The 3 Magic Elements of Successful School Fundraisers
Because there are so many students at a school, it can be hard to motivate, organize and control the results of such a large school fundraiser. There are three key elements to a school fundraiser that if kept in mind while planning for it, will almost guarantee that your school fundraiser will be a huge success.
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The fact that there are so many students in a typical elementary or middle school creates the potential for huge sales and profits. But because there are so many students at one of these schools it can be hard to organize and control the results of such a large school fundraiser. All hope is not lost as there are three key elements to a school fundraiser that if monitored while planning for the sale, will all but guarantee that your fundraiser will be a huge success.
Long before your school fundraiser gets started, things should be in place and ready to go for the big fundraiser kick off day. Probably the best thing that a PTA or PTO can do before the fundraiser ever gets started is to make sure that all the parents of the school children know that a fundraiser is about to happen BEFORE it happens. At least once and it is even better to do this twice, send a letter home with the students that tells the parents a little about the upcoming school fundraiser and why the school needs the funds. In any communications you do in this manner never forget to ask explicitly for their help and participation.
Have an assembly or rally to kick the fundraiser off. The fundraising chairperson can create excitement about the fundraiser. It is also great to discuss with the students what money is being raised for - where will the money they earn go? What are the positive results of their efforts?
Of course you really don't have to cover all that in great detail with the students as doing that in any great detail would put them to sleep. We want them excited about the sale, not bored to tears about it. So unless you have a production equivalent to High School Musical 2 or the real Sponge Bob and Patrick to cover those details in song or antics, I would say, "Just mention it." The bottom line is that the kids generally don't have the interest or the memory to "spread the word" about what the money is going to be used for. That is what the parent letter is for anyway.
The part that gets the students attention and raises their excitement is not the product being sold or the purpose of the fundraiser... It's The Prizes! In fact, if your prizes are really good, you could actually forget about the communication stuff mentioned above. The students will make sure your parents know all about it. If all you do for a school fundraiser kickoff is show the prizes and hold up the fundraising brochure that the prize program "goes with," you will have a perfect fundraising kickoff. It is really that simple as long as the prizes are really good.
By organizing, building excitement and rewarding the students - your fundraiser can be successful no matter what fundraising product you choose. Now, in this article, I have over simplified the whole 3 step process: but not by much. There are some specific points about each of these 3 elements of a school fundraiser that warrant close attention. Most of the time it is a good idea to run your fundraising ideas by an experienced fundraising consultant and heed their advice.
A Word to the Wise!
Most fundraising companies are more interested these days in "getting your business" than in actually coaching you in how to run a profitable fundraiser. Most will sell you on their product or their service or their profit percentage as the key point in a successful fundraiser. This is far from the truth, and if you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you know this is true. Prizes are what drive school fundraisers. If you do the ordinary, ho-hum, regular prizes, you will end up with ordinary, ho-hum, regular results. This is why schools that make a change in their philosophy about prizes usually double or more their previous year's sale. It is not the product, service or profit percentage that makes the difference... it's the prizes.
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Learn more about how you can structure your incentive program for your school fundraiser in a way that will get your school more profit with happier students and parents. That's not hard to do if you approach your next fundraiser a little differently than you have in the past. See how you can do just that at AIM Fundraising's website.