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5 Ways to put the “FUN” back into FUNDraising!

Fundraising is something most schools and groups face at least once a year, if not multiple times. When you hear the word, “Fundraising”, does it make you flinch? Do you have visions of lots of paperwork, phone calls, cardboard delivery boxes, etc.?? If you do, then you are not alone. For most of us, fundraising is necessary to help supplement and support all of the opportunities we want to give our children. So how can you approach it differently this time and make it “fun” again?

Here are 5 ways we think can help:
  1. Don’t be afraid to try something NEW! Don’t be stale. Offering the same fundraiser every year gets boring for everyone. Try changing things up with:
    • New product offering
    • New incentives for sellers
    • New time of year
    • Find new companies to help reach your goal
  2. Build a fundraising “team”. A team approach builds momentum and excitement and most importantly many hands to help keep the group on track for success.
    • No man is an island. Don’t try to do this all on your own. It’s fun to brainstorm and develop a plan with others who care about the purpose of your fundraiser.
    • Include the kids as part of the team! The kids will love rolling up their sleeves and working with you.
    • Find 2-3 capable and fun friends, co-workers, or parents to help! Divvy up the work load based on skill sets and interests. Is Mary good on the computer? Is Sally great at sending emails? Jane is experienced at social media! You get the idea.
  3. Put yourself in your Buyer’s shoes. Do they fit?? Ask yourself these important questions:
    • Would you want to buy this?
    • Do you already have 10 pairs of these shoes in your closet?
    • Are these products a good value?
    • Will the product selection appeal to most people?
  4. Use your fundraising company’s customer service folks as consultants! They are your partners in your fundraising effort.
    • First review their website for tips and ideas.
    • Talk to the customer service people for new ideas and approaches that other groups like yours have found to be useful and successful. They’ve probably worked with thousands of groups and have learned many things along the way.>
    • Ask lots of questions – these companies are full of good information!! They want you to succeed! It is in their best interest that you do so – so don’t hesitate to reach out.
  5. Utilize ALL social media platforms. Social media is a terrific way to spread the word far and wide. The use of multiple creative communication methods will reach more people.
    • This is great work for your team to share! Some people are more comfortable and experienced in all the latest technology and social media – get one of these folks on your team!
    • Facebook – SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – post pictures too! You can get pictures from the company you are working with – or take some of your own. Post multiple times during your selling period.
    • Email – Everyone has an email. Parents and kids can pass the information along to their friends and family.
    • Twitter – Have kids and parents tweet about their favorite products or tweet about their sales status for some friendly competition #FUNdraiser. Who on your team would be good at that?
    • Website – Promote on your group’s website! Let every visitor to the site have a chance to know about your fundraiser!
    • Email Blasts and Newsletters – Promote in your school’s newsletters and email blasts. Does your school communicate with the parents weekly? Do they have weekly calendars they send home? Find out what ways parents are communicated to and join in the conversation!!

The hallmarks of a successful fundraising campaign are not just the dollars raised (although that is important!) but also the building of relationships and the growth of your presence in the community around you. By enriching existing relationships and fostering new ones you can positively impact future campaigns and sow seeds for your next fundraiser. Take the drudgery out of your next fundraising effort by following the 5 steps outlined above and bring the “FUN” back to FUNDraising!

Contributed by Carey Aron, Co-Owner and Head Marketing Noodle at Fun Pasta Fundraising, which offers a unique fundraising program featuring fun shaped pasta and promotes creative fundraising ideas for all kinds of groups.