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suggested that I post this here........

(17 Posts)
BoogieDave Wed 28-Sep-11 19:48:20

I have been a stay-at-home Dad for the past 8 years looking after my three young daughters whilst their mother first trained to become a teacher and is now a full-time secondary school maths teacher.

Our youngest daughter is now 4 years old and has now started full time in reception. This allows me to obtain some kind of meaningful regular employment which was an impossibility whilst my youngest was only doing half a day each weekday at nursery. Add to that the fact I walked everywhere (no car) and my days previously have been a maelstrom of getting kids ready for school, getting to school, back home, chores, back to nursery, back home, entertaining little one....yadda-yadda-yadd, I'm sure you all know the score only too well.

Anyway, back to the point. I've been offered what I consider to be a very decent position as a project manager with a company that intends to launch a schools fundraising cashback site. My role would be to visit schools and introduce the project to the school business manager with a view to the school joining the program and obviously this would fit in extremely well with my taking the girls to and from school. Incidentally, there are no costs to schools that get involved in the project.

My big question is this: as I've been researching the concept I see that there are various companies already operating in this area but the amounts of money raised by each school seem to be tiny. Is this because parents are not interested in helping school to raise funds or is it because schools are not promoting this kind of fundraising?

As a parent, I think the idea is sound and one that I would be involved in myself even if I don't take this job. I'm just worried that I might find this to be a very stressful position for me if parents and schools find the idea objectionable.

I really would appreciate any input or comments from parents who are involved in PTAs or have experience of school fundraising. It will help me in my decision whether to take the job or not as I don't want my kids having a stressed out dad around the house....I've been a pretty cool-headed funky dad up until this point ;o)

YummyHoney Wed 28-Sep-11 20:20:37

You don't sound very motivated TBH. Don't know anyone who would post on MN in order to decide whether or not to take a job - especially after 8 years at home. Or are you advertising?

BitFuzzled Wed 28-Sep-11 20:47:12

That's helpul, yummyhoney. hmm

Dave, I think parents can be a bit suspicious of these things because they assume that the companies involved are taking a huge cut. If, say, 30p or more out of every pound goes to the company running the scheme parents are more likely to say "stuff it, let's have a cake sale".

Look at the business model very carefully, work out how you will justify it to the schools and parents.

And if it involves publishing kids' poems or stories, don't touch it with a bargepole. That little scam has long since been outed.

admission Wed 28-Sep-11 21:49:49

My guess is that this is being imported from across the Atlantic, where fund raising for schools is much more of a expected thing.
So I think the question really comes down to whetehr our schools in the UK are ready to go "commercial" and I think the answer is not in the majority of schools. However given the current constraints on funding and what will happen in the next few years, go ahead schools are going to be looking for other sources of funds.
So you have 22000 schools to choose from, where are you going to start?

BitFuzzled Wed 28-Sep-11 22:33:07

admission makes a very good point. You have 22,000 schools to choose from, and a sizeable chunk of them will be "your patch" in the first instance if this is a new start-up. You are likely to find that you are working in areas a very long way from home in order to drum up business. That is not going to fit with your ideal of dropping the kids at school and picking up at 3pm.

I would be more inclined to look at freelance, part-time or full-time jobs, and accept the childminding costs that come with each of those. I think your kids will have a much less stressed daddy if you can find something less risky.

webwiz Wed 28-Sep-11 23:07:34

Is it this sort of thing BoogieDave

www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/

senua Wed 28-Sep-11 23:30:33

I think that we are all a bit sceptical and wary of things like this.

FWIW, I tried to give our school some vouchers a while back. They liked the Tesco vouchers because that is a huge, long-running scheme that they know works. The other ones I tried to give them - Morrisons, Sainsbo, Persil - were politely declined. They don't get enough vouchers to be worth going through the rigmarole of claiming. You may get a similar response to your scheme - you say that there are no costs to the school but it must take some admin time that could be spent doing other things.

