Schools are essential for the future of the children and thus the world itself, because children are its future. Quite often, schools require funds they do not have on their disposal. In those cases, there is a need for different ways of raising money, and one of the most popular ones is a fundraiser. Parents assigned with such an important duty are usually enthusiastic about organizing the event, but enthusiasm is not enough to make the fundraiser an efficient one.
How to Organize a Successful School Fundraiser
1. Have a Clear Purpose and Goal
If you are thinking that “there is a need for additional money in the school budget” is enough of a purpose, you are dead wrong. “There is a need for new instruments for music classes”, however, is quite clear. In discussion with the school principle, teachers and board members, you should decide on the exact amount of money you are aiming for, in order to determine the available budget for the organization.
2. Determine the Budget
Speaking of… Determining the budget might be the most difficult task of them all. This requires a complete list of all the expenses you intend to make, which should include staff, space rental, invitations, entertainment, catering, utilities, security, transportation, and all the other necessary things. Make sure, though, that you leave some money on the side for any unforeseen costs. Also, keep in mind that when everything is done, you should raise the amount of money that is significantly larger than all the expenses.
3. Have a Great Idea
The most important thing about a fundraiser is having an idea that sells. In the case of school fundraising, there are many interesting ways to collect enough money. Some of the most interesting ideas are bake sales, raffles, quiz nights, bingo, popcorn sales, flower sale, flea market, pizza day, car wash, talent show, dance-a-thon, silent auction, charity concert, read-a-thon, fashion show, game day, art exhibition, battle of the bands, movie night, etc. Involving kids in creating ideas for school fundraiser will build their creative and learning skills, too.
4. Know Your Audience
In order to throw a successful fundraiser event you have to know what kind of parents you can expect and what amount of effort and money they are willing to invest. Do your research about the demographics. Compare the number of stay-at-home parents which could help by volunteering and the ones with influential job positions, which could give money or invite other well-situated people. Also, try to figure out what sort of event they would like the most.
5. Find a Perfect Place
When doing your research about different school formal venues make sure you choose the one that is spacious enough to receive all the guests and allows them to mingle, but not too spacious, because it can look empty if the turnout is not so great. Also, consider the location of the venue, since it should be at some easily reachable place, so the guests do not have to travel large distances to get there, because that can discourage them from coming. The perfect place should be decorated perfectly and serve great foods.
6. Promote the Event
Similar like when you are trying to sell a new product, a fundraising event needs to be creatively and “aggressively” promoted to the audience. The most conventional ways of marketing a fundraiser are to pass out flyers, hang up posters, and ask for a commercial in local newspaper or radio. You should look beyond that and use social media as your promotion tool – post pictures, motivational quotes, updates, etc.
7. Be a Great Host
This one is a no-brainer right? The host and the volunteers should be kind, smiling and wishing everyone a warm welcome. After the event is over, it is important to formally thank all the people present (including the ones who have worked with you in organizing the event), and to acknowledge their contribution.
Hopefully, by now you have a clear image on throwing a successful fundraiser. Good luck.