Top 10 Gift Ideas for Dads and Grads

We are sharing the top 10 gift ideas for Dads and Grads! By shopping at edRover.com you can get your shopping done while fundraising for your school of choice at the same time. For every purchase you make on edRover.com a portion of your purchase will go back to your school. Read, Set, Shop!

Top 10 Fathers Day Gifts:

10: World’s Fastest Men’s Wet/Dry Shaver – 1% Back for Your School 

9: Nike Men’s Running Shoes – 4% Back for Your School 

8: Fossil “The Agent” Bracelet Watch – 1% Back for Your School 

7: Peanut, Cookie and Popcorn Gift Set – 1% Back for Your School

6: Michael Kors Dress Shirt – 1% Back for Your School

5: Samsung TV – 2% Back for Your School 

4: Personalized Beer Mug – 2% Back for Your School

3: Omaha Steaks: The People’s Choice – 2% Back for Your School

2: Golf Club Drink Dispenser – 1% Back for Your School 

1: Gift Cards – Select from dozens of top brand eGiftcards, personalize a printable greeting card and email it to your Dad in a few minutes 

 

Top 10 Grad Gifts:

10. The Popcorn Factory Bravo Sampler – 2% Back to Your School

9: Omaha Steaks Burgers – 2% Back to Your School

8: Travel Charging Valet – 1% Back for Your School

7: Portable Bluetooth Speaker – 1%

6: Electronic Salt or Pepper Mill – 1%

5: Full Page Portable Document Scanner – 1% Back for Your School

4: Garmin GPS– 2% Back for your School

3: 4 in 1 Stainless Steel Mini Grill – 1% Back for Your School

2: Sony VAIO Laptop – 1% Back for Your School

1: Gift Cards                                                                                                                                             Select from dozens of top brand eGiftcards, personalize a printable greeting card and email it to your Dad in a few minutes 

 Click here for a chance to win $100 Regal Entertainment Group Gift eGiftcard for your Dad or Grad!

 

7 Cringeworthy Reasons People Hate Fundraising

7 Cringeworthy Reasons People Hate Fundraising

Which of the following happens when people see you coming around with your fundraising forms?

  • Grandma stops taking your calls
  • Your friends suddenly have other plans
  • Your coworkers dive under their desks
  • Your neighbors hide behind the curtains
  • Your aunt reminds you that she still has a whole stockpile from the last fundraiser

Here are 7 cringeworthy reasons that people hate fundraising, but are afraid to say outloud.

  1. Overpriced Stuff - Every fundraising company has to make a profit on their business, but some choose to mark up prices on fundraising products by 10-100% or more! People realize that they can buy the same stuff in a store or online for much less, and they get jaded. Many people would rather cut a check that goes straight to the organization than pay too much for something.
  2. Confusing Forms - Who wants to write their personal information on a form and hand it to a kid or volunteer? Where does that information end up? How is it used? Which row do I check? How do I add this thing up? What was the price of that thing? People get flummoxed from filling out forms in general, and they are really uncomfortable handing over personal information.
  3. Fumbling Over Payment Options - Cash or check? Pay now or pay later? Really, in this day and age, any organization that can’t figure out how to take credit card payments is in trouble. Now that there are mobile phone accessories that are credit card readers, this should be a standard convenience to offer to your supporters who carry less cash than ever before, and hardly ever carry a checkbook.
  4. Delayed Delivery - Instant gratification is the name of the game! These days, you can look up any answer with just a few clicks, and we are all used to 100s or 1000s of entertainment choices on our phones, tablets, computers, radios and TVs. Don’t make us wait 6 weeks for a box of cookies! Speed up delivery or lose relevance.
  5. Unhealthy Stuff – About those cookies, popcorn, chocolate, and other junk food fundraisers, many schools and organizations are banning them for obvious health reasons. Why promote the consumption of junk on the one hand and then teach people to avoid these items on the other hand? It seems very hypocritical to be promoting child health & welfare while peddling empty calories.
  6. Hideous Selection - Some non-food fundraisers have a wide selection of ugly, useless stuff you simply don’t need. If I go through a whole fundraising catalog and end up ordering my 19th spatula just to make you feel better about your fundraising sales goals, it doesn’t make me feel better.
  7. Uncomfortable Social Pressure – I don’t want that awkward moment where I have to say no to you because of budget, taste, or selection reasons, and you don’t want to have to endure it either. We all know that kids are out selling just to gain the cheapo sales award gift items emblazoned in their minds at the fundraiser kick off rally. How about you buy your kid the prize, and write a check to the school or charity instead?

edRover was created to stop the fundraising insanity. Shop privately, for only what you want, at regular retail or sale prices.

