October 10, 2006

Are you afraid to answer the door...

... because you think it may be some little kid there to guilt-trip you into buying some horrid product? Wouldn't it be easier if the kid just begged for money? Or just if the government taxed us properly for schools and the poor kid could have his time back, you know, like maybe to learn something? (And no one would make the argument anymore that the child is learning about business, would they? Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap. And, no, that's not "gourmet" caramel corn. That's disgustingly bad caramel corn. I actually like caramel corn, and I wouldn't eat that if you offered it to me free.)

63 comments:

rightwingprof said...

We get a LOT of those in this neighborhood. Popcorn, candy, you name it.

AJ Lynch said...

I'd sooner give the kid at my door money than those lazy bastards that just stand at an intersection with plastic buckets and expect me tp help pay for their team's trips.

At least the kid at my door had the enterpise and energy to walk up my street and knocks on doors. And heck, I did the same thing when I was a kid for my little league but we just asked for donations - we were not selling anything.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HaloJonesFan said...

dave: yes, it's nice that you've got a vocab book, but writing is not like playing with Legos.

The thing that I always wonder about those fundraiser sales is how much money the organization actually gets, in the end. I remember selling candy for the marching band, and it turned out that a fifty-cent candy sale brought in ten cents for the band...

Ann Althouse said...

Think how much of the money you fork over goes to the company that makes a disgusting product with a glossy brochure.

Ann Althouse said...

Sold by child labor. Ugh!

k said...

Our experience is not like what is described in the article. Seldom is the money raised going to some foundational funding for the school - I think the author mentioned computer labs and heat in winter. In our town, it's usually going toward buying a park bench to be installed in front of the school, or a new flagpole with a plaque at the base, or some other weird commemorative. What that has to do with these kids' education is beyond me. The exceptions seem to be the music groups - band, choir - who appear to be using the money to buy bus trips and uniforms.

k said...

Oh, and one other thing. The companies send slick salesmen to "sell" the fundraiser to the kids first. My little gullible daughter came home all thrilled that she was truly selling "the best" pizza, wrapping paper, whatever - man, was she excited. Ugh. That's disgusting too.

Stephen said...

In our neighborhood we get one solicitation per month. More than half are bogus. I've seen an out-of-the-area van drop off a team of young solicitors at the shopping center (good training for being solicitors in adulthood, right, Ann?) I've paid for magazines and other, er, stuff that I've never received. So I've learned to ask for ID and a copy of the organization's 501(c)3 letter. A sign of the times.

BTW, "Or just if the government taxed us properly for schools and the poor kid could have his time back, you know, like maybe to learn something?" A throwaway line in your blog, and worthy of a much longer (boring) discussion. So the problem with the public schools is insufficient funding?

BTW2, private schools are much worse with the fundraising. Private school parents tell me the car washes and candy sales are unceasing.

Ann Althouse said...

Either they need the money or they don't. If they need it, tax us. If it's for frills, do something to earn it. Don't act like selling an unwanted product obligates me. Tax me if I'm obligated.

Derve said...

I won a 10-speed one year selling raffle tickets for Little League.

At $1 a chance (which also admitted you to the adult dinner dance at the American Legion), it was like a donation really. I won by selling outside a grocery in a nearby town when our town was pretty much sold out door to door. My sister had guitar lessons one night a week, so I sold while my mother shopped.

Couldn't be done today. Even cheap products beat gambling raffles. Stores don't like random kids collecting dollars outside their doors. Plus, child/parent sellers are motivated by guilt or cheapie prizes, not bikes anymore.

Doug said...

I just had a neighbor come to our door last week selling popcorn and chocolate. The worst part is that if you funded the schools through higher property taxes, or just made a straight up donation, you could at least get a tax deduction for it. Not so with a quid pro quo exchange (though you could argue for a deduction for the excess of FMV)

K mentions the slick salesmen they send. It reminds me of a Beavis and Butthead episode, where they are told by the salesman to pitch a bunch of candy bars for school. They end up buying all the candy with the same dollar that they just exchange back and forth.

Balfegor said...

Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap.

"Buy American"
Organic Foods
"Fair Trade" Coffee
The Prius

Lots of businesses try to guilt-trip you into buying their stuff, even though, all things being equal, you might prefer their competitors. It may not be the tactic of choice (all things being equal, you'd probably like to have a more attractive product than your competitors), but plenty of businesses try it anyhow.

