Big Fundraising Ideas provided us with exceptional service. Product quality was first-rate and the sales incentives were excellent! We ended up selling more this spring than last fall – excellent for us!
Our School Fundraising Tips
How to ensure fundraising success
School fundraising has 2 major objectives. First, clear and concise communication with your students and parents throughout the sale.
For example, do your students know how long they have to sell before they have to turn in their order forms and money collection envelopes? How many items will students need to sell to reach their sales goal and do they know that you plan to track their progress?
Your second objective is to find ways to maximize your sales. There are many things that you can do and successful sales campaigns require taking some time for planning and implementation. What follows are our school fundraising tips for parents, students and sponsors.
For Parents and Students
Prepare to sell:
- Set a realistic goal for selling and break your sale down into daily goals.
- Pick out a couple of brochure items and be prepared to talk about them.
- Be sure you know what the money is being raised for.
- Make a list of friends and family and contact them.
Once you start:
- Dress neatly
- Talk only to people you know and trust; sell to family, friends, and neighbors. Ask parents to take the brochure to work.
- Selling door-to-door is only recommended when accompanied by an adult.
- Contact friends and family who live out of town and let them know they can help by ordering from our online store.
- Carry the brochure, order form, money collection envelope and a pen with you.
- Introduce yourself, your group and what the money's being used for. Show them the brochure and ask them if they'd be willing to order one or more items.
- Be positive and remember to smile. Present the products in a positive light.
- Make sure the order form is filled out completely before completing the sale. This will save embarrassment later on.
- After a customer orders an item, ask if there is anything else they may need. Maybe gift wrap for that special gift they just bought.
- Checks should be made out to your organization.
- Remember to say, "Thank you for helping us raise money for ______________ ".
- Have fun! If you are enthusiastic about the program, your customers are more likely to purchase something.
Planning Your Fundraiser:
- Plan ahead.
- Establish a clear and realistic financial goal before evaluating products and programs. Knowing how much money you need to raise will help make these decisions easier. Also make sure and set a sales goal per student.
- Avoid fatigue by conducting one or two highly effective campaigns per year.
- Ask a lot of questions before you pick a fundraising company. You should be able to rely on your company for suggestions and advice.
- Select your school fundraising program early to assure ample time for planning. If the school or community has a planning calendar, be sure your event is included.
- Stagger sales activities to avoid competing with other groups.
- Set a specific beginning and ending date for your fundraiser and stick to it. Without a clear target date the campaign will drag on, often without direction.
- Be sure to plan your sale dates so that you have enough time to deliver products for the delivery time period.
- Put important fundraiser dates (e.g., kickoff, post-kickoff, half-way point, order form due date, delivery dates) on a special calendar and post it prominently.
Running Your Sale:
- Plan to introduce your sale to your students by performing a kickoff.
- Make sure the students understand how to fill out the order form properly.
- Don't forget to communicate with absentees who miss the program's kickoff or other important meetings.
- Keep energy levels high by communicating before, during and after the program. Remind parents, teachers and others volunteers of the fundraiser's goals and deadlines. Also, provide frequent status reports and updates to keep everyone motivated.
- Don't let your program fizzle. Stay motivated until the end. A great idea is to incorporate additional incentives during your sale to encourage even more selling.
- Put a time limit on order-taking, usually 10-14 days is more than enough.
- Allow one week to pass after the fundraiser end date before you submit your order to the company. This will ensure that you collect all order forms and money.
- Avoid shipping and ordering problems by working closely with volunteers to ensure that all order forms are legible and filled out completely.
- Make sure that you have a copy of each order form prior to submitting them to the company. Refer to your fundraising checklist for additional information.
Delivery & Distribution:
- Recruit volunteers to help check and distribute product packages to the students.
- Double check the products shipped to your organization against the order forms by checking each box or bag for damaged or missing merchandise.
- Have fun! With the right approach, fundraising can be educational and enjoyable for everyone.