Learn the importance of goal setting
Let’s face it, raising money can be difficult. Perhaps that unique product didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped it would. Or maybe it was seller apathy. If you’re struggling with your fundraiser projects, you’re not alone.
Nonprofits come and go. Yet most public schools survive regardless of how well their groups raise money. That is, thanks to the support of our tax dollars. But there will always be a need for extra money. Unlike many nonprofits, school fundraisers are here to stay.
Our approach to raising money is often backwards. Instead of attempting to sell a great product, we need to draw people in by convincing them of the need. You must first see a genuine need then come up with a solution. Then of course the next step is getting people to buy in.
So what impact will the money have on your school community? Will people get to see, or even experience the fruits of their labor? If you’re only attempting to ‘fill the coffer’, people will never see where the money’s going. This is why sales campaigns become routine and lethargic. No wonder participation wanes. Instead, people should see it as a mission that they’ll care about and can rally around.
Here are 3 questions to you should be asking yourself before your next school fundraiser:
- How are Goals Important to School Fundraisers?
Goal setting is what will help students move forward in life. They give us all a compass and provide feedback. Goals also teach them the importance of committing to a task and completing it.
Fundraisers with goals communicate confidence in the campaign. It shows that you believe in your cause and that you know where you want to end up.
Unfortunately, some schools will figure out how to use the money once they have it. This is backwards thinking and ‘puts the cart before the horse’.
People tend not to support a campaign if they don’t know where the money’s going. But having a goal gives you the opportunity to establish trust and accountability. How? You get to put the results on full display. Once that new marquee goes up, everyone will see it. This helps build trust towards future campaigns. Plus you can use it to promote your next fundraiser.
2. How Are You Communicating Your School Fundraiser Goal?
Once you’ve established your goal it’s important to get the word out. Here are some suggestions:
- Plan a sit-down meeting with your group to discuss your objectives.
- Create a ‘how-to’ information letter and share it with your participants. Ask them to share it with their parents.
- Make arrangements to announce your fundraiser at a meeting that people already plan to be at. For example, a back to school night, PTA, or parent night function.
- Share your cause on social media and put it on your website.
- Make posters and post them around your school.
- Announce it on your marquee.
3. How Are You Helping Your Students Succeed?
Set individual seller goals based upon how much money your group as a whole needs to raise. Make sure your students are working towards their goal by reminding them to sell every day.
You can even track student progress. Ask your students to show their order forms and money envelopes at various times during the sale. Students can also receive incentives during these check-in days.
Make your fundraiser interactive and engaging. Larger schools usually encourage selling by announcing their sale over the intercom. Some schools get even more creative by incorporating prize drawings into their announcements. If you use video announcements, show students actually winning the prizes. This will encourage others to get involved.
Establishing your purpose and working towards your goal is hard work. But everyone will know in the end that school fundraisers are worth the effort after all.