpteenth kid has knocked on your door asking for a donation, the donor is having a heart attack over all of the funds they’ve managed to turn over to the cause so as not to disappoint the doe-eyed munchkin.

Supporting kids is great. There is something sad to me about using kids to generate cash for some of these causes though. The kids don’t necessarily care about the cause and are often motivated to approach as many people as possible to earn an iPod or a cool t-shirt. Potential donors are often stuck in the trap of having to support multiple kids in an effort to be fair. Perhaps you’ve already contributed to the cause, but each child cares whether or not you’ve contributed to their prize goal. Parents are also entangled in the mess. In order to avoid subjecting their children to the dangers of door-to-door prospecting, parents often take over the fundraising efforts.

On the bright side, I guess our schools are providing early training for those who will eventually find themselves in sales positions. Never mind how much harder it will be to convince people to hand over money or buy a good once they no longer have youth on their side.

One Response to “Talk About Preventing Heart Attacks”

  1. holly says:

    I can never say NO to those Doe Eyed little ones either. Then again, I think my girl scout cookie selling experiences helped me in my Bloomingdales career post-undergrad.