How to Avoid School Fundraising Fatigue

Derail school fundraising burnout with these proven ideas

You can almost feel it in the air… school fundraising season is in full swing. And it’s time for extracurricular groups to raise funds, too. It feels as though parents are being asked to buy and sell food, trinkets and gifts, or donate their time almost every week. And with so many requests, parents and teachers eventually start to feel resentful. And some parents will ignore pleas for help altogether.

Situations like this could lead to fewer dollars coming in, which could lead to more fundraisers, which then leads to… well, you know. It’s a cycle that inevitably causes what is known in the non-profit world as fundraising burnout. According to the Nonprofit Times, fundraising burnout is marked by exhaustion, ineffectiveness and cynicism. Sound a little familiar?

Put the brakes on fundraising burnout

School fundraising doesn’t have to be a chore and parents and teachers don’t have to feel exhausted by it. In fact, fundraising burnout can be avoided. It could be as simple as schools reducing the number of fundraisers and making them more efficient and productive. With this tactic, plus a few more ideas, schools can put the brakes on burnout for parents, teachers and students.

So, if you’re wondering what does it take to have a more efficient and productive school fundraiser, don’t worry. We got you.

Tips to help avoid the fatigue

Check what’s going on in your community

It’s hard to schedule a fundraising event that doesn’t conflict with events from other groups. However, it pays to to schedule yours when there isn’t a scheduling conflict. Do a little research and find out what’s happening in your community and plan accordingly.

Keep your events fun and fresh

Burnout at the fundraising committee level is real. It’s easier to rinse and repeat an event rather than come up with new fundraising ideas—especially if the event was successful. After all, parent group members often are volunteers, too. Think about using a fundraising company. They have great programs to infuse a sense of fun and adventure into your next fundraiser, while increasing revenue. It’s worth checking out.

Set a plan with the principal

If your principal isn’t already involved, get them on the job. Principals who play a strong role in the school fundraiser can be the deciding factor in whether a fundraiser succeeds.

Involve teachers and keep them in the loop

Teachers are also crucial in the success of your fundraisers. But, they too, are strapped for time. Make it easy on them and keep them informed and involved at every step. PTO Today is a good resource for help. Check out this letter template you can send to teachers at the beginning of a catalog sale.

Let parents know the impact of their involvement

Parents who aren’t engaged may not realize how their efforts affect their child. More specifically, a 2012 research study showed that parental involvement significantly affects academic performance. So, it often pays to put parent involvement first.

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