What to know about letting your students decide.
Some sponsors prefer to let their students make the fundraising decision. They feel that since the students will be doing the work, they should have a say in what they’ll sell.
Giving them this responsibility can also inspire them to take ownership of the sale. They’ll learn about making the right choice based on what they think people will want to buy.
To be successful, high school groups must buy into what they’re selling, regardless of who decides on the brochure. It seems logical to let your students decide, but does it always work? Before letting your students decide on the fundraiser, here are some things you should consider.
1. Type of Fundraising Group
Some groups are more student-driven. For example, a student council group exposes students to leadership experiences and decision-making responsibilities. These students can research the various fundraising opportunities and decide for the group.
It’s more difficult for groups that don’t have students in leadership positions to make an informed decision. In this case, the sponsor usually makes the fundraising decision.
An exception might be booster clubs that usually have parents making the decisions.
2. Sponsor Leadership Styles
Some sponsors are influential leaders because they’re good at delegating. Their students understand that the sponsor is ultimately in charge, but they’re expected to make some of the group’s decisions. These sponsors can be motivational, inspiring, and often lead by example.
Other sponsors prefer to be in charge of every group decision. They feel they have a better feel for what campaigns their community will support. These sponsors can also be good at establishing and enforcing student sales goals. They tend to provide strong direction and accountability.
Regardless of the approach to making the fundraising decision, sponsors should still have the final say on what their group ends up selling.
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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.