What Your High School Fundraiser Needs to be Successful

Learn important high school fundraiser strategies that can set your group apart and significantly improve sales

What if you were able to poll the best fundraising companies in America and ask them what they felt the most successful high school groups were. What do you think their answers would be? In the majority of cases, the answer would be fairly unanimous: performing arts, sports teams and spirit squads. Now, that’s not to say that other types of groups are not successful. There are several factors that go into determining the success of a group. But in general, those 3 groups tend to do better than most.

Strong high school groups reach their financial goals because they have very clear and well-defined financial needs. Their sponsors are typically highly motivated and extremely organized. The students are involved and are a part of a strong motivational support structure that fosters a shared commitment to one another and the group as a whole. As a result, students are more dedicated to the group's needs and goals.

Solid Student Accountability

Effective high school organizations consist of students who feel the need to work hard on a group-related project because they want to make a good impression on the sponsor. Many sponsors make fundraising mandatory. It also helps that their students usually meet on a consistent basis. This allows sponsors to monitor sales progress.

But what if you’re not a performing arts, sports teams and spirit squad sponsor? Perhaps you’re not satisfied with your fundraiser and are looking for ways to improve your results. You might consider changing your fundraising product, but before you do that, consider the following:

Successful High School Fundraiser Strategies

You should consider incorporating the following high school fundraiser strategies that have been proven to bring in more money, regardless of the type of group or product sold:

  • Have an official kickoff meeting. Don’t just hand out your fundraising brochures as your students walk out the door. Take the time to sell the program to them. You’re going to get out what you put into your program and there’s no better investment than laying a strong foundation. Talk with your students about what they’ll be selling and what can they win as a result of their efforts. By meeting with your students to launch your sale, you are instilling in their minds the importance of the fundraiser.
  • Communicate your purpose and goal. Do your students understand why they're selling and will they be able to effectively communicate that to potential customers? Make sure they know what your sales expectations are. Do you want them to sell 10 items or 25? What will they get if they exceed the goal? Will the student who sells the most win anything?
  • When will the sale be over? Here’s something that most sponsors don’t understand. Giving your students more time to sell doesn’t necessarily lead to more sales. If you give your students a stop date they'll treat the sale more like a race. Otherwise your campaign will drag and students will procrastinate or even loose interest. Most high school sales are made within the first 3-4 days. A two-week sale is usually optimal.
  • Promote your fundraiser. Don’t assume that your students will remain focused on making sales once the kickoff is over. You'll need to remind them to keep selling and hold them accountable. This is also a good time to revisit important things that you'll want them to remember about the sale.
  • Meet on a regular basis. In order to promote your fundraiser effectively, you'll need to meet with them periodically during the sale. Some sponsors find this easier to do than others but most will find it worthwhile to make special meeting arrangements.
  • Offer additional incentives. Most school fundraising companies offer standard prize programs. Many feel this is enough of a motivator; however successful sponsors understand that if they want good results, they need to offer more to their students. Learn how additional school fundraiser incentives improve sales.
  • Your enthusiasm is contagious. If you’re excited and motivated about your sale, chances are your students will be as well. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

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