Re the giving machine: am I supposed to get my shopping through them i.e. not use my Tesco card and thus lose all my clubcard points? Aren't there quite a few cashback deals (eg quidco?) where the spender gets the kickback instead of giving it to charity?

twoterrors Wed 28-Sep-11 23:46:27

I tried to set up what sounds like a similar scheme: people click through from the fundraising site to normal online shops like amazon, M and S etc, and he PTA gets a bit of cashback?

We raised tiny amounts because everyone's eyes glazed over when it was explained, hardly anyone ever remembered, some didn't believe the prices would be the same, loads thought they had to buy through a special shop, no-one could remember the name of the site. Very occasionally some wonderful person bought a fridge or something from John Lewis after clicking through and some money turned up.

I thought it was a great idea, easy way to raise money compared with organising events but even with a fairly savvy parent group, was really hard to get the message across.

I think it could be stressful.....

Graciescotland Wed 28-Sep-11 23:52:09

I remember my nephews school sent out books of discount vouchers that you kept and paid £20 for membership or some such. It was a fundraising scheme but the way it was presented you had to opt out. School got a fiver per membership.

It wasn't very popular. I think people would of preferred to donate a fiver for a sponsored whatever.

PatriciaHolm Thu 29-Sep-11 20:42:51

We use easyfundingraising, which gives a cash % to the school for sales (you have to click to the retailer from the easyfundraising site). We raise a couple of hundred a year. The issue is getting parents to remember to do it; there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the scheme itself. Unless you have a significant USP, there is no reasons to go with another scheme tbh.

And tbh I think you would struggle to fit it all in school times, given the travel that you'll need to do.

BoogieDave Thu 06-Oct-11 22:56:55

Thanks to all of you for your replies. Very insightful and very helpful.

The whole Big Society idea of the Tories (apologies for bringing them into this) seems to be something that we should all be involved with. I remember being a kid from a single-parent family growing up in Newtown, Birmingham in the 70s and, even though nobody really had much, there was definitely a distinct Big Society approach by everyone then that I feel has disappeared.

I think this project might engender a feeling of community pulling together, maybe it wont, but I'm gonna give it a try.

I'll keep you posted and let you know how I get on.

And PatriciaHolm, I appreciate the comment about fitting it in with school times......but, kind of as a hobby (music is my passion) I've managed to promote one of the biggest music events in Birmingham for the past 8 years whilst coping with the kids. Admittedly, that had a lot more flexibility in terms of being able to do things on the fly and at night times, but I managed :O) Now that my youngest is in full-time education I think this should be doable....but time wil tell, eh.

Thanks again everyone for your comments and thoughts, much apprecisted

BoogieDave Thu 06-Oct-11 22:57:32

Apprecisted??? And I've not even started on the wine yet ;o)

BoogieDave Thu 06-Oct-11 22:59:36

the company take 10% of the cashback...very reasonable and there's a massive focus on transparency too, for this exact reason you mention. Parents need to trust what is going on :O)

BoogieDave Thu 06-Oct-11 23:00:12

hmmmm, how do i reply to specific posts????

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Oct-11 23:07:26

There's no quote function, just use someone's name.

BoogieDave Fri 07-Oct-11 10:52:37

thanks OldLadyKnowsNothing

MaggieW Fri 07-Oct-11 17:58:09

I (when I remember) use Buy4Schools which is linked to our parentmail at school. It's not a great system - hard to navigate and their customer support is hopeless. For example the click on banner goes out with each parentmail but often doesn't take you through to the site, which is frustrating. Also I have never managed to sign on using my password (some glitch in the system) and end up changing my password each time I use it! Frustrating and time-wasting.

My DH, as apart of his role with PTA, is trying to educate other parents to use it as it's such an easy way to raise cash for the school and cash for yourself. The best method so far has been in the welcome packs for new entrants, and again, at the annual PTA meeting which is held early in the new term.

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