“Back off, Grammar Cop,” she says to herself in the mirror

nutsAnother school fundraiser is underway – yipee!

When our oldest daughter started preschool, it felt like there was always something we were being compelled to buy, all in the name obligatory school spirit.

Over the years, I’ve done my small part to help shape the ‘sell’ on these fundraisers from one of duty into one of service and opportunity. Market Day is an opportunity to buy groceries you’d buy anyway, pick them up at school, and contribute to your children’s education. Sally Foster offers high-quality gift wrap shipped to your door, and buying it supports your school. Lou Malnati’s pizza, Fannie Mae candies… you get the idea.

We’ve also added to our revenue streams, courting more restaurants and retailers to host events that return a portion of the proceeds to us, fortifying our soup label and box top clipping efforts, and such.

By streamlining fundraising efforts – hosting fewer sales but putting greater marketing oomph into them, instead – the previous money-seeking onslaught has been reduced from NPR pledge drive levels to a frequency that is more reasonable. It’s also possible that my expectations have been ratcheted so high over the years that the relative decrease is just an adjustment back to normal.

These efforts still take a multitude of volunteers to execute properly. I’ve contributed my time to some, but I really prefer to contribute my time and talent to other school efforts. I market all day long. Lately, the remaining marketing energy I have is dedicated to Release. Selfish but honest – just tell me where to send the check.

So, when I see that “The third sweetest fundraiser of the year” is underway, I cringe. Why aren’t we doing the first or second sweetest? Why are we opting for the bronze when we could go for the gold?

Then, I remember that the person who wrote that also coordinated the entire program. She is leading the team of people collecting the money, will place the orders and coordinate the product distribution, and will also manage the whole incentive award program to follow. She’s also raising kids.

Grammar’s important, especially so in my neck of the professional universe, but it’s also a matter of perspective. School fundraisers generate the money to fund arts and cultural assembly presentations, technology improvements, teacher appreciation events, and more. If all of that can happen for my kids through no personal effort on my part, that’s what counts.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to rake over my manuscript again to make sure there aren’t any similar grammatical missteps.

Wig & Pen

At least this wasn’t the advertisement. Note: do not Google “Wig Penis” in search of this image unless you’re ready for NSFW literal interpretations.

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