We often talk about fundraiser tips and how the planning before the fundraiser even starts is a key aspect to a successful fundraiser. However what happens when you’re a fundraising newbie and you’ve been asked to spearhead your child’s school fundraiser event? It’s a daunting task with a ton of to-dos but we are here to help you stay organized and on top of it. Here are 15 tips from experienced fundraiser 15 Tips for Running a Successful Fundraiserorganizers that will help even the least experienced fundraiser leader have a truly successful fundraiser.
15 Tips for Running a Successful Fundraiser
1. Invite people to join your fundraising team. You want to make sure you have a team of volunteers who are eager to help and want to be involved. You can create a task list and set up some preliminary meetings with your team to brainstorm and review what you want to accomplish in the fundraiser.
2. Set a fundraiser goal with your team. Brainstorm potential uses for the funds raised and try to nail down a final figure that you can use as the ultimate goal in your advertising and marketing.
3. Research potential fundraiser companies and events your group or school would like to do. Do they offer products or services that will reach your goal? Are they in line with your target audience? Will the product sell?
4. Review your community calendar. Are other schools or organizations running fundraisers at certain times? What events are they doing? You’ll want to make sure you don’t over-saturate the market and select a fundraiser event that is not scheduled for the same time as another school and also does not sell the same product or service. If you are selling something, you may want to check with the school and township to ask about any special regulations or requirements.
5. Provide your team with a summary of your research and put the fundraiser event to a vote. Decide which event works best for your goal and your target audience.
6. Start delegating tasks to your team. Review your task list and give each volunteer a responsibility. Make copies of your list (or host it in a community document service like Google Docs) so you and your team are all aware of who is in charge of what.
7. If you are working with a fundraising company, make sure to keep in touch with your representative so you can follow up with any questions and so you have a contact to work with in case any issues arise.
8. Send out a letter or email update to past donors and parents explaining what your school has been up to since the last fundraiser and include information about the upcoming event. Pass out fliers and send emails to your parent contact list advertising the upcoming fundraiser.
9. Post information in the school hallways to alert the students and make sure to update your organization’s website with all of the fundraising details. Use social media tools as well including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the fundraiser.
10. If you’re working with a fundraiser catalog, print out a parent letter that explains how to order and the important due date information. Plan a volunteer packet stuffing day where you and a few volunteers can add the parent letters to the catalog and fundraiser envelope.
10. Work with volunteers to pass out seller packets to each classroom or group. That same day, plan to have a shout out about your fundraiser in the school’s morning announcements.
11. Send a follow up email and/or form a phone chain with your volunteer team to alert parents that the seller packets have been handed out and now the fundraiser is underway. Provide selling tips and encourage parents to forward the message to their neighbors, co-workers, friends and family.
12. Appoint one member of your team as the treasurer who will be in charge of counting the money and orders as they are collected. You can start entering orders as you receive them, which may save time at the end of the fundraiser. Send follow up emails or phone calls to sellers who have not turned in orders yet.
13. Run a final check of all orders collected and review the final totals with your team. Talk with your company representative to make sure your invoice is correct and you can finish the campaign and receive product.
14. On delivery day, make sure to have a team of volunteers working the delivery event with you to help with logistics. Organize a pick-up area by last name and classroom to make it easier for parents. Appoint one or two members of your team as the volunteer who will be in charge of any orders not picked up that day.
15. Send a follow up email or news bulletin to your contact list congratulating everyone on their hard work and letting them know that it paid off. Announce the final fundraiser tally and remind everyone what the funds will be used for.