As a teacher or PTA member, you know the importance of fundraisers to your school.
You know how far fundraising money goes towards supporting school projects and buying students’ essential equipment like laptops.
If you want to help your school kick off a fundraising drive and don’t have a clue, you must have asked yourself, ‘how do I start a fundraiser?’
In this blog post, we will provide you with the necessary information you need to tackle your school fundraiser as a first-timer.
Before you start a fundraising drive, you must first ask yourself a few questions:
Once you know why the fundraiser is important, you can convince others to support you. Make sure everyone knows that the idea is for the children’s welfare. Once they hear that the students are the main focus, other teachers and PTA/PTO members will support your cause/idea.
Once you decide why you need a fundraiser, it is time to plan. To start a successful fundraiser, you should plan six months or a year in advance. Giving you enough time to engage all stakeholders. Many school fundraisers are unsuccessful because the organizers don’t plan the event well in advance.
You cannot plan a fundraiser on your own.
You need a team of at least 3-5 people. These could be volunteers or people with previous experience handling school fundraisers.
You can also engage parents by sending them a friendly email requesting their participation as volunteers. Having experienced people on your team will allow you to plan effectively.
One team member should handle the communications, and another should be comfortable counting money and keeping track of donations. At the same time, another should be a project manager, ensuring deadlines are met and keeping all volunteers on track.
Pro tip: don’t be quick to assign roles to the members. It is best to ask them which role they are most comfortable with (depending on their experience and skills). This will allow you to assign roles to the most capable individuals to ensure efficiency.
At this point, you should know precisely what you want to do once you hit your fundraising target. This could be a new gym for the basketball team, buying new uniforms for the girl’s netball team, new equipment for the school band, etc.
Once you have an end goal, you can use it to plan the events for the fundraiser. You will know exactly how much you need and the minimum contribution you’d require from your supporters.
Pro tip: always be upfront with the minimum contribution you require from your donors (parents, members of the community, students, etc.). It is also essential to communicate the end goal clearly and let potential donors know how important it is to achieve your goals.
Once you have an end goal, the next step is deciding which type of fundraiser best allows you to achieve your objectives.
There are plenty of fundraising ideas, many of which are tried and tested. However, you can always add some fun ideas to encourage participation. Alternatively, you can also try your ideas or ask for opinions from your team members.
Either way, you have a plethora of choices when it comes to picking the type of fundraiser. If necessary, engage the alumni since they have the best interests of their alma mater at heart.
When you are running a school fundraiser, a lot of things can go wrong. It is therefore very important to keep everything organized.
Start by creating deadlines. Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve and the type of fundraiser, you will hold. This way, you will be able to create a workable schedule and optimize the time you have.
While at it, create a calendar with the most important dates leading up to the fundraiser.
You can make a handwritten calendar or create one using an electronic device (e.g., a smartphone) to set notifications. At this point, you don’t want to miss a step.
Remember to review the dates with other members of your organizing team to ensure you are all reading from the same script.
Needless to say, you need your supporters and donors to know about your fundraiser, no matter how big or small. Spreading the word about the drive is therefore very important. Luckily, there are plenty of options for you to capture the attention of potential donors.
You can use the power of the internet, including effective platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the school website, and email friends and family who may not necessarily be on social media. You may also use the good old posters.
Make sure you are in constant communication with members of your team. Occasionally do check-ins to ensure things are running smoothly and everyone knows what is expected of them, especially in the lead-up to the fundraising event.
Starting a fundraiser is not a walk in the park, but we hope the above tips will help you take that school fundraiser by the horns. It is all a learning experience, and we hope that you will achieve your fundraising goals.
Whatever happens, always remember that you are already a winner for putting in all those voluntary hours for the greater good. Pat yourself on the back!
PS: Remember to thank your donors regardless of the fundraising outcome. This will make them feel special and motivate them to contribute to your future drives. If students and parents were involved, show them your appreciation for their efforts as well.