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Why School Fundraising Success Depends on the Principal

By Clay Boggess on Feb 29, 2020
Why School Fundraising Success Depends on the Principal

How to get your principal involved and raise more money

Maximizing profits is usually right at the top of the list of priorities for every sponsor. Of course, you’re good, as long as you reach your goal and raise enough money to accomplish your objectives. Now the real question is how do you get there?

When it comes to selling any school fundraising product, to achieve success there are 2 primary things to consider. What you sell, and how well you motivate your group.

Choosing the right product comes down to understanding your community. Past sales history, price and product exclusivity are important things to consider. Yet, you can have the right product but still not have an inspired group. What you use for prizes and how well you promote your incentives can make the difference between reaching or exceeding your goal, and falling short.

Most will agree that getting your students excited about your fundraiser is not that difficult. Having the opportunity to win prizes for selling items out of a brochure will excite most any student. And the kickoff assembly is the perfect environment with students feeding off the energy and enthusiasm in the room.

Gaining the support of your parents is usually tied to how eager their children are. Students that come home determined to make sales can have an impact on whether or not their parents get involved. Teacher involvement in school fundraising can also make a difference because they see students as often as the parents do.

However, if you had to pick the single most influential person with the greatest potential for positive impact, it would have to be the principal.

Since they’re probably the most influential person in the school, it's obvious that obtaining their support for your fundraiser can make a big difference. Instead of just asking them to approve your sale as most sponsors do, why not go a step further and get them directly engaged? Your sale can really benefit from their involvement. You may be curious about how to leverage this opportunity.

Here are 2 ways that you can get your principal to help your cause.

1. Win Principal Support

Maintaining an ongoing relationship with the principal is key. It’s important to stay in periodic communication in order to keep them informed about your ideas and objectives. When you finally sit down with the principal to discuss your fundraiser, before you share your intentions, have a list of fact-finding questions prepared. Why not start by asking them what needs they have and how your organization can help meet them? Seeing things from their perspective gives you the opportunity to find common ground and mutual interest.

Once you understand their concerns, you’re ready to make your pitch. Your first objective is to sell them on your purpose and how it will help solve the need. Hopefully you’ve also gathered information from parents and teachers about what they think will help the school. This will help you more well-rounded perspective and allows you to better communicate your purpose.

When it comes to approaching the principal, we recommend that you do the following:

  1. Respect their time by requesting an appointment. This will also give you more time to make your case.
  2. Show up prepared. Before the meeting, write down the things that you plan to discuss and have your notepad ready to take notes. Principals are busy, so you’ll need to make wise use of your time.
  3. Dress for success. Make a strong impression by dressing professionally.

With the help of parents and principals alike, there are useful resource tips available that can facilitate a good working relationship with your principal; thus better bridging the gap between home and school. The ultimate goal of your fundraiser should be to implement programs or have events that will enrich the learning experiences of the students.

2. Gain Principal Involvement

Once you’ve won their support, your next objective is to get them to actually participate in your promotional efforts. The principal can help unite the entire school behind your sales goal. They can also assist you in promoting your fundraiser kickoff as well as make daily announcements.

You should always tie their involvement into a way to increased sales. For example, you can make an ultimatum to the students that if the school reaches its goal, the principal will agree to do something in return. Here are some suggestions:

  • Slime the principal
  • Tape them to the wall
  • Spend a day on the roof (weather permitting)
  • Come to school in their pajamas
  • Dye their hair
  • Kiss a toad
  • Dress up as a ____________ (perhaps as the school mascot)

The ideas for this activity are limitless. And none of them are time-consuming. Once the principal understands what you are trying to accomplish they may think of their own ideas as well. Your main objective is to make these activities fun and entertaining for the students; otherwise it won’t motivate them to make the extra effort to bring in more sales.

Here are some fun school fundraising incentive ideas that utilize the principal to motivate your students to get out and sell.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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