Fundraising Tips-Reap Your Potential

Most school fundraisers have the same goal—to make as much money as possible with a campaign that operates in a way that is as organized as possible.  Whether it’s new playground equipment, new computers or summer camp for cheerleaders, a focus on ‘organization’ will prove to be the key to a fundraiser’s success; and part of that organization mindset will involve insight on how to increase fundraising sales.

Here are a few proven suggestions that can, and will, make a difference with your campaign’s success.

Organization, Organization!

1:  Promote:

Start promoting your sale about a month before the campaign even begins.  Not only that, but continue to promote your fundraiser as it takes place.  Initially, do an email blast through the school or PTO website informing parents concerning start date, types and prices of products, etc.  Lunch menus that go home as well as newsletters, outdoor signs in front of the school and in parents’ yards (with permission, of course) will get attention; and the word will spread like wildfire.

During the sale, another mass email, as well as a reminder on the school’s website, can do an impressive job of keeping the spirit of the campaign alive. 

2:  Designate:

You’ll want to designate the reason for the campaign:  “Please help us raise money for much-needed playground equipment!” or “With your purchase, you can help us add four computers or our tech lab.”—Very few individuals would be able to say ‘no’ to a young person’s request.  By designating the reason for the fundraiser, it adds a very legitimate, personal touch and customers are much more likely to purchase when they know, specifically, how the revenues will be used.

3:  Decide:

Decide on a theme or slogan that will reflect your efforts such as “Your Contribution Achieves A Solution!”  Something catchy will help to add a dimension of professionalism and cleverness to your campaign’s efforts, which, also, has the potential to pump up sales.

4:  Limit:

By limiting a fundraiser to only one a year and letting customers know that, you create another way to increase sales potential.  Psychologically, when people realize this is your only chance in the year to raise funds, they are more apt to, sympathetically, contribute to the cause.

5:  Label as a ‘Gift’:

Definitely let customers know how your product can serve as a gift for someone they know.  The rational becomes obvious when customers realize they buy gifts, anyway!  Customers will view your product, now, from a completely different perspective.  Research indicates people tend to buy more when ‘gift-giving’ becomes part of the equation.

6:  Deviate:

Be willing to deviate from the norm.  Cookies and candy bars are great, but by offering products that affect one’s emotions, sales can increase.  Pet products, for example, would be a challenge for pet-lovers to decline.  Faith-based items and flower-bulbs could be added to the mix for an eclectic selection that would appeal to a variety of personal preferences.

7:  Timing:

The adage, “Timing is Everything” holds a lot of validity.  A couple months before Christmas, for example,  most people are in the ‘Christmas spirit’ and are much more willing to purchase items, especially when they know the items you offer provide inexpensive yet quality gifts for someone on their list.  Many customers would view your coming to them as a way to eliminate much of their own holiday rush of shopping here, there and everywhere.

This only scratches the surface regarding ideas to expand your profit margin without necessarily using of a professional fundraising organization such as Signature Fundraising.  Here is the bottom line:  have fun, stay motivated, majorly promote your cause, use only high-quality products, remain organized and above all else, stay safe!  

Karen continues to be a valuable resource on raising funds, which she has focused much of her writing efforts on in 2013.  In addition to writing, Karen is a retired school teacher in Nebraska.

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