Archive | April, 2015

Celebrating Your Successful Fundraiser

28 Apr

Imagine your Popcorn Palace fundraiser is complete – and it was, of course, an amazing success! Now, it’s time to celebrate your accomplishments, by acknowledging and honoring all of the students and volunteers who have supported your school, along the way.

There are many different ways to reward volunteers and participants – but your fundraising team deserves the best. Why not celebrate their achievements (and encourage future participation) by throwing them the ultimate fundraising celebration?

To help make your fundraising celebration memorable, and keep your participants pumped for future events, the fundraising team at Popcorn Palace offers these great tips for honoring your VIPs:

  • Invite friends and family who participated in your fundraiser to a VIP event. Offer delicious and nutritious low-cost snacks.
  • Host a formal rewards ceremony, where top fundraisers or VIP volunteers receive their awards and prizes, alongside a personal acknowledgment of their contribution to the campaign. If a rewards budget was not included in your original fundraiser, solicit donations from local businesses, and hand out door prizes to attendees.
  • Provide personalized thank you certificates (or cards), signed by members of the team or club benefiting from your fundraiser (or school or organizational staff). You can also honor top collectors by listing their names on your website – both are low-cost options for expressing your gratitude!
  • Showcase your achievements. If you’ve successfully collected the funds needed to install new playground equipment, plan your celebration alongside the unveiling – or show a slide presentation or video which describes future improvements.
  • Make your VIPs feel like stars. Put together a highlight reel of your fundraising efforts, and watch it as a team. Students and volunteers will be excited to see themselves participating – and it will emphasize the importance of every individual’s unique efforts.
  • Show off. If the funds you’ve collected support the science club, offer a VIP viewing of the Science Fair. If the funds support your dance or cheer team, include a performance as part of your celebration. You’ll help students and volunteers connect their efforts to real results – very rewarding!
  • Close with a toast, and express your sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone who participated – your thanks will go a long way with those who are considering participating again, next year!

Following these tips will help you express your gratitude, honor the achievements of your fundraising team, and make your fundraising celebration unforgettable! For more information on how Popcorn Palace can help your school or organization meet your financial goals, contact our fundraising team, today – and you’ll be on your way to the ultimate celebration!

 

5 Tips for Fundraising Leadership

21 Apr

You stepped up to lead a school organization because you love the topic… whether it’s band, cheer, sports, or academics. You know what you’re doing when it comes to managing the kids and inspiring them to work harder and have fun. But embracing the fundraising aspect of an organization can be a lot harder, even if it is fundamental.

Many organization leaders have had bad experience with previous fundraisers. They cost too much to get started. They didn’t work or they took too much time away from important practice or other activities. Fundraisers don’t have to be complicated and overly time-consuming to be successful.

In this article, we’ll provide you with 5 tips to help you with fundraising leadership, so you can lead your organization to fundraising success.

Research

The first step is to find out how much you really need to raise. This might seem obvious, but we see a number of groups that don’t know the specific dollar amount they need. It doesn’t have to be down to the cent, but you really need an approximate amount. Raising money is always helpful to an organization, but knowing what you need makes the fundraiser significantly more relatable—for members and funders. Progress without purpose doesn’t work as well.

Conquer Your Fear of Sales

Money can be an uncomfortable topic, but fundraising is sales. If you’re more comfortable talking to people about your organization’s goals, the money you need to achieve them, and what you’re selling then you can translate that comfort to your members. Have a firm idea of what your sales pitch is and be sincere and specific, so you can be proud of your fundraiser.

Be Supportive

You’re a valuable part of the fundraiser, even if your members are the ones doing the actual selling or service. Be ready to answer questions, help students that struggle with the fundraiser, and celebrate every win—big or small.

Keep on top of tracking

Don’t leave fundraiser tracking for the very end. If you do, the numbers will be overwhelming, and it’ll take so much time to tally and organize, that members and funders will feel disconnected by the time they hear the results. There are super fun ways to keep track – such as a fundraising thermometer that you color in at the end of every week.  Whether you decide to track publicly or privately in a spreadsheet is up to you—as long as you stay on top of it.

Find Your Own Support

Lastly, don’t take too much on your own shoulders without support. Being a fundraising leader is awesome, but it can get overwhelming fast. Form a committee, so you have different people handling different tasks. Or have multiple adult volunteers that can act as fundraising mentors for the kids. Make sure the school is on board, and ask advice from anyone else that has run a similar fundraiser.

