There are few greater feelings in life than the satisfaction that comes with helping the fundraising efforts of local schools, sports leagues, and youth organizations in your community. That satisfaction, of course, is derived from the enjoyment of whatever goods you receive in exchange for forking money over to your coworker or relative so they’re not stuck with footing the bill for all the crap their lazy kid won’t go out and sell themselves. However, not all fundraisers are created equal. I’m not just going to give my money to you willy-nilly without getting something good in return. You’re not a charity case, you’re a parent whose child’s terrible soccer team decided they need to buy jerseys that are nicer than the Under Armor HeatGear I own.
To that end, I present you with a power ranking of the most common and readily available fundraising products on the market. The better the ranking, the more likely I am to help fund your eighth-grade child’s class trip that will likely be nicer than any vacation I take this year:
6. Magazine Subscriptions
It’s hard to believe magazine drives are still a thing some schools and teams make kids do in this day and age, but I promise you they are. You’re talking to someone who exploits and abuses every possible loophole to get around not having to pay for content on any website that has a paid firewall. You really think I’m going to willingly pay for a subscription to a publication that likely has all their articles online anyway? Sorry, looks like Joey’s football team is just going to have to run the Oklahoma Drill without pads this season.
5. Coupon Books For Local Businesses
Coupon books are awful. It seems like the only people who sell these are people who live in a town at least a half hour away from both your home and work, so if you actually want to reap the benefit of these things you have to go way the hell out of your way to use them. And even if you do find yourself in an area where the coupons are redeemable, they are almost always for places you would never go to and deals that you would never take advantage of. You’re better off clipping out the junk mail ones that you get for free.
4. Cookie Dough
In my experience, the dough and subsequent cookies that they make are actually pretty good (Yes, I take the actual dough into consideration because I always end up serving myself several heaping spoonfuls of it), and there’s usually good variety available. The only drawback is you have to wait to receive the tubs of dough, then make them yourself. Which isn’t bad in and of itself, but when other fundraisers are offering pre-made treats it causes dough to be knocked down a couple spots.
3. Raffle Tickets
I liken fundraising raffles to playing the State Lottery: participating in one allows me to get my gambling fix while using the excuse that I’m helping support schools and other youth programs to rationalize my problem. The main difference between a raffle and the lottery is that sometimes you won’t be able to watch your raffle drawing. This takes away part of the fun of playing and sends my mind straight into conspiracy mode about how the drawing was obviously rigged.
2. Non-Brand Name Candy
I know a lot of kids sell king size Hershey, M&M’s, and other big-name candies for fundraising, but give me the off-brand candies over the big brands any day. I feel like part of the charm of fundraiser candy is being able to purchase uncommon, regionalized treats that you otherwise would never buy. After all, you can’t go wrong with a piece of candy made by a company called World’s Finest Chocolate!
1. Girl Scout Cookies
You can chalk this number one ranking up to recency bias if you want, but the fact of the matter is that Girl Scout Cookies are king (Queen?) when it comes to fundraising products. To be honest, I don’t even know what they fund, I just know all the money goes to the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts could be a corrupt organization on level with FIFA for all I know, but I will still buy Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties by the pallet from my coworker’s order form. Well done, ladies. .
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