Why timing is everything when it comes to fundraising.
We recently received an email from a sponsor informing us that their sale didn’t go as well as she had hoped. She discovered the parents didn’t want to sell late in their season. As groups prepare for their sale, we focus on helping them select the right brochure for their supporters, choose an appropriate prize program that motivates their sellers, prepare for their kickoff, and track their progress.
However, knowing when to start a sale, you should know best. We assume that groups already know the best time to have their sale. Knowing when to start a school fundraiser is critical. So, before considering any sales project, you should consult with others to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
School Fundraisers are Seasonal
One thing to consider is whether your group is only together for a season or if it’s year-round. If you are only together for a short period, you may be better off starting a sale at the beginning of your season when everyone’s excited and eager. However, if your group is together throughout the year, you have more flexibility. For example, some high school sports groups attempt to raise money in the off-season to avoid interfering with their competition. On the other hand, many groups feel that they can better fundraise during their season when everyone is together and focused on their mission.
3 Fundraising Group Examples
For the most part, sports teams have their sales during their season; however, some teams have a booster club responsible for organizing year around events. Players may be more available to sell during the off-season than during the season.
Elementary schools typically start their fall fundraiser early because they are trying to sell first in their community. The disadvantage to starting early in the season is many schools also have the same idea. In addition, parents may still be burdened with purchasing school supplies, so waiting is also reasonably common.
We have found that the best time for cheerleaders to sell is right after the new squad has been selected. This is usually towards the end of the school year in preparation for the upcoming fall. The excitement level is high, and several new members may be motivated to participate in a sales event.
Finding the right time to start a school fundraiser is vital because your members must focus entirely on your group and its goals.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.