Wurly said...

When I was a kid, we used to sell lightbulbs for fundraising. Although they were a little higher priced than in the store, people would buy them because they often had bulbs out and it was convenient. Selling useful products would teach kids more than guilting relatives and neighbors into buying overpriced cookies and such.

In any event, do kids still go door to door? We never have kids at our door, rather, their parents bring order forms to the office or to family events.

Ann Althouse said...

I meant horrible, overpriced crap that nobody wants. In the real world, you have to create the desire for the product.

Ann Althouse said...

And let me add that the slick brochures are really fraudulent. It's terrible to involve children in pushing something using photographs that do not fairly show what the product is. It's teaching kids to be unethical.

Ann Althouse said...

I once said to a child that I didn't want to buy the product because I discovered last year that it was very overpriced for what it was. The mother, standing a few feet away said with icy disgust, "it's a fundraiser." Which adult taught the child a better lesson, me or the mother?

Stephen said...

"If they need it, tax us. If it's for frills, do something to earn it." Easy enough to enunciate, difficult to implement. I happen to think that orchestra, glee club, and German are essential to the development of a well-rounded student. These offerings have been cut from the local public schools. Other parents will have different lists. The problem with government-provided programs is that "needs" are determined by lobbying, not by the discipline of the market. If you give the schools more money, they will find more essentials to spend them on. I don't mean this disparagingly---it's just human nature.

George said...

Last week a Cub Scout came to my door with his little sister raising money by selling popcorn.

I paid $16 for a tin of caramel corn.

Later that day he and his father and mother delivered it. They live nearby. They were pleasant, and I was glad to have met them.

The caramel corn was delicious.

Overpriced, yes, but for a good cause.
The boy and his sister are learning self-confidence, i.e. how to present themselves in public.
The product exceeded expectations and was delivered in a timely fashion...much faster than orders for Girl Scout cookies!!

But, yes, sadly, I have turned away children peddling wares for other rather mysterious causes.

The tastiness of the caramel corn is in the eye of the beholder.

bill said...

See also this Washington Post editorial.

SChools cancel classes to herd the students into the auditorium. There, they get a slick sales speech about how if they sell X amount they get this prize, Y amount, a bigger prize, and Z amount the biggest prize. Kids run home all excited about the cheap plastic crap they'll win. But the neighborhood is filled with children from the same school all with the same intent. So, mom and dad take the forms to work and harass the coworkers. Everyone is disgruntled, repeat for 12 years.

We're teaching our daughter (kindergarten next year) this phrase: "No thank you. That's a poor allocation of time and resources." Seriously, don't send this crap home. I want to know how much they expect each kid to fundraise and what the school kickback is. If it's something like "for every $70 raised, the school gets $35" we'll just write a check for $35 and buy a slightly less crappy toy gift at Target. Even Girl Scout cookies are a scam. I think it's 50 cents a box; so buy the cookies if you enjoy them, but don't think you're supporting the local troop. Better to give $5 cash and not buy two boxes.

In a related area, we've heard from neighbors that classrooms at the local elementary school have room mothers. Apparently it is not uncommon for them to request $25 a student to buy a gift for the teacher. I'm not opposed to a gift, and $25 isn't much money, but if there's 20 kids in a class that's a $500 gift. I think a signed card will do nicely, thank you very much. Knowing this will cause my head to explode, The Wife has already put me charge of dealing with this little bit of extortion.

MadisonMan said...

An alternative to taxing people: How about the Federal Government, and even the State Government, stops telling local Governments how to run their schools? How about the non-local Governments stop mandating things that they don't pay for?

On the other hand, I have a Prius (boy is it fun to drive!) and I buy organic foods -- directly from the farmer, avoiding the middleman. So apparently I'm a sucker.

Patrick said...

Perhaps, as you say, it would be easier for everyone involved if the kid just begged. But don't you and the kid have the power to make it so? Suppose the kid is selling putrid caramel corn at ten bucks, and you offer an outright donation of five instead (perhaps accompanied by a tart comment on consumer fraud). Your guilt is expiated on the cheap, and the kid makes money without having to deliver the putrid caramel corn. I do such deals occasionally, and they're quite popular. More instructive regarding business, too, I would think.

