Fundraising Planning: Tips To A Successful Fundraising Plan

Fundraising Planning: Tips To A Successful Fundraising Plan

Acting as chairperson for an upcoming school fundraising plan is difficult but doable. With organisation and planning, fundraisers can be successful and fun too.

Candy bars and car washes are yesterday’s news. Caring parents will buy almost anything to promote school spirit, but this doesn’t mean you’ll attain your goal.

Let’s explore how to plan a fundraising event that is innovative and attainable.

1. Clear & Attainable Fundraising Goal Setting

Help P&C members set a realistic financial goal for fundraising efforts. Knowing the precise dollar amount motivates the group.

What is your goal? Your goal is the reason your school needs funds, such as Formals for graduates or new uniforms for the soccer team.

Remember the adage – work smart, not hard? Here’s how the acronym SMART will keep your campaign on target.

  • S = Specific: Gather facts and set a specific dollar figure needed to accomplish your goal. For example, buying three new computers would cost less than an overnight train trip for the entire 7th grade class. Gather facts, i.e. cost of computers and software, to determine the specific amount of money your fundraiser must attain.
  • M = Measurable: It’s hard to determine success or failure for a wishy-washy goal such as raising enough money to pay for the senior prom. Maintain up-to-date records of income and expenses throughout the campaign. This provides a deeper understanding of what worked and what didn’t, so you can determine strategies for future fundraisers.
  • A = Attainable: Assess fundraising trends for previous years. What worked and what didn’t? Look at expenses vs. funds raised.  Estimated total hours vs. the number of volunteers (will you need more helpers?). Any problems collecting donation money? Does your goal amount appear attainable?
  • R = Realistic: Setting reachable goals will inspire the team to new heights. Unrealistic goal setting sets your group up for failure. Avoid getting over-ambitious, as it deflates your team’s self-confidence.
  • T = Timeline: “When” must you have the money to satisfy your goal?

2. Actionable Fundraising Timeline

All your good intentions will collapse if you fail to incorporate an actionable timeline in your fundraising plan. It’s critical to your success to detail what happens. A comprehensive timeline will prevent rushing to get things done at the last minute (working hard, not smart).

Let’s develop a sample timeline for the Formal at the end of May.

February: Establish fundraising team.  Note tasks, Confirm who will do what, i.e:

  • Create the website
  • Track sales and expenses
  • Find a venue and a band
  • Select your fundraising product(s)
  • Estimate expenses and determine the amount of funds needed
  • Organize a workable timeline

March:

  • Team meeting
  • Order product (s)
  • Set up website promoting product(s)
  • Recruit parents to sell product(s)

April – May:

  • Team meeting
  • Select students to create flyers and distribute them
  • Promote the product(s)
  • Start selling the product(s)
  • Confirm the venue and the band.

This is just a sample. Adjust the timeline to fit your needs.

3. Realistic Strategies For your Fundraising Plan

A strategic plan provides direction when problems arise.

School fundraising success hinges on effective communication. Once you’ve determined what your school needs, how much money you need to raise and your timeline, schedule regular team meetings. Encourage volunteers to address any problems within the group that could keep you from attaining your goal.

Parents are the main target for your school fundraiser, but it could prove prosperous to hold an event that can encourage the kids to dive in, such as a School Colour Explosion event.

Promotion is an essential strategy of your fundraising plan. In advance of planned events, give the kids a letter to take home to their parents. For products, send any sales brochures, etc. home for the parents.

Have students distribute flyers in the local area and make effective use of social media. Set up a Facebook page to attract locals to your event. They can buy your fundraising product or make a donation.

If your school has a dedicated website, announce fundraising details on it and use Twitter for short updates.

An online presence is valuable, but face-to-face or telephone conversations will initiate valuable word of mouth advertising for your school fundraiser.

4. How to Plan a Fundraising Event: Ideas

Fundraising ideas that encourage the kids to play outdoors

Colour Fun Event

What’s better than a major event where the kids have so much fun with an an explosion of colour and receive rewarding incentive prizes for their efforts?

School Run4Fun Colour Explosion events are risk free and easy to run while they guarantee a high level of involvement from children as well as positive feedback from students, parents/carers and teachers.

School Fun Run and School Walk-a-thon

Though adopted years ago, school fun run events are still a favourite of many schools as it promotes physical fitness.

Participated by students, teachers, and parents, the event creates a perfect opportunity to bring everyone closer together and promote the school spirit.

Want to take your school run event to a higher level and generate more profits? Consider adding some colour to your event, as in a colour fun event.

Fundraising ideas that improve your children’s skills

Spelling Contest

Spelling and reading are important elements of the school syllabus. Make spelling and reading a fun adventure for your students by combining an educational spelling fundraising program.

This fundraising idea has been proven to raise substantial profits whilst also bringing educational outcomes for your students.

Fundraising ideas that get the whole family to dive in

Cookie & Biscuit Dough

Cookie & biscuit dough is an all-time favourite fundraiser as it is easy to sell and has no upfront costs. For kids, it is fun. For parents, it is a healthier form of food (compared to a bag of chocolate). Plus, who can resist the smell of cookies around your home during weekends?

5. Resources to plan your fundraising event

We’ve put together a resource that will help with your entire planning process. Download the free fundraising planning ebook here and prepare to spell success.