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5 Steps to an Exciting School Fundraiser Kickoff

By Clay Boggess on Feb 7, 2010
5 Steps to an Exciting School Fundraiser Kickoff

How to get your sale off to a strong start

The school fundraiser kickoff assembly is one of the most important parts of your sale because it gives you the opportunity to create an exciting atmosphere and set a positive tone. If it goes well and your group starts off excited, it can make all the difference.

The primary purpose of the kickoff is to generate as much enthusiasm as possible for your cause. The more passionate your audience becomes, the more they'll want to participate in your fundraiser. It's really that simple.

And developing sales momentum is the key to your success because you can continue to build on it. The bottom line is, the more excitement you’re able to generate, the more money you'll end up making. Here are some key strategies that you will want to implement:

1. Promote your Fundraiser before your Kickoff

It’s important to build up your sale as much as possible to create awareness and suspense. A good example of this is the promotion that takes place before a movie comes out in the theaters. As a result of creating public awareness, people look forward to the movie coming out. The same thing applies to your school fundraiser kickoff. You'll want to promote it to your students and parents. You can mention it during school announcements as well as at a parent meeting. Send ‘coming soon’ notes home with your students. Place it on your school marquee as well as on the school website. Plan a meeting with your teachers and staff to discuss your goals and objectives. Remember to be creative and fun during your presale promotion as well.

2. A Large Audience Adds Energy and Excitement

The larger your kickoff audience, the greater chance you have to generate a high level of excitement. Your audience will feed off the high energy from their peers. Having everyone present gives you the opportunity to rally your entire organization as a whole. Remember you're working on this project together as a team. Nothing will show that more than to have everyone together. This excitement will create the momentum needed for a successful sale.

3. Plan the Right Setting for your Kickoff

Plan to have your kickoff in a large room, like the school gym or cafeteria. You'll also need access to power for any technical equipment.

Disadvantages to P.E. Kickoffs
Many schools schedule their kickoff during P.E. because they do not want to interrupt classroom time. The problem with this approach is that you're breaking up your audience as well as the energy that can be created with a larger group. Another issue is none of your teachers or administrators are usually present and so they become disassociated with the entire process. It is very important to gain their support and to have them involved as much as possible.

Distractions during Lunch
Avoid using lunch time to have your kickoff because your audience will be distracted while eating. Plus, they'll be coming and going throughout the entire presentation. This will be a distraction for everyone involved. Also, if you plan to use your cafeteria for the kickoff, make arrangements to have the tables out of the way beforehand to accommodate additional students. Don’t sacrifice having a successful kickoff just for the sake of convenience. An effective kickoff can often be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes.

4. Have the Principal Introduce your Fundraiser

Your audience will respect your fundraiser more if someone they see as an authority figure is involved. If you're unable to have the principal perform the introduction, make arrangements for another key person to do it. You'll want them to wrap up the kickoff with some concluding remarks as well.

5. Create an Exciting Kickoff Atmosphere

Play music at your kickoff
Arrange for a good stereo sound system and have music already playing as students enter the kickoff area and then again when they leave.

Think Big and Loud
If you're showing a video to help promote your fundraiser, you will want to show it on as large a screen as possible. Your audience will be more apt to be excited and awed by its presentation as a result. However, screen size won't matter unless everyone in the room can hear what's going on. Make sure your use a good sound system as well.

A successful school fundraiser kickoff is the result of thoughtful planning and implementation. What ideas do you have that can enhance a kickoff experience?

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