--Patrick

Slowjack said...

My little girl day care is trying to get us to sell wrapping paper. I just made a donation instead.

The whole thing is just so deceitful. Here's the way these things go for me.

A. Apple-cheeked kid knocks arrives at my door...
B. I say, "Sorry, I don't have money for your charity."
C. Kid says, "It's not charity -- I'm selling this newspaper subscription!"
D. I say, "I already subscribe to another newspaper. I don't need two."
E. Kid says, "Couldn't you buy one anyway, mister? It's for a good cause!"
F. I say, "I thought you said it wasn't charity."

ShadyCharacter said...

We have an interesting twist here in east dallas. We'll get a couple of imposing teenagers 14-16 years old whose pitch is something like "we're here from the new beginnings program raising money to help keep us off the streets committing crimes... Would you like to buy an $8 scented candle?"

Paul Zrimsek said...

You'd think there would be a few more parents out there willing to insist that mendicancy is not one of the three Rs.

The kid who gets my money will be the one who comes around selling "NO SOLICITING" signs.

Dave said...

Solution: live in an apartment building in a city, in which it is easy to dodge these runts: "oh, sorry, the buzzer's broken, etc." Or just keep a shotgun by the front door with which to ward off earnest little Willy Lomans.

As for the idea that more funding via taxation would solve problems with public education, well, that is so bizarre an argument as to hardly merit consideration.

Kent said...

My Cub Scout committee chair, who is the kind of formidable woman aptly described by Robert Heinlein in one of his juvenile novels (hint: She evidently understands no part of "no"), waxed very enthusiastic about the annual popcorn sale this year.

I was sitting next to the chartered organization representative, a Mormon bishop who thinks much the way I do, and whispered in his ear that we ought to get the parents together and have then donate $800 to the cause in return for a promise to never ever make the kids participate in the popcorn drive again. It was amusing to watch the various emotions play over his face for several seconds.

The popcorn is actually pretty good, but not at that price.

And at least our kids are taught that the sales pitch was supposed to revolve around how delicious the popcorn is. I've had young hawkers for other organizations whose sales pitch more or less boiled down to "Buy this from me now so I won't turn into a deliquent and mug you in five or ten years." Well, okay, their sales pitch ended at "turn into a deliquent," but it takes no great intelligence to extrapolate the last part.

Oh, and ...

Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap

is patently false, as others have already pointed out. My former veterinarian used this all the time, typically by observing that our dogs are just like our kids, aren't they, before hitting me with a proposed $600 course of treatment. For a $65 mongrel. I love my dogs, but, no, they're not at all like my children.

Of course, that's my former vet, so perhaps an argument remains that this approach isn't good for business.

J said...

"no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap"

Well... http://www.equalexchange.com/fundraiser/faq.html .

Who's the business - the kid at your door or his supplier?

Take a look at that first FAQ.

Elizabeth said...

Tax me if I'm obligated.

Finally, irrefutable proof that Ann is a midwestern, liberal Democrat. So simple, so direct, so refreshing.

HaloJonesFan said...

Heh. I remember when an ADT rep came around, selling alarm systems...except that he had an interesting sales pitch! This was a black man, and his pitch was to stand on the sidewalk looking into the windows and over the fence. As soon as I opened the door, he shouted "HI, HOW ARE YOU DOING? I'M FROM ADT!" and came bounding up to the front door. I chilled him pretty good with "Sorry, I'm not the owner; I'm just renting", which was true, but it's probably what I would have said anyway.

But, y'know...it's interesting that they would use a sales tactic like "here is a scary negro snooping around your house! What is he up to? Is he going to break in later tonight? Wouldn't you feel safer with a burglar alarm?"

amy said...

"ShadyCharacter said...

We have an interesting twist here in east dallas. We'll get a couple of imposing teenagers 14-16 years old whose pitch is something like "we're here from the new beginnings program raising money to help keep us off the streets committing crimes... Would you like to buy an $8 scented candle?"

We get this same thing in Fort Worth. Some of these kids are bigger than I am, and I refuse to answer the door. I also don't buy any of this kind of crap. I always ask if they take donations. If so, I write a check to their org for $5, if not, they get nothing.

Joan said...

