No parent wants to add more to their plate during the hectic back-to-school season. But, you know better than anyone how much schools rely on money from fundraisers for supplies and other educational tools. It’s not a question of whether or not to have a fundraiser; it’s a question of when. Fall is a great time to organize and hold a fundraising event.
School Fundraiser Ideas
Planning a fundraiser doesn’t have to be a stress-maker, though. Follow these eight tips for a successful and less stressful fundraising event.
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1. Pull a Team Together. Don’t try to organize and plan it all on your own. The experts at ABC Fundraising advise that you work through the school’s parent/teacher organization or pull a team of other parents together to work on the project. Shared work is less stressful for everyone involved.
That said, it’s also important to appoint a leader to make final decisions and oversee the fundraising event’s operation.
2. Set Specific Goals. A successful fundraiser has to have a purpose. Its mission can’t be a general “we need money for classrooms” approach. Work with school administrators and settle on specific needs, such as art supplies or books. Make a list of items you intend to buy with the fundraising money you receive. Donors want to see where their money is going. A specific list of objectives encourages donations.
3. Assign Duties. With input from all team members, assign duties and delegate tasks. If a team member has expertise in a specific area, assign related duties to that member. Put everything in writing to avoid confusion.
4. Check the School Calendar. If your fundraising effort is in the form of an event, check the school calendar before scheduling the date. Also, check your community’s calendar to see if other events are scheduled that would dilute the pool of attendees for your event. Schedule your fundraiser when nothing big is going on in the community. You want yours to be the main event.
5. Find, Schedule and Confirm. Book your venue and gather supplies as soon as possible. As the day gets closer, confirm the venue and inventory supplies. Make sure everything is in place and ready.
6. Expect the Unexpected. Something is bound to go wrong as you plan and hold a fundraiser. An organizing team member drops out, supplies arrive late or any number of other bumps in the road could, and probably will, occur. Don’t panic. You can’t prepare for every contingency, but have confidence in yourself and your team. You’ll find a way to make it work.
7. Focus on Your Goal. Regardless of what happens before, during and after your fundraiser, keep your initial goal in mind. You wanted to raise money for your child’s school, and that’s just what you did.
8. Conduct a review. Conducting a review after the fundraiser is over gives you insight into what worked well and what didn’t. If you didn’t raise as much money as you expected, learn from it and move on. It’s not the end of the world. What you learned from this fundraising experience will only make the next one better.