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Parents Talk: Should Kids Be Doing Door-to-Door Fundraising?

We teach our children about “stranger danger” but some organizations and schools encourage kids to sell products door-to-door to raise money.

Each year at this time, we get the knock at the door.

It’s the Girl Scouts, selling their cookies.

Don’t get me wrong, I can chow down a Thin Mint like nobody's business. But, the selling process leaves something to be desired. In fact, I tend to turn away most youth fundraising requests that appear at my doorstep for two reasons:

  1. I don’t like it that kids go door-to-door to fund-raise for the organization they are involved with. Honestly, I feel like there are plenty of other ways to raise money without hitting up homeowners. 
  2. I don’t think it’s safe for the kids - even with parents tagging along.

I don’t think I’m alone in my safety concerns.

In fact, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says that while door-to-door solicitation may be a confidence builder for children, it causes “potential risks for child safety, even within the confines of your own neighborhood.” The safest thing is to prohibit your children from participating in door-to-door solicitations, the organization says on its website.  

When my two kids were younger, we usually avoided the door-to-door sales. Sometimes, we just opted for asking family and friends to help in fundraising efforts—and they would ask the same of us. 

Sure, our kids usually didn't win the coveted "awesome" prize for their sales, but I felt like it was the right decision for our family. 

So, Patch readers, what do you think?  Should kids be doing door-to-door fundraising? Why or Why not? Share your thoughts in comments. 

Dave N February 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Gretchen H, before you going accusing Girl Scouts of breaking the law, go look at the law. Anti-soliticing laws generally have exemptions for youth fundraising. Does "SLP?" Like you, I won't take the time to look it up. First off, I don't even know whether "SLP" is Saint Louis Park or Spring Lake Park or Saturn Loon Planet. Wendy, I generally enjoy your site, but your 2 "reasons" aren't persuasive to me. Your first reason is you don't like it. Well, others like it. How do we decide this weighty matter? Your preferences shouldn't apply to all of us. Your second reason is safety. Of course it's true that, as your cited National Association for Paranoid Parents that, "The safest thing is to prohibit your children from participating in door-to-door solicitations, the organization says on its website." Well, actually it's not true. The safest thing would be to lock your child indoors until they die of natural causes as a senior citizen. That way, no bad people could ever get to them. But in the real world, we have to take risks, even the risks of walking around the mean streets of Maple Grove with boxes of tasty cookies in tow. Scary!
Big_Phish February 23, 2012 at 06:28 PM
OK, let's not let kids play outside my themselve! Let's organize social events for our kids so they can't learn how to do it for themselves! Let's not let the kids go out and learn how to interact with others! Let's just build a wall around our children and make them afraid of everyone! Now, when these kids have kids of their own... they will build an even bigger wall! I pray that people teach their kids how to trust their gut feelings and not be an isolated... paranoid... quivering mass. Girl Scouts, you keep selling those cookies door to door... that is the only way I will buy them. Not from a stand, I need a sales pitch! All three of my babies were Girl Scouts.
Heidi Keyho March 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Yes, Girl Scouts should sell door to door, with adult supervision.. The lessons they learn about safety, entrepreneurship, communication and self-confidence far out weigh the threat of a predator. Here's a link to where Girl Scout cookie money goes. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/03/07/good-question-where-does-girl-scout-cookie-money-go/
Bill Eatock October 04, 2012 at 09:50 PM
ELIMINATE SCHOOL FUNDRAISING! Unique Collaboration Generates Revenue for Public and Private Schools Year-Round and Keeps Our Children Off the Streets By Saving Participants on Ordinary Purchases of Products & Services. http://globebanc.com/business/schools
Deanna Hays June 21, 2013 at 06:49 PM
SWIFT - System Wide Integrated Fundraising Technology ONLY 1 fundraiser per year! Eliminates selling! Replaces the current cumbersome education fundraising model with one that generates multi-millions in capital. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/swift-system-wide-integrated-fundraising-technology/x/3636908 Our team is comprised of educators of all levels; administration; faculty; public; private; active and retired (all of whom are tired of taking MONEY out of their OWN pockets OVER and OVER again, every year) 12 years of research, spanning 3 states and over 200 cumulative years experience in all areas of education. At the request and initial funding of state-level leadership, we designed a technologically responsive fundraising concept which manages the school generated funds. SWIFT allows students to avoid the distraction and solicitation traditionally associated with educational and athletic, extra-curricular fundraisers. You know how YOU feel about fundraisers? We all feel the same way! First and most importantly, Fundraising is now safe...and with SWIFT, there is NO door to door solicitation and NOTHING to SELL! Thru our technologically savvy multi-faceted,cyber-system, monitoring of all fiscal records and eligibility is managed instantaneously. Every stakeholder benefits: Business Owners and Entire Community; avoid constant solicitation, bother School Administrators; save endless hours of time and work Parents; save money, time, driving, worry, work... and more Teachers; save MONEY, preparation, time, work, planning, implementation, Students - appreciate less work and less responsibility for raising money for supplemental education. Bookkeepers have ONE fundraising account to manage!

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