Learn 4 key strategies successful sponsors use to get high school students to buy into fundraising
We all have our biased opinions about the typical high school student. Self-absorbed, egocentric, lazy, and if that’s not enough, they’re right and everyone else is wrong. But we can all relate. If we could only go back to our own high school days. No one really wants to admit it but we were probably the same way.
So the million dollar question is, “How can you as teacher and sponsor possibly come up with proven high school fundraising ideas that will work for your students?” Somehow you need to get them to make raising money a priority. Seems like a pretty daunting task.
What makes it even more challenging is that you’re busy as well. Somehow, you have to find the time to make fundraising a priority, just like your students. So what can you do to convince them to add one more thing to their plate?
Setting aside the time to plan for and raise money for your group sounds like a daunting challenge, but it’s not impossible.
Your role as group sponsor is to help your students see their sales campaign as important and expected rather than just one more activity that they have to juggle. Rather than seeing fundraising as optional, they need to see it as a priority.
Chances are, being a member of your organization is an extracurricular activity. But this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a priority. Your students have obviously chosen to be a part of your group for a reason. They may have their own motivations, yet there are other benefits as well that many don’t often think about.
Participating in your group is as important as anything else that they do at school. If you see it that way, then it will be a lot easier to get them to as well.
Here are 4 proven high school fundraising ideas that can transform your sale into a big success:
1. Successful Sponsors Know How to Lead
Behind every successful group is a goal-oriented sponsor who knows how to lead and motivate others. Students tend to respond to sponsors who are well thought out themselves and have clearly defined objectives.
The ability to bring out the best in their group members and get results is key. Even though these sponsors tend to be strong-willed and even opinionated, they also have the ability to relate to and understand their students. This becomes evident as people tend to want to follow leaders who ultimately have their best interests in mind. Here are the top 5 qualities that effective teachers have according to students.
Consequently, students shouldn’t feel as though they’re being forced to participate in fundraiser activities; however they should be inspired to want to do so.
2. Turn High School Fundraising into an Expectation
Your students shouldn’t feel forced to participate in your fundraiser. For example, if you’re the football coach, you don’t have to make raising money a requirement to being on the team. This strategy never works and worse, it can have many unplanned ramifications.
On the other hand, if students are led to believe that selling is optional, it becomes much easier for them to justify not participating. You don’t want that either.
Letting everyone know from the beginning that selling is a priority and is necessary for the group to function is an important point that needs to be made. Your students should understand that they will be expected to participate. This is the middle ground and is a far more effective approach.
3. Do Your Students Understand the “Why”?
Do your students appreciate the needs of the group? By helping your students understand the organization’s ultimate goals and objectives from day one will help provide them with intrinsic motivation. Then, when it comes time for the group to raise money, they’ll be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Why should they participate? It might help to put yourself in their shoes. Don’t assume that everyone already understands the group’s fundraising mission. This is important enough to be instilled and reinforced on a continual basis.
4. Reward Fundraising Success
Always put your money where your mouth is. Perhaps most important, be sure to reward your students during and after your sale. For example, any student who sells 5 items by tomorrow is exempt from having to run the first 2 sprints at the end of practice.
We always recommend incorporating additional fundraiser incentives that will help motivate your students to sell. These activities can foster healthy competition which can even make raising money fun and rewarding. And make sure to reward your sellers after the sale is over for a job well done. Don’t forget to tell them up front what they’ll receive for reaching their fundraising goals.
As the sponsor, you just need to be willing to spend a little extra planning time and get creative. In most cases, your efforts will be rewarded.