Why there's a good and bad time to schedule your sale
Is there a single best time of the year to have your school fundraiser? Even if you’ve planned everything else out perfectly, if you pick the wrong time to have your sale there can be negative consequences. For example, you could end up selling from a similar brochure as another school in your area. This would force some buyers to pick and choose which organization to support.
As it turns out, there is no one right time for any group. Most would say having a fall fundraiser is best because you're having it earlier in the school year; however that’s also when many other organizations are selling as well.
Therefore, finding the best possible time to run your sale is probably going to take a little investigative work on your part. Here are some things to think about when deciding when to have your school fundraiser.
Make Sure Your Campaign Stands Out
If you’re offering something unique enough to your community, the program may just sell itself regardless of when you have it. It always helps to ask questions to find out what people might be interested in before making your decision. On the other hand, if you decide to stick with a fundraiser that everyone’s already familiar with, try to find a brochure that has distinctive qualities and promote them.
Be the First Fundraiser in Your Area
Many schools want to be the first group out selling in their area. The obvious reason is people are more apt to buy from the initial person who approaches them. This can lead to more sales for the group. However, the downside is that many other groups have the same idea. This can make for a very crowded marketplace with a much higher concentration of sellers competing for the same buyers. This is a reason many schools either wait until later in the fall, or even decide to have a spring fundraiser instead.
Know What Other Schools Are Selling
It pays to know when other fundraisers in your area will be taking place. High schools that more closely monitor their groups require that they reserve their dates as well as what they plan to sell in advance. In addition, working with other PTA and PTO leaders in your area can also help eliminate elementary school fundraiser overlap. Some districts require organizations to report when all school groups plan to have their sale. In this case you may be able to obtain a list from the superintendent’s office.
Sometimes working to create a fundraising schedule with other schools in your area can ultimately foster a better situation for everyone involved rather than being forced to compete against them.