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School Fundraising Participation and How to Improve It

By Clay Boggess on Oct 26, 2019
School Fundraising Participation and How to Improve It

Practical ways to improve sales by increasing student involvement

Want to improve your results? Then find ways to improve school fundraising participation. Obviously this is much easier said than done. Yet there are some relatively simple changes that you can make that will have a positive impact.

Let’s first exam the reason that many students don’t end up participating. Perhaps it’s not the student at all. Maybe the parents are indifferent to fundraisers in general and feel that the school district should provide the money. At the same time, other students are not be interested, for whatever reason.

Or, it’s possible that older students realize how hard it is to win the better prizes so they end up throwing their packet in the trash once they get home. Another perfectly logical reason is that people are too busy and school fundraising is just not on the priority list.

Yet none of these reasons half to be set in stone. Can you change people’s minds. Of course. Obstacles can be overcome, but you need to see that they exist before you can find solutions.

If only sponsors could realize how increasing participation even by a small amount could impact their sale. So what kind of impact are we talking about and how much money can your school fundraiser make? If you knew your numbers, you would probably spend more time on ways to enhance student involvement.

Let’s look at an example. Take an elementary school with 500 students. If 25% sold 5 items from their brochure, the school would profit about $3,800. Now let’s increase participation by just 5%. What’s the increase in profit? About $700. That increase alone would pay for a lot of nice stuff for the school. Here’s the math:

500 students x 30% = 150 students
150 students x 5 items = 750 items
750 items x $15 per item = $11,250
$11,250 x 40% profit = $4,500

Now let’s look at some practical ways that you can improve your school’s participation:

Improve Your School Fundraising Incentive

If you’ve been using the same type of prize program for years, maybe it’s time for an overhaul.

You might think it’s working, but you really have nothing to compare it to so how do you really know? Your students seemed excited at the kickoff assembly. But a lot of them were acting excited because their classmates were blowing off some steam.

It could be that people are ready to try something different. Students may initially appear motivated by your prize program, but the truth will always be revealed by what they do.

Some elementary schools have actually been experiencing a significant increase in participation after switching from a more traditional prize program to one of our big event incentive plans. Not only did they find that more students were interested in this type of motivation, but parents were actually more engaged as well.

Another example is with high school sports teams. More students seem to be willing to sell when sportswear or cash is used as the incentive.

Remind Students to Sell

Is it really that simple? Possibly. Some school sponsors get complacent, especially with all the excitement at the kickoff rally. The truth is, this enthusiasm can quickly fade and people will become distracted with other things unless you remind them.

The worst thing that can happen is that your students won’t hear anything again about your sale until just before it’s time to turn in the order forms and money envelopes. There’s no excuse for this. If you don’t have a plan in place to periodically remind your students to sell, you may be unpleasantly surprised once the money’s been counted. And there are ways to get creative with your announcements as well.

Learn how to keep students excited after the fundraiser kickoff

Don’t Just Offer the Prize Program

It’s been proven that higher participation is achieved by schools that offer additional incentives than those who only offer the company prize program. You can saturate your students with the most convincing reminders in the world and it may not make that much of a difference.

But you can incorporate additional incentives into your daily announcements. For instance, one great idea is to offer periodic prize drawings and have students turn in prize coupons for every 5 items sold. Not only do students get to have their name announced over the intercom, but all of the other students get to hear that their classmate just won an exciting prize.
Don’t you think that will inspire others to want to be in the next drawing?

But for your incentives to be a success, you’ll need to promote them as often as possible throughout your sale.

You only have limited opportunities to raise money for your school. Why not do everything you can why’ll you have the chance? The proven way to increase sales is by improving seller participation.

Discover ways to build support for your product fundraiser

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