Get your students unified behind your goals
The following question gets asked by sponsors all the time. “Can you raise the profit percent if we remove the prize program?” On the surface it sounds like they only want to cut corners. Increase the profit amount without looking for creative ways to bring in more sales.
But if you dig a little deeper, the motivation may be a little more noble. Many sponsors believe the purpose alone should motivate their members to sell. They feel their school fundraising project shouldn’t need any external incentives. The mission should drive students to fundraise, not a prize.
In other words, the result of raising the money is the reward. Think about what a new musical instrument will mean to a band member. Or how a baseball player might be able to improve his swing with a pitching machine. But at the end of the day, these are only tangible objects.
What’s the ultimate goal? Why do your students want to be a part of your group? It’s important to get your students to think about a much bigger picture. What’s down the road that could be more exciting?
Perhaps it’s to win gold at national Bands of America marching contest. Or let's say your baseball program made it to district last year. This year’s dream is to go all the way to state.
But groups that found success understood that unity was critical. Together we were better. They got it. Realizing that working as a team got them to their destination. There was no place for individualism. The question is, “How can your group achieve unity?”
To help ensure it, what impact do you want your group to make? It’s important to know the difference between fundraising money and the goal. The money is only the means to achieving the goal.
It may help to first ask yourself if the following question applies to your group. And if it doesn’t, find out why.
Are your members willing to commit to your group’s end goal?
Before considering a sales project, make sure you know why your members are there.
How much do your students believe in the group’s direction and vision? Does the group help them fulfill their own needs? Once you address these types of issues you can start moving towards unity.
And one you achieve it; you have the foundation to make your sales project a success.
Common School Fundraising Goals
Have you thought about what’s best for your group? Consider ranking your goals and think about what to tackle first. It may also be a good idea to get your student's opinion. Ask them what they think is most vital. It may surprise you by what you learn.
But if you want to make the decision yourself, everyone’s going to have to be on board with how you get there.
Furthermore, can you get your group united behind your school fundraising goal? Each team member will have different motives. This is what makes cohesiveness a challenge. Can your students put the needs of the group first?
Make sure individual priorities line up with the group's. But first it might help to show your students that you appreciate that they’re a part of the group.
4 Ways to Enhance Group Unity
- Foster a supportive environment. Your students should be able to feel that you’re there for them. Be sure to create a "come to me anytime" system. Be open and understanding of each member's unique differences. When your members feel supported you can better address issues before they escalate.
- Create a team-like atmosphere. Everyone needs to learn how to work together which facilitates trust and bonding. Be sure to meet with your organization on a regular basis and discuss your progress. Be open to feedback and how everyone can help make the group stronger. If they feel their opinions matter, they'll be more apt to use their talents and creativity to help the group.
- Confront negative gossip. Gossip can be cancerous to group unity. It causes resentment among members and builds distrust. For the moment it can be tempting, even entertaining. But at what cost? There's always someone who's affected in a negative way. So work to keep opinions positive and out in the open in the best interest of the group. Establish a "no-gossip" policy.
- Remember the golden rule. Treat others how you want them to treat you. Express interest in your students and their goals outside of the group. If they know you care about them, they'll be more inclined to support your cause.
Have a Fundraiser Kickoff Meeting
When it comes to your school fundraiser it's important to meet with your students. Before you start, set aside a date and time and have a well-planned out kickoff meeting.
This will ensure that everyone’s on the same page and knows what to do. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you have your meeting.
- What are you raising money for?
- How much money does the group need?
- How much does each student need to raise?
- What type of fundraiser will work best?
- When do need the money?
You’ll be surprised what you can do when everyone’s on the same page.