School fundraising is one of those things that people love to hate.
But regardless of whether you’d rather hand over $50 at the beginning of the year and ask to be left alone, or if you’re one of those with their sleeves rolled up, slugging away at the sausage sizzle every month – most people agree that fundraising at school is as guaranteed in life as birth, death, taxes and controversy on The Bachelor.
And, until this changes, passive fundraisers can be your new best friend. Passive fundraisers are usually associated with a particular business, and every time you make a purchase, a percentage of the sale is donated back to your school or community group.
The pros and cons of passive fundraising
The benefits of passive fundraising are:
– They’re easy to set up
– They run continually throughout the year, and can continue year after year
– Can provide a constant stream of income
– Usually involve minimal ongoing effort
– There is a wide range of companies and products available
– They are suitable for small and large schools as well as those based in remote and rural locations
– Where applicable, you can provide your school code to people outside of your immediate school community to increase your earnings.
The downside of passive fundraising can be:
– They rarely have the earning potential of a single, structured fundraising event such as a quiz night, or even a cake stall
– People can ‘forget’ about them and so they still require regular promotion or marketing.
How much can we earn?
Although individually, a passive fundraiser might not earn a lot of money each year, when combined they can bring in a regular – and very easy – contribution to your fundraising coffers. It is entirely feasible to makes hundreds of dollars per fundraiser each year. If 1/3 of a school with 300 families make a $25 purchase once a year which offers a 10% donation – you will earn $250. Multiply that by four programs and you have raised $1,000 for not much effort.
Earnings are usually a percentage of sales, so the more your school/community shop at a certain store or buy certain products, the greater your passive income will be.
The percentage you can earn will vary for different companies, from 1-20%, and while some fundraising programs will reward you with cash (usually deposited once or twice a year), others will provide credit which you can then use to purchase goods from that same company.
Most passive fundraising programs are online, with the company providing the school a unique code which you enter at the time of making a purchase, ensuring that the donation is recorded for your group. This code can be shared with people far beyond your immediate school community – potentially increasing your sales reach (and income) to other cities and states.
What companies offer passive fundraising?
The range of companies which offer passive fundraising is constantly growing, and you should find out the current details of specific passive fundraising companies, but with so much choice, there will be some to suit every school.
Some companies include:
– grocery stores
– deals websites
– personalised products
– online shops.
How can we maximise our passive income?
Passive fundraising might be minimal effort, but to maximise your earning potential you still need to constantly promote your programs and remind the school and local community that by shopping at these places, your school is earning much-needed dollars.
Make sure that your passive fundraising programs are included in orientation booklets for new families, and constantly remind current families with notices in the newsletter or a flyer at the start of each term.
If a company has provided promotional material such as posters or sample packs, use them to advertise the programs or offer giveaways during the year to increase awareness.
Depending on what programs you have chosen, run promotions and reminders at timely points during the year – for example since new lunch bags and labels are often required at the beginning of each school year, a dedicated marketing campaign could be initiated during Term 4 every year, reminding everyone to get their labels for the next year and help the school earn fundraising dollars.
Will passive fundraising work for us?
Passive fundraising can be a great solution for fundraising fatigue – where parents have had enough of fun runs and have eaten enough chocolate to last a life time.
Passive fundraising will work for any school or group – but like anything, you still have to put in a bit of effort. Set it up, make it easy for the school community to join (provide an email with all the links and codes) and remember to promote every term.
Have you ever tried passive fundraising? How did it go? Share with us below.
Image source Shutterstock.