In the bustling hubbub of family life, your pocket might feel the crunch of school fundraisers, no? It’s okay, we’ve all been there, and we’ve got your back with some savvy advice to politely refuse donation requests and other fundraising efforts. Navigate the money maze without upsetting the apple cart or blowing your budget out of the water. Now, doesn’t that sound like a plan?
It’s admirable to want to do good with one’s financial resources; charitable donations are a great way to achieve that. However, the seemingly endless stream of school fundraisers can become a burden if you have children. It’s wonderful to give when you’re able, but some families simply don’t have the financial resources to give constantly, and it can be hard to say “no.” As a parent, you probably have a lot on your plate at once. Putting your child’s needs ahead of supporting a school fundraiser is perfectly acceptable.
In the words of communication expert and speech therapist Dominique Kennedy: “When I say “no” to a donation or fundraising request, it’s usually because I’ve already thought about our most pressing personal, professional, and parenting tasks and decided that the time isn’t right.”
Four Examples of Declining:
Refusing a fundraising opportunity may feel awkward at the time, but setting and sticking to financial boundaries will prevent you from overspending due to guilt. Here are some gracious responses to pleas for donations and fundraisers when you simply cannot provide.
“This year, our efforts will be concentrated on a single goal.”
Decide on a few charities that mean a lot to you as a family and save up money to donate to them. You can tell people that this year, you’ve decided to donate to a specific organization as a family.
If your family has decided to prioritize supporting foster care charities this year because of your shared interest in the cause, you may simply mention as much when you are requested for additional contributions. I appreciate your curiosity.
McCurdy argues that teaching children how to give strategically is akin to teaching them how to manage money. The worth and significance of every dollar earned, saved, spent, and given may be demonstrated to your children by discussing a giving plan as a family.
If you and your loved ones give strategically, you can support causes that are meaningful to you without feeling forced to give when you are asked because you have already supported causes that are more in accordance with your values. An example of a sentence that Kennedy proposes using is, “Every year, I promise to give money to a number of charities, and I’d like to keep my mind on those promises.”
To rephrase, “We have contributed to several fundraisers already and are unable to participate.”
Simply explain that you and your family have accomplished your fundraising goal for the time being and cannot contribute any further.
Many people would rather not go to an event and have to pay for a babysitter, buy a new clothing, and deal with the fundraising demands there because they aren’t interested in the cause or the item. You can simply explain that you are not in a position to make any donations at this time or that you have already made all of your charitable contributions for the year.
Express your appreciation for them thinking of you first. By using this route, everyone will have a better time.
Make an effort to spread the news or inquire about possible volunteer roles.
Try to think of some other way to contribute, outside money. Volunteer your time or offer to spread the news to others you know who might be willing to help out financially. Word it like this: “I’m sorry I can’t afford to donate right now, but I’d love to hear about any volunteer opportunities you have.”
It’s quite acceptable to say “no” to both if this doesn’t make sense to you as a parent. You shouldn’t feel obligated to say “yes” just because you don’t have money to donate.
Set tight limits on your spending and stick to your plan.
Creating a charity giving budget will help you confidently say “yes” when asked for a donation if giving is a priority in your household. By establishing an annual sum, the parent can set away a fixed amount each month to cover their most pressing charitable giving obligations. It gives them the assurance to decline when something isn’t a good fit politely.
Spending within your means and managing household expenses while still finding room to donate to important causes for your family is easier with a budget, but talking about it can be difficult.
Most importantly, this strategy equips parents to stick to their plans even when faced with a cute child or their buddy, who may try to derail them. Suppose you involve your children in the budgeting process. In that case, they will have a better understanding of the reasons behind your “no.”
Put your family’s financial needs first, and don’t feel obligated to support every school or charity event.
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