School Fundraising: There Must be a Better Way
Most school fundraising models involve selling cookies, chocolate bars, smencils, gift wrap, poinsettias, and scratch cards. Leaving you with a bunch of stuff you don't need, and a stomach ache from all of the candy. Schools have continued to see devastating budget cuts, and the things that used to be deemed as 'necessary' educational tools, are now regarded as 'extra'. Fundraising has become a necessary part to keep many music, drama, art, and sport programs afloat. Since you're fundraising 'extra', you need 'extra' help, not 'extra' stuff.
So here are some School Fundraising Tips.
Common Problems with School Fundraisers:
Setting Unrealistic Goals
- We all want to raise a million dollars for our school, but lets be realistic about it! Try to break it down by the numbers: how many parents and community supporters can donate and at what amount? Set Goals that can be obtained with a little help from everyone. It feels better to SMASH your goal than to come up short.
Repeating the Same Old Way of Fundraising
- Are you going to get the parent community excited about buying more rolls of gift wrap? What about adding more tubs of cookie dough to their freezers? Bingo night? Car wash?... Not so much.
- We know it is hard to come up with new and exciting ways to fundraise throughout the year, but it is the best way to build anticipation for fundraising events.
- You also have to keep in mind the ways other schools in your area are fundraising. You'll have a much better chance of raising funds if your fundraiser is unique!
Being Unclear of Fundraising Purpose
- There are so many programs within a school that require additional funding, but your donators want to know exactly which ones they are donating to. Whether it be new gym equipment, textbooks, or supplies, it is information that needs to be conveyed clearly and explicitly. You're fundraising for a worthy cause, so make sure the community knows exactly what that cause is.
- Parents are a huge force behind any school function, event, and fundraising effort; but it must be remembered they are among the busiest people out there. They are a resource you want to use, but not to squander. Treat the parent volunteers well, spread out their responsibilities at events, and rotate those who are called upon.
- With so much money to be raised, many schools hold numerous fundraising events and campaigns throughout the year. It can become excessive and exhausting to mobilize with enthusiasm around each and every cause.
- It may be better to hold a few large fundraising campaigns/events throughout the year, rather than a new one each week. Give your volunteers, students, and the parents' wallets a break, and you'll see significant increases in your raised funds.
Failing to Thank
- The notion of thank you cards may be outdated, but saying 'Thank You' is timeless! However you can contact your supporters; whether it be email, Facebook, or a school newsletter, let them know they are appreciated and that the money donated was put to good use.
You've made it to the end of the list, but you may still be wondering what kind of 'unique' fundraising method you could try for your school.
Imagine one that allowed you to set realistic expectations, was a new way to fundraise, clearly stated the purpose, didn't require a band of volunteers, wasn't exhausting, and allowed you to automatically thank your donators?
That's where funding change comes in – set up an online raffle to raise extra funds for the things that shouldn't be 'extra'.