Discover how to improve school fundraising sales by gaining support from 3 key groups of people
What are your most important school fundraising goals for fall 2019? If you haven’t already asked yourself this question, it’s never too late to do so. When thinking about goal setting, many people turn to the acronym SMART. MindTools does a good job of explaining this powerful acronym. The “S” stands for ‘specific’. In other words, it’s important that you and your team knows exactly what you’re attempting to accomplish and that you have a clear objective.
Once you know what you’re raising money for, it’s important to be able to ‘measure’ your goals so you can track them and keep your sellers motivated along the way by sharing the progress.
However, unless your goal is ‘achievable’ you won’t be that successful. Depending on what you’re raising money for, working together, everyone should be able to accomplish it with a reasonable amount of effort. You can always set higher goals for those who are willing to work harder, but make sure to reward your overachievers accordingly.
Next is to make sure your goal is ‘relevant’. Is you purpose really that important? Have you surveyed others to find out where they feel the greatest needs might be? If it’s going to be worthwhile to the majority of others, you have a much better chance of achieving success. It’s important that everyone is on the same page.
And perhaps most important, make sure that you set a ‘time-limit’ on your fundraiser. Having more time to sell doesn’t necessarily translate into raising more money. Too much time may be an excuse for procrastination. You need to find a balance between giving people enough time, and creating a little sense of urgency. In other words, how much do you expect your students to sell and how soon do you expect them to accomplish it?
Once you’ve answered these questions, now we can address the monetary question. Do you want to bring in more school fundraising sales in 2019 than you did in 2018? Of course you do. A lot of schools are asking that question so you’re not alone. You can try an ‘attention-getter’ brochure that contains unique products, or offer a more exciting prize program to motivate more students. These things can definitely make a difference.
But if you really want to raise more money this year, you’re going to have to win over the support of the following 3 groups of people. Here are our tips that can help you do just that.
1. Gain School Administrator Support
The most important person that you can have on your side is the school administration. Without the support of the principal, your sale will be half of what it could be. He or she can become your greatest ally. They may already have a lot on their plate, but your job is to convince them that your cause will improve the school.
Take the time to set up a quick meeting to discuss your objectives with them. This shows respect and gives them the opportunity to ask questions. Be sure to also ask for their feedback. Perhaps they’ll be able to offer some unique perspectives. However, your primary objective is to ask for their involvement. Here are some ways they might be able to help that won’t take up too much time:
- Introduce the fundraiser. It’s important to set a strong tone from the beginning. Start your kickoff assembly by having the principal address the students. Most students will respect what the principal has to say and will have a better appreciation for your sale. You will then want them to conclude the assembly with some impacting remarks.
- Perform the daily announcements. It’s a good idea to have a few short scripts already prepared for them to read to the students during morning announcements. It could be as simple as reminding them about a couple of the big prizes to announcing the winners from a recent prize drawing. Make sure you have different scripts that are relevant for each day.
- Do something fun. Nothing is better than motivating your students to reach a goal in exchange for getting the principal to do something fun and exciting. It’s like a challenge or a bet between the students and the principal. This is the one time that the students get to be on an equal footing with the principal. Get your students really excited at your kickoff assembly by asking the principal to explain what they’ll do if the sales goal is reached.
Some ideas might include taping the principal to the wall, wear their pajamas to school or kiss a pig, for example. Your students will be excited about the opportunity to see the principal do something fun.
2. Get Teacher Buy-In
Getting the teachers to buy into your school fundraising project is also very important. They are the ones who see your students the most while they’re at school. Set up a meeting with them before your fundraiser and explain how the money will impact them directly. If they understand how the money will help their students as well as the school, they’ll be more apt to get involved. They can help you:
- Remind their students to sell each day
- Collect order forms and money for their class once the sale is over
- Do something fun as a reward to the students for selling
Be sure to bring a light snack or beverage to the meeting as a way to show your appreciation for their time.
3. Facilitate Parent Participation
Parental involvement is critical to your success. Your parents must believe that what you’re attempting to accomplish is going to be important to their children. If they don’t, your students won’t be allowed to participate.
If possible, plan to introduce your fundraiser at an upcoming parent meeting. Some of our schools that utilize our Big Event prize incentives show a promotional video at their parent night. Let them know about your campaign by sending home a parent letter in your student packets as well as announcing it on the school marquee. Reaching out on social media is also a powerful way to reach your parents.
Raising money is a team sport; therefore it will be important to get these people on board from the beginning. By gaining their support for your cause, you'll definitely increase school fundraising sales and possibly even exceed this year’s goals.