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Five Common Mistakes That Can Hurt School Fundraisers

When planning a successful fundraiser for your school, you will be well-served by doing some planning before the students begin selling. This article will help identify both what you want to do (fundraising tips) and what you want to avoid (fundraiser mistakes).

Rada Cutlery has been working with fundraising groups since 1948.  Based on over 60 years of experience with helping groups fundraise, we have compiled of list of five common mistakes that can hurt your school fundraiser. For successful fundraising, avoid:  1) lack of organization, 2) not setting deadlines, 3) failing to communicate your cause, 4) loosing order takers and 5) failing to hold a fundraiser kickoff.

1. Unorganized. An unorganized fundraiser can become a headache for a leader from the very beginning. If a leader does not have a fundraising strategy in place for their class or school before the fundraiser starts this can lead to confusion and affect the amount of selling the students do.

Make sure you know about the company you are selling with and any policies they have in place. Then communicate these policies to the students. One of the serious issues some leaders face is collecting the money. When fundraising with Rada Cutlery we suggest you collect the money at the time the sale is made. This helps avoid confusion when it is time to deliver the products. Make sure to communicate with your students when you would like the money collected.

Organization is important for successful fundraising

2. No set deadline. A successful fundraiser needs to have a defined start and end date. Students need to be aware of the end date because it can become frustrating and confusing for leaders when late order forms are submitted. Usually, school fundraisers span two to three weeks. This provides an adequate amount of time for students to sell without them loosing interest in the fundraiser. Providing students periodic reminders will help nudge them to keep contacting friends and family about the fundraiser.

3. Loosing order takers. This can be an issue with students, especially younger students participating in the fundraiser. Loosing an order taker frustrates the customer and may create a negative relationship between the customers and the schools. It is really important that leaders stress the importance of the order takers to students. For younger children fundraising leaders may want to consider sending a letter home to the parents so they are aware the fundraiser is occurring and will know when the order taker needs to be returned.

4. Fundraiser’s purpose. Not communicating why your group is raising funds is another very common mistake that can harm the success of your school fundraiser. When a customer knows what their money will be used for they will be more likely to be supportive. For example, if a student is raising money for a class trip tell that to your customer when approaching them. This helps the customer know that their purchase is going to make a difference.

5. Fundraiser kickoff. Holding a kickoff for your fundraiser is something many groups fail to do when fundraising – and it can hurt the amount of products they sell. As the leader of your school fundraiser instead of just passing out the materials and having them begin, gather everyone together for a short meeting. Share with them the importance of this fundraiser and how it will benefit them as students. This will hopefully spark some enthusiasm with the students and increase your school’s sales which will lead to more profits for your cause!

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