Low hanging fruit you shouldn't overlook
Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “You can work hard, but to succeed you also have to work smart”. This sounds great, but how does it apply to school fundraising? Unfortunately too many sponsors prefer to take neither approach. They’re forever in search of that elusive wonder product that magically sells itself. You know, the one that won’t require any work on their part. Once they find it, they’ll simply ask their students to go out and make the sales. Everyone’s going to want it, so the money will just pour in.
But do these super products actually exist? Keep in mind, every fundraising company wants you to believe that they’re offering nothing but great products. Companies spend big money on promotional advertising and materials trying to convince you that they’re the ones that have your wonder product that will make you lots of money.
In reality, even if you’ve found a sensational product to sell, improving your sales outcome still comes down to taking advantage of the following 3 mundane, and often overlooked fundraiser tasks.
1. Setting a Fundraising Goal
Many sponsors simply plead with their students to go out and sell as much as they can. But if you this approach, how will you know whether you’re successful or not?
Instead, you should already know before your kickoff meeting how much money you need to raise. Then based on how many students are in your group, you can easily calculate how many items they’ll need to sell. This will give your students a goal to shoot for. They’ll also know when they’ve achieved success.
Determine Your Fundraiser goal
2. Using Prospecting Lists
Everyone tells their students to only approach people they know. This list includes neighbors, family and friends. But what does this mean? At best, it’s an overused slogan that only provides a vague guideline. Most people don’t pay much attention to it anyway.
Rather, challenge your students to brainstorm and write down actual people’s names that they can approach. This way, they’ll be better prepared to leave your kickoff meeting with a practical plan. These are potential customers that they feel will most likely make a purchase. This gives students much needed confidence, and that’s important, especially at the beginning of the sale. Prospect lists also hold students accountable to tracking their own progress.
Learn more about prospect lists
3. Tracking Your Fundraiser
Can you really know how well you’re sale’s going even before your fundraiser’s over? The answer is yes. By tracking your students’ progress, you can hold them accountable to make sure they stay on task. This is probably the most effective way to influence selling with high school students.
How to track your fundraising progress
If you effectively implement these seemingly boring and often neglected fundraiser tasks into your sale, it probably won’t matter what product you end up selling.
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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.