Is Your Fundraiser Ready for a New Prize Program?

Let’s face it, every school fundraising company seems to offer the same type of prize program. The cheap and junky prizes appear at the lower levels while the more enticing ones require a lot more selling. Isn’t that the way it should be? After all, students should be rewarded based on how much effort they put in. Perhaps a better question is, “What are prize programs supposed to accomplish as they relate to school fundraisers?”

Traditional prize programs do a good job of initially getting students excited about selling because the students are drawn towards the bigger and more exciting prizes. In reality though, most students will only end up winning the lower level prizes because they are much more obtainable. This fact in and of itself is probably not enough to get schools to go looking for a new prize program. However, schools that continue to experience uninspiring sales results may be a different story. Plus the fact that if enough parents complain about the current prize program, some schools will start to consider their options.

Low Fundraiser Participation Rates

It turns out that many elementary schools are only able to get about 10-15 percent of their students to participate in their fundraiser. If you consider an average size school of about 500 students, that’s roughly 50 students. If you do the math, those 50 students may end up raising about $6,000. Some sponsors would actually consider this a successful sale while others would not be satisfied. One reason for the low participation rate is that many sellers have grown complacent to the same type of prize program every year. They already know how it works, and what they’ve ended up winning in the past, so they choose not to participate.

The Argument for a New Prize Program

Many sponsors now see the need to offer a new prize program to their students. Some schools have made the switch to companies that allow for greater customization. This allows schools to better meet the needs of their sellers by offering more targeted incentives. Others have found success offering higher quality items such as sportswear or even a party as an incentive. Changing your incentive plan can do several things. For example, you can catch your students by surprise by offering something fresh and exciting. This can rekindle the desire to get more students involved again. A new incentive program can also catch the attention of your parents. This can end up having a huge impact on your fundraiser.

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