Inspire your teachers to become more engaged in your cause
When it comes to fundraising incentives, everyone thinks they need to focus on the students. This makes logical sense because ultimately, their enthusiasm is a key component to driving your sales. Some sponsors even offer prizes to the parents. This is also good because, at least with elementary schools, mom or dad usually do the bulk of the selling.
But what about your teachers? School fundraisers that include them in their promotional strategy truly understand their value and are putting themselves in a much better position to ultimately achieve or exceed their financial goals.
There’s a reason so much emphasis is put on motivating students. They provide needed energy and enthusiasm. Parents will often make the decision to participate based on their student’s eagerness and continual reminding. If Johnny’s excited about the prizes, no doting parent will want them to do without.
In the elementary school environment, there’s only one person that probably sees your students as often as their parents. You guessed it, teachers. This gives them the opportunity to continually remind their students to become involved and thus positively impact sales.
The big challenge, however, is that teachers are already busy and overwhelmed with their educational obligations. This is a big hurdle. According to a recent international survey, teachers are overworked and feel underappreciated.
So how can you even think about adding something else to their plate by getting them more involved in your fundraiser? This seems a bit presumptuous.
It turns out, there are some simple steps that you can take that can persuade, and even inspire your teachers to become more engaged in your cause.
Here are some important points that you’ll want to emphasize with your teachers.
Clarify the Benefits of the Fundraiser
Putting a courtesy information flyer in the teacher’s boxes is one thing; taking the time to sit down and meet with them is another. If you’re able to arrange a meeting, be sure to walk in prepared. You’ll need to think about what they need to know about your fundraiser and why it’s important. How is the money going to benefit the school, and will they understand the value?
For example, if you’re raising money to upgrade technology equipment for your learning lab, explain how these enhanced versions will improve practical skill development. The end result, improved test scores. Obviously something they’re interested in.
Educational field trips will provide a more well-rounded perspective, and being able to purchase academic performance prizes will ultimately motivate students to want to do better academically.
If you’re raising money for a new awning, explain how students will no longer have to wait inside their classrooms on bad weather days. You get the point. Paint the picture by explaining the benefits, not just the features.
To accomplish this task, you’ll need a little more time. Therefore, attempt to have a short meeting with the teachers on a day just prior to your kickoff. In order to get everyone together at one time, you may need to ask the principal if you could have a couple of minutes during a teacher meeting, or arrange a short visit before or after school.
Consider also bringing treats or a beverage. It may even be a good idea to advertise this beforehand. To take it a step further, if you're selling cookie dough, bake the cookies and bring them to your meeting so the teachers can try them. This not only shows appreciation for their time but it gets them excited about the product.
Make sure your teachers will be attending your kickoff assembly as well the administration and staff members. This will help foster a great sense of school-wide unity and enthusiasm for your project.
Reduce Teacher Financial Burdens
According to a survey posted in The New York Times, 94% of teachers in the United States spend their own money on school supplies without reimbursement. This is regardless of whether they teach in the cities, suburbs or rural areas. Socioeconomics wasn’t a factor either.
So why not help them out by sharing a little of the profit with your teachers? The reports that many fundraising companies provide, also break down sales results by class. You can even offer a tiered incentive that gives them a higher percentage with increased sales.
Minimal Teacher Time Required
Inform your teachers that the most important thing they can do during the sale is to daily remind their students to sell. Some teachers may choose to do more creative things on their own. For instance, instead of just reminding them to sell, they can ask their students a probing question for the day like, “Raise your hand if you’ve already sold 5 items?”
Another idea is to encourage your teachers to set a powerful example in front of the class. Ask them to put all of the students names into a hat. Then they can draw out a name and purchase an item from that student on the spot.
2 Teacher Incentive Ideas for School Fundraisers
During your presale meeting you can inform your teachers that you’ll provide teacher incentives. Many teachers are motivated by incentives and may be willing to become more involved if they know they have a chance to get something in return. For example, you can do one of the following:
- Offer the top 5 teachers whose classrooms sell the greatest number of items sold or dollars raised a special prize.
- Reward teachers by grade level who end up with the highest student participation rate.
And your prizes don’t have to cost any money. For example, you may be able to offer the winning teacher some free time by subbing in their class for an hour. Hand made gifts or baked goods are always appreciated as well.
Some companies offer teacher gifts, but make sure you’re not paying for them. Rather than just provide an arbitrary gift, these incentives should make teachers want to encourage additional sales.
Express Your Appreciation
Most teachers already understand the need for school fundraisers and how both the students and the school benefit.
Be sure that your teachers know that you appreciate any help they’re willing to offer.
Improved teacher engagement may be easier to accomplish than you think, and can help make a difference when it comes to reaching your sales goals.