Love it or hate it, fundraising at school, kindy or your sporting club is something that has to be done.
It can be straight forward and simple with these five simple hacks:
- Timing is everything
At the beginning of the school year, create a detailed calendar with public holidays, school holidays, pupil free days, major religious and cultural holidays, major sporting events and grand finals, senior exams, school camps, national days such as Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day plus other events your school may participate in such as Book Week, Grandparents day, Teacher Appreciation Day and Science Week.
You also need to look at the playing season for all the sports your school is regularly involved in – there is little point holding a school event on a Saturday and expecting people to help set up, if half the school body is involved with Saturday morning sports.
When planning the date for your major fundraising events, you need to consider all of these things plus more.
Do you get better involvement for Friday or Saturday nights? Would a fete work better on a Saturday or Sunday? Do you find your school suffers from fundraising fatigue by the end of the year or are they slow starters in term one? Spending half an hour considering the timing of your event could make a major difference to its overall success.
- Promote before you start
Have you ever noticed that the movie trailers sometimes start advertising six months in advance? While this may be annoying for parents who need to explain to kids why they need to wait, it certainly fulfils their marketing goal of building awareness and anticipation.
If you have already planned a date for your major event, don’t wait until you need to sell tickets to begin promoting, start months in advance.
This not only has the effect of building excitement and community knowledge (and tells everyone to put the date in their diary), but it also forewarns potential donors and volunteers that their participation will be required.
- Know thyself
Every school is different, but some will do better with smaller fundraisers that are peppered throughout the year, others will prefer to hold one or two major events every year. It’s a matter of reading the culture of your school, and if in doubt – ask them.
Keep in mind that as kids graduate and families move on, the culture will change as well, so every few years it is good to go back to basics and figure out what works best for the current population. Just because you have done it for the past decade isn’t a good enough reason to keep doing it.
- Get online
Facebook and other social media platforms can work for you in many ways – you can create a closed group so volunteers can communicate about the organisation of the event without everyone’s in-boxes filling up with emails. Don’t forget to delete the group after the event is over.
Dedicated pages are great to build awareness and help promote sponsors and other businesses – you make it part of their sponsorship package. Gradually build excitement about an upcoming fete by introducing stalls and activities one by one with attractive pictures and detailed posts, rather than dumping all the information at once.
Facebook posts are also really easy to share and many of your school community will be online, so send regular reminders encouraging them to share links with their friends and family. Find out more ways to get social media working for you here.
- Be specific
Don’t ask people if they want to ‘volunteer’ to help at your event. That’s like saying ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Be specific – list the roles that you need people to fill on and before the day, what they will be expected to do and how long it will take. Don’t just ask for ‘donations’ for your raffle or silent auction – give examples of what you have received in the past and sold well. A working mum with a FIFO husband might baulk at the non-specific ‘volunteer’ request, but when asked to provide three empty jars and spend two hours at home filling lucky-dip bags, will readily agree.
How does your school, Kindergarten or Sporting Club go when it comes to fund raising? Share with us below.
Image source Shutterstock.