“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” Dwight D. Eisenhower.
For most of us, planning a school fundraiser is an additional event in our already busy lives. Truly, a well-devised plan can make the most of your time when extra hours are in short supply, .
First and foremost, start planning a school fundraiser well in advance of your intended event. Give yourself as much time as possible to round up resources. The more time you can give people in advance, the more likely they will be available to volunteer. If you intend to ask local businesses to sponsor your event, you may need a few weeks to get that lined up. By the way, the more specific the details of your cause, the more likely people are to support it. Community members may be more positive about “raising money for the award-winning band to march in The Rose Bowl Parade” than “raising money for our school”.
Here is a list of items to consider when outlining your school fundraising plan.
- Expenses – What are the nitty-gritty needs? How granular can you get?
- Monetary Goals – How much money would you like to make?
- Budget – How much money is available to spend preparing for and promoting your event?
- Team Demographics – Who is on your selling team? What are their strengths?
- Resources –Who can you ask to support your event? Who can donate physical products or supplies?
- Time Restraints – When do you need the funds? When is the best time to execute your fundraiser?
- Location – Where will you hold your fundraiser? How will you distribute products to the team?
- Product – What is the best product for your group? This article provides helpful information on how to make this choice.
Planning a school fundraiser demands an additional level as your sales force may be kids. Successful school fundraisers base their product choice on them. What do they like, what can they get excited about, how sophisticated can the product be? For instance, cookie dough is much more approachable for elementary school kids than candles. You may consider an incentive for youth sales teams. Converse with local business’ to explore donating a coveted prize, such as a gaming system. Or incentive the group with a fun event when you reach your sales goal. Such as, field days, pizza parties or a free day off from school.
Finally, design the event to fit the cause. Meaning, if you would like to receive large donations for a major project, selling candy bars is not the most effective course of action. Or say you need a small amount of money to send your group to a state competition. In this case, setting up and hosting a casino night is too complicated and unnecessary.
The initial school fundriaser planning stage helps determine your goals. From there, devise an outline to support achieving those goals. The more details you can include, the better. Don’t worry if you miss an item or two. A good fundraising foundation allows you the freedom to pivot, ensuring you don’t miss a step towards your ultimate objective.