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Illustration by Kelly Lac

Excessive funds show two sides of a coin (pro)

The fun in fundraisers is apparent on the miserable faces of students who go around begging people to buy their merchandise. Nonetheless, fundraising is a crucial component of any organization; the clubs at San Gabriel High School are no exceptions.

There is no denying the importance of money and the endless list of opportunities it presents. Because the school does not allocate funding for most clubs, most clubs depend on fundraising as their main source of income. They need money to operate and provide services for their members; it is how they can offer field trips, competitions, banquets, and other events. Inadequate fundraising efforts can result in a diminishing quality of the club experience.

Fundraisers are valuable learning experiences that can teach students life skills. Because they are typically initiated and run by the students themselves, those in charge develop strong team management and coordinating abilities. And it is not just the leadership who gain from the experience. When students have to sell products like popcorn or discount cards, through trial and error, they master how to effectively deliver their pitch to potential customers. This skill will benefit them in the long run because they essentially learn how to approach others and confidently present themselves, which is a skill essential for future jobs.

Often times, clubs collaborate with local businesses to do fundraisers. In doing so, students support surrounding businesses and vice versa. Fundraisers help attract more customers for the businesses, while the clubs reap a predetermined percentage of the revenue. It is a mutually beneficial working relationship. Ultimately, this creates a tighter community.

Although it may be counterintuitive to host so many fundraisers at a school filled with students from low-income families, there are ways that can make the customers’ money more worthwhile. Instead of having endless fundraisers selling donuts or gear, groups should opt for bigger, more profitable fundraisers, such as dinners, talent shows, carnivals, or other interactive events. Clubs can prevent fundraising fatigue and focus more of their efforts on a couple major fundraisers. These types of events demand more collaborative work between the students. They learn how to communicate ideas, compromise, and resolve conflicts together; it allows them to understand the importance of teamwork outside of a classroom environment.

Asking for money is neither fun nor easy, but we cannot do away with all fundraisers. A good variety of events can break the monotonous, excessive chain of money-making campaigns, as well as provide benefits beyond its monetary value.

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