When and why schools use big event incentives
Our big event fundraising incentives are one of a kind prize programs that are designed to help school-wide elementary and middle schools increase their student participation. These programs have been proven over time to significantly improve brochure sales compared to using a standard prize program.
Instead of offering prizes, big events incorporate the use of fun and exciting parties or shows that are brought into schools. Students who sell enough items out of their brochure automatically gain free admission. And qualifying is relatively easy because students only need to sell a few items to go to the event.
This is the reason for the increase in participation. Most students already understand the catch with a traditional prize program. To win the exciting prizes they need to sell a lot which most students aren’t willing to do.
Big event incentives aren’t intended for every school. But for the right group, they can really be a benefit. What follows are some suggestions that can help you determine whether big event fundraising incentives are worth considering for your school.
When to Use a Traditional Prize Program
Our big event incentive programs are better at getting more students to sell than actually increasing the number of sales made per student. In other words, schools that already have a high percentage of sellers won’t benefit as much by using a big event prize program. And the schools who usually have the highest participation rate are smaller schools. These schools don’t have much room to grow.
For example, we recently worked with a small private school of 150 students. Their brochure sales the previous year was around $30,000 using a traditional prize program. They were initially interested in our reptile show incentive. However, when they realized their students only needed to sell 5 items to gain admission, their fear was that students would stop selling after they qualified for the reptile show. Since they already had a large number of students averaging 15 items or more, the reptile show was not going to be their best choice. So they chose one of our traditional prize program instead.
Where to Use a Big Event Fundraising Incentive
The schools that benefit the most are larger schools with low participation. Most students become bored with the standard prize programs because they offer the same old prizes year after year. Since selling just a few items gets them into a big event show or party, most would gladly trade in their cheap prize.
Now let’s take a school with 500 students. If they end up having 15% sell 8 items, that’s 75 students who end up grossing around $7,000. This assumes that the average price in the catalog is $12.00. If they can increase their participation rate to 40%, their sale would grow to almost $20,000. Schools like this have room to grow, which makes a big event prize program ideal.
Here’s an actual example. We’ve taken a school that was consistently raising about $30,000 with a traditional prize program to consistently over $90,000 every year with our super party prize program. Their enrollment is around 900 students and we’ve helped them more than double their participation rate from about 25% to just over 55%. The average items sold per seller with their recent fundraiser was just under 13 items. In fact, they had 458 students sell 12 items or more. Is it no coincidence that to get into our super party event, students needed to sell 12 items? Most schools start with our 8 item goal super party.
Many schools already have experience with brochure fundraisers. They know what their sales are with a standard prize program. We’ve found that schools that switch to a big event incentive plan will almost always experience a substantial improvement in sales.
The take home message is to know your participation numbers. Do you have room to grow, or are you already maxed out? Your answer to that question will help you decide which prize plan you should go with.