Make fundraising easier and more successful with the right plan
Fundraiser companies try to persuade you that they'll solve your financial shortcomings. In other words, if you hire them, you'll make a lot of money with little to no effort. They almost make it seem like you won't have to do any work and the money will appear like magic.
This is nothing more than marketing. All you need to do is type ‘school fundraising’ into Google search. You’ll find many companies offering panaceas. There are 2 things that they’re trying to sell you. One is they’ll make the process simple and easy. And two, you’ll make lots of money if you work with them.
Think about it. Aren’t those the 2 things you want? You don’t have the time to spend on a fundraiser project. You’re busy, so all you want is a “money machine”. A way to raise money without putting in the extra effort. And speaking of money, you need to be able to pay for that field trip to Washington DC or new video equipment.
We’re not saying these things can’t happen. But you will need to put in a little work. What companies should be selling you is their system. You’re actually paying them to give you the tools to raise money. Let’s take a company that offers brochures to sell with.
Here are the basic tools you’d receive:
- Sales brochures showing items to sell.
- Order forms to write down customer orders.
- Money collection envelopes for collecting cash and checks.
- Parent letter to explain how the program works, and when money and order forms are due.
- Prize flyers displaying prizes to help motivate students to make sales.
They’ll even put these items inside a large envelope for you so you can distribute them to your students. Once the sale is over, the company sorts the orders and ships them back to the group. Students then distribute the merchandise to the buyer.
Without this, you’d have to come up with something on your own from scratch. You could have a spaghetti dinner, put together a carnival, or organize a raffle. Where would you start? These types of events need a lot more work before the event even happens.
Yet the fact remains. If you choose to work with a company, this is what they're are offering. Not so exciting is it? No magic pill or miracle solutions to your money problem.
Think of it this way. Companies are loaning you a vehicle to drive. They’re not giving you any gas though. This is where you come in. You need to provide the fuel if you want the car to move. And the more you put in, the further you’ll go.
In a nutshell, companies make things easier by providing the necessary tools. But you still need to take advantage of them by putting them to work. That’s the part they don’t tell you about up front. It’s almost like a ‘bait and switch’ to get you in the door.
Companies sort of help solve your first problem. They make the process a little easier by providing you with their supplies and tools. It’s the second part, reaching your financial goal, that will be more difficult.
We don’t promise your sale will be easy, or even successful. But we do promise to provide you a reliable vehicle and a good roadmap. Our customers receive a fundraiser supply kit. And inside the kit is a guidebook. Most schools that succeed and reach their sales goals take full advantage of it.
Here are 3 ways you can boost your profits by putting our guidebook to work:
1. Read the Guidebook Before Your Sale
Before your program, read through and study your guidebook before your kickoff meeting. It tells you what you need to know and how to run a successful sale. You'll even find things explained in chronological order. By reading through it ahead of time you will be much more prepared.
Be sure to discuss it with your team. The guide will provide a framework for assigning fundraiser responsibilities to various volunteers. Here are 3 roles and corresponding tasks you may want to consider:
- Marketing Director: In charge of announcements and other promotional activities.
- Timeline Coordinator: Responsible for sending out important reminder notices. For example, when to turn in order forms and let parents know about the delivery date.
- Financial Overseer: Makes sure money turned in matches up with what’s reported on the order forms.
There are forms you can use at various points of your sale that will help you communicate with your parents. Be sure to earmark those and put them to good use. Staying in touch with your parents is vital to ensuring a smooth and successful campaign.
2. Leverage the Marketing Tips
Schools want to know how to increase fundraising sales. In your guidebook are 2 simple ideas you can use to promote your sale to your group. Your goal is for them to focus as much as possible on selling.
- Do Prize Drawings. Reward your students for making sales while your campaign is still in progress. Remind students to turn in a coupon for every 5 items sold. Draw out names and hand out rewards or issue special privileges so everyone can see.
- Involve the principal. If the school reaches the sales goal then the principal agrees to do something exciting or funny. For instance, they get to be the DJ at a dance party for everyone who sold at least 10 items. Or, they have to kiss a pig in front of all the students.
3. Use Your School Fundraising Checklist
At the end of our guidebook is a comprehensive checklist. It includes everything you’ll need to do to as you progress through your sale. This will help you keep track of where you are and what still needs accomplishing. If followed, you are helping to ensure you have a smooth and efficient sale.
We don’t promise easy, and we don’t guarantee you’ll reach your financial goal. But we do know this. Having a plan is what helps make school fundraising easier and more lucrative. The rest is up to you.