Norwegian 101: Fundraising (Pengeinnsamling)

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Norwegians are not so different (nordmenn er ikke så forskjellige) from people in other countries (folk i andre land) in that fundraising (pengeinnsamling) helps keeps different clubs (lag) afloat. Boy scouts and girl scouts (speidere), 4-H and garden clubs (hagelag), as well as choirs (kor) all have to find ways to add to (må finne måter å legge til) their bank accounts (bankkontoer). The local sports organizations (lokale idrettslag) collect bottles and cans (samler flasker og bokser) a couple times a year (et par ganger i året), delivering them to the local grocery store (matbutikken) for money back (penger tilbake). The average return fee (pant) for a bottle or can (en flaske eller boks) is 1 to 2,5 kroner (about 8 to 20 cents), which isn’t much (som ikke er så mye), but when they come with sacks full (sekker fulle), donated (donert) by supportive neighbors (naboer), it adds up. The Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association (Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening) is Norway’s largest women’s organization with approximately 41,000 members (medlemmer) spread out (fordelt) over 700 local chapters ( One of their biggest fundraisers (største pengeinnsamlinger) comes just before Easter (rett før påske) when they sell fastelavnsris (twigs decorated in feathers) door to door.

The biggest fundraiser for our choir, however, is organizing our local (lokalt) 17th of May (17. mai) food sale (matsalg) every other year (hvert annet år). School children (skolebarn) and their families parade (parader) from the nearby senior apartment center to the school, where they find cream cakes (bløtkaker), sheet cakes (skuffekaker), hot dogs (pølser), ice cream (is), and bread with spreads (påsmurt) waiting to be purchased (som venter å bli kjøpt). Of course (selvfølgelig), there is also coffee (er det også kaffe)… never-ending (uendelige), countless (utallige) cups of coffee (kaffekopper).

If there is nice weather (fint vær), the crowd tends to come all at once (alt på en gang). If it is raining (hvis det regner), as it was the last time (siste gang) we were in charge (vi hadde ansvar), most of the people (de fleste av folkene) come early and save tables (reserverer bord) so when the parade arrives (toget kommer) everyone has a place (alle har et sted). Two years ago (for to år siden) we served (serverte vi) almost (nesten) 1,000 people with tables set up (bord dekket) for 720. Needless to say (det er unødvendig å si) elbowroom was at a premium. Regardless (uansett), it becomes an intensive couple of hours (det ble et par intensive timer) selling food and drink (å selge mat og drikke) and then we clean up (rydder), count our cash (teller våre penger), and go home (drar hjem). Three cheers for Norway! (Hipp hipp hurra!)

This article originally appeared in the May 5, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.