I don't have enough webbed fingers and toes to count the number of examples that have passed through my experience in the last week alone where something a person or group of people wanted had a cost to and their initial (and only) reaction was to find a way to get others to pay for it, subsidize it, bankroll it, get it for free.
- In the local kids recreational soccer league where, for $20, you get practice fields, a team bag of balls and cones, pinnies, a shirt, and the mandatory medal of mediocrity. A parent complained that each player should have their own ball.
- The local school wants to take one of their sixth grade group on a bus trip to Bar Harbor. Car Wash!
- A thespian group is putting on a play; they asked the parents to fund-raise through finding corporate sponsors at a pace of two each, $25 per.
- Parents bitched that there weren't enough porta-potties at the athletic events. Can every town contribute? Emails, estimates, strong-arm tactics, guilt, high-fives. Total price of a rental? $95.
- Much hand-wringing locally, but the property taxes went up by $400 this year. Co-incidentally, each schoolchild now has an iPad.
- I'll be hosting a course on personal finance at my parish. It has a $93 cost associated with it. Well worth it; cheaper than dinner and a flick. "Is there anyway we can help the people pay for it?"
- Buy an energy-saving (insert appliance type here) and get a $50 rebate check from the government.
- Let me subsidize that conspicuous consumption Prius for you in the form of tax deductions.
- Would you give our special interest group tickets to your sporting event? It's for the kids.
It's not the concept of fundraising that bothers me. It's the mindset of having to get someone else to fund the endeavor, no matter how small it is. Why do we need a car wash to gather funds of $30 a head? Why would you expect the soccer league to provide a ball for every player? They're $15 for the fancy ones.
How about you just pay for it yourselves?
I've always joked with Mrs. Toadroller that we should set up a car wash or magazine drive for our own family's "Spain Trip!" and see how far we get. I've had enough friends and family ask me to support their child's dream of touring haunted castles in Ireland; it's time for them to fund mine.