Why School Fundraising Goals Aren't All That Matters

How to reach your current goals while improving future fundraisers

Many schools never set a sales goal. The common mistake that they make is to encourage their students to ‘just do their best’ and accept what comes in. There’s no accountability to sell.

If they feel good about their profit, then they were successful. But let’s be clear. Setting school fundraising goals can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. They allow you to objectively measure your progress. This allows sponsors to also track individual student sales. For example, if the selling were to get off to a slow start, adjustments could be made early enough to jumpstart the campaign and establish momentum.

Let’s say that a sponsor decides to check on their students’ progress at 3 different times during the sale. The next day after the kickoff, at the midway point and then at the end. If during the first check in day the sponsor discovers that only a few students started selling, the sponsor may decide to encourage their group with a reward.

They could then counter with a prize drawing. Whoever sells 3 items by day 2 will get their name entered. The winner earns a special privilege that no one else in the group gets to experience. These types of ‘on the fly’ modifications can only happen if you’re tracking your sale. This will help keep everyone focused on selling.

In addition, if students are provided a sales goal, they’ll know exactly what’s expected of them. Check out what kids learn from fundraising

So too, sponsors should have financial expectations for the group as a whole. The group’s overall objective should be the sum total of the student’s individual goals. For instance, let’s say that a middle school band director has determined that an end of the year trip will cost $3,000.

If he has 50 students, then each student will need to bring in $60 in profit. If he knows that the average profit earned off of each item sold is about $5, then each student will need to sell 12 items.

If the sponsor is tracking student progress by items sold, the sponsor may want to set the following goals:

  • Day 1: 3 items
  • Midway Point: 6 items
  • End of Sale: 12 items

However, while it’s obvious that goal-setting is an important indicator, it will only help with the immediate sale at hand. It turns out that there are more ways that can help determine success than merely striving for and reaching your school fundraising goal.

Sponsors who are able to effectively analyze their past campaign performances can actually improve future sales results. Here are some other things to consider if your objective is to make even more money over time.

Questions to Consider When Developing Fundraising Strategies

How Would Your Customers Rate Your Fundraising Products?

Nothing influences future sales more. If you could ask your buyers to rate the quality of what they purchased, what would they say? Was the quality great, just ok, or was it unsatisfactory? How did the cookies taste out of the oven?

If your customers liked their product then they may be more apt to buy next time. On the contrary, if they didn’t, you may never know why you lost a sale. Either way, you’ll probably feel the impact with your next fundraiser.

Repeatedly striving to offer quality merchandise at acceptable prices can make a big difference. Nothing’s better than having a positive reputation that you’ve been able to build over time in your community. This only happens when you actively listen to feedback and make changes when necessary.

One suggestion would be to survey your teachers, parents and community. Both good and bad feedback can be positive.

How Did Your Students Like the Incentives?

Your students might have been excited at the kickoff, but how did they ultimately respond? The truth is always in the numbers. Especially with younger students, their primary motivation is the prize program. Were the better prizes worth the extra selling effort?

And what about the quality? Did you hear complaints about the cheaper prizes falling apart? Most parents will tell you that most of the prizes offered by fundraising companies are dollar-store quality. If your students didn’t like the prizes, what makes you think they'll be excited about your next campaign?

Discover 3 Free School Fundraising Incentives that Get Results

How Would You Rate the School Fundraising Company?

To earn your business, most companies make a lot of promises up front. But did they deliver? If mistakes were made, did they work to resolve them quickly? Here are some questions that you should ask before you sign up:

  • Will you receive student packets or bulk supplies?
  • What type of instruction will you receive on how to run and process your sale?
  • Will you be provided with useful promotional tips?
  • How will your merchandise be delivered, bulk or prepacked?

It turns out that reaching your sales goal is important, but it’s only one measuring stick. What goes on before your next fundraiser can be just as significant. A well thought out checklist of what matters to you, your school as well as your community will help ensure your success well into the future.

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