Top Elementary Fundraising Ideas
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Fundraising Tips for Elementary Schools
Finding the Perfect Fundraiser
Before starting your fundraising activities, you will need to get a very good sense of the needs of your fundraiser and your community. Here are some factors to consider before deciding on which fundraising products to sell:
- Price Point – Get a sense of the economic situation of the communities you will be reaching out to. You want to offer a product that is in line with your community’s means. Make sure the products offered by your fundraiser are priced affordably for the neighborhood.
- Demand – Find out what is popular or in-demand within your area. You want to make sure you’re offering a product that your supporters want. Offering an in-demand product takes the sales pressure off your volunteers by letting the product speak for itself. Follow this easy tip and it will help your fundraising sales immensely.
- Quality – Although a great cause like a school fundraiser is a strong motivator for potential supporters, you can’t underestimate the impact of a high quality fundraising product. A great product could mean multiple contributions from the same supporters because you’re offering a product they really enjoy. It also means they’ll be more likely to support your cause next time you try and sell them something.
- Profit Level – It’s critical you find product that has a good balance of the above listed points but it’s equally important not to overlook your profit level. If your product fits every other requirement but doesn’t generate income for your fundraiser, then it’s not working towards your school’s fundraising goals. Choose products that provide at least a 40% profit return. This will drive down the number of unit sales required to reach your goal.
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If we include the sellers, their parents, extended family, along with teachers and staff, your fundraising project may find you needing to coordinate hundreds or even thousands of adult and youth volunteers. With this in mind, you will want to get ultra-organized and create a fundraising plan that considers all your communication and management needs. Here are few points to help you get started:
- Establish an overall fundraising profit goal, as well as individual sales targets, and make sure they’re communicated consistently to your sellers and parents throughout the fundraiser.
- Prepare a list of adult volunteers and outline their roles – weekly funds collection, distribution day, etc.
- Prepare a list of dates from kick-off date, to collection dates, to distribution day, and stick to them.
- Prepare a list of weekly meeting dates for the Fundraising Board, so you can address any issues in a timely fashion. Get all of their emails and make sure your CCed on any fundraising-related matter, so you can stay in the loop.
- Prepare an incentive plan that is sure to motivate the sellers (and their parents!). Make sure you have a spot in the school where kids can see the prizes throughout the fundraiser.
- Have the most effective speaker, often the principal, be part of the kick-off sales pitch.
- Prepare weekly letters and or emails to keep the kids and parents informed about the fundraiser status.
Motivate Your Elementary School Fundraiser Volunteers
It can be difficult to maintain morale throughout the entire duration of a fundraiser (some can last the entire school year!) so you, as an organizer, need to employ tactics to keep motivation elevated. Here is a list to get you started:
- Assign personal ‘accounts’ for individuals, groups or classes so their progress and contribution can be tracked separately. This can help add a healthy competitive spirit that will give a nice boost to motivation.
- Offer gifts or other incentives to individuals, groups or classes that surpass certain milestones like quickest or most sales.
- Do shout-outs to groups or individuals who are succeeding or improving. This can be done in a weekly e-mail recap, a social media update or at a school assembly. Public recognition can be a powerful motivator.
- Remember to keep an enjoyable and light atmosphere so volunteers can go about their duties in a pressure-free environment. Too much stress on your volunteers can lead to problems with motivation. Remember to have fun!
- Make sure you and your teams thank your supporters for their contributions and let them know the difference they’ve made in achieving your school fundraising goals.
Turn fundraising activities into a useful learning experience
Sometimes the frantic pace of a fundraiser can overshadow just how much of a beneficial learning experience it can be for the children. Remember to draw focus on the skills that children are developing. Set up sessions to discuss and train students and volunteers on how to develop or showcase these skills. These skills include:
- Communication Skills – Children will learn how to communicate ideas and goals to potential supporters. Communication skills are critical and developing them early can be a great asset.
- Math Skills – Although fundraisers usually only require addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, volunteers will need to perform these operations on the fly many times throughout the fundraiser. These math skills will continue to be useful for the rest of their lives.
- Teamwork – Children working together in the buddy system or in larger teams get to experience what it’s like to work with others to achieve a common goal. As well, each seller’s individual efforts are for the good of the entire class or school, not themselves personally. Learning how to work as part of a group will become essential in their lives when they progress into higher education and the working world.
- Sales Skills – Children will be able to develop skills in salesmanship which benefit more than just people in sales. A good sales approach can be applied in many walks of life and having this skill early can mean more opportunities for success.
- Leadership – Children who want to improve or sharpen their leadership qualities can take on the role of leader in their specific teams to help keep their group organized and motivated. These experiences can help shape the leaders of tomorrow!
Elementary School Fundraising Safety Guidelines
There are many positive elements to fundraising but even with all the positivity, we can’t forget to make sure volunteers are conducting themselves in a safe manner. Be sure to talk extensively about fundraising safety in the fundraising kick-off meeting. Be sure to employ the following guidelines to ensure your volunteers are safe and secure while trying to reach your goal:
- Always make sure young children are with a parent when fundraising door-to-door
- Older children and teenagers should always use the buddy system and have no less than 2 players traveling together. A common configuration involves 3 older children, 2 who will be ringing the doorbell and 1 who will remain on the edge of the property to have a safe view in case help needs to be called.
- Do not allow your volunteers to enter in the home of strangers when going door-to-door. Instruct them to keep all door-to-door fundraising activities beyond the door step, quite a few feet from the door to make sure neighbors and passersby have got a clear viewpoint
- Do not allow your volunteers to carry copious amounts of cash currency. Have volunteers store money in a safe and secure area on a consistent basis to make sure they're not holding too much when traveling door-to-door.
The purpose of our fundraiser is to keep the price of the yearbook low so more parents can afford to buy a yearbook for their kids. We raised $602.00 using the Smart Snacks fundraiser.
Just completed the $10 gourmet cookie dough fundraiser with Justfundraising and sold over $7500. Wow what a great job the students did.