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5 Steps to Great School Fundraising

By Clay Boggess on Jan 10, 2013
5 Steps to Great School Fundraising

Simple ways to raise more money and reach your goal.

Fundraisers are hard work, and to make matters worse, no one wants to do them. One would think that the opposite was true, with countless schools doing many sales campaigns.

Why is that? Is it because schools have unusually high money goals, or do they lack some fundamental sales preparation and implementation skills?

Most likely, it's the latter. Schools that reach 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 indeed be successful, you need an effective game plan. Here are five steps to excellent 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 hand out your supplies and hope your students sell, you may set 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 must be discussed at your kickoff and throughout your sale.

2. Establish your Fundraising Purpose

Your students must know why they're selling. Then convince them why the purpose is essential to them. Remembering your sellers the benefits of reaching their goal throughout your sale is also essential.

3. Have a Great Sales Kickoff Meeting

The kickoff is when you pitch your sale to your students and explain what you need your students to do. When are the order forms due, and to whom should checks be written out? 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 lead your group to a successful sale.

4. Track Your Fundraiser

It's not enough for students to know what's expected of them. To reach their selling goal, they need accountability. There is nothing worse than finding 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 who is selling and who isn't. This gives you the time to influence those students who might need encouragement.

We recommend checking in with your students three times throughout your sale:

  1. The day after the kickoff
  2. At the halfway point
  3. At the end

This allows you to check orders and 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 must prepare your students for the next step. They must 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 can sell, not just on whether they reach the sales goal. Plus, if you offer an appealing top-seller award as an additional incentive, many students will attempt to work harder to outsell their peers.

Sponsors who lead and inspire their students can help them reach and exceed their goals.

See our brochure fundraisers.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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