Why the Money Game Impacts High School Fundraisers

Unlike younger students, most high school students need additional motivation to go out and raise money for their group. They are a tough age group because they are either preoccupied with other obligations or skeptical about things in general. Therefore, it takes additional effort and creativity to get students committed to selling.

We've attempted to help high school sponsors motivate their group by offering more appealing incentives like sportswear or cash prize programs. While this has helped, the money game goes a step further as a way to inspire students to be more productive.

We have seen several high school fundraisers succeed because the money game was used and promoted properly.

How the Money Game Sales Incentive Works

Once you’ve established your sales goal you should be able to determine how many items each student needs to sell. Based on this number, you should then break the sale down into 3 stages:

  1. The day after the kickoff
  2. The midpoint of the sale
  3. Turn in day

Each stage should have an item goal that will get students to work toward the end goal. For example, if you’ve determined your end goal for each seller to be 10 items, then you may want each seller to sell 3 items by day one and 7 items at the halfway point. Emphasize at your kickoff presentation that you will have each student’s name in a drawing box and you will draw one person’s name out on each of these 3 days. If the person’s name that's drawn out can prove they've met the goal for that day, they win $20. Students should be prepared to show their order forms and money envelopes. However, if that person didn't reach the goal, then the money rolls over to the next drawing day. It's possible that on the last day, the potential winner could get as much as $60 if no one won during the previous 2 drawings. Sponsors need to constantly promote and remind their students about upcoming drawings to prepare them. This also helps build suspense.

Why it Works for High School Fundraisers

  1. Fundraisers rely on early momentum, so by checking order forms after the first day you are setting an early tone.
  2. Everyone witnesses firsthand those sellers who win and those who don’t.
  3. Students don't want to be unprepared because anyone can win.
  4. You are affecting seller behavior throughout the sale.
  5. If the 3 names that you draw out don't win then no money is given out.
  6. If a student wins, hand them a $20 bill in front of their peers. This communicates a powerful message.

The money game has been proven to be a strong motivator. If students simply do what’s expected by keeping up with their selling, then they have a chance to win. At the same time, the group as a whole benefits from the increase in sales.

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