2 High School Fundraising Misconceptions to Avoid

For the most part, there are typically two questions that high school fundraising groups consider before they do a fundraiser with a fundraising company:

  1. What fundraising brochure will they sell?
  2. What are the prizes and incentives?

Deciding on what brochure to sell is usually the first part of what people think about when initially deciding on a fundraiser and in reality it should be the last. Most people think that if they can only find the right product to sell then they would make a lot of money with little effort because people would then flock to buy it. The problem is that not many products will sell themselves without first having a well-designed fundraising plan that considers 1) how much money they will need to accomplish their purpose, 2) how much each student will need to sell to reach their fundraising goal and 3) how they plan to promote it so that they can reach their goal successfully. Once you have these three things in place it doesn’t matter what your product is, your school fundraiser will most likely be successful.

Prizes and Incentives:
The biggest mistake that high school fundraising coordinators often make is actually thinking that they don’t need fundraising prizes or incentives, or at least feel that they can compromise the quality of their prize program in order to receive a higher profit percentage. They believe that the students should be motivated enough to sell because of the fundraising purpose. They often feel that if they offer to remove the prize program that the fundraising company is offering they can negotiate a higher percent profit for their sale. They have placed too much emphasis on the purpose as being a motivating factor for their students and not on how they plan to promote it. Regardless of the purpose for their fundraiser, students will almost always respond to a fundraising coordinator who is willing to actively promote their sale as well as use incentives. Even when dealing with a lower fundraising profit percentage, school fundraising coordinators have found that by effectively promoting their sale and offering incentives to their students they inevitably end up making more money in the end than with a higher profit and little to no prize incentives. The big trap that they fall into when a fundraising company offers them the option of receiving a higher profit with no prizes is complacency. They often feel that they will already make more money because they are starting off with a higher profit. What they have failed to realize however is that you don’t take profit to the bank, you take money.

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