Many groups get this wrong. If you’re existing to fundraise instead of fundraising to exist you may need to reevaluate your group’s motives. Parents are more perceptive than we sometimes give them credit for. They’ll easily pick up on your intentions if all you’re doing is going from one fundraiser to the next. Yes, being well-funded is important, however there are other things that need to come first.
Instead, your board should be in line with the school’s goals and objectives. The main purpose of any outside entity like a PTA or PTO should be to serve the parents, students and the school staff. If you have ambitious financial goals it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that you need to have one sale after another. However this is also what leads to school fundraising fatigue. Here are some ways that you can avoid this problem.
Have a Fundraising Strategy Already in Place
Hopefully before the school year began you were able to meet with your board to lay out a plan to tackle your monetary objectives. Your fundraisers should have been laid out along with your sales projections for each one. Each campaign already has a start and end date. By the start of school you should be ready to roll out your plan to your entire school community.
And most important, don’t deviate from your original plan regardless of your sales results. This will instill trust with your parents. They should also know up front that if sales do fall short, the students will just have to do without some things. And keep reinforcing this throughout the year and hopefully parents will get the message.
Work to Improve Fundraisers Results
It’s a vicious cycle. You have a sale that ends up not doing so well. So what do you do? You plan another one. Then you find that your second one does even more poorly. Why is that? Your parents are starting to develop school fundraising fatigue with no end in sight. They don’t know what’s coming next. As a result, more and more people start to ignore your requests to fundraise.
Instead, plan to put more effort into making the campaigns that you’ve committed to more productive. There are many ways that you can do this. For more information on how to improve a brochure fundraiser see our additional incentive ideas.
Align Your Financial Goals to an Overall Purpose
If you’re just raising money for the ‘general fund’ this can seem too vague to your parents. How do they know how much money you’re ultimately attempting to raise unless you commit to a more precise purpose?
Rather, if you’ve done your homework and know what your financial goals are you can share them with your parents at your first parent night meeting. Your parents should come away with an understanding of what you’re raising money for, how much money is needed and how much you hope to make with each fundraiser.
You can even take it a step further by letting parents how much you expect them to sell for each sale. If they know this information up front, your black hole becomes a light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, they can see that there’s an end to the fundraising. Better yet, they can see that there’s a plan.
Avoiding school fundraising fatigue can be simple, as long as you’re willing to commit to a well thought out strategy.