Archive | August, 2016

How to Pick Your Best Fundraiser Idea

31 Aug

Your next best fundraiser is just an idea away. As you brainstorm with your team about potential fundraiser ideas, you’ll want to have a criteria ready to help you determine which ideas to focus on. When you’re limited on time and resources, every meeting counts. To help you find your best fundraiser idea, consider using these four criteria:

A Great Fundraiser Idea Is Feasible

There are only so many hours in a day and the budget is meant to last the entire campaign. You’ll want to pick a fundraiser idea that is achievable within the resources that you have available. A great fundraiser idea with the most likelihood of success will fit within these three parameters:

  • Your Total Budget
  • Time Allowed for Completion
  • Definition of Fundraiser Success

If the fundraiser idea fits within these parameters, then the goal is feasible. If there isn’t enough room within a parameter, then the other parameters will need to be adjusted.  For example, if you’re short on the Time Allowed for Completion, then you’ll to Redefine Success and increase Your Total Budget.

A Great Fundraiser Idea Is Exciting

Motivation is essential in any fundraising campaign. Without motivation, you’ll run the risk of burning out your team and have a harder time winning supporters. You’ll want to pick the fundraising idea that will generate excitement for your team and supporters.

Keep in mind that certain types of fundraisers pair best with specific talents and personalities. For example, an event-based fundraiser works best for teams who can dedicate long hours and manage high-levels of stress. The best way to determine if a fundraiser idea is exciting is to gauge the enthusiasm of your team.

A Great Fundraiser Idea Grows Other Ideas

There are many parts to a successful fundraising campaign. Not only will you need to plan your time and budget well, but you’ll also need to:

  • Create a sales pitch
  • Plan promotions
  • Organize logistics

A great fundraiser idea will inspire these other parts as you review your options with your team. For example, if you’re reviewing an idea for a popcorn fundraiser and your team is raising money for the school theater club, then the overlapping themes could inspire a great sales pitch.

A Great Fundraiser Idea Is Easy to Communicate

One of the most important qualifiers of a great fundraiser idea is its communicability. An idea that is easy to communicate is easier to lead, because the larger vision and its goals are clear. An idea that is challenging to communicate is a symptom of poor planning and should be red flagged from the other options.

When determining whether or not an idea is easy to communicate, consider creating a mission statement. Using one to two sentences, a mission statement clearly defines the goal through actions.

For example, a mission statement for a school booster club hosting a sales-based fundraiser would say: “The school booster club will raise $500 in 3-months for athletics by selling treats to supporters of our programs.” The mission statement is clear, illustrates the actions needed, and explains the goal in one sentence.

When planning your next fundraiser, chances are you’ll have many ideas on what to do next. Knowing which fundraiser ideas to focus on is essential when time and resources are limited. If you’re going through multiple fundraiser ideas that sound great, then focus on the most exciting one and keep the others in your back pocket. You’ll never know when another great idea will strike next!

What has no start-up costs and can get started today? A popcorn fundraiser with Popcorn Palace! It’s the easy and profitable way to start fundraising and orders are sorted by participant. We can help you turn your fundraising idea into fundraising success.

Also, if you raise $499 or more in amounts due to Popcorn Palace, we’ll take care of your shipping in the contiguous United States for FREE! For more information about popcorn fundraising, fill our form below and an expert popcorn fundraiser will contact you soon!

Student Organization Checklist for a Successful School Fundraiser

23 Aug

The start of every semester is an exciting time to reunite with good friends and student organizations. From the athletic department’s booster club to the math club, student organizations give students chance to take on leadership positions and participate competitions, shows, and events.

Most student organizations start recruiting within the first few days of classes. This makes the first few meetings the perfect time to start planning the semester’s activities and budget. To help student organizations review their activities and budget plans, we’ve created a checklist template with key topics to discuss:

Topic 1: The Organization’s Mission: It’s always a great idea to revisit the mission statement of your organization before you set yearly goals. Doing so will give your organization direction for making decisions during the planning stages.

“Together, our mission is to…”

Topic 2: Hold a Roll Call: Before deciding on activities for the new semester, you’ll want to create a log of members and their roles. Some roles may require an election or additional signed forms.

