3 Free School Fundraising Incentives that Get Results

Discover how to improve school fundraiser sales results without using expensive prizes

There’s definitely a lot to be said about motivating students with big prize incentives. Some students will work harder if they see something that has great value to them. And even if only one person gets the big prize in the end, you’ll still probably bring in more sales from those who sold additional items but didn’t win.

So if you’re not satisfied with your current school fundraising results, you just need better prizes. At least that’s what a lot of sponsors think. In other words, make students want to sell more by drawing them in with bigger carrots.

As long as you understand what’s hot right now with students, your strategy might just pay off. And you can always improve your chances of a good return on your investment by heavily promoting your prizes throughout your sale. Making regular announcements, placing them in your display case for all to see, and even carting them into the cafeteria during lunch can keep your students enthusiasm level high.

Yet the issue with using additional incentives is the cost. Will you make back the money that you’ve spent on that big top seller prize or video game truck? You may not want to take the risk because you don’t really have it in your budget. And even though your students will initially appear excited about these rewards, you won't know if this will ultimately translate into more sales.

But that’s ok because there are ways around having to spend money just to get your students attention.

You can actually offer fundraising prizes that don’t cost any money and achieve an increase in sales.

Learn the top 5 ways to increase profits

Here are some ideas that may inspire you to make some changes.

1. School Fundraising Prize Drawings

Don’t do what every other school does and just remind your students to make sales. You can in fact keep the enthusiasm level high while at the same time track sales results. Make your reminders more interactive by drawing names out of a hat and announcing regular prize winners.

The goal is to pull as many prize coupons out of your drawing box as possible. This gives more students a chance to win and will inspire even more to get involved. Sellers who turn in coupons for every 5 items sold can win exciting privileges like:

  • ‘Line Leader’ for the day
  • ‘Classroom Leader’ for the day
  • ‘Free Dress Day’ pass
  • ‘No Homework’ for the day

You can probably come up with a lot of incentive ideas that are unique to your own school that would motivate your students to sell while not costing you any money.

2. Post Fundraiser Activity

If you really understand what motivates your sellers, you can raise a lot of money by offering them a fun activity as a reward.

Get your local pizza parlor to donate free pizza coupons in exchange for some free publicity. Then offer a pizza party for the top selling class or top 25 sellers in the school. You may even be able to get the pizza donated. You can do the same for ice cream or donuts.

Another idea is to host a DJ dance party for anyone who reaches a minimum sales requirement. Make it even more intriguing by asking the principal to be the DJ.

3. The Principal Incentive

Do more than just get the principal’s permission to have a fundraiser. Get them involved. Many schools have taken their fundraiser to another level by getting them to do something fun in exchange for the school reaching its sales goal.

Since the principal is normally the authority figure, your students will enjoy having the roles reversed by taking control for a change. If they deliver by making enough sales, then the principal will be forced to do something in response. Watching the principal do something fun or humorous is definitely worth the price of admission.

Here are some ideas:

  • Come to school in their pajamas
  • Wear a costume
  • Get taped to the wall
  • Spend a day on the roof
  • Kiss a pig, ride a donkey backwards or _______?
  • Dye their hair the school colors

Be sure to have the principal introduce the fundraiser at the kickoff meeting as well as describe what he or she will do if a certain goal is met. They’ll also want to announce it periodically throughout the sale.

See how to have better fundraisers with the principal

It will help to have a predetermined sales goal for the school and then break it down into an individual seller goal. This way students will know how many items they’ll need to sell. You can do this by going to any of our brochure pages on our website and use our ‘Calculate Your Profit’ tool.

And like anything else, actively promoting your school fundraising incentives as often as possible throughout will help ensure maximum results, regardless of what prizes you end up using.

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