When quality makes you more money than quantity.
Everyone can relate. How often do we get approached to support a cause? With so many school fundraisers out there, most likely a lot. If you're a parent, you may be able to relate to both bombarding others and feeling bombarded.
You have to balance your own children's selling, as well as deal with the neighborhood children. Many feel obligated to support other students because their parents also support them. It seems like it never ends. What's worse, many groups are stuck in a vicious cycle. They feel the only way to raise the money they need is to conduct one sale after another.
But there's hope. There is a 'win-win' solution. Can groups do fewer fundraisers yet still meet their financial goals? This would make everyone much happier. Here are three ways schools can limit their sales while keeping everyone sane at the end of the day.
1. Choose the Right Fundraising Products
When selecting a product, be sure to do your homework. Products that offer a higher profit percentage may not be your best option. This is a standard marketing strategy employed by companies. Resist the urge to choose campaigns only on profit margin. These types of programs can end up yielding lower-than-average sales results.
Would you instead put more money in your pocket or make a higher profit percentage off what you sell?
Consider the following two examples:
- Product A offers 50% profit. You sell 200 items priced at $10 apiece. You would profit $1,000 (200 items x $10 x 50%).
- Product B offers 40% profit. You sell 350 items priced at $9 apiece. You would profit $1,260 (350 items x $9 x 40%).
This is an oversimplified example, but you get the point. People could have been more receptive to the lower price point.
At the same time, it's also essential to resist choosing a product on price alone. Have you considered taking a survey? Ask your parents what they think will sell. The feedback you get back may surprise you.
It's also a good idea to vary your sales types. Do your homework by researching the various opportunities that are out there. Contrary to what you might think, every product has pros and cons. So make sure you learn which ones will work best for your group.
2. Allow More Time Between School Fundraisers
Your students will work harder if they know they won't need to sell as often. And if they know when your sales will occur, even better.
Two common mistakes that sponsors make are:
- Having one fundraiser right after another.
- Doing more than one fundraiser at a time.
You should approach each sale like it's a sprint. Get out of the gate fast, work hard, and finish strong. You only have a limited time, so once it's over, have no regrets.
Yet fundraising over time is like a marathon. It's essential to have a plan mapped out. Spread out your sales so people don't get burned out.
Organized sponsors take the time to plan their fundraisers. They then schedule a meeting with their group to let them know the overall goals and expectations. Everyone needs to understand when they will be selling. This way, it becomes more of a mutual agreement between you and your parents. Last-minute pleas don't end up being as effective.
Spur-of-the-moment sales also don't project a good image and appear unprofessional. Once you've rolled out your plan, stick with it, regardless. This helps build mutual trust. At the same time, inform your group that if sales goals are not met, the group will need to get by with less.
3. Focus on Quality Fundraising
Fewer campaigns lead to more willing participants. But you still need a plan to be successful. Focus on quality over quantity. Working to get the most out of each sale will bring more money to your group.
Don't assume your students are ready to go just because they have their supplies in hand. To ensure success, you will need to:
- Have a kickoff meeting with your students beforehand. This will help to establish needed sales momentum.
- Track your fundraiser so you can maintain the momentum that you initially created. Students understand they'll be accountable for making the sales discussed at the meeting.
- Have your students break the sale down into short-term sales goals.
- Help them understand the importance of making the most of each day and finishing strong.
- Realize that you've committed up front to a certain number of sales, so get the most out of each.
The ultimate goal is to make more money with fewer school fundraisers. The more successful groups have already figured this out.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.