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5 Fundraising Sponsor Habits to Avoid

By Clay Boggess on Feb 15, 2013
5 Fundraising Sponsor Habits to Avoid

Why these bad fundraiser habits need to be broken

Effective sponsors understand that successful fundraisers require hard work. They understand that they need to get as much out of their efforts as possible. Schools that end up reaching their goals do so because effort and results are expected from their students.

Good sponsors lead by example and expect nothing less than what they themselves put in. In other words, they are straight forward, fair and good at inspiring others.

On the other hand, another way to appreciate what it takes to be successful is to look at what 5 fundraising sponsor habits to avoid:

1. Don’t Expect the Fundraiser to Run Itself

Most sponsors understand that fundraisers are a ‘necessary evil’ and that no one really wants to do them. However, if you are looking for an overly simplistic approach, that won’t require much work, then you’ll probably end up getting out what you put in. If you don’t want to put the work into having a great sale, like checking in with your students to make sure they are selling, then you might as well not waste your time with the sale in the first place. Why bother, unless you’re willing to do what it takes to be successful?

2. Don’t Rely on the Fundraising Profit Percent

There are many school fundraising companies that attempt to entice sponsors by promising extreme profit percentages or exorbitant signing bonuses. Everything comes with a price and if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Profit percent and signing bonuses don’t make you any money. For example, you are able to negotiate a higher profit percentage, but in the end make only $500 after hoping for $3,000 then you should be disappointed. What many people don’t realize is that higher profit fundraisers typically don’t come with good consultative support, effective sales tools or a strong prize program. These things are more important to bringing in sales than having a higher profit percentage or a great signing bonus.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money to Make Money

Sponsors who choose not to invest in additional incentives that are designed to increase sales usually don't do as well. Some groups even attempt to eliminate their prize program altogether in exchange for a higher profit percentage. This idea never works. Instead, your focus should be on how much total revenue you will be able to bring in. Sponsors who choose to invest in their sale understand that working for a strong return on their investment is what's most important.

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4. Don’t Assume that Your Students are Selling

Some sponsors think that everyone will just go out and sell. They falsely assume that their group will be motivated solely by the purpose. These sponsors simply hand students their brochure and send them out into the community. To make things worse, nobody bothers to track their progress. Students need to be held accountable to ensure they're working towards their goal. Since most students don’t want to fundraise, they'll look for ways to not do it.

5. Don’t Underestimate Your Sellers

One of the worst things that sponsors can do is have low expectations of their students selling ability. Students usually rise to the level of what's expected of them. So, if they didn’t perform well with their previous fundraiser, it may have been because no one believed they could achieve their goal.

Sponsors who stand behind reasonable selling goals set for their students are more likely to achieve their group’s monetary objectives than those who don't.

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