Fundraisers offer kids the opportunity to earn money and practice raising money while teaching important financial life lessons. Participating in fundraisers helps teach kids the art of entrepreneurialism – teaching basic goal setting, budgeting and customer service skills.
My first fundraising opportunity was at age 7 in second grade. I was a Brownie and proudly selling Girl Scout Cookies. This was my first experience with entrepreneurship.
It was 1982. Girls were able to sell door-to-door, customers filled in colorful pre-order forms, money was collected and change was given, and I was responsible for hand-delivering customer orders once I sorted through the hundreds of boxes of cookies in my living room!
I believe this fundraiser had the biggest impact on my memory because I sold the most cookies in my council and received a bumble bee charm for my accomplishment, a charm I proudly display on my charm bracelet to this day.
I also learned responsibility and the importance of a completing a task from taking an order to distribution. I found a smile and positive attitude also earned me "brownie" points in making a sale to help me reach my fundraising goals.
The basic business skills I learned that spring have served me well through life. I continue to take responsibility for the task at hand, make change without a calculator, set realistic goals for myself and continue to give great customer service.
As a parent, I intend to fully participate in my sons' fundraisers and use the opportunities as teachable moments. Parents could use fundraisers as a way to teach financial responsibility, goal setting, basic business skills, even expanding the opportunity to teach budgeting and charitable giving.
Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom of two boys, a 5-year-old and 2-year-old. She is always thinking about economics and uses her time as teachable moments.