3 powerful yet simple high school fundraising strategies
If you’re able to clearly present your case, give your students the sales tools they need, and then inspire them to sell, there’s no reason why they won’t succeed.
Sponsors tend to leave out at least 1 of these 3 things, but more often than not, they don’t provide the means that can help make selling easier.
Your success depends on your ability to find creative high school fundraising ideas. Your kickoff meeting is where you’ll need to make your case about your goals and expectations. If you’ve selected the right product to sell then you should be able to tell your students why potential customers will be interested in purchasing it.
Your incentive plan should then inspire your group to push towards their sales goals. Participating in your fundraiser because your students may feel a sense of obligation towards the group and the cause can also help.
So you’ve presented your purpose and inspired your group to sell. What else do you need to do?
If you really want your students to be successful, you’ll need to do more to prepare them. Here are 3 proven strategies that can help your them maximize their selling efforts from day one.
1. Use Fundraiser Prospect Lists
Only your most highly motivated students will start thinking about who they plan to approach before the sale starts. So why not get all of your students to think this way?
Your kickoff meeting is the perfect time to get your group to use prospect lists. This where your students create a list of people that they feel will most likely buy from them. It’s a way to help them stay organized by using an easy to follow tracking system.
Those who come to mind first are probably going to be the easiest people to talk to. For example, family members. This is important because it helps establish both confidence and sales momentum.
Additional people might include, neighbors, other family members and friends, teachers and coaches, as well as fellow church goers. The longer the list, the more potential sales they can make. And they can keep adding to their list any time during the sale. A good initial list might include 10 to 15 names.
The point is to right it down and then track it.
Plan to set aside about 5-10 minutes during your kickoff meeting to ask your students to prepare a thorough prospect list. Then make sure they update what happens with each prospect as the sale progresses.
It will also be important to check in with them periodically during the sale. Tell them that you’ll also want to check their lists, but be sure to encourage them on their progress as well.
2. Give Your Students a Sales Pitch
Some will argue that it’s better to just let your students be spontaneous and natural. That can be good, and not so good. How your students approach customers and what they say can have an impact. Granted, some students are going to have more skill in this area than others.
Offering an easy to implement standardized sales pitch will help get everyone up to par and on the same page.
At the same time, there should be a balance between spontaneity and some structure. Students can still put their unique spin on a sales presentation that will help them be more effective at bringing in additional sales.
Be sure to speak with your students about how to approach people during your kickoff meeting. A lot of high school students will want to take the easy road by simply saying something like, “Want to buy something?” While this may be off the cuff, it is not very effective. Most prospective buyers want to know 3 things:
- Who are you?
- What organization are you with?
- Why are you selling?
That’s why we recommend our NOW Selling Method. It’s both simple and effective. The “N” stands for ‘Name’ and basically tells the person who you are. The “O” is short for ‘Organization’ and address the question of who you are representing. And the “W” answers the ‘Why’ part.
It’s important that your students introduce themselves and that they let the potential customer know why they are selling. Here’s an example:
If you’re a softball player at Smith High School, keep it simple by saying something like, “My name is Suzy Jones with Smith High School softball and we’re raising money for new equipment.”
The next step is to simply hand over the brochure, take a step back and smile. Don’t say a word. Let the customer review the information and decide.
If you're selling a great product at a good price, the brochure will sell itself. And regardless of the outcome, don’t leave without saying thank you. This will help set you apart as professional.
Have your students partner up and practice their sales pitch during the kickoff. You can even provide an incentive to a couple of students who are willing to roll play in front of the group. For example, consider setting your fundraiser in motion by purchasing an item from each of them on the spot.
3. Set High School Fundraising Goals
Great high school fundraising ideas always help your students become more effective at selling by making the process easier. For example, if you've determined that each student needs to sell 10 items, you might want to communicate a day 1 goal of 2 or 3 items.
We recommend also meeting with your group again at the midway point. By then, the minimum number of items sold should perhaps be 6 or 7 items.
Breaking your sale down like this does 3 things:
- It tells your students to focus on the ‘hear and now’ rather than the larger goal at the end.
- You’re holding your students accountable to staying focused and on track.
- You’re collecting important feedback about how your sale is progressing. This allows you to make needed adjustments before your sale’s over and it’s too late.
And if you want strong sales, you have to create a sense of urgency in the minds of your students. Be sure to let them know about your plans to track their sale both at your kickoff as well as the day before each checkpoint. Nothing sets the tone better than meeting again the first day after your kickoff.
For more information, see How to Track Your Fundraising Progress
If you let your students know you're going to be checking on them, they’ll be more apt to keep up with their selling. The extra work you put in will be time well spent. You will more than likely reap the benefits of a successful high school fundraiser outcome.