Do Early Season Fundraisers Have an Advantage?

Aren’t you somewhat annoyed when your child comes home from their first day of school and you look inside their backpack and find a student packet? After all, you haven’t even gotten settled into the routine yet and you're already being asked to sell.

We get asked all the time by schools about when they should start their sale. Should they do early season fundraisers to try to beat the other schools out of the gate, or wait until the dust clears?

There are actually advantages and disadvantages to each approach so you'll need to make your own determination based upon your area and circumstances.

Here are some things to think about if you're considering an early season jump on the other schools in your area.

Why Start your School Fundraiser Early?

Since many schools are close to other competing schools, the prevailing thought is to attempt to be the first ones out in the community. The idea is if people haven’t been approached yet, chances are they'll be more likely to buy. Since it’s the beginning of the school year, both students and parents are feeling fresh and are more willing to get out and sell.

Another consideration is academics haven’t really gotten under way yet. A lot of parents have grown to expect early fundraisers and as long as they know this is not the first of many, they're probably ok with the idea of supporting their local school. After all, the sooner you finish your sale, the sooner you can start putting the money to work.

Issues with Selling Before Other Schools

Are there actually disadvantages to starting your fundraiser immediately? The fact is, most people are already attempting to switch gears from summer break back into school mode. If you add something else to their plate, it may just be too much too soon. Even if you were the only school in town, it would be hard enough to readjust to the other challenges that going back to school brings.

Schools also require parents to buy a checklist of classroom supplies, and this doesn’t even consider the fact that new clothes must be purchased as well. And you want to throw a fundraiser into the mix? Add in the fact that many other organizations have the same idea and also want to be among the first out there selling. Chances are pretty good that a lot of people have already been approached to buy anyway. This doesn’t even count the fact that year-around schools and many private schools have already completed their sales anyway.

As a result, many groups have found that waiting to start their school fundraiser makes more sense. Just as important however, is limiting the number of sales you have as much as possible.

When have you found to be the best time to start your sale?

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