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3 Common Fundraiser Incentive Mistakes to Avoid

By Clay Boggess on Jun 6, 2015
3 Common Fundraiser Incentive Mistakes to Avoid

Common incentive mistakes you don't have to make

Selecting your fundraiser incentive is important because you’ll need to inspire your students go out and make sales. If you know what you’re doing and are able to come up with an effective and comprehensive reward plan, chances are you can get a good percentage of your students to participate.

It’s true, there’s more to a successful sale than how you incentivize your students; however, there are also critical mistakes that some sponsors tend to make that end up ultimately hurting their results.

Here are 3 common fundraiser incentive mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making before your next sale.

1. Relying on the Company Prize Program

Does the complimentary prize program offered by the fundraising company provide enough motivation by itself? After all, it’s not costing you anything. The good thing about the company incentive program is that, unlike a top seller prize or drawing, every student will get something if they participate.

However, you actually need both. Your goal is to broadly target everyone with a basic prize program and then add additional incentives that will inspire your more competitive students to sell even more. The other thing that supplementing your prize program does is it gets more students to consider jumping into the selling arena. Therefore, both your participation percentage as well as your average units sold per seller increases.

2. Exchanging Incentives for Profit Percent

This is a common misconception. Some sponsors believe that prize programs only cut into their profit. What if you were able to negotiate a higher percent profit in exchange for giving up the prize program offered by the company? But then ask the same question another way. Would you settle for less students selling fewer items in exchange for a higher profit percentage?

The major flaw with this thinking is that no one takes profit percentage to the bank, they take money. If you take away the incentive that many of your students may have to sell, you’ll definitely end up making less money.

3. Your Fundraising Purpose is Enough

Shouldn’t the reason you’re selling in the first place be enough to inspire your students to participate? You think that they don’t need an external motivator. After all, your students are there because they’re interested in what the organization represents. For example, a baseball player wants to play baseball so he should already understand the needs of the team.

The problem with this thinking is that even though your students are interested in the group’s activities doesn’t mean that they’ll want to sell. Successful fundraisers are based on convincing as many students to participate as possible and then helping them achieve their sales goals. Incentives help provide the vehicle to make that happen.

Another common mantra is, if they sell they’ll see the benefit and if they don’t, they’ll simply have to do without. Therefore they should comprehend the importance of selling without the need for a fundraiser incentive. That’s true, but what have you accomplished if you end up not reaching your sales goal?

In the end, if you’re concerned about not getting a good return on your investment, there are ways that you can incentivize your students without even using money. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any more reasons not to use a comprehensive reward plan.

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