Over the years of working with various groups, we’ve heard several things from sponsors about what they feel will make their sale successful. Some things are based in fact while others, although they seem logical, are based more in theory or assumption.
There are 2 basic myths that many high school fundraising sponsors seem to focus on. One, they tend to overemphasize the importance of the brochure, and two is minimizing the value of the prize program. If your group isn’t prepared and motivated to sell, your brochure simply won’t matter because no one’s going to see it anyway. Here are some things to consider regarding running effective high school fundraisers:
Establish a Fundraising Plan
Deciding on what to sell is usually the first thing group sponsors think about. After all, having an exciting brochure will make more sales, right? Not so fast. In reality, the brochure should be one of the last things to decide on. Most people think if they can only find the right items to sell, then they'll make a lot of money. And to top it off, they'll do so with little effort because people will flock to buy. The problem is, not many brochures sell themselves without first having a well-designed sales plan that considers:
- How much money they need to accomplish their purpose.
- How much each student needs to sell.
- How they plan to achieve their goal.
- Their commitment to reaching it.
Once you have these 4 things in place, it doesn’t matter what you sell. Your fundraiser will most likely be successful.
Offer Effective High School Incentives
One of the biggest mistakes that high school fundraising sponsors make is thinking they don’t need incentives. They seem willing to compromise the quality of their prize program in order to receive a higher profit percentage. They assume their students will be motivated to sell just because they're members of the group. Some sponsors falsely assume their students will automatically be committed to the purpose. At the same time, they've not placed enough emphasis on the promotional aspects of their sale.
Regardless of the purpose, most students will respond to a sponsor who's willing to use proper incentives. Even when dealing with a lower profit percentage, many sponsors have found that effectively promoting their sale by offering incentives ends up making the group more money. On the other hand, sponsors receiving a higher profit with no prize program also tend to get complacent. They feel they'll already make more money because they're starting off with a higher profit. What these sponsors fail to realize is you don’t take profit to the bank, you take money.