Improve School Fundraiser Sales: Promote Your Prize Program

Learn how to use student prize promotion to enhance school fundraising sales

What’s more important to a school fundraiser, the sales brochure or the student prize program? The debate will probably never be fully resolved because it depends on who you talk to. If you don’t offer products that people will want to buy, you won’t make sales. Yet, if your students aren’t motivated to approach friends and family in the first place, you’ll have the same problem.

What makes things worse, prize programs for fundraisers have fallen under great scrutiny because of the poor quality. One thing's for sure; a good incentive plan and promotional strategy can overcome an average brochure. Even if you’re offering a great prize program, if you don’t promote it, you’re missing out on some easy sales. So how do you plan to promote your student incentive plan?

First, you must believe that your program will motivate your students to make the effort to get out and sell. Doesn’t that sound obvious? Sure, but your students will see right through your campaign if they don’t sense that you’re excited about your own prize program. Believe it or not, this can probably affect sales as much as anything else.

Your students need strong leadership, and for you to set a positive tone. Therefore, make sure you have a prize plan that you are passionate about promoting. What follows are some additional ideas that will help you get the most out of your student incentive program.

Start Promoting Before Your Fundraiser

Start promoting your incentives before your sale even starts. A few days before your kickoff assembly, arrange to start sharing with students what they might win during your morning announcements. It may even be a good idea to tell them that you are saving your big prize for the kickoff. This will really keep them in suspense. We also recommend alerting your parents by sending home a letter that includes information about what special prizes and awards will be given out. You’ll be surprised by the parents who take prizes seriously for their children. Many want to know what their child will receive for participating.

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Leverage the Kickoff Meeting

The actual fundraising kickoff is where you get to really hype up your prizes. Whether you plan to kick off your own sale, have someone else do it or show a video, this is where you must sell your prizes to your students. And it’s all in how it is presented. The most important thing when presenting prizes to students at a kickoff is to create suspense. One thing that works extremely well is to have your big prizes covered up at the front on a table as the students walk into the assembly area. Then reveal them one at a time as you describe what they have to do to win them. Start from the smallest prize and work up to the biggest. It is recommended that you show the prizes at end of the kickoff presentation.

Hype the Prizes During the Sale

This is where many schools leave money on the table. It’s very important that you continue to promote your prizes after the kickoff as well. Don’t assume your student's level of enthusiasm will persist after the kickoff. Like anything else, if we are not reminded about things, we tend to forget about them. Make sure you're talking about your fundraising prizes during your morning announcements. It's even recommended that you give away prizes during your sale. For example, consider using a prize drawing incentive game that will increase student engagement. This will encourage students to continue to make sales. Why not influence your sellers while they still have a chance to make an impact? Make sure to announce the winners so everyone knows about it.

Get Them Excited About Your Next Fundraiser

Don’t just hand your big prizes to the winners in private. Take advantage of the opportunity for every student to see who won. Once your sale is complete, have a student awards ceremony to honor those students who earned them. By having everyone present you accomplish 2 things. One, the winners get recognized and two, everyone sees them receive their reward. This will surely set the tone for your next program. By then, even more students will want to be up on stage receiving their prize.

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