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Shop Till You Drop

The Lee's Summit High School Athletic Booster Club in Lee's Summit, Missouri, partnered with a local shopping center developer to sell coupon books to two area shopping centers and in the process raised more than $6,000.

By Janet Pressly
President, Lee's Summit High School Athletic Booster Club
Lee's Summit High School
Lee's Summit, Missouri

We have recently begun a coupon book fundraiser with two of our local malls, which has proven to be very successful. The two malls are Summit Fair and Summit Woods Crossing, which are located in a suburb of Kansas City.

A local developer, RED Development, runs both malls so we approached them about the idea. They were receptive because they wanted to do more business. It was a win-win.

Together we designed the coupon book that had 30 coupons inside. The coupons were about 3" x 3 ½" rectangular shaped and stapled together. All people had to do was perforate them.

On the first page was an entry form for a $250 shopping spree at either shopping center. All purchasers had to do was drop it off at one of three pre-selected stores.

We paid a percentage for the books and RED Development paid for the rest and had them printed. Our out of pocket expense was $250. We ran two complimentary ads in the local paper to promote the fundraiser.

Our spring sports start in March. So we started the fundraiser in mid-March. Since you really can't go too long with these types of fundraisers and drag them out, we ended it around the second week of April.

We have sports reps, which are members of our Booster Club, for each spring sport and we asked our reps to have each kid sell between five and 10 books at $10 each. RED Development let us keep all of the profits in exchange for all of the traffic and sales we provided in the stores. We made more than $6,000 from sales of the books.

There were probably 20-25 stores that participated including: a mattress store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michaels arts and craft store, some clothing stores, Dick's Sporting Goods, Chipotle Mexican Grill, yogurt stores, and haircut salons. We couldn't get any of the really big stores like Macy's and J.C. Penney's because they are corporate and there were too many levels to go through.

You can't make people fundraise but we explained to our coaches and athletes to emphasize that by doing this, people are helping fund our Coach's Request, which provides money to coaches to buy equipment. Since 2003 we have given over $300,000 to coaches through this program.

Each of the sports reps offered ideas to the parents as how best to utilize and purchase the coupon books. Ideas included buying five or so outright and then selling them whenever they wanted or giving them away as gifts. Our participation was pretty awesome.

RED Development was extremely happy with how out it turned out. When you talk about doing a fundraiser, most people don't consider going to their local malls and finding the developer and asking about working together. I would definitely suggest looking into it. is brought to you by a recognized and established name in the school athletics arena, MomentumMedia—publisher of Athletic Management, Coaching Management and Training & Conditioning magazines.