Practical solutions that help students succeed at fundraising
The primary goal for high school sponsors is to unify their students around their group’s unique challenges and ultimate objectives. Furthermore, to get them to understand how they’ll benefit from solving these challenges, high school fundraising projects will need to play a vital role and should thus be portrayed as a viable solution from day one.
Although raising money is voluntary, to be successful, it should be communicated to your group as an expectation. Students should understand that to be a part of any group they’ll need to give back. And fundraisers are no different. In other words, they should be strongly encouraged to participate.
However, beyond the financial impact, fundraisers can benefit students in other ways as well. It teaches them about the importance of communicating their group’s mission to others, setting daily goals, and gives them a sense of accomplishment once they’ve achieved their objective.
But perhaps most important, students get to see the fruits of their labor. This is an opportunity for sponsors to communicate a powerful message about overcoming obstacles with practical hands-on solutions.
We’ll all be tested with hurdles throughout our lives and how we deal with them will ultimately determine our fate. Students should be prepared for the world outside with important life skills and fundraisers can help play a practical role.
High school students also have a built-in advantage over their younger siblings. They're more capable of understanding and incorporating more advanced selling techniques that can lead to significantly more sales.
Students who choose to take advantage of these methods will almost always reach and exceed their sales goals. Therefore, instead of just telling your students to go out and try to sell without a game plan, why not provide them with some helpful fundraising tools so they can flourish.
To better help your group reach its financial objectives you should incorporate the following 3 sales tools and discuss them with your students at your kickoff meeting.
Implement Sales Prospect Lists
Knowing who you plan to approach before you head out the door is important for 2 reasons. It gives you a definitive roadmap to follow and it helps build confidence. Having a list of prospects to contact also provides positive feedback because your students can see the names being checked off over time. Tracking their progress also gives them a definite end goal.
Ask your students to create prospecting lists during your kickoff meeting. This way, they can focus on the people who they feel are their most promising buyers.
Use High School Fundraising Expense Worksheets
As opposed to just telling your students to go out and sell, why not give them a specific goal, and then help them understand why it’s important that they reach it. Probably the best way to accomplish this is to have them do some simple calculations.
For example, if you’ve determined that each student needs to raise $300 for new uniforms, have them complete their own expenses worksheet. This way, they'll be able to internalize the mission and can better understand what it’s going to take to be successful.
Incorporate a Selling & Reward Strategy
When approaching potential customers and asking them to buy, it's not very effective when students say, "Want to buy something?" First, anytime you ask a ‘yes or no’, otherwise known as a closed-ended type question, you’re leaving the door wide open for people to simply say ‘no’.
According to Action Selling, failed sales calls include 86% more close-ended questions, while successful sales end up having 25% more open-ended questions. Teaching students how to initially approach people is important.
Second, since your students are out in the community representing your organization, they should present themselves as professional and polite. Most people will respect those who first introduce themselves and briefly explain their mission before asking for support.
They can accomplish this in one simple sentence. To make it easy, have your students incorporate The NOW selling method. This system makes it easy for students to memorize and incorporate the right way to engage people while improving their chances of getting a positive outcome.
Be sure to introduce it at your kickoff meeting and then have your students’ pair up and practice before the meeting is over. Before they break up into pairs, it may be a good idea to demonstrate it yourself.
And once your students have had time to practice, you can even ask a volunteer to try it on you in front of the group. Be sure to reward them for their efforts by making a purchase from them. This will send a powerful message.
And third, don’t think the main prize program offered by the company is enough. It’s important to incorporate additional incentives into your fundraiser that will make selling even more fun and interesting. What follows are 2 game ideas that have worked well for other high school groups:
By providing effective high school fundraising tools, you'll help your students take ownership and find their own sales success.