At Popcorn Palace, we’re fundraising experts and we want to show you the support you need to step up your game in fundraising leadership. We offer tons of fundraising advice on our blog, and you can always contact us for more information on how to start a fundraiser of your own.

Popcorn Palace Supports AllStar Success!

16 Apr

The Popcorn Palace fundraising team recently had the pleasure of visiting Rockford, Illinois, to connect with the AllStar Rebels – a local cheerleading team with big dreams!

The AllStar Rebels are a small co-ed team, consisting of 15 members – and they have been working hard to prepare for competition at the 2015 World Cheerleading Championships, hosted at Walt Disney World, Orlando, on April 23rd-24th. Cheerleading teams from across the world compete in The Cheerleading Worlds qualifying events in order to receive a bid, and this team was the last team to receive a bid. What an amazing accomplishment.

Earning an invitation to the Worlds is every cheerleader’s dream. The top 316 teams from around the world will be competing for the cheer championship, while their performances are broadcast live on ESPN. The drama, energy, and excitement is real – as they strive to showcase the moves they’ve been perfecting all year.

After a local news channel featured their story, calling out to the community to support their fundraising efforts, we were excited to help them raise the funds they needed to send the entire team to Orlando.

We visited the AllStar Rebels at their home gym, attended one of their practices, and brought along a donation (and some delicious popcorn). We were pumped to watch these amazing cheerleaders tear up the gym – and to share our nutritious treats with such an awesome and talented team!

The AllStars gave us a warm welcome – and one of the cheerleaders even agreed to wear our GoPro camera while they practiced! Check out the footage below to see what Noah sees during their warm-up routine – it’s incredible!

If you want to watch the 2015 Worlds, check here for viewing coverage information. We’ll be watching here at Popcorn Palace and supporting the AllStar Rebels. They’re amazing athletes, so watch and cheer for your favorite teams.

At Popcorn Palace, we’re pleased to help the AllStar Rebels achieve their dreams, by offering our delicious and nutritious treats for use in their fundraising efforts. If your dance or cheer team is in need of funding – consider Popcorn Palace. Our fundraising program is a simple and tasty way to raise funds.

Using Dance for a Dance Fundraiser

13 Apr

Make your fundraiser stand out by capitalizing on what your group already does best. If you are part of a dance or cheer team, then try to incorporate dance or cheer into the fundraiser. You’re invested in it, and people are more likely to give money if they feel like both you and they are involved.

There are a number of ideas for a dance fundraiser. Hosting a dance-a-thon or a dance-off at your school or church would be fun and encourage enthusiastic competition. Donors can sponsor a dancer to see how long they can dance for or how far they can make it in the competition. If the fundraiser is for a dance school then you already have the perfect venue! If the dance fundraiser is for a program at school, you can either use the auditorium or talk with a local dance studio about hosting your event there. You can also talk to the studio about hosting dance classes or getting a portion of the studio’s profits for a certain day of the month, or a combination of the two.

Similarly for cheer fundraisers, the team could host cheer clinics or seminars. This could be a one-time event – maybe during a school break – or recurring classes. Having the team teach what they’ve learned to others reinforces it for them and provides an opportunity for fundraising. This could even be as big as a summer day camp that runs for a few days or a week to give a chance for young ones interested in cheer to try it out.

You can also use dance or cheer to help you with a sales oriented fundraiser. If you have an upcoming performance or competition that is out of state, you can organize a small recital where you explain to everyone what the upcoming event is, do a small demonstration and then let them know they can help by ordering popcorn – or another fundraising item – from your troupe.

If you can’t put on a full recital or demonstration, have each team member wear his or her dance or cheer outfit when they fundraise – it’s a great way to raise sales. People are more likely to support your team if they can see who and what they are giving to.

Doing cheer or dance fundraisers like this allows your group to utilize what they already know. A dance or cheer fundraiser can absolutely go beyond the basics for raising money. People are more willing to pay extra for something different, especially if they – or their kids – can get something more out of it.

Cheer and dance fundraisers can be fun as well as profitable, so find a way to incorporate both. For more fundraising ideas, take a look at our blog. If you would like more information about hosting a cheer or dance fundraiser, Popcorn Palace can help. Give us a call and we can help you get started today! With Popcorn Palace, we make sales oriented fundraising profitable and fun. There are no up-front costs, no minimum orders, and your team gets 50% profit on each item.