Between school, homework and extracurricular activities, kids these days have fuller schedules than ever before. When it comes to raising money for their afterschool clubs, scout troops and sports teams, should youngsters really be expected to put in the time and effort? The answer is, of course, YES!
When kids fundraise, it does more than teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees—it also imparts valuable life lessons and leaves them with transferrable skills to take with them into adulthood. Here are just some of the key lessons fundraising teaches kids:
✓ Goal setting
One of the first tasks of a nonprofit fundraiser is to set a sales target. Getting kids and teens involved at this stage of the process teaches them the importance of setting (and achieving) objectives. As they grow up, kids will continue to use this skill to reach key goals, such as:
✓ Effective communicating
It doesn’t matter whether you’re shy or outgoing, introverted or extroverted, knowing how to communicate well with others is an essential part of life. Although it may be slightly out of their comfort zone, challenging kids to talk to people—particularly adults—about their fundraising cause is a fantastic way to boost their interpersonal skills.
The more they perform their sales pitch, the less scary it becomes. They discover what works (e.g. keeping it simple) and what doesn’t (e.g. badmouthing competitors). The knowledge and confidence they gain from this experience will serve them well in the ‘real world’.
✓ Business and financial skills
Selling products—such as our holiday evergreens—as part of a fall fundraiser teaches kids the basic principles of sales. For example, they learn:
✓ Confidence and self-esteem
By assigning fundraising duties to the kids themselves, rather than leaving it to the parents, you’re telling them that they are capable individuals. Kids rise to these expectations and discover just how much they’re able to achieve on their own. Being able to claim full ownership of each sale builds confidence and boosts their self-esteem—both of which are crucial to success later in life.
✓ Community engagement
Another important lesson fundraising teaches kids is the value of being active in the community. It shows them how interacting with their neighbors face-to-face—away from smartphones, video games and social media—can be rewarding.