Sticky space

School Fundraising: 5 Ways to Improve Results by 50%

By Clay Boggess on Jan 4, 2020
School Fundraising: 5 Ways to Improve Results by 50%

Discover five easy ways to improve your sale that won’t cost money.

Regarding fundraisers, at least in the beginning, most students envision themselves winning the biggest and best prizes. The kickoff assembly is designed to get everyone excited to go out and sell to their family and friends. And by design, students head home with their info packets, eager to start their sales journey.

So why do so few students end up realizing their dream? What happens between the school fundraising kickoff and the end of the sale?

Well, as it turns out, a lot. At no fault to the students, a few parents may choose not to participate. Some families are probably too busy and may have too much going on. Students themselves often become distracted by other things.

These are all legitimate excuses; however, the most common reason is underestimating the time and work involved in making the sales. Students become fixated on those big prizes but don’t realize how many items they’ll need to sell to win them.

Most will fall short if they don’t have a practical plan to make the process easier. The key is communicating and getting your students and parents to implement these relatively simple strategies successfully.

Maximizing fundraiser results is not just about how excited students become about the prizes and hoping that motivates them to sell. Instead, they need to become big sellers because they utilize the tools you gave them. This will lead to their success and help you reach your financial goal.

Here are five school fundraising ideas to help you improve sales by 50% or more.

1. Get Family Members Involved

Have you asked your students to get their family members involved? For many parents, this is a no-brainer. Fundraising is a team sport; any selling should be done with the student or the parents themselves.

Talking about this at the kickoff is essential, but asking them again the next day is just as crucial. For example, you can ask them, “How many of your parents have already made sales by taking the brochure to work?”

Periodically checking in with your students is also essential. You can even have them alternate between asking different family members to help. Everyone has a different network of friends and contacts. For instance, they can ask Mom to take it one day, then Dad the next. This way, students have multiple sellers working on their behalf, which will significantly increase sales.

2. Start Selling Early

The early bird always gets the worm. Think about it. How many times do you want to be approached to purchase items? Many will only buy from the first couple of students that ask them. Be sure to remind your students to start selling as soon as possible after kickoff. You don’t want to be that student who hears, “I already bought from another student from your school”.

To encourage early selling, you may even consider offering a special prize to the student who makes the most sales after the first day. This works particularly well with older students. Statistics show that a strong start usually leads to a productive sale.

3. Don’t Approach Strangers

Selling is a numbers game. So the more people you approach, the better, right? Not necessarily. Strangers typically don’t support students they don’t know. Remind students to only talk to friends and family about making a purchase. These people are much more apt to buy because they usually have some vested interest in them.

Extended family, neighbors, and close family friends make good potential customers. Creating a prospect list of people to speak with is highly recommended.

4. Set Daily School Fundraising Goals

Breaking the sale down into smaller goals is always better. Why? Daily goals allow students to focus on what they need to do today. Tomorrow will always take care of itself. This way, they can set an easy-to-reach goal. For example, selling 2-3 items daily is reasonable and will add up. Encourage students to keep going until they reach their goal and stop once they do.

Check out five reasons why goal setting will improve your focus.

Constantly remind your group that it is much better to establish a consistent pattern and sell just a few items daily than to attempt to sell a lot sporadically or wait until the last minute. Ask them to set and commit to their daily item goal. Perhaps they can base it on what prize they’re aiming for.

We always recommend establishing a specific fundraiser goal for your group as well.

5. Promote Multiple Selling Methods

If you’ve hired a fundraising company, they’ll most likely offer a way to make sales online. You should promote your online store just as heavily as you do sales through the brochure.

Online selling allows you to leverage additional sales tools, such as reaching out to people via email and texting. Times have changed. Online selling now accounts for a considerable percentage of total sales, and for many schools, the majority.

Many parents will only allow their students to make sales online. The beauty is it’s simple and requires minimal effort.

Social media is a great way to advertise your fundraiser, but it can be even better for online sales. You can provide the link to your company’s online store and encourage your parents to do the same. Students who take advantage of these types of resources usually experience a lot of success.

Sponsors should be looking for ways to get more students to participate while at the same time finding creative ways that will make each seller more productive. If they don’t, they may be leaving money on the table.

Are you looking for more fundraising tips and advice? Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter, where we share our expertise in school fundraising best practices and other helpful information.

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.

Join the discussion