ladies of many ‘leisures’

School fundraising, cake sales, second-hand uniform sales, raffles, fairs, bingo nights, quiz nights, wine tasting, barbecues, drinks nights, sponsored walks, car boot sales, guest speaker nights, barn dance nights, band nights, silent auctions….. How many of these can you fit in an academic year?

I have just returned from a meeting of our PTA, which seems to take place at various mums houses that are all considerably grander than mine. In fact following the meeting I felt a bit like Rodney from Only Fools & Horses when I asked the Mum dropping me off home in her luxurious 4×4 to just set me down at the end of the street (Unlike Rodney I wasn’t going to pretend I lived in a mansion). This particular Mum is a northerner so a bit more grounded. In fact regardless of money and who does what, I found myself in a situation where we were all working together to achieve the aim of getting our Headmaster his all singing all dancing white boards. But at £3000 each for every year group, it’s quite a bit of money to raise. The events you organise tread the fine line between providing entertainment and making lots of money. There will always be one (or several) that complain they have been ‘fleeced’ at an event but you go to a fundraiser to have fun and help the school – that’s the trade-off for having fun isn’t it? People like myself can’t afford to make big donations so I donate my time instead. 

Of course the Mums that are part of the committee are not, as you might think, ladies of leisure, but Mums who do have a day job or jobs as well as caring for their children. Which makes it all the more challenging. 

I wonder what what the so called ‘ladies of leisure’ do? I think it is a myth..

This blog is for UNICEF.

thanks for reading.

Charitable capitalism

I have recently joined my school’s PTA committee and I am seeing at first-hand how difficult it is to entice parents to fundraising events and part with some cash. For instance,  out of the 200 families that were sent books brochures (where every order placed also creates money for the school to buy their own books for the children), only 3 parents placed orders – 2 of which are members of the committee.

If people struggle to reach into their pockets to help the schools educating their children, then no wonder charities overall are finding it particularly tough to enrol supporters.

Parents lead busy lives so require constant reminders about dates and events.Now I realise why I am bombarded with letters, emails and texts from charities asking for money, because people need constant reminders about what is going on outside of their own day-to-day bubble.

The money it must cost for charities in communication must be phenomenal. I wonder how much they have to spend to raise £1.

That is why initiatives such as Easyfundraising is so clever because it weaves the draw of online shopping with online giving making it easier for people to donate. Making life easy to donate is key. I think retailers could do more to encourage charitable giving. For instance, Tescos could ask customers if they would like to make £1 donation to a charity of their choice when paying their bill. The charity’s overheads would be reduced and customers simply tag it on to their weekly shopping rather than fending off yet another telephone call/ door sales person or sending in a seperate cheque or online payment.

In short capitalism could do more to be charitable.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.