Monday, February 22, 2016


So I've been rather swamped lately. At the end of January I had a Phil. concert, which I played 1st on because our principal was playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. Shortly before the concert happened I managed to volunteer to run the 3rd grade cookie dough fundraiser. I swear, I'd already told them I suck at fundraising but would help in a background/supportive position. Somehow that got read as "I'd love to run a fundraiser!!," because during our Sequim trip I got an email from a teacher asking if I'd made a plan for the fundraiser dates and all that yet. I could have said no to doing it, but decided I'd go ahead and just delegate as much as I could and maybe it'd be something that'd help me get to know some other parents (it's not really helpful for that, but it does give other parents something to help place me if we happen to meet). And then there was the water in the basement, also right before the concert. And of course I have class still, so I'm doing stuff for that. Mal and I went in to Gareth's class on the 12th to help make smoothies for the class "Friendship and Heart-Healthy Celebration". We've been going early a couple Fridays per month to pack food in bags for kids who may not have much to eat over the weekend. Mal brings home every illness from preschool, so I get colds on top of colds. In fact, Mal is home today because he's had a fever and cough for a couple days now.

Now I've got another concert coming up and have been tallying cookie dough orders, which I have to turn into the company tomorrow. And at some point I need to put together a presentation on a paper about phytochemicals in olive oil for my biochemistry class (which means I should probably read the paper). And I heard back from UW (got accepted into the MS, but wait listed for the RD program, so that was disappointing and I'll probably be reapplying this coming December). I've signed up to volunteer for a Cooking Matters class again, which means I need to find someone to watch Mal for those six weeks. And the food science class I was thinking I'd take in summer is actually being offered in spring, so I'm now signed up for that and microbiology for spring quarter. UW starts a week before NSC for spring, so I won't get much of a spring break (which is when we are planning to do taxes; I'll have about 3 days off).

Anyway, here are some things I've learned thus far while doing this fundraiser.

  1. Don't assume people will know who to write the checks to. I really didn't want to write who to make the check to on 450 forms (nor did I have time to do so, as forms went home right between our basement water discovery and my concert) and thought this was obvious. We made announcements through the school newsletter and the 3rd grade newsletter, but still had people make the check to the cookie company or leave the check blank (by far the easier issue of the two to solve).
  2. Definitely have someone help with the tallying. Having two sets of eyes counting the money and orders is helpful. And makes the process go quickly.
  3. I really like when people are able to just write a single check for the order, whether it's because they're the only ones who ordered or because they collected money from others and then wrote a check. They're the fastest orders to tally and verify.
  4. Don't let little kids fill out the order form themselves. This inevitably ends up difficult to decipher at best, with lots of mistakes at worst.
  5. In the same vein, don't let a little kid do the entire process all alone. If this happens and things don't quite match up, it's impossible to verify what's going on if the parent hasn't been involved in any way.
  6. Basic "chocolate chunk" is by far the most popular cookie dough flavor of our sale, selling 3x as many tubs as the next highest-selling dough.
  7. While this seems to be a successful fundraiser, I'm not a huge fan of selling something perishable. I'm already mentally stressing about the people who are going to forget to pick up their order, meaning we have to find a freezer to store it in until they get it.
I'm sure between submitting the order tomorrow and delivery of the orders in early March I'll find more to add to this list. Apparently getting the check from the PTA to pay the company can be a bit of a pain, but I'll find out if that's true or not in the coming weeks. I'll be happy once it's over, but overall it hasn't been all that time-consumptive. A couple hours to staple brochures to order forms (another parent helped with this as well and got them delivered to the teachers for distribution), a couple hours on tallying, and it'll be a few hours filling orders once they come in.