Why is it most schools doing fundraising do not apply the principals you see discussed below, I have no clue. Maybe because most schools are trained to focus on the wrong things while choosing and planning a fundraiser.
School fundraising companies by nature emphasize their product lines and brochures. But that doesn’t answer the question why the school down the street that picked your second or third choice had a better sale! Your fundraising success has less to do with which brochure you pick (Don’t they all look pretty much the same anyway?) than with how you run the sale. Even profit % means little in how much money a school makes if the sale lacks the one key ingredient… MOTIVATION!
Here are the top 2 secrets on school fundraising that if heeded will make all the difference in your final profit.
First Secret - Run Your School Fundraising Event as Early in the School Year As Possible.
Deciding when to start the fundraiser can mean thousands in profit gained or profit lost. It is a well known fact that the first group to go into an office or neighborhood with their fundraising materials to ask for orders has higher sales than the groups that follow second or third or forth. Timing, however, is not the number one reason schools have profitable fundraisers.
Each month delay from the start of school that you put off starting your fundraiser will take $6.00 off every students sale! Multiply that by 500 students and a mid October kickoff and that school is missing out on $6,000 in sales simply by choosing that date on the calendar! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that waiting till close to Christmas would be a good time to start your sale. It sounds reasonable, but the stats don’t confirm that at all. THE Main secret coming next…
Second Secret- (The Main Thing!) The Thing That Affects Your School Fundraiser Most is How You Run Your Sale.
Two similar elementary schools can have excellent leadership and both be excited and they both start their sale on the same date. They both can do everything they know to maximize their sale, so WHY can there be $5 - $10,000 difference in results?
Ready? Here is the number one, the most important, the “Big Kahuna” secret of all. Program Management (how you run the sale) is the most important element in running a successful fundraiser. You may Say, “I knew that but what is wrong with the way I run our fundraiser now?” The main problem I think is that not many fundraising companies train the fundraising sponsors in how to properly run their sales. In the interest of “getting the sale” they let the school have the lead, especially when dealing with a “headstrong” sponsor.
There are a couple of key elements in Program Management:
- Set Goals
- Have a Memorable Fundraiser Kick Off
- Keep the Excitement Up During the Sale
- Place Emphasis on Motivating Students and Teachers
The most important factor for changing the results for a better School fundraising event is the motivation you provide to the students and the teachers. The main reason why one elementary can have an $19,000 sale while the another, very similar elementary, will have a $40,000 sale is the way they do their incentives for students and teachers! It would surprise you how easy it is to do.
We at AIM have a saying “Kids can sell $5 bills for $10 and do real well if you motivate them right.” So part of your job in fundraising will be to find out what truly motivates your students and teachers! This can have a dramatic impact on your fundraising sales! For more information or ideas of prizes for elementary schools, visit http://www.aimfundraising.com/prizes.htm