6 Tips for organising your next school fundraiser
School fundraisers are fun to manage, but it can be a little overwhelming if it is your first time. Check out our top 6 tips for organising a great school fundraiser and you’re sure to stay on track and achieve amazing results for your school:
1. Form a committee
It is by no means impossible to run a school fundraiser all by yourself, but it’s a whole lot easier with some help! Form a committee or group interested in being part of the school’s fundraising efforts and you will find the old adage of ‘many hands make light work’ to be true. Working together with a group of people also makes working on the fundraiser fun, and that’s exactly how it should be.
2. Have a plan and a budget
Planning is an important element of any project, and this goes for school fundraisers as well. Firstly, set goals for your fundraiser. How much would you like to raise? What do you hope to achieve? And how will you know when you’ve got there?
Secondly, set your timelines. When will you launch the fundraiser? How will you launch it? How long will the fundraiser run? When will it wrap up?
Thirdly, consider your budget. If you have absolutely no budget at all, then you’ll need to be extra creative in marketing your fundraiser. But, if you do have some money, create a budget in a spreadsheet format so that you can consider what costs your fundraiser is likely to incur, and budget for them as part of the planning process.
Ideally, planning for your school fundraiser should start at least six weeks before you would like to launch, but it is possible to pull things together more quickly if you have a highly motivated group and a deadline to meet.
3. Tell parents what you’re doing – early!
When you have a plan, schedule, budget, and you have set your goals, tell parents what you’re doing – as early as possible. Parents are busy people, so if you want their child to be actively be involved in your fundraiser, you need to give them appropriate notice in order to achieve maximum participation at your school.
Be very clear in your communications with parents, students, teachers and anyone else you would like to be involved in the school fundraiser. They need to understand exactly what it’s all about. Also, be sure to include a call to action, so it’s clear you are asking them to participate. As an example, if you’re doing a Dress My Bear fundraiser, you might say something like this:
Dress My Bear is a fun new way to raise money for our school. We’re selling these gorgeous bears at a recommended retail price of $29.95. The schools price for bears is $19.95, so that means we’re able to achieve a $10 profit for each bear sold, which will go straight into our special fund for the school’s new gym equipment. See the attached order forms for details.
4. Advertise exactly what the money raised will be used for
Whether you’re raising funds for new sports equipment, to send a group of students on a field trip, or for art materials for a special project, there are many worthwhile causes for a school fundraiser. Whatever your cause may be, it’s important to advertise exactly what the money you raise will be used for. Then be sure to stick with the plan and do exactly what you say.
5. Promote your fundraiser well
There are many inexpensive ways to promote your school fundraiser. Writing a letter to parents, including information in the school newsletter, placing flyers on school noticeboards (or community noticeboards) and/or advertising are all great ideas. You could also write a press release and distribute to your local media to garner some additional publicity. If you have a budget for your fundraiser, other quite cost-effective advertising options are radio advertising, classifieds in the newspapers and Facebook ads.
6. The Wrap Up
When you’re finished your school fundraiser it’s important to announce the results. You might choose to hold a special event to do this, or you could opt for a low key approach, such as including information in newsletters and writing a letter to parents. Either way, it’s great to let people know that you’ve achieved your target, and saying thank you is an essential part of running an effective school fundraiser.
It’s also good practice to hold a final ‘wrap up’ meeting with your committee or group to discuss the positives and negatives of the fundraiser. Consider what worked well, what could be improved, and file your notes for the next time you’re asked to run a school fundraiser for your school!