School Fundraiser Dos and Don’ts for Success

With all the government cuts to education, schools are constantly in need of money to fund various sports and social clubs for students. Every school activity – from band to the football team, and from the debate club to the cheerleading squad, require funds in order to purchase new equipment, instruments, travel expenses and uniforms.

Without government funding the parents are left to pick up the bill. However, for those unfortunate students whose parents can't afford basketball jerseys and new clarinets, there is hope in school fundraisers.

Every parent can probably sympathize with your frustration in having to participate in another fundraiser to fund your daughter's cheerleading squad or your son's baseball team. It's not only hard on the wallet, when you're constantly being approached by your child or teen to shill out another $20 for candles, candy bars or magazines to fund their school; it's also a major time drain when you're asked to bake for school fundraisers or help your child sell door-to-door.

As a caring parent, you likely feel obligated to support your child's school career. That's why it's important when you're spending your time and money on school fundraisers that they're successful. No one wants to spend time and money on fundraisers that fall short.

We've taken the guessing game out of fundraising for you. Check out our fundraising dos and don'ts to make this fundraising season an easier and more profitable one.

School Fundraising Don'ts

Always use the same volunteers – The same parents and teachers shouldn't be responsible for multiple fundraisers in a row – they will burn out. Instead, create a rotating list of volunteers and divide them into fundraising groups.

Use the same fundraising idea repeatedly – Ever hear the saying “there's always too much of a good thing”? Well too many fundraisers are just that! Schedule your fundraisers per season. People will get tired of you always asking them for money, offering the same product, or doing the same thing.

Don't always count on the parents to bail you out – Fundraisers require a lot of time and effort from parents. Sure you need chaperones, but if the children are old enough to do the selling, baking and car wash, then let them do it. Remember, it's the kids who will be benefiting from the money in the long run and it will teach them something about responsibility and earning their way.

Forget to thank your volunteers and donors – Never ask for money without giving anything back. Fundraisers involve a lot of time, effort, on the part of volunteers, especially when you're asking them to basically make “begging calls” or go door-to-door with no acknowledgement. The guilt trips are not enough.

Sure parents, grandparents, and friends of the students may donate simply because the student attends the school, but don't gear your letter towards parents to the tune of “your son/daughter will miss out of the fun of activities or equipment if you don't donate”. When there is time volunteered and donations made you need to find a way to acknowledge it.

Thank them with a card, token or take an ad out in the paper. You will potentially damage relationships with your community contacts by pestering them for money and time without thanking them.

School Fundraising Dos

When you put on a fundraiser, one of your biggest goals should be to involve and teach the children more about earning things that you need. The world doesn't work on donations without getting something back – it's unfortunate, but it's true. Letting kids participate will not only raise energy and morale, but will teach them that by working hard, you have a better chance at getting what you want.

Don't make it all about money – Sure, money is the main focus of fundraising, but so is working together for a common goal and putting pride in your work. When you raise money for your drama club through selling tickets to a play, everyone involved feels good about doing a good job for their organization. Fostering this attitude will ensure that your next fundraiser is a success. Simply asking for money eliminates any of this pride in your work and in your school.

Involve Students – Host a brainstorming session and involve the students. You'll be surprised at the ideas they may come up with!

Get everyone involved – This includes alumni, students, parents, and volunteers – anyone who wants to help. The more help you have, the better your selling season will go, and the more great ideas you'll have.

Give incentives – A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, it'll also encourage people to sell more. Check with your product companies or local businesses to see if they have any incentives to donate for the highest sellers.

Set goals and deadlines – If you're selling product, you'll want to allocate a deadline and a monetary goal to hit. Make sure everyone sticks to them, or your fundraiser will crash and burn.

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