How to Leverage Prize Programs for Fundraisers

There’s ongoing debate over whether the brochure or the prize program has the greatest influence on sales. Prize programs for fundraisers have fallen under greater scrutiny because of the poor quality. One thing's for sure; if you have a bad incentive plan, your sales are more likely to suffer. Even if you have a good one, that doesn't guarantee anything. So how do you plan to promote your prize program?

First, you must believe your program will motivate your students to get out and sell. Doesn’t that sound obvious? Sure, but your students will see right through your campaign if there are any doubts. This can probably affect sales more than anything else.

Your students are looking to you for leadership, and to set a positive tone. So make sure you have the best possible prize plan and then promote it. What follows are some additional ideas that will help you get the most out of your incentives.

Promote the Prizes Before Your Fundraiser

Why not start promoting your incentives before your sale? A few days before your kickoff date, arrange to start sharing with students what they might win during your morning announcements. It may even be a good idea to tell them that you are saving your big prize for the kickoff. This will really keep them in suspense. It's also a good idea to alert your parents by sending home a letter that includes information about what special prizes and awards will be given out. You may be surprised by the parents who take prizes seriously for their children. Many want to know what their child will receive for participating.

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Take Full Advantage of the Kickoff Meeting

The actual fundraising kickoff is where you can really hype up your prizes. Whether you plan to kick off your own sale, have someone else do it or show a video, this is where you must sell your prizes to your students. And it’s all in how it is presented. The most important thing when presenting prizes to students at a kickoff is to create suspense. You can have your big prizes covered up at the front on a table as the students walk into the assembly area. Then reveal them one at a time as you describe what they have to do to win them. Start from the smallest prize and work up to the biggest. It is recommended that you show the prizes at end of the kickoff presentation.

Hype Up the Prizes During the Sale

It is important that you continue to promote your prizes after the kickoff as well. Don’t assume your student's level of enthusiasm will persist after the kickoff. Like anything else, if we are not reminded about things, we tend to forget about them. Make sure you're talking about your fundraising prizes during your morning announcements. It's even recommended that you give away prizes during your sale. For example, consider using our prize drawing incentive game. This will encourage students to continue to push the sale even higher. Why not influence your sellers while they still have a chance to impact your sale? Make sure to announce the winners so everyone knows about it.

Set the Tone for Future Fundraising

Once your sale is over, have an award ceremony to give away your special prizes to those students who earned them. By having everyone present you accomplish 2 things. One, the winners get recognized and two, everyone sees them receive their prize. This will set the tone for your next program. By then, even more students will want to be up on stage receiving their prize.

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