Most people think that elementary school students are easier to motivate than high school students when it comes to fundraising. Just look at how excited they get at the kickoff once they see the prizes they can win. There’s no doubt that the enthusiasm and excitement of elementary school students can help drive the success of a fundraiser; however there are ways to make high school fundraisers successful as well. Here are 3 essential steps that you should strongly consider incorporating into your fundraiser if you want to reach or exceed your high school fundraising goals:
1. Plan to have an organized fundraising kickoff
Some sponsors let their students know that they are starting a school fundraiser and then are content to simply wait for their students to come by their office or classroom to pick up their fundraising materials. Others will hand out their fundraising materials during class or after practice and then simply tell their students to bring back the money in a couple of weeks. However, like everything else in life, if you want something, you have to take the initiative and put some work into it. Therefore plan to have a mandatory fundraising kickoff meeting to discuss the goals and objectives of your sale with all of your students together at the same time. You’ll need to convince your students why they will need to participate, how many items they need to sell, what the purpose for the sale is and then set a time limit on when they will need to turn in the money and order forms. If you are willing to do these things then your students will most likely take your school fundraiser more seriously.
2. Plan to meet on a consistent basis
A lot of sponsors may feel that the kickoff is enough to ensure that their fundraiser is successful and that their students reach their fundraising goals. Some fundraising groups may even have logistic problems that make periodic meetings during the fundraiser difficult; however it is worth it to gather your students together to occasionally check in on their progress and reaffirm your objectives. This does a couple of things. First, it’s communicates the continual importance of the fundraiser to your sellers. Second, meeting regularly with your students throughout your sale will send a strong message of accountability. However, don’t just announce a follow-up meeting on the fly. Tell your students at your kickoff when and where you plan to meet and then remind them again just prior to the meeting in case they forget. These additional meetings will help ensure that they produce results.
3. Provide additional motivators at your follow-up meetings
Its one thing to arrange to simply meet with your students periodically throughout your sale; however if you want to take your school fundraiser to an even higher level, you’ll want to incorporate additional incentives into your meetings. If your students know in advance that they have a chance to win a prize, privilege or cash by selling a certain number of items through a drawing, for example, then they will probably work even harder to bring in sales. One program that works particularly well with high school students is our money game. In order to qualify for an instant drawing students have to sell a certain number of items by a certain date. If their name happens to be drawn out and they’ve reached that day’s sales goal then they win instant cash. However, if they didn’t reach the goal then the money stays in the pot and for the next drawing the potential winnings goes up even higher. This will definitely send a strong message to your students. The pot continues to grow throughout the sale until someone wins, or no one does. Some sponsors will draw out three names on the last day if no one has won up to that point. This is a fun and exciting game that your high school group will really enjoy. Yet, you don’t have to give away cash or even prizes at your follow-up meetings. You can get creative by giving away special privileges that you know will motivate your group to sell. For example, if you are doing a baseball fundraiser then students who sell a certain number of items by Tuesday don’t have to run at the end of practice. There are several no-cost fundraising incentives that you can offer your students that will help keep them focused on selling for your fundraiser.
If you put a little time and energy into planning your fundraiser and then implement your plan, you will go along way towards ensuring school fundraising success.