Keeping Your Eye on the Ball
When it comes to fundraising, it's important to keep your eye on the ball. It's critical to take every opportunity to promote the reasons why your group is raising money. Three out of four parents who supported a product fundraising program last year were told how the money would be spent, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by the Association of Fundraising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS). Furthermore, nearly one in three parents reported that knowing the fundraiser's goal influenced them to purchase more products.
by Jon Krueger
Jon Krueger is communications specialist for the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers. For more information and tips on how to an effective fundraising program, visit www.afrds.org.
"Timely, effective communication with parents is key to success," said Russ Colombo, a former high school baseball coach and professional fundraiser in Texas with more than 30 years of experience. It's important to communicate the goals of your fundraiser before and during the sale because it's difficult to generate excitement at the last minute, according to Colombo. "Parents want to know in advance how much money needs to be raised and how long they have to raise it," he said. There are several efficient and effective ways to promote your next fundraiser.
Get the Word Out
Every chance you get, communicate the specific goal of your group's fundraiser. For example, don't say, "We're halfway to $5,000." Instead say, "We're halfway to 40 new uniforms for the homecoming game."
- Use Web sites, newsletters, outdoor boards (i.e., the school marquee) and local cable bulletin boards to communicate important information to parents and supporters and updates on the fundraising programand of course, always be sure to mention why you're raising the money.
- Offer parents tips for how to fundraise unobtrusively in the workplace.
- Offer parent and/or family incentives for participating, such as dinner at a local restaurant or a raffle ticket for a weekend getaway to a nearby popular destination.
- And finally, find a way to say "thank you" to all supporters (include a thank you note when the products are delivered).
Legendary football coach Lou Holtz once said, "All winning teams are goal-oriented. Nothing will distract them from achieving their aims." Good advice from a smart coachand applicable to booster clubs as well. As booster club president or athletic director, it's up to you to get parents, coaches, players and other supporters motivated and all pulling in the same direction.
When it comes to fundraising, success comes with careful planning, motivational coaching and good old-fashioned promotion. Your willingness of to execute these activities effectively could mean the difference between fundraising success or failure.