I have three kids in an elementary charter school. In the past, they've been asked to sell stationary and gift wrap, or candy and gift items. One time it was magazine subscriptions. Every single time they get these things, I send them back to the school . Once a year, I write a check for a cash donation, and every year we participate in Arizona's state tuition tax credit program -- we make a donation to the school and then get to take that amount off our taxes.

I have taught my kids to say "We don't participate in these programs," and deal with their disappointment in not getting a light-up pen or a t-shirt or whatever. They have more than enough stuff already. We talked about how little money the school actually gets from each purchase. It's ridiculous.

When the Girl Scouts come around each year, I make a direct donation to the troop instead of buying the cookies. Those cookies are wretched, and no one should ever buy them. They are loaded with hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, and they don't even taste good anymore. I'm willing to turn a blind eye to a nutritional nightmare now and then, if it's worth it for the taste. Those cookies aren't, and with the troop getting such a small amount of the cash, that just seals the deal.

Since there are three schools in our immediate neighborhood, we sometimes get hit up by kids from the other schools. First come, first serve -- the first kid gets a cash donation, the rest get "too late, I already gave to so-and-so."

If everyone quit buying the stuff, the practice would end. I've seen a sharp drop-off in this kind of fund-raising over the past couple of years. I'm grateful.

Freeman Hunt said...

My husband and I bought a couple bottles of all purpose cleaner from a door-to-door salesman once. We didn't care about the cleaner, but he put on such a great show that we wanted to give him money. First he cleaned a window with the cleaner, then he killed a wasp with the cleaner, then he drank some of the cleaner to indicate that it wasn't very toxic.

Impressive.

Perhaps if a child came by juggling candles or eating the wrapping paper...

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

The problem with raising taxes is that public school systems have an insatiable appetite for money. They are well entrenched bureaucracies whose primary purpose is to protect themselves and to grow.

The only limit that we can really place on them is funding. Even so, they continually divert money from useful programs to more and higher paid administrators and other non-teaching staff, etc., and then use the loss of those programs as an excuse for more money.

The high school I attended had one asst. principal when I was there. Last I knew, it now had six, for a smaller student body. Many public school systems now have fewer than half their staff in teaching positions.

Of course, if you compare this with many private schools, the story is quite different - with the principal often even teaching a class or two.

Shanna said...

The last time somebody came to my door selling something, I told them I bought stuff from kids at work.

Which was a lie, but I did consider buying stuff from co-workers kids. That counts, right?

Bruce Hayden said...

My experience with private schools is not as bad as some here. You get hit hard a couple of times a year for big contributions, but I haven't experienced the nickel and diming that others have faced. Indeed, it is little different in approach or frequency than I face from the various private colleges from which I have degrees. It seems either aimed at building new buildings, or for scholorships.

Bruce Hayden said...

Finally, my solution is that I don't open the door for anyone whom I am not expecting. If they are friends, they call first. And anyone else... Sorry.

tdocer said...

When I was in high school in Ohio, we had an annual bottle drive to support the choir. We'd cover the town collecting deposit pop bottles and returning them for cash. It was a great fall day outside for us, and many of the town residents were huge supporters, hoarding their empty bottles all year to help us out. Those not wishing to be disturbed simply left notes so stating on their front doors.

For atheletics, however, we had the dreaded candy sales. In reality, we sold most of the crap to each other during the school day. Fortunately, I only got stuck with the even more horrid wrapping paper sales gig once, and my folks just gave me some money to cover a nominal amount of sales; none of us wanted any part of trying to pawn it off on anyone else.

Today, every time I go to a grocery store, I'm accosted by some small child begging for money for his/her [fill in cause]. Not even selling anything, just holding out their hands. As far as I'm concerned, if he wants five bucks to help pay for a ball field, he can come to my house and rake leaves or cut my grass. Can someone please explain to me why I should just give these kids money? As bad as the sales routines are, this begging is teaching the kids worse lessons still.

TabithaRuth said...

ARRGH! I hate fundraisers with a fiery passion.

First they guilt the kids into doing it, then they send home forms to take to work, ask you to email everyone you know, etc. This year's new offering 15 bucks for 48 balls of cookie dough.

But the icing on the cake is the yearly PTA meeting where we decide what to do with all the money we raised! We just randomly raise money and then try and spend it; we aren't working towards any specific goal.

