2 Drawbacks to School Fundraiser Prize Programs

School fundraiser prize programs are supposed to motivate students to get out and sell. Once they learn about the prizes at the kickoff, many students can’t wait to talk to their parents about the sale. At least this is what you're hoping for. Unfortunately, the excitement often wanes once they realize how much they have to sell to win the better prizes.

Most elementary school brochure programs attempt to motivate their students with more traditional toys and gadgets. Even though schools have been using them for years, there are drawbacks associated with these types of incentives.

1. The Better Fundraising Prizes are Untouchable

With traditional prize programs, the less desirable prizes can be found at the lower levels, while the better prizes are more difficult to obtain. Analyze any school’s results and you’ll find that the majority of students won’t sell beyond the first prize level. Why is that? It’s mainly because once they start selling they realize that getting to the higher levels will be too much work. Disappointment sets in as most students are forced to readjust their expectations.

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2. Past Experience with Prize Programs Breeds Complacency

Have you ever wondered why your older students don’t sell as much as your younger students do? Many people think younger students and parents are enthusiastic and are thus more willing to get involved with school-related activities. Even though this is partially true, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Student excitement drives sales success more than anything else. Once older students have been exposed to enough of these prize programs they already know what to expect. They understand that they won’t be winning the bigger prizes that the younger students are so naively excited about.

So if it isn't broken, why fix it? Many sponsors are afraid to venture out of the safe and familiar. They think they have a sure thing every year by sticking with the same fundraising prize program. It's true, the prizes are updated every year, but the concept remains the same. Get as many students excited about selling as possible with the hope that some actually will. The problem is everyone already knows what to expect. What’s so fun about that?

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