How to Kick Off a Small Group Fundraiser Successfully

Learn how to make small group fundraising productive for both you and your students

If you’re in charge of sponsoring a small group at your school, like a high school choir group or middle school band, your fundraiser kickoff will be crucial to its success. It gives you the opportunity to set the tone for the sale in the minds of your students. The time that you invest in preparing for, and then executing, your kickoff presentation can have a profound affect your outcome.

You haven’t done enough if you think you can simply pass out your materials and say a few words at the end of practice. Like anything else, you’ll get out what you put in. Successful small group fundraising kickoffs should be official planned meetings that require between 30-45 minutes of your student’s time.

Why are Kickoff Meetings Important?

The main reason for the kickoff is to generate excitement and enthusiasm for your sale as well as make sure your students understand what they need to do. You most come across as credible. In other words, your group must see you as organized, passionate and convincing, otherwise they won't buy in. The more passionate you are, the more excited your sellers will be, and the more they will want to get involved. As a result, you will make more money. You must also be prepared to convince your sellers why they should participate.

Do You Have a Fundraiser Purpose?

The very first thing you need to do is communicate your purpose. Don't assume your group will automatically embrace your campaign just because they like you or the group. Once you introduce it, you will need to continue to reinforce it throughout the duration of your sale. If it's important enough to you, it will be important to them. How will you convince your sellers that your purpose is important to them directly? A well communicated purpose will motivate everyone to work harder.

Have a Sales Goal and Reinforce it

How much will each student need to sell to reach the financial goal? Do your calculations ahead of time and come up with a reasonable number based on the amount of time that you’ll have to sell. Make sure that you have your students put this number at the top of their order form. For example, “MY GOAL: 10 or more items by __________ date”. You can do this by:

• First, determining the total amount of money that each seller will need to raise.

• Then take the retail amount (Use $12.00) and multiply it by your profit percentage to determine the total profit/item.

• Finally, divide the total money needed/seller by the total profit/item to come up with the number of items that each seller will need to sell.

Discuss the Fundraising Process

Pass out your supplies and review the following:

  • Order Taker
    • Have your students fill in the spaces at the top and make sure they understand how the order forms will need to be filled out by their customers.
    • Make sure they only talk to neighbors, family and friends and encourage them to ask mom or dad to take the brochure and order form to work.
  • Fundraiser Brochure
    • Review the sales brochure page by page with your sellers.
    • You should familiarize yourself with it prior to the kickoff.
  • Prize Brochure
    • Explain what they can win based on how many items they sell.
    • Share that they only need to sell a few items each day to reach their goal.
  • Parent Letter
    • Make copies of your letter prior to your kickoff and review it with them.
    • Ask them to go over it with their parents.
  • Money Envelopes
    • Explain that money must be collected up front.
    • Checks are made payable to your group.
    • Money and order forms are due back by the turn-in day.

Maintain Student Enthusiasm

Check in with your sellers and talking about the sale daily.

Add Extra Fundraising Incentives

Foster competition between sellers by offering fun yet rewarding additional incentives. Here are some examples:

  • Top Seller after the 1st day.
  • Prize Drawings using coupons.
  • Grand Prize Drawing (Sell 5 to get your name in one time. Then for every additional 5 items sold you get your name in additional times)
  • Top Overall Seller (Reward the one who works the hardest and turns in the most orders)

If you incorporate these ideas into your next fundraiser you will help insure that you reach and exceed your sales goal without having to do additional fundraisers.

Join the discussion