How to Avoid High School Fundraising Disappointment

Let’s face it, high school fundraising isn’t easy and most students don’t look forward to having to sell. There’s probably not too many who wouldn’t prefer to take the easier road if it was a readily available option. Yet if you expect to raise a lot of money with little to no effort, you’ll probably end up being disappointed. We usually get out what we put in. On the other hand, the last thing you want to have happen is to put forth the effort to have a sale and then not have it meet your expectations.

Achieving your goal comes from hard work, smart planning and persistent seller follow-up and accountability. To be successful, you must start off strong and then maintain the selling momentum that you create. Here are some important things that you’ll want to incorporate into your sale.

Establish and Communicate your Sales Purpose

If you don’t have a purpose, why are you selling in the first place? Believe it or not, many high school groups end up fundraising only because they know they need money. Instead, you should establish a specific purpose and continually communicate it throughout your sale.

Define your Fundraising Expectations

Don’t just pass out your sales materials and tell them to bring back whatever they collect. Your students need to know what you expect. Let them know how many sales they'll need to make. To do this, you will need to first determine how much money your group needs. Then, divide that number by the total number of students.

Reinforce Student Accountability to Sell

It’s not enough to tell your students how much you expect them to sell. You will need to remind them as well as track their progress. This will take periodically meeting with your group. We suggest breaking the sale down into at least 3 check-in meetings:

  • The day after your kickoff – Ensure that everyone has gotten off to a strong start. Ask your students to bring their order forms and money collection envelopes for you to check.
  • Mid-sale – By this point your sellers should be at least half-way towards their goal. Most selling actually takes place within the first 4-5 days of the kickoff. Some may have even reached the goal. Encourage everyone to keep selling.
  • Wrap-up – You'll need to constantly remind students about your deadline date for turning in order forms and money. Everyone should be expected to at least reach the goal.

In addition to tracking progress, many high school sponsors use check-in days as an opportunity to turn in money that's been collected so far. At the same time, you can use additional incentives that are designed to bring in even more sales.

Unfortunately, there's no easy road to high school fundraising success. So if you're going to the effort of having a sale, you may as well do it right.

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