Richard Dolan said...

For some reason I've never figured out but am quite grateful for, we don't get these door-to-door solicitations from kids in our Brooklyn neighborhood. My kids are in a private school here, but their school never conducts these kinds of drives, preferring instead the direct approach asking parents to contribute over and above the already substantial tuition. I agree with the many commenters above who've noted that the direct approach is much better -- fundraising is something adults should do, and leave the kids out of it.

We do get solicited sometimes by parents with kids in the Girl Scouts, and we buy the cookies if we know the family. I've always had a soft spot for the Girl Scouts, and so make an exception for them -- Girl Scouts and their cookies just go together, in a unique time-warp kind of way. It's all very reminiscent of the 50s, when my sisters were active in the Girl Scouts and used to sell them. Nothing much has changed, and I bet the cookies were just as bad for you then as joan says (in her comment above) they are today.

In contrast to the lack of door-to-door solicitations, there are lots of kids selling candy and other junk on the subways, almost never accompanied by an adult. The pitch is always quite vague about the organization that will supposedly benefit, and I think most people just assume that there is no such organization -- it's just a kid trying to earn some pocket money. People riding the subways are quite used to ignoring all kinds of interruptions, including that one. But I guess that there are enough riders who buy the candy, and so it keeps going. No big deal, really, just another occasion to filter out unwanted background noise.

Glenn Howes said...

I'm going to share something I've been feeling guilty about for 30 years.

When I was a kid, we had a magazine drive at my school. While other kids were out walking the sidewalks and knocking on doors, I just asked my dad to buy some subscriptions for the place he worked. I remember I won a skateboard and perhaps some other stuff; whatever it was, I didn't deserve it.

As for the school funding, the basic problem is that teachers salaries are a bottomless pit. I believe the teachers union loves those news stories about no money for books, or teachers buying $5 worth of pencils for their own class. Time for tax hikes and new spending! On books? No. On pencils? No. On impossible to fire clock watchers? Yes!

k said...

Wurly: No, most kids don't go door to door ... are you kidding? The way parents are now? When I sold GS cookies (and I *sucked*!), my mom let us range all around for blocks by ourselves. Today, no way. For one thing, kids don't walk anymore. They all want a ride. Actually, in some cases, I have noted that the fundraiser materials will tell the kids NOT to go door to door, and recommend sending the brochure to work with parents. I assume this was in response to abductions and other horrendousness, and not just our current overprotectivenss culture.

SteveR said...

I only let my girls do Girl Scout Cookies, which people will ask for if we don't go to them. For extracurricular stuff I just pay their share rather than subject them to selling crap no one wants.

I don't buy anyone else's

Anonymous said...

I've lived here for thirteen years. In all that time,(except for two Jehovah's Witnesses I scared off)I've only had one person of any age ever walk up my driveway. His motorcycle had broken down on the road in front of my house.

I hired him and he worked for me for a year or two.

Juliet said...

The last time this happened to us, when we still lived in California, the kid was trying so frantically and desperately to sell us a newspaper subscription that I wondered if he'd been physically threatened. It was really unnerving.

TW Andrews said...

Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap

Unless it's the wedding industry.

Joe said...

Perhaps the most unique thing I've ever seen sold was when I was in high school and we sold Texas Ruby Grapefruits and gourmet oranges for the senior choral group. Turns out they were very good and the buyers rather pleased, though in the end it didn't make as much money as the better-than-average chocolates they usually sold. People sure remembered it though.

Joe said...

Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not buying horrible, overpriced crap

You have apparently never dealt with the funeral industry.

Sloanasaurus said...

In the burbs, you buy stuff so that ultimately someone else will buy stuff from your kid. After all, who doesn't look at the list of people who bought stuff from your kid - it's fascinating!

Freeman Hunt said...

Because no real-world business is done by making you feel guilty about not [paying for] horrible, overpriced [programs]

Change a couple words, and you could be commenting on tax hikes.

Derve said...

For some reason I've never figured out but am quite grateful for, we don't get these door-to-door solicitations from kids in our Brooklyn neighborhood.

Do you by any chance have a medical marijuana jack-o-lantern sitting on your porch, Richard Dolan?

Susan said...

