The fact that there are so many students in a typical elementary or middle school creates the potential for huge sales and profits. But because there are so many students at one of these schools it can be hard to organize and control the results of such a large school fundraiser. All hope is not lost as there are three key elements to a school fundraiser that if monitored while planning for the sale, will all but guarantee that your fundraiser will be a huge success.
Long before your school fundraiser gets started, things in-kind donation should be in place and ready to go for the big fundraiser kick off day. Probably the best thing that a PTA or PTO can do before the fundraiser ever gets started is to make sure that all the parents of the school children know that a fundraiser is about to happen BEFORE it happens. At least once and it is even better to do this twice, send a letter home with the students that tells the parents a little about the upcoming school fundraiser and why the school needs the funds. In any communications you do in this manner never forget to ask explicitly for their help and participation.
Have an assembly or rally to kick the fundraiser off. The fundraising chairperson can create excitement about the fundraiser. It is also great to discuss with the students what money is being raised for – where will the money they earn go? What are the positive results of their efforts?
Of course you really don’t have to cover all that in great detail with the students as doing that in any great detail would put them to sleep. We want them excited about the sale, not bored to tears about it. So unless you have a production equivalent to High School Musical 2 or the real Sponge Bob and Patrick to cover those details in song or antics, I would say, “Just mention it.” The bottom line is that the kids generally don’t have the interest or the memory to “spread the word” about what the money is going to be used for. That is what the parent letter is for anyway.
The part that gets the students attention and raises their excitement is not the product being sold or the purpose of the fundraiser… It’s The Prizes! In fact, if your prizes are really good, you could actually forget about the communication stuff mentioned above. The students will make sure your parents know all about it. If all you do for a school fundraiser kickoff is show the prizes and hold up the fundraising brochure that the prize program “goes with,” you will have a perfect fundraising kickoff. It is really that simple as long as the prizes are really good.