Write the names of students who have agreed to service a roll. If all prerequisites like permission slips, proof of insurance for field trips, dues, and other forms are submitted, then check off their name. Here’s a list of some of the essentials:

Officer Roles:

  • Teacher Sponsor: _____________________________
  • President: _________________________________
  • Treasurer: _________________________________
  • Communications: ___________________________

Organization Members

  • __________________________________________
  • __________________________________________
  • __________________________________________
  • __________________________________________
  • __________________________________________

Topic 3: Time to Plan Activities: After the organization has chosen its officers and gained members, it’s time to start planning for the semester’s upcoming activities. If the organization held activities last year, then take some time to reflect on activities that were enjoyed the most. The experiences gained from past activities will give your organization a reference for how to improve on activities for the current semester.

It’s also helpful to keep a log for how much each activity cost. This will help you estimate how much funding you’ll need for the current semester’s activities. List at least 3 activities and their costs here:

  1. _________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________

Total Cost for Previous 3 Activities: $__________________

Now, brainstorm on potential activities and get a cost estimate for the current semester. Keep in that some costs may vary, depending on the activity. For example, if your organization is participating in a national competition, you’ll want to account for competition fees, hotel fees, driving expenses, and other essentials. Use previous experiences to get more details where you need them:

  1. _________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________
  4. _________________________________________
  5. _________________________________________

Potential Total Cost for Current Semester Activities

$_________________________

Topic 4: Plan Your Fundraiser: Once you’ve found your Potential Total Costs, meet with your team to discuss fundraising. Some of the things that will need to be discussed include:

  • Dates for the activity
  • Dates dedicated to activity setup and preparation
  • Deadlines for funding

With this information, the organization to start planning fundraising events and sales. Our fundraising specialist at Popcorn Palace have created another comprehensive checklist that breaks down the essentials for a successful fundraiser.

The Essential Fundraising Checklist can be accessed here: https://popcornpalaceblog.com/2016/02/16/the-essential-fundraising-checklist/ or search “checklist” at popcornpalaceblog.com.

The start of a new semester is a fresh opportunity to plan fun activities for your student organization. Use this template as a guide to help your student organization build momentum and have a great first day!

Looking for a fundraiser with a simple setup no start-up costs to you? Then start a school fundraiser with Popcorn Palace! All of our popcorn is made with all-natural ingredients for the tastiest crunch in every bite. Also, if you raise $499 or more in amounts due to Popcorn Palace, we’ll take care of your shipping in the contiguous United States for FREE!

For more information about popcorn fundraising, fill our form below and a fundraising expert will contact you soon!

7 Simple Tips on Motivating Your Fundraising Team

18 Aug

Motivating your team can be one of the most challenging things in organizing a fundraiser. It’s not enough to have a noble cause. Without motivation your team risks falling short on its goals. Here are 7 simple tips to ensure that your fundraising team reaches success:

  1. Encourage Fundraising Ideas

A great idea can strike like a bolt of lightning. It can come from anywhere and when it lands it brings with it a bolt of energy for your team. Help your team land great ideas by keeping an open door policy for all members. When teams encourage ideas, they are also help their members feel heard, valued, and motived.

  1. Recognize Accomplishments

All accomplishments, no matter how small, is an incremental step in the right direction. When a team member meets their personal best or has completed a challenging task, give them praise for their hard work and dedication. When you give credit to the progress of a fundraising team, they feel more invested in its success.

  1. Assign Responsibilities to Strengths

It’s essential to pair the strengths of your team members to their responsibilities. When team members are enabled to perform the tasks they do well, they’ll feel greater motivation to complete the task.

For example, if your team has a member who loves crunching numbers, then giving them the responsibility of treasurer is something they’ll enjoy. Assigning responsibilities to strengths ensures that members are set for success.

  1. Give Frequent Updates

The fundraising team should consistently receive updates on the progress of their goals. When the fundraiser is moving forward, the team will enjoy knowing that their hard work is leading to real results. When progress has slowed down, leaders should invest in the team look for solutions that will keep them moving forward.

  1. Take Team-Building Breaks

Teams that don’t take the time to recharge after long periods of hard work run the risk of burning themselves out. This is especially true for fundraisers that are working with sensitive subjects where the emotional toll is high.

Take your fundraising team on a retreat or ask your members to take part on a game night. Recreational activities like these enable relationship building and conversations that unify a team.

  1. Hold Regular Meetings

There’s power in holding regular meetings. For starters, it allows team members to better schedule their plans and help the fundraiser. Secondly, being consistent with meetings builds a sense of direction. When the team holds regular meetings, members can build the expectation that at a certain time and day, the team will come together and accomplish and its goals.

