It might sound simple to run a fundraiser, but it is almost inevitable that you will encounter a hiccup or two at one point or another. Ultimately, the goal of a school fundraiser is to raise money for a specific cause and bring the school community together. It is important to cut corners where you can so that you can bring in more revenue.
Worry not because we are here to suggest cost-effective strategies to guarantee the success of your school fundraiser.
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Follow these tips for a smooth fundraising campaign:
Plan Ahead of Time.
Do not rush things and instead give yourself a lot of time to plan the fundraiser. It is ideal to give yourself months to execute the plan to avoid stress.
If you launch your campaign when you are not yet ready, it will only cost you more resources in the long run. Set a schedule and stick to it, but you should also be ready for any changes that might occur along the way.
This includes choosing the fundraising activity of your choice. Cost-effective ideas include walk-a-thons, playground tile sponsorships, auctions, talent shows, and bake-offs. There is a reason these events have proven popular over the years.
Assemble a Team of Volunteers.
It might sound tempting to attempt everything all by yourself, but this can be a recipe for disaster. No one wants you to get sick or stressed out. You can distribute the workload by asking for volunteers from the school community. Other parents and members of the staff and faculty will likely be willing to help you out.
Try to look for people with varied skill sets. Make sure to hand out tasks that complement their experience, training, and background. Do not be afraid to delegate and assign clear roles to avoid any confusion.
Set Realistic Expectations.
You have to set goals but avoid being too ambitious. Research to know what you can expect to make from the fundraising campaign. Make sure to plan for the possibility of failure as well.
In case you only managed to raise a fraction of the goal, you should know what to do with the resulting money. Reach out to the school to understand what they need and adjust your expectations accordingly.
Advertise the Fundraiser.
It is important to spread the word about the fundraising campaign since a wider scope can lead to more donors or customers. You are fortunate if you have a graphic designer on the team, but not all is lost if you do not have one. Online tools such as PosterMyWall have fundraising flyer templates that will work just as well.
Choose a design that will attract attention and deliver important information at the same time. Even though it is important to have a visually appealing graphic, make sure that it is appropriate for the activity in question. Do not pick something irrelevant just because it looks good!
Talk to the Community.
There is a reason you are trying to raise money, right? In line with this, the community should be kept in the loop as the beneficiaries of the donations. It is a good idea to update parents, staff members, teachers, and maybe even the student body about the progress that you are making.
Aside from accountability, this is a good opportunity for them to share their leads with you. They can suggest the best place to buy ingredients or the most affordable service provider for your event or activity.
The community members will probably make up a significant part of the base of donors and customers. Share the planned dates, send out reminders, and keep everyone up to speed to encourage participation!
Make the Most Out of Technology.
An old-fashioned fundraising campaign will always be a classic, but why not make the most out of what technology has to offer? With the popularity of streaming, you can widen the scope of the fundraiser. It will depend on the activity or event, but programs like Zoom and Google Meet can help if you are holding a talent show or auction.
Family and friends from abroad or another state can join in on the fun. Aside from cash donations, set up channels for cashless transactions so that they can contribute to the success of your campaign.
Use Matching Gifts Programs.
If you are unfamiliar with them, matching gifts programs refer to corporate giving programs in which an employer matches the charitable donations of employees. This is a great way to double the impact of the supporters at no extra cost to them.
You can make things easier with the help of tools such as HEPdata and Double the Donation. All you have to do is to add a branded matching gift database to the school website.
Do not forget to promote the matching gifts among the members of the school community. Your supporters are going to appreciate that they can double and possibly even triple their gifts. In fact, it might make them give even more!
Ask the Kids for Help.
Children and teenagers, as digital natives, know how to navigate social media better than most adults. This can come in handy when you want to raise awareness about your fundraising efforts. Ask them to utilize TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms to disseminate information about the campaign.
There are many Instagram post templates that they can share as posts or stories on their profiles. You cannot go wrong with listening to their suggestions on this topic because they are in the best position to know how to make something go viral!
When it comes to events like this, it is easy to find yourself out of your depth unless you know what you are doing. School fundraisers can provide meaningful experiences that can make a huge impact on the community. The ultimate goal of these events is to raise money. With these tips and tricks, you should be able to maximize the funds that you raise.
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