School fundraising is most successful when you’re able to make contributors feel as if their participation in your fundraiser and their contribution to it truly will make a difference for your school. Many people do have a philanthropic spirit and would like to help deserving organizations, especially school sponsored organizations, in any way they can. The job of fundraising is to convince them that your school is sincere about using the funds for the purpose they are being raised.
Traditional and Non-Traditional Options
When a group within your school like the athletic department needs to raise funds, there are many options. There are the traditional options of selling things like coupon books that people may or may not use, and consumable goods like popcorn, candy bars, baked goods through bake sales, or car washes. Some schools have found that custom blankets featuring the school or team logo work well as a non-traditional and fun alternative fundraising option.
People who buy these blankets feel as if they’re getting good value for their money, and warm blankets are a great accessory to have for cold nights when parents, friends and community residents are in the stands attending a football game and supporting the school team. School spirit is something that schools try to raise when they have a fundraiser. Making those who buy your fundraising goods feel good about their purchase is a great way to encourage participation in future fundraisers!
Essential Things to Know About School Fundraising
Once everyone is aware of the best practices in approaching prospective buyers and the best things to do to raise needed funds, chances are your fundraiser will be a success. It will also probably be something that everyone enjoyed participating in. A big key to success is to give everyone a positive feeling about the tasks involved, and about achieving the ultimate goal. Here are some ideas that may help when you’re fundraising:
– Have Clear Expectations — Hold meetings before you start to raise funds so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, and is fully informed about what they are offering to customers. Try to foster a true desire in them to want to raise funds. Help them to clearly see the goals and expectations beforehand so everyone is on the same page
– Review Fundraising Methods — Review the methods you want people to follow when raising funds. Stress the most important things to bring up when talking to someone about investing in your fundraiser, and when you’re trying to convince people to buy the things you’re trying to sell
– Be Respectful of Time — When you’re approaching someone about buying what you’re selling, whether it’s a service of some type or a tangible item like custom blankets, always stress to your sellers that they should have respect for people’s time. People today are so maxed out with meetings, work related tasks, kid’s schedules, appointments and personal tasks, it’s hard for them to find a moment to just breathe. This is when being respectful of the few minutes they are taking to listen to your sales presentation is extremely important
– Make Buying Easy — Try to make buying what you’re selling in your fundraiser as easy as possible. Help them to see how much they will help with their investment or donation, instead of getting into the fine details of what a great organization you’re representing
– Capture Attention — Make your pitch fun to listen to, and try to come up with things that may tug at the heartstrings of the people you want to buy from you. Let them feel as if buying will truly make them partners in furthering an admirable goal, like providing high quality athletic programs for your students. Try to learn about the people you are making your pitch to, so you can effectively appeal to their interests
– Be Grateful — Having a grateful outlook towards anyone who invests in what you’re selling goes a long way to foster good community feelings towards your school or organization. When people know that their act of giving is truly appreciated, they’re more likely to buy from you again or give to your organization again in the future
– Keep in Touch Afterwards — This can be done through personal outreach efforts or through things like community newspaper articles letting people know exactly what their participation in your fundraiser did for your school. Sometimes when people are selling things, it’s easy to forget this simple step of following up. But, it’s such an important step to help ensure future participation in your fundraising efforts
Consider What You Are Selling
As schools today see more of a need for holding fundraising efforts so they can keep providing the programs that kid’s love to participate in and appreciate, it’s more important than ever to be sure that the things you’re selling offer real value to the people you hope to sell to. One of the best things you can do before you decide to undertake a fundraising effort is to give careful consideration to the items you’re offering.
Making sure the items you offer give your prospective customers real value is crucial, since people seem to be more careful today with what they choose to spend their money on. Choosing an item or items that are practical, useful, attractive, colorful and desirable is smart on the part of school organizations. You want to choose items that enhance school spirit and represent your school well.
Things like custom blankets do this in a smart way by giving buyers real usefulness for their money, as they attractively express school spirit. Buyers can be proud to bring their blanket with them to football games on cold fall nights to show their unwavering team support. Just be sure to keep in touch with those who bought from your organization after the fundraiser has ended to ensure the success of future fundraisers.