Simple ways to raise more funds for your school.
How do you know if a brochure fundraiser is right for your group? Perhaps you tried a catalog a few years back with a mediocre response. Or, maybe you’re tired of all the work that goes into the annual carnival or auction and want to go in a different direction.
Most people don’t enjoy the process of planning and running a sale, regardless of what it is. Thus you should be focused on finding something that will make good money. This way, you won’t have to fundraise as often. Regardless of where you are in your search for the right campaign, here are seven easy steps to successful brochure fundraising that almost any sponsor can incorporate:
1. Establish Your Fundraising Purpose & Goals
Catalog sales are no different than any other type of fundraiser. You have to know where you’re going before you begin the journey. So start from the end and work backward. Once you know why you need to raise money, you can determine how much you will need.
Deciding how you plan to promote your purpose to your group is also a good idea. For example, if you need a new sound system for the gym, be prepared to sell the benefits to your principal, teachers, staff, and parents. Getting them behind your project will be important. You can schedule a sit-down meeting with the principal, put information flyers in the teacher’s boxes and discuss it at an upcoming parent meeting.
2. Find the Right Brochure Company
Ensure you work with a catalog fundraising company committed to helping you grow your sales, not just sign you up and move on. This means working with you to provide the right sales tools that you leverage to increase your bottom line. They should also be focused on service. In other words, you should be made to feel like you’re their only customer.
3. Plan and Execute Your Fundraiser Kickoff
Your kickoff meeting is foundational to your success. It’s where your students must become excited and then want to get their family members involved. Proper execution is essential because you only get one chance to get it right. For more information about performing an effective kickoff, see Starting a Fundraiser.
4. Leverage Your Sales Resources
Hopefully, you will pick a company that offers various sales tools based on your specific needs. Many companies provide access to these resources on their website. It’s highly recommended that you learn about the ones that could further benefit your brochure fundraising efforts from a productivity and administrative standpoint. Here are three examples that we offer to our customers:
5. Keep Your Sellers on Track
Your kickoff is your foundation, but keeping your sellers focused is the engine that will determine your success. It can be as simple as reminding students to sell during morning announcements or incorporating more interactive techniques. For example, smaller high school group sponsors can use periodic check-in days to track how many items students have sold. Some even ask their students to show their order forms and money collection envelopes.
6. Reward Sellers throughout the Sale
Most groups offer rewards once the sale is over. Examples include top sellers and classroom participation prizes. However, incorporating things like prize drawings allow sponsors to reward students during the sale. This can be very effective because you incentivize students to make even more sales.
7. Analyzing Brochure Fundraising Results
Unless you learn from history, it will tend to repeat itself. Many companies provide sales reports allowing sponsors to see how sellers ranked in retail sales, profit generated, and items sold. You can also see what percentage of students participated and the average items sold per seller.
You can then use this information to learn how to improve your fundraiser results the next time. For instance, you may have brought in $15,000 but with 700 students; you figured out that only 25% participated. You can then focus on how you might be able to draw in more sellers.
If you’ve determined that selling out of a catalog is the right fit for your school, why not discover how to improve it?
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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.