Competition vs. Cooperation: Which Gets Better Fundraising Results?

19 May

Are you organizing a fundraiser for kids, and you’re wondering whether to make it a competitive or cooperative fundraiser? You should start by asking yourself which is better for the members involved and which would raise more money. Before you begin your fundraiser, compare the pros and cons of each.


Many fundraisers are designed to be competitions and with good reason. Some students get inspired and energized trying to outdo each other in school fundraisers – some kids have really competitive spirits.

Using this as a healthy advantage can lead to excellent results with fundraisers. If the kids are not yet at an age where they care about or understand the financial side of things, set other goals they can focus on. For example, choose a number of items each child is expected to sell. Keep a tally with stickers on a decorated poster.

For older kids who do understand the finances, directly setting monetary goals lets them be more involved in the fundraising, and they can track what percentage of the overall fundraiser they’re bringing in by themselves. For further incentive, offer a small prize to the one who raises the most.

You don’t want any angry or hurt feelings between anybody involved, so you have to find a balance of friendly and competitive. If you succeed, you can achieve fantastic results. To make the most of this, try a few of these tips:

  • Regularly meet to compare sales and numbers. Merely knowing there is a number to aim for helps, but having a time to review how each team member is doing keeps everyone on their toes.
  • Make sure to make the goal easily measurable.
  • Keep the end prize something fun but not over the top.
  • Always be positive about everyone’s efforts. If you keep the tone light and friendly, kids will follow with the tone you set.
  • Make sure the focus is always kept on the end goal and what they will be able to be accomplished with the funds.


If you feel your group isn’t well suited for competition, than cooperation is a better option. Cooperation has its advantages. Where competition can foster individual successes, cooperation can teach your group to work with each other to achieve the same goal. You can use this as an opportunity to teach kids about teamwork and sharing successes, and some people just do better in a cooperative environment because it’s friendly and less stressful.

Fundraising is really well suited for cooperation because your members have the same end goal in common: raising money to do something awesome with the funds.

There are multiple choices for how to organize a cooperative fundraiser. You can focus on teamwork and working in groups. Either set teammates early on, so they’re working together in their small groups throughout the fundraiser, or organize teams and consistently change up the members, so it is less likely they will get competitive in their groups.

You can also organize larger group events, so everyone is working together with the same opportunities. Some kids can work booths, while others raise awareness for the organization. Some kids can help set up, and some kids can help break down the booth at the end. This way, kids are responsible for more than just sales. They all pitch in in different ways.

Some final tips for cooperative fundraising:

  • Regularly meet to talk about the group goals and what you are doing together to achieve them.
  • Tally success as a group and don’t track individual contribution.
  • Offer a group prize for everyone when the fundraising is finished, like a pizza party.

Competition and cooperation both have their merits and can each drive great results. Choosing one over the other depends on the people involved and what your ultimate goal is.

At Popcorn Palace, we love to talk fundraising. If you need any help with an upcoming fundraiser, than read through more blog articles for helpful fundraising tips or contact Popcorn Palace today.



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