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Fundraising can be a noble thing.  If you have a solid fundraising cause, it can provide great benefit. Raising money to cure or prevent disease, or to help people is great. But here at work, an ongoing fundraising campaign is missing the mark.

fundraising cause

Does your fundraising cause align with your strategy to raise money?

Missed The Mark On Fundraising

Our organization's main fundraising event is to support a heart health walk.  Teams from different parts of the organizations walk to support heart health.  They raise money with pledges and fundraising activities.

The department in which I work has typically been one of the top teams in terms of raising money. We're usually in the top three for the whole organization.  It's pretty cool.

This year they decided they wanted to step it up.  So, in addition to gathering pledges, they're also raising money by selling snacks.

That's right, snacks.

And I have a big problem with it.

You'd think in a campaign supporting heart health that the snacks sold would be healthy. But, by and large they are not.

They sell chocolate chip and other kids of cookies, 3 for $1.  Quaker granola bars are being sold for $0.50 apiece.  They're selling cans of soda.

Now, in fairness, they are selling a few healthier options alongside this.  Bottles of water are $0.50.  Oranges are $1 and bananas or apples are sometimes available for $0.50 each.

Working Against The Fundraising Cause

But I still have an overall problem with this.  By and large, the items that they're selling are in direct opposition to heart health.  Eating cookies doesn't improve your heart health.  Quaker granola bars have granola but all kinds of sugars and other bad stuff as well.  Soda, whether it be regular or diet, has been shown to be bad.

So why are these things being sold?  Is the goal to raise money or to support heart health?  The way I see it, they're looking to raise money at any cost.  And I don't agree with it.

Am I Being Over Sensitive?

I wonder, maybe I'm being over sensitive about this.  Maybe the idea is that people here are going to get sugary snacks regardless.  So rather than sticking the money down the coin slot of the vending machine, at least it's going to a better cause, right?

I still don't buy it.  It seems to me that many people probably would skip the cookies if they weren't for sale.  Sure, some might still get them from the vending machine.  But, some wouldn't and they're being drawn in to make bad decisions.

Sure, people have the responsibility to make their own decisions.  I get that.  But it still seems improper.  I mean, would any of the following be OK:

  • Supporting lung cancer by selling cigarettes.
  • Selling beer at a fundraiser to combat addiction.
  • Holding an obesity awareness fundraiser at McDonald's.

To me, none of these would make any sense.  And they make as much sense as selling chocolate chip cookies to raise money in support of heart health.

Personally, I'm not participating.  I gave up chocolate for Lent, plus I'm trying to work toward my 2019 health goals.  But even if those weren't factors, I still would refrain from buying these cookies.

Different Options

Now, there are different options that are in use to support the fundraising cause. You can buy a little paper ‘heart' that you can hang on your wall.  People can still sponsor those participating in the big walk next month.  Those are all great options.  I think they should continue.  But, I would rather our organization raise less money and skip selling the snacks.

Readers, what do you think?  Is it reasonable to sell heart unfriendly options for a heart awareness fundraiser?  Would you say anything or just skip that portion of the fundraising?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.