Fundraisers are hard work and to make matters worse, no one really wants to do them. One would think that the opposite was true with countless schools doing lots of sales campaigns.
Why is that? Is it because schools have unusually high money goals, or do they simply lack some fundamental sales preparation and implementation skills?
Most likely it’s the latter. Schools that end up reaching their sales goals have put the time and effort in ahead of time and can then look back and see why they succeeded. So to truly be successful, you need an effective game plan. Here are 5 steps to great school fundraising:
1. Set a Fundraiser Selling Goal
You first need to know how much money you need to raise. Once you know that, you can determine how many items each student needs to sell from their brochure. Successful sponsors know this in advance because they have already crunched the numbers. If you simply hand out your supplies and hope your students sell, you may be setting yourself up for anemic sales results. Your students need to know what’s expected of them. Our groups use our fundraiser goal setting guide to help them determine an actual item number. The item number needs to be discussed at your kickoff, as well as throughout your sale.
2. Establish your Fundraising Purpose
Your students must know why they’re selling. Then convince them why the purpose is important to them. Continuing to remind your sellers of the benefits of reaching their goal throughout your sale sure is also important.
3. Have a Great Sales Kickoff Meeting
The kickoff is when you make your sales pitch to your students as well as explain what you need your students to do. When are the order forms due and to whom should checks be written out to? The kickoff is the only opportunity that you will have to establish a strong foundation for your sale. It is where momentum is established. A strong kickoff will set your group on a path to a successful sale.
4. Track Your Fundraiser
It’s not enough for students to know what's expected of them. In order to reach their selling goal, they need accountability. There is nothing worse than find out that your students didn't sell. You can't change your results once the sale is over. Instead, you should know how each student is doing throughout your sale. You should know whose selling and who isn’t. This gives you the time to influence those students who might need some encouragement.
We recommend checking in with your students 3 times throughout your sale:
- The day after the kickoff
- At the halfway point
- At the end
This gives you the opportunity to check orders and to enter student progress on a tracking sheet. Some sponsors post the progress for all to see. We provide our sponsors with a tool that makes it easy to track their fundraising progress.
5. Sell to the End
Once you get closer to your end date you will need to prepare your students for the next step. It’s important that they keep selling up until the very end so that you can raise as much money as possible. If some students have already reached the goal, tell them to keep selling. The purpose of the prize program is to reward sellers based on how much they are able to sell, not just on whether they reach the sales goal. Plus, if you are offering an appealing top seller award as an additional incentive, many students will attempt to work harder so that they can outsell their peers.
Sponsors who know how to lead and inspire their students are able to help them reach and exceed the goal.