Your comprehensive fundraising kickoff guide
The best way to sales success is to have a great school fundraiser kickoff. Even though your parents will usually end up doing the selling, it’s the students who will ultimately drive your sale. They're the ones who will convince their parents to help them sell. If your students aren’t excited about your program, no one else will be either.
The kickoff is your opportunity to get your students motivated. Remember, once the kickoff is under way there's no going back so make sure you're prepared to start your fundraiser on the right track.
Here are some things that should help you establish a strong foundation for your sale by planning an effective kickoff:
Fundraiser Kickoff Preparation Tips
You'll want to do the following before your kickoff assembly in order to make sure that you are prepared:
- Make sure everyone knows when your kickoff assembly will take place. Hopefully you've cleared it with the principal to have all of your students in the assembly at the same time.
- Arrange to have the principal host the fundraiser kickoff. This is important because the students will look up to someone they already respect.
- Talk to the person in charge of media and technology to make sure you have a good sound system and a microphone.
- Be sure to allow ample time to set up and test your equipment before your students arrive.
- Will everyone sit on the floor or will they sit on bleachers or chairs? Since this takes time to set up, make sure you know how much room you'll need. Speak with the custodian about having the room ready.
- If you have special top seller prizes make sure you have them on a central table. Consider covering them with a blanket or sheet until you're ready to reveal them. We recommend unveiling these prizes towards the end of your kickoff to keep the students in suspense.
- Ensure the front office knows when to start calling students down to the assembly.
- Have the music playing before the students walk in to help set an exciting tone. Make sure it's clean and ‘radio-edited’.
The Sales Kickoff Presentation
You'll also want plan what you'll say to the students. Once you’ve developed a basic outline, practice it. This way you'll be more comfortable once you are in front of your audience. Here’s what a fundraising kickoff presentation outline might look like:
- Have someone turn the music down gradually. This lets the students know that something is about to happen.
- Introduce your sale. Ask for everyone’s attention and don’t start talking until everyone's quiet. Make sure to thank the students for being there and that you show enthusiasm about the program. Introduce yourself and what your role is and then explain why the students are being asked to sell. If you're having the principal do the introduction, make sure you've discussed what you want them to talk about ahead of time.
- Talk about the process. When will the students receive their fundraising packets? How long will the sale last? How many items would you like them to sell? Make sure that they know who checks need to be written out to and where they can get additional order forms. Talk about the importance of who to sell to. Safety comes first so make sure students are always selling with a parent.
- Talk about what they're selling. Get them excited about what they'll be selling by showing them the brochure. Open it and talk about some of the exciting items inside. Make sure you're already familiar with it beforehand.
- Introduce your prize program. Ask your students if they’d like to have a chance to win prizes. Show them the prize brochure and describe the prizes.
- Discuss your additional incentives. If you are incorporating additional incentives, like a top seller prize or prize drawings, make sure to show these prizes once you've finished showing the main prize program. Tell the students how they'll be able to also win these prizes.
- Wrap up your presentation. Close out your kickoff by asking the students some questions to make sure they understand the process. How many items are we asking you to sell? When will you need to turn in order your order forms and money envelopes? How can you qualify for the grand prize drawing?
- Have the students exit to music. Once you or the principal have finished speaking, make sure to cue someone to start the music again as students exit the assembly.
Some school fundraising companies provide a kickoff video that will cover the complete presentation for you. If this is the case, all you will need to do is introduce your program and then wrap it up at the end.