Learn the risks associated with raising money and how to minimize them
Everyone wants something for nothing. We want bank loans that require nothing down. People expect to lose weight by popping a pill without having to worry about exercising and eating right. Sponsors want to raise money while putting little to no effort into it.
Yet, is risk-free fundraising possible?
Companies spend a lot of time and money telling us how their programs are easy, come with no obligation and are guaranteed to work. The school fundraising company that does the best job conveying this message usually gets the business.
However, most experienced sponsors already understand that things don’t always work out as initially planned. So if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Companies and Schools are Mutually Obligated
The goal of every company should be to provide schools with programs that are as easy to run and effective as possible. In other words, companies want to fulfill the initial positive perception and expectations of what sponsors had initially hoped for. However, it’s the job of the school and the company to clearly communicate their expectations with each other before they enter into a business relationship. If all you hear is that there are no obligations, you are being misled.
Good Fundraising Companies Have Systems
We should all know better that nothing is free from the possibility of failure. If you are suspicious, listen to your hunch and walk away from the deal because you will probably be better off in the end. You should want to work with a company that has been tested, and as a result, has implemented changes to prevent undesirable things from happening again. Good companies have systems in place for everything. They have thoroughly examined the pros and cons of every implemented policy. Any company that tells you that they haven't had to work through problems has probably not worked with that many schools.
Everything Has a Price
The old adage that says ‘nothing is free’ definitely applies here. Unfortunately, you can’t achieve anything without work or risk. In other words, anything that’s worthwhile has the risk of failure associated with it. If you’re told that you don’t have anything to lose, then there's probably going to be minimal gain. Be leery of companies that make those promises. We want our customers to know up front what they're getting themselves into because the last thing anyone wants are surprises.
The greatest risk that sponsors take is not by choosing any particular company, but by assuming that they won’t need to work that hard to get their students to sell. After all, products don’t sell themselves.