This was one burnt out mama’s fundraising rant. What’s yours? Sound off in the comments below!

Feature Your Family on edRover

Feature Your Family on edRover.com

We are wild about our “Rovers”, our wonderful customers who care so much about their favorite schools and causes. That’s why we are excited to provide a chance  be featuring your family on edRover.com!

To be considered, all we need is a high resolution photo of you and/or your family holding up an edRover logo or something you purchased through the site. It could be an eGiftCard email, your family on a cruise or vacation, or maybe that great pair of earrings you picked up.

Just send us a picture and a paragraph about your edRover experience, and we’ll feature entries on our blog. Who knows, you may even get a chance to be featured on the homepage of edRover.com!

So have a blast shopping for your cause at edRover.com, and send us your entries!

6 Flexible School Volunteer Jobs for Working Moms

6 Flexible School Volunteer Jobs for Working Moms

Not all volunteering is done during the day! If you are a working mom but would still like to volunteer at your child’s school, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Here are 6 flexible volunteer jobs for working moms.

For the PTA:

    1. If you’d like to the be on the board and don’t mind working with numbers, the role of Treasurer is for you. Most of the work- record keeping on the computer, writing checks, keeping track of check requests-  is done at home. Once a month you attend a PTA board meeting, which is usually an evening event.
    2. All PTA events have at-home work: the Jog-a-thon will need someone to order the T-shirts and banners; the Fall Festival will need someone to process and package pre-ordered tickets; the Box Tops drive always needs people willing to count and organize the countless numbers of box tops that come pouring in. If you are willing to do the much-appreciated grunt work, you can do it at home.
    3. Evening events always need a clean up crew. After all the fun, send dad home to do the bedtime routine while you stay and wipe tables.

For the classroom:

  1. Teachers always have an unending pile of projects to prepare and packets to collate and staple. Let your child’s teacher know ahead of time that you are willing to do this at home. I promise you, she will regularly hand you bags of work.
  2. The classroom website usually needs a web master. You could enter in information on the calendar or update the weekly homework page.
  3. Keep an eye out for the teacher’s wish list. In this economy, all classrooms run short of Kleenex, baby wipes, and glue sticks. Grab some when you swing by Target and replenish the classroom.

If you, like most working parents, find yourself too exhausted to work at night, don’t underestimate the power of the cash donation. The whole reason the PTA puts on most of these events is to raise money for the school. Your cash donation will be hugely appreciated!

For further reading:

http://workingmoms.about.com/od/yourchildseducation/a/How-Working-Moms-Can-Volunteer-At-School.htm

http://www.roommomspot.com/2012/08/29/school-volunteering/

http://amomwithalessonplan.com/how-to-volunteer-helping-your-kids-teacher/

10 Simple Ways to Improve School Home Communication

10 Simple Ways to Improve School Home CommunicationDuring the school year, there is nothing more important than improve school home communication. After all, it is a partnership, isn’t it? The teacher does his/her part during the day and we parents do our part when the kids come home. A partnership like that can’t be effective without regular, clear communication.

A good teacher should do some, if not all, of the following:

  1. Send a newsletter home each week, paper or email. This newsletter should tell the parent what the class is studying, if there are any unique requirements for upcoming homework assignments or projects, important school dates for the next week or two, and should always list how to contact him/her.
  2. Have a website where the homework assignments are listed each week. Sure, we’d like our kids to be responsible and write down their homework in their planners. But sometimes the child writes messy and the page number is unclear. Sometimes the planner gets left behind in the carpool backseat. A website cuts down on a parent’s stress.
  3. Answer emails quickly. The teacher can’t answer them immediately- after all, they do need to *teach*- but once a day is reasonable.
  4. Give parents information early enough. If a project is coming, an information letter/ email should go home at least a few days, if not a week, ahead of time.
  5. For kids with behavior and/or learning concerns, there needs to be an extra level of communication: a behavior chart that comes home daily or weekly, progress reports that keep a parent updated on assignments, or even a simple “thumbs up/ thumbs down” at pick up to inform the parent of any issues.

