GetMyKit has been helping schools across the country fundraise for their programs for two years now. We offer a great program, but we’ve also learned some things along the way that will help you succeed with any fundraiser.
Set a Goal: Goals give supporters confidence that their support is making a difference. Often, schools are in a fundraising routine with no goal in mind. It’s difficult to motivate families, let alone outside supporters, to support your fundraiser if you don’t have a goal. When will the fundraiser end? How will you know you’ve succeeded? Are you trying to raise $1,000, or $10,000?
Know Your Cause: People want to know what they’re supporting before putting money toward a cause. When we talk to schools about their fundraising goals, many just don’t have one. They need money for lots of things and never really specify. From our own experience as parents of school-age kids, we’re far more likely to support Mary’s grade 7 grad trip than the PAC’s pointsettia fundraiser, because the latter never identifies what the money will support or how it will support our kids. If you identify a cause that you’re fundraising for, no matter how big or small, supporters are more able to see how their money is helping the cause. We’ve had GetMyKit fundraisers support new carpets for the preschool room, new outdoor seating for sporting events, and band trips.
Offer Incentives. Reward students and families who do the most work to support the fundraiser. Parents and kids are tired of buying things, but more than that they’re tired of hitting up friends, relatives, and coworkers to buy things. Take a tip from the Girl Guides: those girls know exactly how much money their unit gets for a case of cookies, what their goal is, and what thing they’re fundraising for… but they’re also incentivized. When Mary the Girl Guide sells 7 cases of cookies, she gets a crest. When she sells 15 cases, she gets a gift card for the movies. The incentives go up from there. Set aside some funds from your fundraiser for rewards for your students and families who do the most work to support the fundraiser. GetMyKit has a number of incentive programs to offer depending on they type of fundraiser you’re running.
Set a Deadline. Deadlines create urgency and encourage supporters to act now before they forget. We’re a very busy, easily distracted society today. Set a short term fundraising period so supporters don’t put the information and paperwork aside and forget about it. If you know you only have two weeks to purchase something, you’re more likely to act fast. If you have two months, you’ll “get to it later” … and then never get back to it. Most GetMyKit fundraisers run for 2-3 weeks.
Make It Easy. Make it easy for supporters to pay and volunteers to track online. Cash and cheques are not “easy” for most. We’re busy, and we don’t carry cash and cheques. Many schools are switching to an online program for their fundraising needs so parents and supporters can pay for hot lunch and fundraisers online. Many of our schools have used Munch a Lunch, for example.
Embrace Change. Change it up and find a fundraiser that isn’t the same thing you’ve been asking supporters to buy for years. One of the most appealing things about a GetMyKit fundraiser is that it’s different. It’s not the same tired fundraiser you’ve been buying every year whether you want it or not, and it’s something you need.
Find New Customers. Think of ways to reach new supporters you never knew you had! Encourage families to reach beyond asking Grandma and Grandpa. Mary has sold those delicious cookies door to door, in front of the grocery store, on Facebook, and had retail stores sell them for her. Very few of her sales were to Grandma or her parents’ coworkers.
Launch! Parents get stacks and stacks of paper coming home each week, and it multiplies if you have more than one child in the same school. It’s easy for fundraisers to get lost in the shuffle. Consider a campaign launch party that involves not just the school but the broader community. Make it an event. GetMyKit can support Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland schools with in-person support to put together an emergency preparedness event in your community and kick off your fundraiser big time.