Friday, 24 October 2008

5 Steps For A Successful and Unique Fundraising Campaign

The suggestions that follow may seem a bit off the wall but they they have the distinction of working almost every time they are tried. This article addresses the main reason why some schools do much better than others even when all other factors are are pretty much the same. It is to easy when planning a new fundraiser to focus on the things that don’t make any difference in the outcome of a school fundraising program. Here are five of the right things to you should focus on.

Below you will find four things that a school can do that will greatly affect how profitable their new fundraiser will be.

Step #1 - Profit Percentage Does Not Equal Profits.

A company offering 80% profit on it’s goods vs a company offering a 20% profit margin is not necessarily better for a school. One thing people often overlook is that banks do not accept deposits of percentage. Every bank I know of accepts only money. Profit percentage is the thing that many decision makers look at first when it comes time to pick what they are going to do for their new fundraiser. What I am saying here does not mean profit percentage is not important, but it should not be the school’s first and only priority when choosing their next new and unique fundraiser. It should be the school’s number one goal to raise the maximum profit possible with the least amount of hassles!

Step #2 - The Product You Sell Does Make a Difference, however, Not As Much As You Might Think! Picking just the right product for your new fundraiser does make a difference, but, it does not have the importance that most people think it does. You have probably seen this in your own neighborhood, how two schools will decide to sell cookie dough and they both sell them at the same time and at the same price. But the difference in their results way different! Things like that can lead you to come to the conclusion that it is not the product that makes the difference. So what is it that makes the biggest difference in fundraising results? Hint, see Step #4!

Step #3 - Time Your Fundraiser as Early In the School Year as Possible

When you start your fundraiser is a very important reason for it’s success. It is a fact that is indisputable, the first school to start it’s fundraiser wins. The first sales brochure that goes into the office or neighborhood has higher sales than the ones that come later. However, timing is not the #1 reason why schools have successful fundraisers. Hint, see the next step!

Step #4- How You Run The fundraiser is the Main Factor in it’s Success. (Called “Program Management”)

Program Management is the element that makes all the difference in having a successful fundraiser. You as a fundraising chairperson may know that “How” the school fundraiser is run is critical to it’s success, but the main problem is not many fundraising companies train the sponsors in how to run their sale the right way. On top of that, it is very simple to do.

Follow These Simple Guidelines of Program Management to Get The Most Out of Your Sale.

  • Set High but Realistic Goals for the School
  • A Memorable Kick Off
  • Maintaining Excitement for the Duration of the Sale
  • Find Helpful Volunteers
  • Motivate the Students/Sellers
  • Motivate the Teachers to Promote the Sale.

To maximize the results on a new fundraiser the students/sellers must be motivated to participate in a way that they have not been before. You can provide motivation not only to the students but to the teachers as well.

The main reason why one school will make $8,000 while another similar school will make $15,000, is in what they did with their prizes for students and for the teachers!

There is a saying “Students could sell $5 bills for $10.00 and do real well if you motivate them right.” The most important part of your fundraiser will be to provide incentives that truly motivate more of your students and teachers to get involved in your school fundraiser like they have never done before! A school that typically has a 25% participation rate will more than double with only a 15% increase in participation. Increasing participation by 15% is not a hard thing to do. But you will have to do something different than what you have been doing to accomplish it.

About author:
School fundraising is a very important part of the life of most parent organizations. It stands to reason that if you are going to plan one, you might as well get the most you possibly can out of it. Go to AIM Fundraising’s website to learn exactly what you need to do to make your next school fundraising project the best it can possibly be.

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