How to Plan a School Fundraiser Event: 4 Steps for Success

Pre-event tips and tricks to prepare for a fabulous fundraiser

Avoid the temptation to put fundraising on hold as winter break approaches. If your PTO, school club, or youth sports team hopes to organize a successful fundraiser event in 2022, now is the time to start planning. Considering that event planners need two-months of planning for every 100 guests, teams need to jump headfirst into organizing come the start of the spring semester.

But incredible fundraiser events for schools require more than starting early – they require research, a strong leadership team, administrative support, engaged students, supportive parents, outstanding marketing, and meticulous event planning.

Not to worry, just follow these 4 steps for success.

1. Pick a fundraising idea.

Get your students, their families, and friends excited to fundraise by brainstorming epic fundraiser event ideas. New and creative events stand out from the dozens of other school fundraisers happening in your neighborhood throughout the year.

To start, consider the types of fundraisers that have or have not been successful previously, the amount of time and resources you can invest in the event, what appeals to your target demographic, and whether the event needs to be virtual or not.

As Qgiv explains, “with technology improving, virtual and hybrid events rising in popularity, and new event ideas coming to fruition, it can be hard to determine the best fundraising event that aligns with your audience, goals, and overall mission.”

Not sure where to start with brainstorming? We have you covered with plenty of ideas ranging from fundraising with food to virtual college events.

2. Set fundraiser event goals.

Before proceeding with your search for out-of-the-box fundraising event ideas, set both financial and qualitative goals. Youth fundraising not only offsets the costs of co-curricular activities but also teaches students valuable skills like interpersonal communication, working towards a goal, and being a part of something bigger. Be sure to document these harder-to-measure goals in your fundraiser event planner.
For qualitative goals, decide how much money the team needs to raise and then set targets based on the number of students. For instance, an event that needs to raise $2,000 requires 100 students to each sell $20 in tickets.

Use specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based (SMART) goals to create a clear vision of a given outcome, provide a sense of direction, and maintain momentum.

3. Have a kickoff meeting.

Before launching the advertising and asking for student involvement, host a kickoff meeting. This kickoff meeting should be energizing and engaging and not feel like a chore. Make it fun by “gamifying” the meeting with Jeopardy-style FAQs, candy prizes for participation, and music.

Important concepts to cover during the kickoff include only selling tickets or products to people the students know, understanding the event’s goals and objectives, and incentives for involvement.

4. Advertise.

The last step to planning before your team gets into the nitty gritty of event logistics is advertising. Cover the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the event in all marketing materials.

Maximize your marketing reach by using all potential marketing methods available to your school – printed flyers, social media, email, morning announcements, letters to parents, etc. Be sure to use consistent branding and messaging for a cohesive marketing campaign. For instance, use your school or team’s colors, fonts, and photos to help supporters recognize the cause.

By implementing these simple fundraiser event ideas for nonprofits, your group can find its way to reaching its financial goals.

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