What’s your Back to School Fundraiser Plan?
It’s time to brush up on your Back to School Fundraiser Plan. As those sweet days of summer fade into fall, your school or team needs to think ahead and decide what their fundraising goals are for the year. Hopefully, some of the planning was started in the spring before everyone ran out the door and into the summer sunshine. If that didn’t happen, don’t fear, here are some tips to help get the ball rolling. So, grab a pumpkin spice latte and let’s get started.
10 straightforward tips to putting together a fundraiser plan:
1. Think ahead and start early
First of all, the sooner you have your team, goals and plan in place the better. Therefore, get out your calendar and make rough notes outlining your fundraising timeline as soon as possible.
2. Determine why you need a fundraiser
Next, have a clear idea of the purpose of the fundraiser. Will the focus of the fundraiser be to:
- Solve a problem
- Make an opportunity
- Fill a need
Ensure that your fundraiser plan can clearly demonstrate and articulate the benefits of having the fundraiser to potential donors. Conversely, could just ask for cash donations instead? Would that save time and effort?
3. Who will be on your TEAM?
To start with, put the call out for volunteers. Next, determine who has previous experience and can share stories and give advice. Recognize that new volunteers could be nervous about what is involved. Either way, find out everyone’s strengths and interests and then start assigning roles:
- Team Management-Liaison between team members, task assignments and monitoring
- Finance-Deals with the money
- Administration-Deals with donor lists, product acquisition and delivery
- Database Maintenance-Inputs data to track donations and donors, tracks performance of the fundraiser
- Communications-Gets the word out about the fundraiser on multiple platforms, makes sure donors and volunteers are informed and thanked for their help
4. Decide how best to raise the funds
- Research what products/activities have the best returns
- Decide if donors should have options (Can they give cash donations or purchase products?)
- Ask if benefiting the wider the community is a priority (Are you supporting local businesses?)
- Make sure products are useful and high quality
5. Timing is everything
Make deadlines for all assignments and tasks in your fundraiser plan. Volunteers need to know they are accountable for keeping things on track. Additionally, make sure all the important dates associated with your goal are included on your Donation Request Letter.
6. Write the Donation Request letter-The Ask
How you communicate your request and goal is vitally important; it has to be personal, clear and direct. Moreover, a well crafted message should encourage potential donors to see your vision. You want them to become a part of something bigger.
7. Get the kids involved
Let teammates and school mates join in and help. For example, get them making posters, writing letters, and calling relatives. Above all, make sure they are invested in the campaign. This fundraising plan is being put into place for them.
8. Communication is key
Make sure you are communicating effectively. Because, no one wants to feel caught of guard by due dates or surprise deliveries. For this reason, make sure to spread the word on several social media platforms. In fact, try to send the information out more than once during the campaign. Once you get all of the letters and emails out, continue to keep everyone informed and updated on due dates and delivery times. Finally, keep everyone updated on how close you’re getting to your goal.
9. Track your data
Note that all campaign information collected is extremely useful. Your team or school can determine what worked and what didn’t by tracking who made donations, what they gave or spent and what they ordered. Consequently, that data can help clarify and simplify next years plan.
10. Thank everyone involved
Finally, successful back to school fundraising planning is a team effort. Therefore, make sure to thank everyone that worked hard to get you to your goal. Use social media sites to spread your gratitude. Send out special recognition to your biggest donors and most dedicated volunteers. Ideally, you want donors to feel appreciated and likely to contribute again in the future.
Raising funds for your school or team should not be approached with fear and trepidation. Fundraising can be a learning opportunity for volunteers, kids and donors. More importantly, fundraising for a purpose ensures that your kids get to experiencing new challenges and opportunities as a part of a team. Now, get back to thinking about what to pack for all those lunches!