These days, prize programs have become an integral (and sometimes make it or break it) part of fundraising. Fundraising companies often offer tiered prize programs, with smaller prizes offered for minimum sales and then adding on prizes as the participant sells more. After reviewing our more successful school fundraisers from this past Fall, we thought we’d share some of their ideas and tactics for maximizing sales using prizes.
The key to a successful fundraiser is boosting sales and getting the maximum participation possible. For younger participants, children’s teams and elementary schools, prizes are a great way to motivate those kids and get them excited about the fundraiser. Some schools and teams or groups have come up with some really great prize ideas that won’t break the bank so you can utilize your fundraiser’s profits for goals and improvements!
A common problem with only using company-sponsored prizes is that students may only sell enough prizes to reach the minimum prize level and bring home a small trinket that dampers the excitement of the fundraiser. Some fundraisers decided to reverse this system and offer larger community prizes at the lower levels – like having a popcorn party at the end of the first week of the fundraiser for the class just to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize some of the bigger sales for the week. This is a simple, inexpensive way to put the “fun” back into fundraising. Others offered a game truck for students who sold a minimum amount of items (such as 5 or 6 products) – where the kids could play a game for 15 minutes. The prizes then grew from there (those who sold more could spend more time in the game truck).
Another tactic came from an elementary school fundraiser in California that had a teacher dress up in costume if everyone in her class brought in 5 orders that week – making that first prize level communal and fun got everyone involved and proved to be only the tip of the iceberg in how many orders that class brought in.
You don’t always have to start off big to get the kids involved. One fundraiser chair from Texas mentioned that one of the better performing classes in her school fundraiser had offered special privileges to the the best sellers at the end of each week – for example, they were given special ribbons to wear as bracelets for the week and were the first to be released for recess, the first ones in line for lunch, and were allowed other small (but meaningful) honors throughout the week. This spurned their classmates to work harder to become the best sellers and the friendly competition paid off!