How to Break the School Fundraising Addiction

Do you find yourself having to do way too many fundraisers? You’re not alone. Many schools are feeling strapped for cash as districts continue to cut programs. As a result, parents are growing increasingly weary from a seemingly endless barrage of appeals from their children’s schools for money.

So how can you break the school fundraising addiction? The simple answer is to find a way to do fewer fundraisers, but make them more effective. Most sponsors don’t have a lot of extra time so they end up investing little into the planning and running of their sale. And that’s where the dilemma comes in.

Unfortunately, extra time is also spent having to run additional unproductive sales in because financial goals still have to be met. Therefore, you end up spending more time anyway. So what’s the take home message? Regardless, you have to invest the necessary time if you want results. But how can you make your fundraisers more productive? Here are some things to consider that can help.

Adjust Your Fundraising Mindset

If you want your sale to be successful, you should first examine your own fundraising mindset. How strongly do you believe in what you’re selling? Are you excited and optimistic about what your students are capable of accomplishing? These important, yet often overlooked questions that every sponsor should be asking themselves. After all, you are the leader and your students will only believe in your campaign if you do.

Second, learn to see fundraising as a competitive game. You have a starting point called the kickoff meeting and a finish line which is when the order forms and money are turned in. And since games are supposed to be fun, find ways to make your fundraiser that way too. Make it so your students will want to compete for your sales incentives.

Third, put everything you have into your sale because it will go by quickly. Once it’s over, that’s it. You’re done. Make sure you don’t look back and regret not doing more. You’re the cheerleader that will ultimately drive your fundraising success. So be positive and confident. You can always let your hair down after it’s over.

Spend More Time on Fundraiser Preparation

A potential drawback of working with a catalog fundraising company is that most of the work is done for you, or so it seems. We send you your supplies, prizes and merchandise. Just follow the instructions and run your program, right? Not so fast. But isn’t that why you work with a company in the first place? To make things easier? Well, the answer is actually yes, and no.

Companies will be an even greater benefit to those who are better prepared to help themselves first. For example, you’ll still need to spend the necessary time understanding what your consumers want, what really motivates your students to sell and what it’s going to take to reach your goal.

Put More Effort into Promoting your Sale

What drives school fundraising sales more than anything else? The answer is infusing a good promotional campaign. Many sponsors simply pass out the brochures and ask their students to go out and make sales. It’s like rolling the dice and hoping for the best. If that’s all you’re doing, what do you expect?

Here are some promotional ideas that you should consider implementing into your sale:

  • Send reminder notices home to your parents.
  • Announce your sale at your next parent meeting. Consider also showing a promotional video.
  • Remind your students to sell by incorporating periodic in-sale incentives.
  • Make sure you’re promoting an exciting prize program that all of your students can benefit from.

The bottom line is if you want to break the school fundraising addiction, you may have to break out of your comfort zone a little.

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