With the Great Recession stretching school budgets everywhere, finding financial support for school trips, student clubs, and extracurricular activities can be a bit tricky. To help your cause gain momentum, it’s essential to rally the support of your community – which means motivating students to get the word out about your fundraiser!
So, how do you get your fundraising materials out of student backpacks, and into the hands of community members? First, you’ve got to get students excited to act as community ambassadors, by motivating them to rally for the cause. These time-tested strategies will help you inspire your youngsters to share the vision – and put the FUN back in fundraising!
- Set the stage. Make sure your fundraising team is on the same page. What will the funds you raise be used for? Let your students in on the mission, and clearly outline goals, so they understand the importance of their participation.
- Make the incentives sweet. The success or failure of your fundraising campaign is largely determined by the enthusiasm of your students – so give them something to strive for. This doesn’t necessarily mean offering expensive, large-ticket items – incentives can also be non-tangible rewards (such as a teacher or principal’s commitment to dye their hair in the school colors, or special privileges for the highest-participating class). Popcorn Palace’s snack-sized bags can also make great student handouts – talk to your fundraising advisor about including these items in your campaign order.
- Provide instant gratification. The more giveaways, the merrier – by offering numerous small, obtainable incentives, you’ll keep the kids motivated to succeed. Distributing prizes while the fundraiser is still in effect will also keep the kids’ attention on your campaign – ensuring ongoing participation.
- Inspire confident pitches. Make sure your students know how to talk to their community about their fundraising goals. Provide your students with strategic coaching, and eliminate front-door nerves by practicing your school’s fundraising message.
- Embrace social media. Get teachers, parents, and older students on board by encouraging them to share fundraising updates via social media. Provide examples of appropriate photos and messages, and ask them to repost, share, and digitally document their own fundraising experience.
- Keep it FUN. Fundraising doesn’t have to be a chore! Keep the experience fun and engaging for everyone involved, and you’ll drive ongoing participation. And, launching or closing out your fundraiser with a great community-oriented event is an excellent way to give your campaign a boost. Throw your community an event to remember, and you may find that stories of their involvement outlive the campaign, itself.
Involving your students in fundraising can provide them with the opportunity to learn real-world skills, hone their math and organizational abilities, and learn valuable lessons surrounding personal responsibility and community involvement. It also provides them with a sense of ownership regarding your school’s efforts – and may inspire them to be more involved, in future!