How to Make High School Fundraisers Effective

High school fundraising groups have unique challenges as well as opportunities that other organizations don’t have:


  1. High school students are competing for the same potential buyers that other often larger organizations like elementary school fundraisers are
  2. Older sellers often feel that their younger counterparts have an advantage because they think that people are more apt to buy from an elementary student
  3. Years of fundraising may be contributing to seller apathy
  4. It’s common for high school students to be busy with other commitments as well


  1. Older students can distinguish themselves from elementary school students by offering a different type of fundraising brochure to potential customers
  2. High school students can be taught how to incorporate more effective selling methods
  3. They can build prospect lists that allow for more efficient targeting of possible customers
  4. It is easier for high school sponsors to track their fundraiser and provide more immediate feedback and reward their students based on performance

High school groups often make their fundraising experience more difficult by choosing to sell out of the same type of brochure that elementary schools often use, the fall shopper. The advantage to using these brochures is they offer a large selection so people feel that they will appeal to more buyers. The problem is that there are many elementary schools that are using it which means that a lot of students are out showing it. This especially becomes an issue when you consider that many elementary schools can have upwards of 500 or more students. The question becomes, how then can high school fundraising programs compete? The answer is to not show the same type of brochure that the elementary schools are already offering but to rather offer something completely unique that people haven’t seen yet.

We recommend that to compete in an already crowded marketplace that high school groups offer more specialized items that are easy for high school students to present that people will actually find useful or meaningful. Here are some ideas:

  1. Gourmet pies are popular, especially around the holidays
  2. Pizza fundraisers are easy to sell and are a popular item for consumers
  3. Selling flowers and plants can be a fun way to get your students to promote an earth-friendly product
  4. Snack food is popular and convenient
  5. Many shoppers contain a small selection of candles; however candle brochures have a much greater variety and quality
  6. Frozen food is very popular and convenient for consumers who are on the go
  7. Even though cookie dough is a strong seller that is sold by elementary schools, it is not as popular in the elementary market as the shoppers are so the competition is not as great
  8. Jewelry is a popular product with high school students

By turning the potential hurdles that you may face as a high school sponsor into advantages, you will go a long way towards ensuring that your group meets their fundraising goal. The most important asset that your group has though is your commitment and confidence in their success.

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