Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: My kiddo started kindergarten this year. School attendance these days goes hand-in-hand with fundraising solicitations, I know, but it’s pretty intense.
My question is about the etiquette of RSVP’ing to some events. The RSVP cards enclosed in these invitations offer options like (1) Sponsor a table and give us ALL your money; (2) Buy two tickets and give us LOTS of your money; (3) OK, you can’t attend but you’re enclosing a check for $[blank]. There is literally no option for, “Nope, not coming, nor am I contributing to the Biannual Petunia Replenishment Fund.”
So, I know it’s incredibly rude not to RSVP, but it seems even more uncivil to check Option 3 and write a big fat zero on that blank line, right? What do you think?
Dear RSVPay: I think if there’s no blank to fill in that says you’re neither coming nor donating, then the “RSVP card” is really a donation card, and you’re therefore off the hook for turning it in.
Go on, yell at me.
Re: RSVPay: That’s not an invitation, it’s an order form. Recycle forthwith.
Re: RSVPay: Do not tell me this is in a public school! This has to be a private kindergarten, right? My 4-year-old starts in our wonderful public school next year, and I would find such solicitations highly inappropriate (because classist). If you chose a private rich-people kindergarten, well, then you made your bed.
Dear Anonymous: Um.
We were asked plenty for donations by both public and private schools.
And sometimes people who are not rich choose private schools because their kids need something they’re not getting at the public school, and the parents get financial aid and/or scrape hard for the money, or (typically) both, to serve their kids’ needs better.
Let’s not buy into the class-war propaganda we’ve had shoved down our throats by our “leaders,” and that you in the same breath just denounced.
Re: RSVPay: Yes, um … wow! My kids go to public school and I volunteer with the parent-teacher organization. Every year we are always asking families to donate whatever they feel comfortable with so that the PTO can fund field trips, buses, enrichment activities — like chorus, so everyone can participate without a fee — basketballs, on and on. You’d be surprised what is not in the budget of a public school that the PTO raises money for.
And I’m a much bigger fan of giving a straight donation than buying extremely expensive wrapping paper or popcorn! But if it’s not in your budget, that’s fine, too.
And I agree, it’s not an RSVP, it’s a donation request form.
Re: RSVPay: You have no idea. Even if you’re not pressured for donations, be prepared to deal with all the wrapping paper/cookie dough/pizza kit fundraising the school wants you (and your friends and neighbors) to participate in. That’s the reality of public schools these days. I remember back when I would have thought “Joe Corbi” was probably some actor.
Dear Nostalgic: I hear he and Sally Foster are an item.
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