Lean Stream

It is no secret that fundraisers are a fantastic way of raising revenue for schools. It is also an opportunity for students to get involved, learn about teamwork, and reconnect with alumni. As a bonus, fundraisers boost the school spirit in the process. 

Perhaps more importantly, the funds raised from such drives are a significant boost for schools as they can purchase educational resources/important classroom materials and improve sporting facilities. 

However, a successful fundraiser requires a marketing push. This means you have to make the good headlines and steer clear of the bad ones.

So, how do you make the headlines (or stay out of them) with your school fundraisers?

We cover this important topic below.

Use Your School Website

Your students and parents are constantly checking out information on your school website. They need to know about important dates, look for assignment information, and other pertinent details. One way to make the headlines is to make sure information about your fundraiser is prominently featured on the school website. 

This way, anyone visiting the page will know about it. This will encourage students and parents to get involved. 

Pro tip: don’t forget to include the relevant links so that visitors find it easy to participate. 

Involve the Local Media

This one is a no-brainer: using the local media will undoubtedly increase awareness. It will broaden your reach and get more community members involved, which is the ultimate goal. 

However, you need to be cautious when using the media. The school and the potential beneficiaries of your fundraiser will be under the spotlight. You have to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the subsequent media glare. While at it, do not put your students under undue scrutiny unless it is essential, which is rarely the case anyway.

If the fundraiser appeals to the local audience, the local newspapers, TV stations, magazines, and blogging websites will have no problem featuring it on their platforms.

However, you will need to do your research to figure out the media outlets that are most likely to cover the fundraiser. Don’t hesitate to reach out to media contacts who may be parents, relatives, or friends for help getting the word out.

Involve the Local Media

  • Look for individuals instead of sending out dozens of messages to every local journalist. Once you’ve identified them, please send a detailed email telling them how their coverage would aid your cause. Most media outlets have a news tip email address or online submission form. Sending to this one address (unless you already have a connection) is the best way to ensure your message gets routed to the appropriate media personnel.
  • Use social media. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are excellent platforms to capture the attention of interested local journalists. Use mentions or common hashtags to help get their attention.
  • Use your network. You’ve probably done a great job advertising your upcoming fundraiser on your school website and social media, but getting local journalists’ contacts sometimes can be challenging. That’s when you use your teachers, students, and other school staff. Don’t underestimate how connected your supporters maybe with the relevant media personalities.

Get A Few Donations First

One trick to making your fundraisers trend is having some donations in the bag before you start spreading the news about it. This will instill FOMO (fear of missing out) in the rest of your supporters.  

In any case, people tend to follow good examples. Make sure you mention the donations you have already received on your website and social media pages.

Keep Your Supporters Updated

Make sure your supporters are updated by regularly sharing information about the progress and preparations. Repeat the message, so your supporters don’t forget about the date and the importance of their contribution. Keep in mind that people have a lot going on in their lives. They may forget about the fundraiser if you don’t constantly remind them. Thank them in advance, and shout out to those who have already contributed. This will encourage others to contribute. 

Pro tip: escalate your updates when your fundraiser is two weeks away. It works!

How to Stay Out of the Headlines (for the wrong reasons)

Now that you know the things you need to do to stay in the headlines let’s look at the mistakes you need to avoid. With the following tips, you will emerge from your fundraiser with the ultimate prize: donor money.

Lacking a Clear Message

Donors are more likely to part with their money if they know exactly how their donations will help. Generic messages like ‘Our School Needs Your Help’ will not cut it. Let the donors know if the fundraiser intends to help the school football team buy new uniforms.

You may even prepare a mock picture of what the sleek new gear will look like to inspire people to give. 

Completely Focusing On the Problem

Every school has its unique challenges. However, that doesn’t mean donors want to hear about the gym showers that broke down last year or the worn-out books that have to be held together by rubber bands. Instead of focusing on the bad, the message should focus on how the donations will provide a solution.

For example, Our fundraiser seeks to raise $10k, which will go a long way towards buying new instructional materials for 100 students in Grade 6.

Being Scared to Ask for Money

Let’s face it; the only way donors will support your cause is if you ask for money. We get it; asking people for money can be uncomfortable. However, there are many ways of soliciting funds that will not be intimidating. 

While at it, be prepared for refusals, don’t be afraid to quote a specific amount, be transparent, and be ready to answer questions from donors. 

Not Involving the Local Businesses

Many businesses value profits over people. However, local companies have a lot to gain by contributing to school fundraisers. Involve the local grocery store, breakfast joints, local banks, etc.

Keep in mind that they are in business, so consider what you will offer them in return. You will get the donations you need while the business looks good in the community, which is a win-win for everyone. 

Good luck in your fundraising endeavors from everyone at Lean Steam. Remember to look at our great fundraising solutions that will help you engage donors and be in control of your fundraising initiatives.

Please contact us and let us know how we can be of help.