When You Start Your Fundraiser Can Mean Everything

We just received an email from a sponsor the other day informing us that their fundraiser didn’t go as well as she had hoped. She discovered that the parents didn’t want to fundraise this late in the season and therefore decided that the best time for them to fundraise was going to be in June at the beginning of their season.

As we help various fundraising groups prepare for their sale we focus on helping them:

  • Select the right sales brochure that their supporters will want to buy from
  • Choose a prize program that their sellers will respond to
  • Prepare for their fundraiser kickoff
  • Track their selling progress
  • Understand the importance of regularly reminding their students to sell

However, we assume that groups already know the best time to fundraise. After all, they are contacting us because they need money right? Starting your fundraiser at the right time is critical to your success so before you consider any type of sales project you should consult with other members of your group to make sure that everyone’s on the same page.

One thing to consider is whether your group is only together for a season or if it’s year-round. If you are only together for a short period then you may be better off starting a fundraiser at the beginning of your season when everyone’s excited and eager. However if your group is together throughout the year then you have more flexibility. For example, some high school sports groups attempt to fundraise during the off season so they don’t interfere with their competition. On the other hand many groups feel that they are more unified to fundraise during their season when everyone is together and will thus achieve a better response.

Here are 3 specific examples of what many school fundraising groups do that may be helpful for you to consider with your organization:

Sports Teams
For the most part sports team fundraisers occur during their season; however some teams have the luxury of having a booster club that is responsible for organizing fundraising events year around and getting parents involved on the team’s behalf. During the offseason players are usually more available to participate in these events than they might be during the season unless they are involved in other activities.

Elementary Schools
Elementary school fundraisers typically take place early in the fall or spring because they are trying to be the first ones out selling in their community. The disadvantage to starting early in the season is many other schools have the same idea. In addition, parents may still be purchasing supplies while still making the adjustment to being back in school; so waiting for the dust to settle a little is also fairly common.

Cheerleader Groups
We have found that the best time to do a cheerleader fundraiser is right after the new squad has been selected. This is usually towards the end of the school year in preparation for the following fall. The excitement level is usually high and there may be several new members who will be motivated to participate in a fundraising event. This is especially true as these groups usually have many pending expenses like uniforms, competition and cheerleader camps to pay for.

Making sure that you find the right time to have your fundraiser is important because you will need as many of your members to be completely focused on your group and its goals as possible.

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