5 Ways to Simplify Fundraising

Easy School Fundraising Tips

It is about to be that time of year again — your child is coming home with a school fundraiser and is full of hope to earn all the great prizes they could get by being a top seller. Now it’s your turn to help with the holiday shop fundraisers. The question is — where do you start? 

Don’t worry, we have our top 5 tips to simplify your school holiday store fundraiser. Follow along with our guide to make it easy, stressfree, and successful this season. 

holiday gift shop fundraiser

Step 1: Define Your Selling Audience

The first step in your fundraising journey is to identify potential people to sell to. 

A lot of people envision school fundraising by going door to door and asking strangers for money. Door-to-door selling is hard and doesn’t lead to a lot of success. Taking the time to get your target audience set up will make the whole process much easier. 

Who Are the Two Target Groups To Sell To?

The two target groups you are going to want to talk to are Friends and Family and your Product People. By working in these two groups you should have your Christmas shop fundraiser off the ground and running immediately.

Friends and Family
A study showed that people who have a close relationship are 400% more likely to spend money on a fundraiser than strangers. Take the time and write down or put into a spreadsheet all the people you consider your friends or who you spend a lot of time with – consider people you interact with at your jobs, hobbies, volunteer work, church, sports organizations, and so forth. 

You will use this list to reach out and ask for help with the fundraiser. The best part is these friends and family are far more likely to help you and the conversations are so much easier to have than if you were talking with a stranger.

When you are talking to people you care about, it is important to make sure to let them know why the fundraiser is important to you or your child. They will be more likely to spend money if they know why and how they are helping you and your child out.

Product People
Product people are the people you think will want whatever your holiday gift shop is selling. If your fundraiser is selling food products then think of all the people you know that love food. If you are selling other items, go through your parent groups and think of anyone who might have mentioned an interest in what you are selling.

When you reach out to your product people remember your main selling point is the products. Make sure they know all the items your child is selling and the quality of the products. Instead of just directing them to the store to look for themselves, have a couple of items you think will interest them already picked out to show them.

Step 2: Ask For Referrals and Help

After you have talked to your two groups, it’s time to ask them to help out by spreading the word. Let them know how much it would mean to you and your child if they would reach out to their own group(s) of people and help the fundraiser.

One of the biggest mistakes of working a fundraiser is trying to do everything yourself. Try asking for referrals; it will cast a bigger net and allow you to reach people you might not have met before.

When talking to your product people, they might be a part of groups that have similar interests as they do. Tapping into the groups can be a gold mine since they are likely to be a product person themselves.

Tip! To make referrals easy, have extra copies of the product pages or the website URL handy. Referrals are more likely to be successful if you make it easy and quick for people to pass on your info, so have extra copies of the brochures (you can ask your child’s school) or have an email you can copy/paste with all the ordering info that you can send out and forward as requested. 

Step 3: Remember to Follow Up on the School Fundriaser

Keeping organized is key! You want to start a spreadsheet or write down everyone you talk to. Keep a list of who you’ve contacted, if they’ve ordered, if they’ve requested more info, and any other notes about your conversation. This sounds time-consuming but doesn’t have to be — keep a document on your phone’s notepad or have a notebook with your fundraising brochure to scribble notes in. 

Once a week or every two weeks, follow back up with people you’ve talked to. You’ll want to ask them if they’ve decided on a purchase they were thinking about or see if their referrals have asked for any more info. 

Calling people back is important because life happens and your fundraiser, more than likely, has taken a backseat and possibly been forgotten. Giving them a reminder might be the only way you get them to make an order so don’t be shy about following up. People will be excited to help out and will appreciate your follow-through. 

Step 4: Use Social Media

Use social media as a tool to announce to any and everyone about your holiday shop fundraisers. You never know who is looking at your posts and tapping into a new audience could be huge.

When creating a post include: who the fundraiser is for, why it is important to you and your child, and what products you are selling. Since social media is not targeting a specific audience, you need to try and pitch to everyone’s needs.

At the end of your post encourage people to leave comments. The more comments on a post the more Facebook will show to new people in their formula. Don’t be shy to take orders in the comment section or just tell people to comment if they are interested. 

Step 5: Set Realistic Timelines and Have Fun

Many parents think school holiday shop fundraisers are stressful because they need to deliver the products or items quickly. However, you can set-up a timeline that works for you when talking to your friends and taking orders.

Let them know when products are supposed to be delivered and organize the best that works for you to get products handed out. Don’t make it too fast or too busy all at once – remember, this should be fun!