Successful school fundraisers can happen – with creativity, participation, and planning. Here’s how you can ensure your next fundraiser will more profitable with less stress.
Of course, creating successful school fundraisers is the goal of all school and parent volunteers as they plan their fundraising calendar. But, given the range of challenges fundraising presents – time, volunteers, participation, you name it! – it’s SO important to get out ahead. Here are six tips to help you and your organization ensure greater success for your next fundraiser.
- Numero uno! Think ahead – start planning early. As with any big undertaking, the earlier you get things started, the better. Give yourself and your volunteers more lead-time and, chances are, you’ll probably raise more money for your efforts. Spring fundraiser? Get the ball rolling early in the new year. Fundraising in the fall? Lay the groundwork even before school lets out for summer to give everyone the time they need to hit the ground running when school starts in September. Give yourself a couple of months to ensure your best chances of success.
- Assign help. You can’t do this alone! Let’s face it, the success of your school fundraisers will only be as strong as your team. Leverage the skills and talents of your volunteers to help assign the critical roles necessary to be successful. If you can choose:
- OCD/Type A Coordinator. This person may, in fact, be you, but you’ll need help! Be sure to ask a like-minded volunteer who can take some of the organizing and management off your hands who can help track the fundraising milestones, take charge of reporting, managing task lists and deadlines.
- Communications Volunteer. Communications – email, social media, website, press releases, and others – are critical. It can also be time-consuming. Ask that parent who is good with words – sending out short, encouraging reminders to the team and your community of parents throughout the fundraiser.
- Counting Beans. Any fundraiser comes down to the money. Ask someone good with numbers to keep track of the funds and banking.
- Know where the money goes. Do you know what you’re raising the money for? Do you know how much money is required to make it happen? Identify clear, specific goals. This information will keep everyone on the same page as well as keep the team motivated and focused. Understand the goal and you can use it to promote your fundraiser and generate more interest. Help your donor community visualize the good things their money will do.
- Communicate! Put your communications volunteer to work – clear, simple communication keeps things on track and helps keep the team in the loop. Be sure everyone knows what’s coming up, what to expect, share details with parents and donors, remind students of their responsibilities, give participants the information they need to collect funds and fulfill orders.
- Expand the reach. Don’t assume that your fundraiser is only relevant to your community. Consider taking it to a wider audience and a whole new community of donors. Whether it’s through social media or including your workplace or other activities (book club, place of worship) you’ll find more eager donors.
- Utilize helpful tools. Fundraising is so much easier when you use helpful tools. Shameless plug: an application like Fundables App can streamline the entire lifecycle of any fundraiser, to help your organization expand reach, collect funds, and make more money. We’re here to assist you with the fundraising process so you can reach your goals.
BONUS TIP: This point cannot be overstated – don’t forget to say “thank you.” You have to let your volunteer team know their tireless efforts are appreciated. Consider simple thank you cards made by the kids or a celebratory BBQ to wrap up the fundraiser. You also want to extend gratitude to those who supported your fundraiser – thank you notes or even a community announcement goes a long way toward boosting community spirit and ensuring they participate in your next fundraiser.