The truth behind why fundraising groups succeed.
Most people measure school fundraiser success by how much money is brought in. Many are inclined to think that only wealthy schools have highly successful sales. It seems logical because these areas are more affluent and have the most money to give. But this isn't always the case.
The opposite can also be true. We've worked with groups in wealthy areas with poor sales due to low participation. On the other hand, organizations from less affluent regions tend to understand that they can't write a check to pay for necessities. Then what defines a successful sale?
Achievement is relative. To answer this question, you must define what success means to your group specifically. And to do that, you must first set a financial goal. Then it'll be essential to take a closer look at what it will take to achieve it. Here are some things to consider if you're looking to improve your school fundraising success:
Wealth Doesn't Determine Fundraising Success
In a nutshell, not even close. Quite the opposite can be true. We've worked with many lower-income schools that outperformed schools located in higher-income neighborhoods. School fundraiser success doesn't come to the neighborhood, school staff, parents, or students. Instead, attitude, commitment, and unity are far more critical, which are traits that can be possessed by any group, regardless of socioeconomics.
The Group Sponsor Will Drive the Sale
The most important person in determining the success of your sale is the person in charge of it. Everything starts and ends with the sponsor; the more passionate you are, the better. Successful sponsors care a great deal about their school and, as a result, their sales. They realize that the more money they raise, the more they'll be able to impact their students. Their sale is actively and consistently promoted to their students, parents, and staff. They take full advantage of the limited time they have to sell. These people always seem to prevail, regardless of any obstacles.
Attributes of Successful Sponsors
What follows are a few of the attributes that we've found most successful sponsors have:
With the right leader, school fundraiser success can happen.
Commit to a Quality Fundraiser Experience
What kind of experience do you hope everyone will have with your fundraiser? Here are some questions to ponder:
- Will your customers like the quality of the merchandise?
- How motivated will your students be by the incentives?
- How do you plan to keep your parents informed?
These are just a few things we hope will automatically happen but don't always plan for in advance. A positive overall perception of your fundraiser will make all the difference, especially if you want people to participate in future sales.
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.
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.