  1. Focus On Setting Goals

The team leaders should always have a goal in mind for their team. When leaders have a goal, they set the baseline for what is expected and how the team will get there.

Goals don’t necessarily have to be a dollar amount. A goal can be as simple as filling out a sponsorship form or securing enough chairs for a fundraising event. It’s crucial to always have a goal for the team to accomplish, motivating them to move forward.

When a fundraising team is motivated, they’re better engaged with the cause and develop a sense of goal ownership. Fundraising teams that don’t take the time to motivate their members run the risk of burnout. With these 7 motivational tips, teams can secure the momentum needed to accomplish their goals.

Need a fundraiser with no start-up costs to you or your student organization? Then learn how Popcorn Palace can help your fundraising team! All popcorn is made with all-natural flavors like Brown Sugar Caramel and Cheddarific, giving you the most satisfying crunch in every bite. Also, if your raise $499 or more in amounts due to Popcorn Palace we’ll take care of your shipping in the contiguous United States for FREE!

For more information about popcorn fundraising, fill our form below and a fundraising expert will contact you soon!

How to Hold Big Fundraisers for Small Groups

12 Aug

Working with a fundraising team towards a great cause, no matter how small, is always something to be proud of. Sometimes, the smaller team has the advantage when it comes to reviewing ideas, putting plans into action, and holding members accountable.

The key to big fundraising results for a small team is in knowing how to best leverage your time and resources. With a smaller team, roles are focused and everyone is essential. Here are 5 tips to fundraise big with a small team:

  1. Put The Word Out Online

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to promote your fundraiser is by starting a social media campaign. Ideally, you’d want to have a mix of social profiles that allow you to spread information as quickly, and to as many people as you can. Some popular networks and their uses include:

  • Facebook allows fundraisers to organize, promote causes, and engage supporters by creating a page.
  • Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are perfect for sharing images and video to a large active user-base.
  • WordPress, Tumblr, and Weebly are popular blogging sites with easy to format tools.
  • Twitter’s use of hashtags and micro-blogging format allow fundraisers to publish links and information quickly.
  1. Recycle Equipment

When working with a small team, organizing equipment like tables, chairs, sound equipment, and other items can be challenging. If the fundraiser isn’t sponsored, investing in equipment can be expensive. To save on your budget, consider asking members in your team if they can lend equipment until after the fundraiser is done.

If the members in your team can’t lend the needed equipment, consider asking other fundraisers and organizations if they will lend you theirs. Public spaces like recreational centers, parks, and, libraries, and gymnasiums can also make for great venues and in some instances it’s at no cost for non-profits. Just be sure to check with your local representatives about using public spaces before you start.

  1. Rotate Headquarters

Having regular meetings is an essential part of fundraising as it allows members to review their progress, discuss ideas, and plan upcoming events. With a smaller team, it’s critical that all members attend meetings as each member takes on more responsibilities.

A major advantage of working with a small team is having the flexibility to hold meetings whenever it’s most convenient. Consider rotating meeting location and times. This way, schedules are more flexible and all members can attend.

  1. Focus on Small Scale Events

Hosting an event is a popular method of fundraising. From a fun run to silent auctions, there are many creative ideas that will grab attention and help raise support. However, hosting an event requires a lot of time, resources, and a reasonably large team to plan and operate the event. Although it’s not impossible for a smaller team to host a fundraising event, a smaller team will need to take a different approach.

A smaller team should focus on simple fundraising events that can be done within a relatively short amount of time and with few resources. Some fundraising events that are work well for smaller teams are:

  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Movie Night
  • Bake Sale
  • Tie-Dye Party

These events require minimal resources and the majority of the work is done outside of the event.

  1. Host a Sales Fundraiser

Another method of fundraising that is also time and resource-effective is to host a sale. Unlike an event, hosting a sale doesn’t require a venue, a plan for activities, or an extensive preparation phase. Selling goods like candy and gourmet popcorn have a quick turnaround period and have minimal risk.

Larger fundraising events require an equally large investment of time and resources with most of the fundraising taking place during the event. A sale allows the fundraiser to better manage their risky because fundraising occurs in increments.

A sales fundraiser is also more flexible to opportunities than hosting an event. Small teams can partner with local events, participate in holidays, work with a sponsor and other fundraising teams to expand their reach.

All fundraisers, no matter how big or small can serve their communities and accomplish a greater good. The key is to be creative and leverage your available resources to meet big goals!

