When it comes to sponsoring a fundraiser, it’s as important to know what things you shouldn’t do as much as it is to pursue the things you should. As hard as we work on making sure that all of the right boxes are checked before we kick off our sale, sometimes we leave something out.
Or, we may decide to do something a certain way, but without realizing it, there are negative consequences. But until we learn from our mistakes, we’ll probably just keep repeating them.
Therefore, it may turn out to be even more beneficial to understand what not to do. This is why we’re sharing 3 of the more popular brochure fundraiser mistakes that we’ve encountered when working with sponsors.
1. Fundraising During a School Holiday
As much as we attempt to talk them out of it, some sponsors are convinced that letting their students sell during a school holiday is an ingenious idea. Yet in some cases this is unavoidable because some groups are only allowed certain blocks of time to sell. If you get a bad start date, you may not have much of a choice. This is common with high school groups because there are so many organizations that are trying to raise money. This way schools can better control the flow of their fundraisers.
However, a few sponsors actually believe that their students will have more time on their hands to sell to friends and family when they’re on break. Yet what they don’t think about are the many distractions that the holidays can present to their students. Here are 3 reasons why selling over the holidays is a bad idea:
- Students are usually focused on everything else, except school related activities.
- As the sponsor, you’re not there to push and remind them to sell; thus there’s no accountability to keep up with making sales.
- Potential supporter distraction also tends to be much higher because of other out of the ordinary activities.
2. Unknowingly Overlapping Brochure Fundraisers
This is a common mistake and can be a challenge to control. It’s as if sponsors assume that they’re the only group that’s out selling. They’ve found a brochure that they’re excited about but don’t bother to see if other groups around them are selling something similar.
High school sponsors often know about other groups on campus, but they don’t bother to check if a feeder elementary or middle school might be selling something comparable. Why is this important? Because younger siblings may be selling related items.
Once you’ve checked out what’s being sold in your area, try to find something that’s a little bit different. Or, try not to sell your brochure at the same time. And if you can possibly be the first of your type of fundraiser out of the gate, all the better.
3. Assuming Brochures Sell Themselves
This is less common with elementary school fundraisers, but prevalent with high school groups. No matter how good a brochure might be, it cannot sell itself. Students have to actually pick it up and show it to others. The point is, sponsors can’t afford to simply hand out the brochures and expect their students to sell. Many probably won’t think about it another second.
Instead, students need to be motivated, held accountable and then rewarded for their selling efforts. This means that you need to have a well-planned kickoff meeting that discusses your goals and expectations. You also should track your students to make sure they’re selling and finally, offer them a good incentive plan.
If we can shed some light on at least some of the popular brochure fundraiser mistakes, perhaps more sponsors will be able to avoid making them in the first place.