School’s out for the summer, and now is a great time to plan your next school fundraiser. Most schools welcome and even rely on some fundraising activities to sustain their programs and create new ones. School fundraising supports all kinds of academic, enrichment and after-school programs, and building and grounds improvements.
Here are eight key planning tips to ensure you reach your goal to bring needed funds to your school.
Define Your School Fundraiser
What is the purpose of your school fundraiser? What do you hope to achieve? Identify your reasons for raising money and how it will be spent. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with the funds you raise for the school. Write them down and communicate them to others.
Set a Budget
Identify the target income amount of your fundraiser and all the expenses, from start to finish. Include the upfront costs required to carry out your event to make your fundraiser effective.
Recruit Volunteers For Your Fundraiser
Leverage volunteers to get the job done well, and those with useful skill sets will make things much easier throughout your fundraising campaign. Find out who can bring skills to areas needed to get the fundraiser off the ground, such as software applications, carpentry, finance, and project management. Organize teams according to the different tasks.
Create a Fundraiser Timeline
Pick a date that works for both the school calendar and your own. Calendar key dates for getting things done, with a practical lead time. Plan to get as many students and families to attend your event as possible to make it successful.
Fundraise Online and Offline
Use different ways to communicate your event, including printed and electronic school newsletters, flyers, email, and social media. As you get closer to the actual date, give frequent updates about logistics and details to build interest. Share with friends and family, and request that they share as well!
Who to Ask for Fundraiser Donations
If you have individuals or corporate entities who might donate either money or in-kind donations, like food, wine, balloons, graphics design or other services, then you need to write a strong, detailed, and compelling request to these donors. Tailor the requests individually as needed. Explain why funding is needed and how it will make a difference for students and school staff. Anyone who has a connection to the school community of students – families, friends, neighbors, and their friends and families, too – can be approached to contribute to your fundraiser event. The business community in your school area is vitally important to approach: merchants, restaurants, and nonprofit organizations. There is mutual benefit for both school and business communities to partner and advance everyone’s best interests.
Post and Share Your School Fundraiser on Social Media
Publicize your fundraiser event for free with social media! Share it on Facebook and Twitter, and post pictures and video on Instagram, for example. Build excitement and reinforce the event’s key facts. You will reach more people online by sharing this event with great pictures and asking your connections to share it, too. To learn more about using social media effectively, check out these social media tips.
Say Thank You to All
When it’s over, say a big thank you to all who helped make your fundraiser successful: donors, volunteers, school staff, and parents who went the extra mile in giving time, effort, and generosity. Post online and in print, reaching everyone who played a role.
In addition to raising money, school fundraisers build and strengthen the community of parents, kids, and school staff. Enhancing your fundraiser with online crowdfunding can further your efforts substantially. For example, if your school needs help financing a substantial project, such as a building renovation or scholarship fund, crowdfunding online can help you reach your school’s fundraising goals.