Simple ways to help your small group thrive
Compared to a larger group, small fundraiser groups typically have better participation percentage rates as well as higher items sold per student averages. One big reason is that sponsors can typically have a greater influence on fewer students. It’s true that larger schoolwide elementary schools usually bring in more money, but only because they have a larger student body to work with.
It can also be said that smaller organizations, which are often made up of high school students, have more ‘skin in the game’. Thus they have a greater understanding about the importance of commitment and the need to take ownership. Their motivations can stem from wanting to please a coach, to parents understanding that fundraising is their opportunity to help absorb the cost of expensive cheerleader uniforms.
Regardless, group unity can be big with small fundraiser groups and good sponsors will do all they can to take advantage of it. Here’s how.
Have an Organized Fundraiser Meeting
This is one big reason why elementary schools end up bringing in a lot of money. They’re able to get their fundraiser rolling by hyping up their students from the start. This creates a strong foundation and helps create needed momentum. Unfortunately too many smaller group sponsors don’t feel it’s necessary to have a formal meeting beforehand.
The fundraiser kickoff gives you the opportunity to not only establish your goals and expectations, but also instill in your students a sense of taking ownership. Checking to make sure that your students are clear on the process is also an important step in ensuring their success.
Periodically Reinforce Your Sales Goal
The kickoff is when you explain your selling expectations; however you’ll also need to keep reinforcing your goal throughout the sale. Periodically check in with your students by asking them how much they’ve sold so far. You can even make a fun game out of it by offering incentives if they can prove that they’re keeping up with the sale. To be eligible, they have to be willing to show you their order forms and money collection envelopes. You might even consider doing something like rewarding the student who’s collected the most money by the halfway point.
Learn how to establish your fundraiser goal
Use Additional Fundraising Incentives
This cannot be emphasized enough. Don’t be satisfied with the complimentary prize program offered by the company. Yes, it gives every student the opportunity to win something for participating, but it’s usually not all that inspiring. So don’t rely on it exclusively. Unless you reinforce your basic prize program with additional fundraising incentives, many of your students will simply ignore it.
Small fundraiser groups may not be able to compete with larger organizations when it comes to the sheer number of sellers, but they can definitely win in many other aspects. You just need to know how to leverage what you already have.
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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.