Even during a pandemic, the fall season brings activities for our youth to enjoy. Activities come with a price tag and often offer the opportunity for our youth to help offset the cost by participating in money-earning activities and fundraisers. Many families chose to forego the fundraiser and simply open their wallet to pay for extracurricular activities. Before you choose to do this, think about the lessons your child will learn raising their own funds to cover their activities.

  1. Goal setting is the No. 1 skill most children learn from fundraisers. Most people are more successful when they set a goal and then create a plan to achieve that goal. Let your child decide how he or she wants to participate in the fundraiser and set an attainable goal and even a stretch goal.
  2. Money management. For younger children, money management can simply mean counting and handling money. Participating in fundraisers helps children hone their financial literacy skills as they learn to make change and budget money. Older children can use online software programs to track their sales progress and watch as they work toward their goals.
  3. People skills. Learning how to speak effectively is another skill that is essential to future success. While most children can speak to their peers, speaking to someone older is often intimidating. Have your children practice speaking to you or another family member, or even a neighbor that they know well. Make sure they can speak about their fundraiser, their goal and what they hope to do with the money they raise.
  4. Decision Making. Life is full of decisions. By participating in fundraisers, children will be able to choose how to participate in the fundraiser, how to “market” their products and how they will use their proceeds from their fundraiser. Sometimes the decision making happens in a group and other times the funds have already been designated for equipment, uniforms, etc. Regardless, children will be able to see how their participation benefited them and their friends.
  5. Business Ethics. Ethics is a strange word for most kids to understand. However, in the real world, all youth need to learn how to be fair and honest with others. You are never too young or old to learn how to conduct yourself in the real world and have integrity.

This year especially, working to raise money for activities can be challenging. Our youth must be aware of all social distancing and safety guidelines and find ways to participate while keeping themselves and others healthy.

Financial literacy skills are essential skills all youth will need one day to navigate through life. We can give them a little help and experience by letting them earn some of the money they need to participate in sports, clubs and other activities in the community. We are helping them figure out how to achieve success in the future.