School Product Fundraising and Taxes

Fundraising and Taxes

Some of the things you hear about taxes:

  • A necessary evil; i.e. nobody likes them, but you can’t function without them
  • If people would just “do the right thing”, they wouldn’t be necessary at all.
  • If taxes result in good, then more taxes equals more good, right? When does more mean less?
  • The more taxes you have, the more good you can do.

Is there anybody, other than the tax collectors or those employed by the Internal Revenue Service, who like taxes. Nobody likes them, but you can’t function without them.  At the local level, we wouldn’t have fire or police protection, trash pickup, school, anyone to change the light bulbs in the street lights or to pave and mark the roads. At the national level we would have no military protection…

Is there anybody, other than the product manufacturers or the companies that distribute them who like fundraising.  Nobody likes to fundraise, but you can’t run a band without fundraisers. With school budgets continually getting smaller, or at least tighter, without fundraising we couldn’t travel to competitions, outfit our color guard, wear uniforms, get new instruments or make those big once every three year trips.

In recent history, we hear talk of “faith based initiatives”, but in the scriptural scheme of things, that was the way it was supposed to be. If the churches and the Christians took care of the poor and the widows, as instructed, then the government wouldn’t need to do it through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and their incredibly inefficient bureaucracies. If people just obeyed the biblical command to tithe, and to free ourselves from the love of money, there would be plenty for it all. Since we won’t do it voluntarily, the government assesses taxes and a small portion of what they collect actually gets to the people who need it.

If, in the mode of sharing with the needy, the community would support bands with their gifts and eliminate the need to bake, wash, host, and sell things. If 10,000 people (how many are there in Huntington?) each donated $10, the band would have $100,000. Not realistic? Right. If 1,000 people donate $10, we’d have $10,000. So we sell things where people pay $10 for a $4 item so that the band will get a less than half sized portion of the purchase price. So instead of collecting $10,000 in donations, it would take $25,000 or more to realize that profit in product fundraising. Inefficient!

 If good things happen because of taxes, then collecting more taxes will accomplish more goodness, right? Logical, but not realistic. What happens when the government ADDS taxes? People rebel.

In theory, fundraisers all make money and since groups need all the money they can get, they should keep doing fundraisers. Actually, that is partially correct. They should always have a variety of fundraising projects, with some involving the parents, others involving the students, some involving providing services and others about selling products. However, the logic of more sales nets more profit is false. If you ask people to sell stuff, they will….maybe the first time. Second time, less….. Third time, forget it. Why? Because most sellers are going to approach their friends and family and the problem (or the question is), how many times can you expect success from that approach?

My nearly 30 years experience in the product fundraising business has mandated that I help groups focus on doing a few fundraisers right than to keep throwing brochures and sale dates at the students. There is definitely a diminution of returns.

Watch for a future post about how Music Departments and Band Programs divide up their fundraisers and fundraiser types.


Twitter:  and
Linked In:

QDP Corporation: Fundraising Software, Services and Web Solutions:

Web Design and Internet Fundraising: Update
WinUltra Demonstration options:
Getting to the Music Directors:
Can I make Money in Fundraising from home:
A Really Free Credit Report:  

Consulting for Manufacturers wanting to get into the Fundraising Business:
The Band Plan:
My Dad (6/19/10):
S-Steps To Success (6/14/0): 
Memorial Day 2010: 
A Really Free Credit Report: 
Fundraising and Taxes: 

You Want To Make Money in Fundraising?
Can I Make Money in Fundraising while Working From Home?
Who Raises Money and Why:
Make Money Selling our Holiday Gift Consignment Shop:
Discount Cards For All The Right Reasons:
5 Proficiencies for Peak Performance in Sales:
The Band Plan: 
Consulting for Manufacturers wanting to get into the Fundraising Business:
Getting to the Music Directors:


3 thoughts on “School Product Fundraising and Taxes

  1. Synchronocity. I was actually thinking about the fund raising aspect of your band the other night (again)and thought “what if..” The City of Madison, IN owns their own hydroplane, the Miss Madison and pays the racing team, etc. The City of Green Bay owns its football team. What if people would “buy shares” of the band? Owning your own marching, concert, etc band, I’m in. Perhaps a bit of the fanciful side, but…it was 3am.
    Beautifully written and inciteful blog entry. You are right on the mark in my eyes. “Job well done, mate.” (I’ve been talking “British” since the World Cup games started.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s