Get a head start on planning your fundraising events to avoid the typical pitfalls of event planning. We all know that rushed decisions typically are not great ones. For your events to go smoothly you need to have enough time to get the word out and manage the expectations of your stakeholders including parents, students, donors, teachers, and school administrators. Don’t forget to take the time to prepare for your event, especially if this is one of your top fundraising ideas for your school. This critical step will make all the difference for a successful outcome!
Have a kick off
A kick off meeting or event is a big piece to any fundraiser. Of course, in this era of social distancing that kick off event might look like a conference call. This can still be a fun and enthusiastic way to promote excitement for your fundraising event. Come dressed in your organization’s fanwear and do introduction icebreakers to help connect all of your fundraising sellers. The sky's the limit to get creative.
Nothing fuels the pursuit like creating a little competition, which usually comes in the form of an incentive. To start, lay out a contest with prizes for those who reach certain thresholds first. The prizes don’t have to be big (think — small gift card amounts or fanwear items). Lastly, to create more anticipation, keep the winners secret until the fundraiser is over. You should announce winners at the end of the fundraising cycle, to keep momentum going while the fundraiser is still live.
Learning new ways to communicate about your fundraiser can make all the difference for a brand new fundraiser. No matter what medium of communication you already use, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be clear in stating your group goals to your team.
- Start a Facebook Group for participants - this is a central location with a community environment for questions, answers, and just general knowledge share.
- Take advantage of and utilize school websites and other social media.
- Remember to have check-ins with sellers or to set mid-way goals.
- Encourage your sellers to think outside of the box to communicate with their fundraising supporters. They could send handwritten letters, make a video, create their own page, send out a personalized email, or design an email template to send. These are all great learning opportunities as well.
- And, most importantly, as the leader of your fundraiser, always stay positive and enthusiastic. As it is a new time for fundraising, your team absolutely depends on your positivity and encouragement.
Email, social media, even phone calls or hand written notes can all make an impact on your network of potential fundraising supporters. Connecting with your supporters makes fundraising a highly personal experience that they have an emotional investment in.
Communicate with your supporters
Be sure to tell your supporters:
- Why it’s important that they support you
- How will the funds be used
- How long the fundraiser will be open
- “Thank you!” Whether they support you or not, thank them for their time and or their purchase.
Leave a note
Want to sell door-to-door? Call ahead or leave a postcard with your information and why you’d like to reach them. Perhaps last year your neighbor was a supporter, let them know that it’s that time of year again.
Connect with your local businesses
It could be very likely that parents or friends own or know someone with a local business that gets a lot of foot traffic. Ask them to introduce you and make the connection with a local business owner. You could leverage your selling power to a whole new network of supporters! This can also work really well with the candy bar program. We’ve seen success in many waiting rooms of vets, doctors, and even dentists, as well as coffee shops.
- Confirm it’s ok with the business owner or manager first.
- Set up a schedule to begin and end
Take a Note from the Girls in Green
Learn from the best and set up a stand, similar to how you see Girl Scouts, with information about your fundraiser. Additionally, it’s always helpful to have samples available at your stand. For your sample choices, consider some of the best selling chocolates from Gertrude Hawk. Your Fundraising representative can assist in getting samples to you.
- Create give-away-sheets for people who are interested in supporting your fundraiser. The sheets should include your fundraising information, why you’re fundraising, your goal and timeline.
- Create a sign up sheet - ask for name, email and phone numbers, assuring them that the information will stay confidential, and not be shared. That way you can follow up with all of the fundraising information after your promotional event.
The Fundraising Team at Gertrude Hawk wants you to be successful in each fundraiser you have, no matter which one you choose. We hope that these tips are helpful and that you find inspiration and ideas to share within your organization and with your fellow sellers.