Are you a smaller organization that is looking for a fundraiser with a simple setup and no start-up costs? We help groups of all sizes hold big popcorn fundraisers! All of our popcorn is made with all-natural flavors like Fruit Rainbow and Cheddarific for the tastiest crunch in every bite. Also, if you raise $499 or more in amounts due to Popcorn Palace, we’ll take care of your shipping in the contiguous United States for FREE!

For more information about popcorn fundraising, fill our form below and a fundraising expert will contact you soon!

How to Start Fundraising on Facebook Today

2 Aug

A fundraising campaign wouldn’t be complete without an active Facebook account. Whether you’re a growing organization that hosts multiple fundraisers or a single cause with a tight deadline, having a Facebook allows fundraisers to engage with supporters.

Fundraisers who are new to managing pages, groups, events and social media campaigns may feel that starting a Facebook account is a large commitment. While it’s crucial to keep active, getting into a productive routine is much easier than you’d think. To get you started using Facebook today, we’ve outlined the essentials of an effective campaign.

Using a Facebook Page vs. Facebook Group

The status updates we see on our newsfeeds from companies, other non-profits, government organizations and celebrities all come from either a page or a group, as they offer unique settings to better manage communication.

To help you decide whether to start a page or group, we’ve organized a list of major differences and preferences:

Facebook Pages

Posts and information found on pages are made public and generally available to all users. Pages can gain followers through page likes and statuses will show in their feed.

The advantage of administrating a page is access to analytical tools and timed posts that will help your organization curate its content. These analytical tools can be used to boost engagement and attract more followers.

Facebook Groups

The major difference between a page and a group is the depth of the privacy settings. Groups can remain closed and secretive, which may be preferred for fundraisers who are dealing with sensitive topics or under-aged audiences.

Groups can also send notifications to group members by default, helping members stay updates on shared posts. Group members can also participate in chats, upload their photos into the group’s albums, and collaborate on shared documents.

For closed communities and audiences, a Facebook group may be the preferred method of communication. Larger fundraising organizations who are running multiple campaigns at a large-scale may find pages more inviting than asking supporters to join a group.

Organizing Content That Works

Similar to a personal profile, pages and groups can post status updates, events, milestones and notes for their followers to see. After you’ve decided on running a page or group, you’ll want to start planning out your social media campaigns.

Start by organizing a content calendar that follows the journey of your fundraising organization. If your organization is running multiple campaigns, each with their own fundraising events, promotions, partnerships and deadlines, you’ll want to make sure that your Facebook account is giving coverage.

Content Calendar

Collaborate with your promotions team to organize the type of content that will go on Facebook. For example, if the organization is coordinating a talent show in upcoming weeks, you’ll want to have an event write-up, photos and videos taken on-site, and event invites.

Consider using relevant trending topics, holidays and major events to promote your fundraising campaigns. For example, if your school’s athletic booster club is using Facebook to promote its fundraising events, you may want to have content ready for the annual Super Bowl, The World Series, NBA Finals and other large sporting events.

Create Content for Engagement

For some fundraisers, the goal of social media is to foster a community around their cause. On Facebook, this can come in the form of follower engagement – likes, shares and comments – with posts. Publishing content that invites follower engagement will help grow your followers and strengthen support for your cause.

Here are some content ideas that invite follower engagement:

  • Thanking supporters and giving shout outs to sponsors.
  • Videos and pictures that show progress on the cause.
  • Asking followers for volunteer work, ideas and support.
  • Commentating on relevant topics, articles, pictures and videos.

Use the Facebook analytics to keep track of your follower engagement. Facebook analytics will also detail gains and losses in followers, giving your organization insight on the type of content to publish.

Managing a Facebook account for your fundraiser can be fun and worthwhile for your cause. The key to a successful Facebook fundraising campaign is to be personable. Like meeting with supporters in person, a welcoming and confident voice will help followers invest in your fundraiser.

Fundraising doesn’t have to feel like a lengthy process. Start fundraising today with a popcorn fundraiser! All of the ingredients in our popcorn are made from all-natural flavors like Better Salt ‘n Pepper and Brown Sugar Caramel for a yummy crunch in every bite. Also, if your raise $499 or more in amounts due to Popcorn Palace we’ll take care of your shipping in the contiguous United States for FREE!

Want more information about popcorn fundraising, Facebook fundraising tips and our other resources? Fill our form below and a fundraising expert will contact you soon!