Big Event Reptile Adventures is not only entertaining, it’s also educational. As a result, it's easy to understand why school sponsors feel that every student would benefit. In a perfect world, everyone will sell the required minimum from their brochure to gain admission to the show.
Unfortunately, that may not happen. Everyone knows up front that to go to one of our big events they have to sell a minimum amount of items. Is it fair then to only allow sellers who qualify to attend the show? Actually, enforcing this requirement helps to generate sales.
Here are some things you'll want to think about before allowing those who didn't reach the 5 item sales goal to attend:
Shouldn’t Everyone Go to the Reptile Show?
Ultimately the school decides, but if you're considering the idea of allowing everyone to attend regardless of if they sold or not, you may want to rethink this idea. You may have to deal with the following issues:
- Your parents who did work to reach the goal may not be happy that those who didn’t sell get to go as well.
- This may adversely affect your sales the following year. Parents who sold enough may not work as hard again.
- Sellers will realize they don’t have to sell to attend the reptile show the next time.
Some Possible Solutions
- You may want to consider charging an admission fee to those who didn't reach their sales goal. This will make you a little additional money while giving those students another opportunity to go. It also helps justify the work put in by those who did reach the goal because they won’t have to pay. However, you still face the possibility of compromising next year’s fundraiser since sellers will realize they only have to pay the admission fee to attend the event next time. Also, some parents who did help their students reach the goal may think this is unfair. If you end up going this route we recommend not revealing it until the selling is completed. The reason is that you're providing a way for people to not have to sell. You'll make a lot more money from those who sell and reach the goal than those who simply pay a small admission fee.
- Another possible option is to allow those who didn’t reach the goal to sit behind those who did. Again in this scenario you are dealing with possible negative effects with future sales. You may not be able to enforce the goal as easily next time.
Why Enforcing the Fundraising Goal is Best
The goal is to continue to increase your sales year after year. This is done by drawing in additional sellers who didn’t previously meet the admission goal. They will hear from their peers about how much fun they had at the reptile show and won't want to miss out on it again. ‘Word of mouth’ is a powerful motivator.
If you remain consistent with what was initially promoted to your students and parents by sticking to the goal requirement, you won't have to answer any questions later. This will help reinforce your program’s credibility while encouraging additional participation next time.
Remember, it’s a fundraiser first and your primary purpose is to raise as much money as possible.