How to Raise More Money with Fewer Fundraisers

Many sponsors believe that conducting multiple sales throughout the year will raise more money rather than limiting themselves to just a couple. After all, more is always better, right?

Yet, even though this may sound logical, it may not be as practical. Once you consider that multiple schools in your area are already doing the same thing, is it no wonder that communities become apathetic towards fundraisers? People just want to run the other way when approached by seemingly countless of students.

Many school districts have attempted to regulate, and even restrict, selling within their own schools in order to ease the burden on the community. However, in most cases they’ve been largely unsuccessful.

Schools Need to Raise More Money

The bottom line is, schools need additional money above and beyond what their district allocates and they will continue to reach out to their communities for help. Some of the things schools are doing to attempt to meet their financial needs are:

  1. Scheduling fundraisers so when one sale is over, another is ready to begin after only a short break.
  2. Breaking elementary school sales up into grade-level sales. The problem with this approach is many students have siblings who have already approached the same customers.
  3. Using an outside entity like a PTA to run one sale while the administration is in charge of another. The issue with employing multiple sponsorships within the same school is the same students are usually enlisted to sell to the same customers.

Sales Results Are Mixed

The results of this strategy are:

  1. More sales that end up being less effective.
  2. Tired students and tuned-out parents.
  3. Lower participation with each subsequent fundraiser.
  4. A community that is grows wearier of being approached to buy over time.

Fewer but More Effective Fundraisers

Breaking free from endless selling requires:

  • Putting all of your resources and time into making your first sale your most successful by:
    • Building a strong team to help you run your sale.
    • Establishing your purpose and financial objectives.
    • Communicating your objectives up front with your parents and community.
    • Selecting a strong brochure that best fits your community.
    • Offering an online store that reaches people outside your area.
    • Choosing a stronger prize program that will motivate more sellers to participate.
    • Incorporating additional incentives to further increase sales.
    • Promoting your sale from start to finish by:
      • Sending notes home to parents.
      • Posting information about your sale on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
      • Placing posters around your school.
      • Promoting your online store.
  • Promising your parents and community up front that everyone will have to make due if you don’t reach your sales goals after 1 or 2 sales.
  • Sticking to your promise.

Your ultimate objective is to do fewer campaigns that will end up raising more money in the long term. This will require regaining the trust of your parents, as well as your community. This may not happen right away. We have found that schools that live up to their promise by committing to one or at most, two sales a year end up having more successful fundraisers than those who saturate their students and parents with multiple campaigns. The reason is that schools have found that parents are more willing to participate if they know that selling is going to be limited. In other words, more not necessarily better.

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