Sticky space

Why Best Selling School Fundraisers Use Bonus Incentives

By Clay Boggess on Sep 26, 2020
Why Best Selling School Fundraisers Use Bonus Incentives

Proven and practical ideas that boost sales

You always get out what you put in. 100% of the time, and without exceptions. It’s one of the unwritten laws of nature. We all get that. If athletes eat right and train the right way, they'll perform better. Likewise, most are familiar with the famous saying, “It takes money to make money”.

Some will debate this concept. You’ve heard about those ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Some get lured in when they hear phrases like “No money down” or even “easy fundraising ideas”. But in reality if you don’t make an honest sacrifice you won’t reap the rewards.

What separates great school fundraisers from the rest is the proper use of leverage. It’s not hard to raise money when you already have the resources. If you can afford to spend money on big prizes, of course you’ll have interested sellers. But if you don’t invest in your sale you may end up with a poor outcome. So what’s the solution? Most sponsors don’t have the money to lure their students in with expensive incentives.

The key is to gain a proper understanding of what inspires your students. More specifically, what inspires them to sell. Though these motivational techniques work for businesses, their principles also apply to students. Here are 5 points they make that work for fundraising:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Gamification
  3. Money
  4. In-sale meetings
  5. Feedback

Empower Your Students

Your students need to feel that they can reach the sales goals you’ve set for them. They have to know that you have their back. This will inspire your group to work harder. Being the cheerleader means that you know they can get the job done.

This may even take encouraging some to keep trying even when they don’t meet a daily goal. You can never offer too much praise. But make sure it’s earned.

Competition Breeds Success

Gamification is a popular motivational technique that works. It uses friendly competition to bring about a desired response. It may even involve some peer pressure. Many students don’t like losing to their fellow students.

For instance, say you sponsor a high school group. You may decide to divide your group into smaller teams. You can reward the top performing team at different stages of your sale.

This gives more than one team a chance to win. The team with the most sales by Thursday wins an in class pizza on Friday. To win, there’s pressure on each team member to carry their own weight.

Money Motivates

No doubt about it. There’s something about money and motivation. The problem many sponsors have with it is ‘return on investment’. You don’t want to just throw money out there. It has to be strategic and involve some sacrifice.

For example, offering money to the top seller is a bit vague. What if your top seller doesn’t raise that much money? True, it may inspire more students to sell and compete for the prize. But unless you ensure that your group performs well you may not get a good return.

Instead, offer the top seller prize as long as a certain number of items are sold. You may even tell your group that all bets are off unless everyone reaches a minimum sales goal.

The Power of Accountability

Successful school fundraisers only happen because of what occurs during the sale. It’s one thing to announce your sales goals to your students at your kickoff meeting. It’s another to tell them you plan to follow up and ensure their progress.

Periodic meetings allow you to check order forms and money envelopes. This works particularly well if you’ve given your group short term goals to meet. If your end goal is for each student to reach 10 or more items, by Tuesday they should be able to sell 3.

But there’s more to this strategy than accountability and persuasion. Periodic meetings are also a great time to brainstorm and share ideas. What are the more successful students doing that’s working well for them?

Positive Feedback is Gold

Perhaps the most powerful way to motivate your group is to find things they’re doing right. It’s easy to correct mistakes, but genuine praise is the ultimate motivator. It helps ensure and reinforce even more of the same. You’re telling your students, “I knew you could do it! Now keep going.”

The fundraiser consultant’s job is to help groups achieve their sales goals. Whether you choose a company prize plan or not, you should be offering a school fundraising prize.

Done well, rewarding students for making sales will boost your profits. Companies offer free prize plans because they know they work. Groups that see the value add their own motivators as well.

Here are some practical reasons you should also consider them.

Fundraising Incentives Generate Extra Sales

Company prize programs are usually not rewarded until the end of the sale. Once the sale is over, your students can no longer impact the sale. So why not motivate students to sell even more during the sale before it’s too late?

Bonus incentives complement prize programs by enticing students to sell even more. At the same time they can even entice nonparticipating students to get involved.

There’s a good reason many groups that use extra incentives enjoy positive results.

More Prize Opportunities Mean More Sellers

Telling someone that somethings going to happen is one thing. Seeing it in action is quite another. It’s motivating when students see their peers winning prizes or special privileges. With our prize drawing incentive game for example, sponsors are announcing winners throughout.

The idea is to have the drawings so everyone can see what’s going on. Students who witness others winning prizes are more apt to want the same thing. And multiple drawings means more chances for everyone to benefit.

Discover practical ways to boost school fundraising participation

Smart School Fundraisers Use Free Incentives

You can actually make more money without having to spend any. We call these ‘no risk’ incentives. Many people are happy if they get a return on their investment. When you can increase your earnings without having to spend money, all the better. You can net even more profit. These types of motivators only require a little extra time and some creativity.

By using extra fundraiser incentives, you are working toward maximizing your potential earnings. Not only that, you may be able to reach your goal with fewer sales campaigns. This is a strategy that’s better for your students as well as your community.

Join the discussion