 

However, the burden does not lie on the teacher alone. Remember- this is a *partnership*.

A good parent should do ALL of the following, every single day:

  1. Look at your child’s planner and work with them to complete the homework. If any part of the homework is confusing or unclear, and you truly can’t complete it even after an extensive Google search, write your child’s teacher a note or email and explain this. Don’t turn in incomplete homework with zero communication!
  2. Help your child complete any at home projects, but don’t do it for them. The teacher doesn’t want to see *your* work- she wants to see your child’s work. That means you need to let them design and arrange that science fair project board.
  3. Write dates on your calendar. .If the teacher is giving you these dates in her informative newsletter, you need to write them down.
  4. If your child has concerns, whether they be behavioral or academic, get on board with the teacher’s plan. If your child is on a behavior contract, reinforce it at home with positive and negative consequences *every day*. If your child needs extra help in reading, read with them *every day*. Support the effort the teacher is giving.
  5. Always communicate with respect and thoughtfulness. Don’t shoot the teacher a hasty email when you are feeling irritable- think about your wording and use tact.

So, what do you do if you if your child’s teacher is not the world’s best communicator?

As a good partner, you should kindly and assertively attempt to change this. Let your child’s teacher know that it would really help if you received more from her, whether that be via email or on paper. Let her know you are willing to help; maybe you could be the one who updates the homework on the website each week. If nothing improves, don’t be afraid to have a cordial yet straightforward meeting with the principal.

9 Holiday Sanity Savers from edRover.com

9 Holiday Sanity Savers

Have you ever noticed how the holiday season is completely chaotic? It’s supposed to be this holly-jolly time where we get to make hot chocolate, go to parties with friends, and decorate cookies with our kids.

But instead what we get is a season filled with panic-shopping (What do you mean, ‘we need to bring a Toys For Tots donation??’), guilt-inducing overeating (Maybe eating *four* pieces of fruit cake was a bad idea), and a calendar packed full of unappetizing obligations.

While it would be amazing if we could take big steps toward simplifying our holiday season, the inevitable truth is that the holidays are still going to be a bit frantic and busy. Maybe we need to adopt a more cheerful attitude as we enter in to this crazy time known as “The Holidays.”

Here are 9 tried and true holiday sanity savers for you. Share your tips in the comments!

  1. Be Cheerful, it’s contagious! I’ll bet if you are patient and kind to that frazzled checker at Target, he might be a bit more friendly to the next person in line. It’s a like a disease! Er… a good one.
  2. Good people bring out the good in other people. Don’t you love hanging around with those friends who always seem like a breath of fresh air? Let’s try to be that person and share the love.
  3. It’s not about being the best; it’s about being better than you were yesterday. If you find yourself frazzled and grumpy, don’t beat yourself up about it! Regroup and try again tomorrow.
  4. Drink coffee; read books; be happy. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Even five quiet minutes with a book and a hot drink can prepare you for the busy times.
  5. Always maintain a kind of summer even in the middle of winter. Summer is so… spontaneous, don’t you agree? There’s no reason winter can’t be the same way. Maybe this year, don’t pack your calendar so full- leave a few open days and just let them unfold as they will. Ask your kids What do you want to do today?
  6. Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year. It’s inevitable- during the holidays, you will have to visit people that you may notadore. You are being like Santa: This is your once-a-year visit! If the Big Guy can do it, so can you.
  7. She was one plum pudding away from a yuletide meltdown. Keep your sense of humor. You don’t want to be the crazy relative who has a meltdown and ends up as the topic of discussion for the next five years. Just sayin’.
  8. Instead of cleaning the house, I just turn off the lights. Sometimes, you need to manage your expectations. Friends coming to visit? Clean a few rooms and close the doors on the rest. True friends don’t judge.
  9. Give yourself a break from the mall traffic. Try edRover.com for your holiday gifts this year. A portion of every purchase goes to the school or cause of your choice.