It's surprising how many schools raise money only because it happens to be the time of the year they always do it. If you ask them why they're having a sale, their answer is always the same. They're raising money for the ‘general fund’. Their students, staff and parents are used to it and their fundraiser almost runs on autopilot.
The kickoff is performed like clockwork, the students take home their packets and the selling begins. Once the sale is over, order forms and money are turned in, the order is processed and the merchandise is shipped. If there were no problems, they do the same thing next year.
The Same Old Fundraising Protocol
The same old adage applies, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!” And let’s face it, the least amount of work we have to put in the better. After all, no one really wants to fundraise. To top it off, we feel successful if we achieve the same results as last year. Parents who actually participate, sell because they feel a sense of obligation to help the school. No one bothers to question the fundraiser or ask why their sales are the same every year.
Why Your Fundraiser Purpose is Important
On the other hand, groups that take the time to define and promote a purpose usually experience greater fundraising success. The reason is people are more confident supporting something tied to a specific goal, especially if they can relate to it.
Here are some things that you can do to develop, implement and promote your purpose:
- If you don’t already have an obvious need, ask around. Talk to the principal as well as individual teachers. Do they need money for books, classroom supplies, a specific field trip or a new marquee?
- Brainstorm with your board members.
- How much money will it cost to accomplish your purpose? Make sure to do your homework and ask plenty of questions.
- Can the purpose be achieved with one fundraiser or will it take more?
- Make sure people are able to understand what the purpose is and why it's necessary.
- Promote your purpose before your kickoff by sending letters home to parents.
- Discuss it at your parent meeting.
- Put it on the school website and the marque.
- Make sure to talk about your purpose to your students at the kickoff and how the purpose will benefit them.
- Keep talking about the purpose throughout until your sale is over.
The more you can convince people that your purpose is important, the more fundraising success you'll have.