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Is fundraising a obligation or choice?

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Nsmatteson

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#1
hi everyone I am so frustrated my daughters gym want me to sign a contract that I agree to fundraise and if I don’t I will pay an opt out fee of 75$ for each fundraise also that if I choose to fundraise I only get the persantace if I sell 20 items and if I don’t I have to pay the 75% for not reaching the limit. She will not be allowed to compete if I don’t sign that I agree to this fundraising option. I already have to pay 700$ for uniforms plus entice fees for each meet and 80$ for every month. Is this leagal. Can they make me pay if I choose not to participate in the fundraising and can they prevent my child from performing if we don’t agree.
 

MILgymFAM

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It’s their business and they’re definitely wording it as an obligation. As T&T doesn’t have NCAA ties, they may not care that they appear to be jeopardizing eligibility. That uniform cost is outrageous, btw. When my DDs competed T&T it was the cheapest uniforms have ever been for us. Under $100- and tramp shoes are only like $20. Sorry!
 

Nsmatteson

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It’s their business and they’re definitely wording it as an obligation. As T&T doesn’t have NCAA ties, they may not care that they appear to be jeopardizing eligibility. That uniform cost is outrageous, btw. When my DDs competed T&T it was the cheapest uniforms have ever been for us. Under $100- and tramp shoes are only like $20. Sorry!
Thank for your reply I agree it’s way ridiculous and a money making thing.
 

Aussie_coach

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#7
I don’t think it’s a great idea to post the note here, the name of the gym is there for everyone to see. This is a public forum anyone can see what has been posted.
 

Nsmatteson

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I don’t think it’s a great idea to post the note here, the name of the gym is there for everyone to see. This is a public forum anyone can see what has been posted.
Why would it be wrong they say it loudly that’s the rules anyway? I am having a lawyer look at it today too let me know what our rights are in this.
 

skschlag

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#9
Unfortunately, as a private business, they can often do things like this. I will be interested to see what you learn. It does seem a bit excessive though!
 
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josie55

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It seems to me that the gym is offering fundraising as a way to alllow parents to offset expenses, and also giving you the option to opt out (and pay) if you choose not to. I don’t see what is unfair about this. Do you want other parents to fundraise so that you can pay less? Do you want the gym to subsidize your fees? I agree this would be nice, but I don’t see the requirement as unfair. As for the 20 item minimum, I’m guessing that’s to avoid people saying “yes I’ll participate in this fundraiser” and then not fully participating, which would also mean that other parents or the gym having to subsidize that child’s fees.

If you don’t want to do the fundraisers then opt out and pay the fee. That seems quite fair and reasonable to me. As for the fees themselves, yes it’s a lot of $$. It’s a business, though, and like with any business if you think the fees are not worth the value you’re getting, then you can choose to not do business there.

Sorry to be blunt. I just don’t see what’s potentially illegal or even unfair here. But let us know what the lawyer says!
 

momnipotent

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#11
Can I clarify that you only pay $80 a month for classes? If that was us I would happily pay the $200 total fundraiser buy out fee. Seriously, don’t even mess with it. We do t and t and I pay about $350 a month per kid (and I have 2 kids that do it) plus uniforms and entry fees, etc. The uniform cost does seem excessive, but again, even with that cost and the fundraiser buy-out you’re only paying $1,860 for the year. I pay $4,200 per kid and that doesn’t even include the uniform.
 

gymbeam

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#12
So basically what they are saying is you can either pay your fees straight up out of your pocket, or, you can do this fundraiser they’ve arranged for you to help you pay them.

They are charging what they want/need to charge you but giving you the choice to pay it or fundraise to pay it.

And if any of us were to not pay our fees, our kids would not be allowed to participate.

Seems legit to me.
 

GAgymmom

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It seems to me that the gym is offering fundraising as a way to alllow parents to offset expenses, and also giving you the option to opt out (and pay) if you choose not to. I don’t see what is unfair about this. Do you want other parents to fundraise so that you can pay less? Do you want the gym to subsidize your fees? I agree this would be nice, but I don’t see the requirement as unfair. As for the 20 item minimum, I’m guessing that’s to avoid people saying “yes I’ll participate in this fundraiser” and then not fully participating, which would also mean that other parents or the gym having to subsidize that child’s fees.

If you don’t want to do the fundraisers then opt out and pay the fee. That seems quite fair and reasonable to me. As for the fees themselves, yes it’s a lot of $$. It’s a business, though, and like with any business if you think the fees are not worth the value you’re getting, then you can choose to not do business there.

Sorry to be blunt. I just don’t see what’s potentially illegal or even unfair here. But let us know what the lawyer says!
I understand her frustration. We can do the fundraisers or not, and whatever we earn goes directly to her fees only. We usually don't participate because we really have no one to sell to. If these requirements were on us, I'd be upset as well, since we would not be able to fulfill the requirements.

Fundraising is to offset costs. How is paying $200 offsetting her costs? It's adding to her costs. I'd have the same feelings. Just let me pay my own bill and no one else has to worry about us and we don't have to worry about others. Why can't they opt out and just pay their own fees? If they opt out, then they don't benefit from the fundraising of others, seems pretty simple to me that way.
 
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Aussie_coach

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#17
Why would it be wrong they say it loudly that’s the rules anyway? I am having a lawyer look at it today too let me know what our rights are in this.
I didn't say it was wrong, just not nessesarily a great idea. There might be someone from your gym on here who takes offence to the way you have chosen to complain about this and it could come back to bite you.

Reading their poorly punctuated note, gives off the vibe that they are not incredibly professional. Don't expect them to treat you and your child in a professional manner if you put their backs up.
 
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gymgal

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#18
I don’t think it’s a great idea to post the note here, the name of the gym is there for everyone to see. This is a public forum anyone can see what has been posted.
I agree with this. While the OP correctly states, the gym has put it in writing, it is not meant to be shared publicly. Only to team (or potential) members. The OP is taking a risk that someone from the gym will see this - either directly or through the grapevine. Gym owners don't take kindly to parents airing dirty laundry on public forums. I highly recommend asking an admin/mod to take it down for you.

As for the original question, as long as it is the gym handling the money and it is not being funneled through a non-profit booster club, then they are allowed to set up fundraising this way and obligate their members to the contract. It is the members choice to walk away if they don't like the contract. Now, if a non-profit is set up then they would be in violation of IRS laws because non-profits cannot force participation (physical or monetary) and all funds must be distributed equally regardless of participation.

The only major snafu here may be that it appears the families have already begun paying expenses? and then this contract is being put in place. If some families choose to leave, are they entitled to a refund since the expectations were not clearly defined previous to paying the team expenses?
 

josie55

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#19
Fundraising is to offset costs. How is paying $200 offsetting her costs?
I guess I was thinking that her costs (and those of the other team members) are the fees outlined, plus $200, and each family has the option to either pay the full amount, or get a $200 discount by participating in the fundraisers.

Why can't they opt out and just pay their own fees? If they opt out, then they don't benefit from the fundraising of others, seems pretty simple to me that way.
I think that's exactly how it works, actually. They can opt out and pay the full amount ($200 more than fundraising families.)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the system actually seems pretty reasonable to me. For some families, fundraising is a great option and for others, it makes more sense to just pay and not worry about the time/effort/cost involved in participating in a fundraiser. The gym may be actually providing a service to its team families by letting those who choose to, defray expenses via fundraisers.
 
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