There are many reasons why groups raise money. For example, an elementary school may need new library books or learning software. A travel soccer team has to pay for travel expenses, tournament fees and uniforms. Every organization has its own unique needs. However, is your high school fundraising purpose by itself enough to make your sale a success?
In general, smaller groups tend to average higher units sold per seller because they’re easier to unite, manage and motivate. For example, not every elementary school student will want to participate in a sales campaign that will pay for academic awards. On the other hand, a high school band raising money for a Florida trip will probably have a much higher student participation rate.
External vs. Internal Seller Motivation
As a result, most elementary schools understand the need to provide prizes in order to get their students to sell. On the other hand, many high school sponsors think incentives are unnecessary because they feel that students should already be motivated to sell. Here are some of their reasons for not offering incentives:
- Students should automatically see the intrinsic value and needs of the group. In other words, they should want to sell because of what they get to experience as a part of the group.
- They may see selling as mandatory for everyone anyway.
- They see incentives as a tradeoff for a lower profit percentage.
Why Fundraising Incentives Work
Contrary to what people might think, providing prizes increases not only the items sold per seller, but also the number of high school students who participate. This is true, regardless of the purpose. Here’s why:
- There may be students who need external motivation to sell, like a prize program.
- Prize programs are designed to get students to sell more than they ordinarily would. For example, if each seller needs to sell 10 items, some will try to obtain a better prize at the next level which may only be a couple of items away.
- Student athletes may be more motivated to sell if they know that they can win team-related sportswear. For example, the coach may tell their players to sell a certain number of items so everyone can get a travel sports bag.
- Additional incentives can be provided by the organization to motivate their students to sell more as well. This does not have to cut into their profit if they're creative. For instance, for every 5 items sold their name can go into a grand prize drawing to win a special privilege or perhaps even a donated prize from a local business.
Why not supplement a strong purpose with prizes and incentives? If you plan carefully, your return on investment may be worth it.