3 Keys to an Amazing High School Fundraiser

Improve high school fundraising results by using 3 key strategies designed to overcome stagnant sales

Every high school sponsor, whether they’re asked to head up the freshmen class, or they are the head football coach, knows that they’ll probably need to raise money. Having the necessary funds so the group can function and carry out its objectives is paramount. It’s constantly in the back of everyone club sponsor’s mind.

When it comes to preparing for a high school fundraiser, no one goes in expecting to fail. Most are at least reasonably optimistic that they’ll reach or come close to their financial goals. Yet the odds are against them, and the statistics bear that out. Most high school sales end up producing average results, at best. In other words, they don’t reach their full potential. But if raising money is that important, why do so many groups fall short?

Another way to answer that question is to ask, “What are some of the key differences between average, and amazing high school sales results? Obviously the answer to that question depends on several factors.

There are other factors to consider, such as the group size and type, how organized, type of sale, as well as the groups purpose and mission. When to have a fundraiser can also prove to be important. For instance, smaller, close-nit groups, like cheerleader squads tend to average a higher dollar amount sold per seller.

These groups can be extremely motivated and usually have large financial obligations, such as raising money for competitions and uniforms. Group members know that these things are essential to their involvement in the group. Many cheer sponsors choose to have their sales campaign right after tryouts in the spring when the students tend to be most proud and excited about becoming a part of the team.

Perhaps some organizations don’t have the same intrinsic advantages that cheer groups have. Maybe the group as a whole lacks focus and direction. Some groups are new to fundraising and lack experience. Or possibly the reason is financial. You might be in a poorer economic area and you just don’t expect to do that well. Are these legitimate reasons or simply hurdles that need to be overcome?

Regardless of what obstacles you have to overcome, here are 3 keys to experiencing an amazing high school fundraiser.

1. Plan for Fundraising Success

There’s no way around it. If you want to succeed at anything, you have to prepare. Bobby Knight, a former college coach once said, “The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare.”

‘wikiHow’ breaks setting up a school fundraiser into 3 parts:

  1. Designate a Fundraising Committee: Create a committee of 3 to 5 students who are in charge of the planning. Their job is to report and ideas and updates to the sponsor.
  2. Choose a Product: For example, should you sell food or no-food items?
  3. Getting Ready to Start: Make sure you have a presale checklist and that everything is checked off.

With the right preparation, every group can succeed. Everyone has their own unique challenges; however there are specific things that successful groups do that help them overcome these obstacles.

2. Strong Fundraising Sponsors

Every good school fundraiser starts with a strong sponsor. Sponsors that actually expect their group members to sell will always experience greater financial success. We’ve worked with many high school groups over the years and have found this to be a key factor.

Some sponsors will even tell their group that if their parents can't write a check, then participating is not an option. It’s that simple. These sponsors also understand that it’s important to have high expectations of their students. Students will usually achieve what others expect of them. They see their sales campaigns as an important tool that not only helps the group achieve their objectives, but as a character-building tool as well. And groups that are successful at raising money already have a strong sense of purpose to begin with.

Learn 5 ways school fundraisers prepare students for adulthood

3. A Clearly Defined Fundraiser Goal

High school sponsors that succeed at fundraising already have a predetermined sales goal for their students. The sponsor knows what the group’s financial needs are and how much each student will need to sell. Thus, students know what’s expected of them from the beginning.

Classy, an online fundraising software company, outlines a five-part method for creating smart objectives that are also used by many industries. They define what they call SMART goals with the following terms:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ambitious but Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Successful high school groups understand that selling is necessary, and they embrace this as part of their culture. In other words, fundraisers are not an afterthought but rather a part of what they do. Everyone knows this and they expect them. They understand that for the group to function, fundraising is necessary, not optional.

Groups that are good at raising money have a strong sense of purpose about who they are and what they plan to accomplish. Sponsors of these organizations impart this type of environment from day one. And it’s no different once the sale starts.

See catalog fundraisers for high schools

Join the discussion