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How to Start a Fundraiser – Guide and Tips

Step 2: Organize All Your Fundraiser Details

Once you’ve establish the fundamentals, you’ll need to take your high-level fundraiser goal and break it down for each individual seller, schedule important touch-point dates and milestones, and craft an engaging fundraising letter you and your sales team can use boost sales.

1) Determine Individual Sales Targets:
If your organization doesn’t have any restrictions on setting sales objectives per seller, please make sure you take the time to set the individual sales targets. When you determine what they are, set them a bit higher, to compensate for any weaker sellers.
Use this simple formula:
Step 1: Fundraiser Profit Objective / Profit per unit sold = Total # of items to sell
Step 2: Total # of items to sell /# of sellers
Here’s an example:
If a group of 20 members needs to earn $1000 profit, and the items generate a profit of $3.50 per item sold, I will calculate the individual target as follows:
Step 1: $1,000/$3.50 =286 items
Step 2: 286 items/20 sellers = 14 items each

2) Determine Key Dates For Your Fundraiser - This Schedule May Help:

  • Order product or order-takers from JustFundraising.com:
  • Pre-launch letter(email and letter to parents and sellers):
  • Launch (ideally, everyone there in person):
  • Mid-way Collections (optional):
  • Final Collection Day (collect all orders and funds from sellers/parents):
  • Place order with fundraising company (if order-taker fundraiser):
  • Distribution Day (usually 14 days after your order is placed):

3) Determine Collection Dates:
When and how often would you like them to turn in their funds - every day, once per week, only at the end of the fundraiser? I recommend no more than 2 collection dates per fundraiser to minimize the administration involved. Make sure the dates are indicated in the parent letter.

4) Determine Seller Incentives:
Small groups: Most smaller groups such as teams or classes, don’t require prize programs because the participants are raising funds for something that will benefit them directly such as a tournament, uniforms, equipment, or a class trip.
Large groups: Larger groups often have more difficulty getting participation, so some ideas to increase participation are to offer:

  • Best –seller prizes: if it’s a large group, you’ll probably want to have a best-seller prize per team or class, and overall prizes for the top 3 sellers of the entire organization. Try and get them sponsored by local retailers in return for placing their logo on your fundraising material.
  • Participation prizes: these can be given to each seller who even just sells 1 item, or maybe set the bar a little higher, at 2 or 3 items. Participation prizes will give kids and parents an extra incentive to get started and may help spark a top seller!
  • Draw: Perhaps for every item sold, the participant gets one chance at winning the big prize. If they sell 10 items, they get 10 chances.
  • Group Prizes: creating competition and rivalry between classes and teams is an excellent way to sky rocket your sales. Each participant will be held accountable by their peers and will encourage each other to keep fundraising. Common group prizes would be a pizza party and movie and 2 hours in the school park for the group that sells the most.

5) Determine Your List of Helpers:
To motivate the sellers: make sure a reputable and enthusiastic group leader with strong communication skills, leads the launch of your fundraiser. This could be your school principal, league president, teacher or coach, or yourself, the fundraising organizer. This will help create a great energy for your fundraiser and get things started on the right foot.
To collect the money: if it’s a school fundraiser, consider asking teachers to help collect the funds throughout the fundraiser? For team and church fundraisers, designate a key trusted individual - coach, assistant coach, volunteer parent, pastor or fundraising organizer.
To distribute the product: the larger your group, the more help you’ll need on distribution day. Ask parent volunteers and make sure you have 1 go-to person managing all logistics and who can answer all questions.

6) Determine Your Selling Locations:
If you plan to set-up a fundraiser booth in key locations in your local community such as outside of a Walmart, make sure you get prior approval from the store manager, and prepare all materials necessary.

7) Prepare the Parent-Seller Letter and Series of Communiques:

Now that you’ve organized all of the elements of your fundraiser, it’s time to put it on paper. Your goal is to put together a series of informative and persuasive parent-child letters including an amazing kick-off letter that will get everyone excited.

The letters should include all the info needed to guide and motivate your sellers including:

  • WHY they are doing the fundraiser and how they’ll benefit
  • How many items they’re expected to sell
  • The perfect sales script (which they should memorize)
  • Any incentive plan and prizes
  • Important collection dates
  • Safety tips
  • fundraising coordinator contact info

To help you out, we have created a sample parent letter for you if you do not already have one. Simply replace the name and dates for your fundraiser.

Download Sample Parent Letter

Continue To Step 3