The last time I got suckered into a donation for a school group was when a kid of an friend asked me to be one of her sponsors in a fund raising lap swim. I figured I could spend $10, so I asked her how many laps she figured she could swim. When she replied “Ten” I said I would sponsor her for $1 a lap. Turned out she could swim 40 laps.

tcd said...

Some neighborhood kids were selling subscriptions for the local newspaper in exchange for a chance to win a college scholarship. I offered to make a deposit to their 529 plans. They gave me a weird look.

ShadyCharacter said...

Susan raises a good point. Never agree to a per item donation. A colleague in my office was going door to door (in the office) with her two kids (5 and 9) asking for sponsorship of a reading contest that the school was using as a fund raiser. I agreed to the flat $20 rather than some set amount per book read. Great call. A friend asked the mom how many books they would read and was told 10 or so and so pledged $2 a book.

Imagine the surprise when the kids came back to announce their totals and the 5 year old had 40 and the 9 year old had 65 a couple of months later.

What do you do, call the kids (or the mom) on it or just pay?

Balfegor said...

Re: Madisonman
On the other hand, I have a Prius (boy is it fun to drive!) and I buy organic foods -- directly from the farmer, avoiding the middleman. So apparently I'm a sucker.

Oh, I don't necessarily mean it like that, any more than people are suckers for buying, say, girl scout cookies. You can want the product quite apart from the guilt-trip pitch. But the "it is good for your soul" element is a pretty big part of the sales pitch for both the Prius and organic food products.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Nothing happens until somebody sells something.

I'm o.k. with kids selling if they are, indeed, learning sales skills. My dad taught me how to pitch, overcome objections and close and I had a good experience with Girl Scout cookies.

I agree with Freeman Hunt that a good sales pitch is entertaining. It should be.

Old Dad said...

I was once solicited by a young African American girl--she was probably nine or ten. The little girl was impeccably dressed, and she was accompanied by an African American man, her father I presume, who wore an immaculate business suit and tie. The father never approached the door and never spoke. He simply stood about three paces back, smiled and watched attentively.

The little girl was selling name brand candy bars as a fund raiser for her parochial school. They were not outrageously priced, and her patter was nearly flawless. I bought the whole box, and told her father that I would hire her as the director of sales for my company after she graduated from college. He smiled but said nothing. She smiled, thanked me, and said she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up.

I'd bet on her.

Sanjay said...

"acutally like"? Of _course_ you like caramel corn, dammit.

Must buy the overpriced Harry and David "Moose Munch Bar" (preferablydark chocolate), by the way. But the fact that it's filled with caramel corn only makes it seem like more of a rip off --- it feel like it can't weigh more than a paper clip....

Revenant said...

How about the Federal Government, and even the State Government, stops telling local Governments how to run their schools? How about the non-local Governments stop mandating things that they don't pay for?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the feds tie their requirements to receiving federal money. Any school can tell the feds to take their regulations and stick them up their "Left Behind", provided they're willing to forego receiving federal tax monies. So really the local schools are in no position to complain.

Mr. Forward said...

Slightly off topic but...
My father taught me the two rules of lemonade stands. One: never pass a kid's lemonade stand without buying. Two: never drink the lemonade.

Seven Machos said...

I can't believe children are put through this bizarre ritual. How weird. I don't think I would want my kids participating in it. I definitely don't want to buy tins of popcorn for $20.

Once, I got trick-or-treaters in Zagreb in January. It was either that, or brutal 13-year-old killers in horrific masks. I refused to answer the door.

On a serious note, it has been my experience that public schools simply do not know how to spend money effectively.

Juliet said...

Ugh, I fell for it again.

I wanted to renew that magazine, I really did. But I'm not sure why it had to be for four times my initial subscription rate.

That's the last time I answer the door after a half-bottle of wine.

Wishingwell said...

Just looked this up, because as a young kid (6) I was sent out alone into the city of Philadelphia to knock on stranger's doors for 'fundraisers'.Not great.
And no, it's not 'to keep the heat on in the dead of winter'. Have you seen what teachers and administrators make including benefits?

Pushing a pov-class child, 1rst or 2nd grader into doing this-created unpleasant associations with money, when other activities with money- (casually volunteering at lunch for student store as 16 year old for our marketing club trips) were pleasant, age-appropriate, pressure-free, and rewarded properly.