Whether your school is raising money for a favorite charitable cause or helping one of your own organizations or teams reach their goals, a fundraiser is an effective way to get everyone involved in the effort. A well-organized school fundraiser gets students excited about a good cause and has a positive impact on your school or community.
How can your school motivate students (and parents) to participate in your fundraiser and successfully market your fundraising event to ensure high attendance? Choose a type of fundraiser that they’re sure to enjoy and don’t forget to provide plenty of information on the cause your school is supporting. Let’s take a look at how your school can:
The first step in holding a fundraiser that will be successful for both your chosen cause and your students is to choose one that kids will want to take part in. One fun and effective favorite is the “event-a-thon” style fundraiser.
If you have never participated in a jog-a-thon, fun run, walk-a-thon or other a-thon fundraiser or held one at your school, you almost certainly know of other organizations that have used this fundraising method. Jog-a-thons, in which supporters agree to give a certain amount per lap students jog, are engaging and easy to host. Your school can adapt the jog-a-thon model to a variety of “event-a-thon” fundraisers that your students will enjoy.
If your school has many student athletes or you’re raising money to fund a team’s travel or expenses, consider incorporating the sports activity. For example, a baseball team may do a baseball hit-a-thon or a football team may do a football lift-a-thon. Sports fundraisers like these promote physical well-being and connect directly to the team’s fundraising goals.
For an update to the event-a-thon that fosters academic excellence and can take place year-round, try a read-a-thon. Students raise money each time they finish a book or each minute they read. You can check out 99Pledges’ list of event-a-thon fundraising ideas to find the perfect fit for your students.
The event-a-thon is well-suited to online fundraising, making it easy for supporters to pledge or donate and fun for students to share their campaigns. To get started:
Students and parents will be motivated to share their pages and reach your school’s fundraising goal, especially as the concluding event approaches. Fundraising doesn’t need to stop once the day of the event arrives, however! Keep everyone involved with creative fundraising ideas that place your chosen cause front and center.
An event-a-thon is a great way to get your students motivated about supporting your cause and increase participation as the event approaches. However, your fundraising efforts don’t have to end once your participants have jogged or walked the last lap on the day of the event! Keep students and parents involved in your cause with creative fundraising ideas.
If you decided on a jog-a-thon or another outdoor fundraiser, consider selling food to participants and families once they have completed their activity. To ensure that proceeds go to your cause, ask local stores and restaurants for donations. Parent volunteers may also be interested in providing or selling food for your event.
Other fundraisers can take place throughout the year, keeping your students and families involved with your chosen cause after your event is over. Whether you’re looking for fundraising ideas for your PTA or want your school to partner with a local nonprofit that does great work in your community, families at your school can demonstrate their support and have fun doing so.
Each of these fundraising ideas can be incorporated into your event fundraiser or take place on its own. A school merchandise sale is particularly effective when combined with your event-a-thon to reward participants and encourage additional giving.
While the primary purpose of your fundraiser is to raise money for a good cause, it serves another important function in teaching your students the rewarding feeling of working toward a goal. Motivating some students, however, can be a challenge, especially younger ones. Incentivize participation in your school fundraiser by rewarding top participants with school merchandise and prizes.
You can use products as incentives throughout your fundraiser, from rewarding students who excel in their event-a-thon fundraising efforts to selling school merchandise on the day of your event for additional donations. Your merchandise can commemorate the event or indicate who was a top fundraiser.
Merchandise featuring your school’s colors or mascot is fun to receive and appropriate for any fundraiser. If your school partnered with a community organization, you can reflect that organization’s purpose or work in the design of your merchandise.
What products should you offer as prizes? T-shirts are a go-to reward for numerous schools and organizations. Students and parents enjoy wearing them to show their spirit, and they’re highly customizable to suit any fundraiser. Not a design expert? A t-shirt fundraising platform like Bonfire can help you create shirts that students, parents, and other supporters are sure to love.
If your school is partnering with a community organization or other nonprofit, you can encourage further engagement by providing ways for students and their families to stay involved with the cause your school has chosen to support.
It’s no surprise that your school fundraiser will be more successful when you make it as easy as possible for supporters to complete their donations. The online donation pages that your students share are one way for supporters to make contributions quickly and easily. Strengthen your school’s partnership with your chosen community organization by encouraging additional donations.
Your event-a-thon fundraiser has already taught your students how effective online and mobile fundraising can be when giving information is shared in a clear and enthusiastic manner. Encourage them to keep the momentum going by:
Motivating students to give and promote further giving is just one of several ways in which you can ensure that the enthusiasm your students and families have for your cause doesn’t wane after the event.
One important indicator of whether your school fundraiser was successful is whether your students and their families are eager to continue their support for the cause or even host another fundraiser. Whether you’re fundraising for your school or a community organization, lasting support is central to achieving larger goals.
For students, event-a-thon fundraising platforms often serve as their introduction to online fundraising and the giving process. Keep their enthusiasm going and foster a lifelong interest in charitable giving by:
With preparation, reflection, and engaged students, you’ll be able to build on the success of your initial fundraiser and encourage your students to involve themselves in your cause and others that they care about.
With creative ideas and enthusiastic student participants, your school fundraiser is sure to be a success and help you achieve your goals. Your school will come together as a community and your students will be proud of their accomplishments!
Brad Dowhaniuk is the co-founder of 99Pledges, which provides schools and teams with an easy-to-use, web-based fundraising solution to manage and drive success in Fun Runs, jog-a-thons, baseball hit-a-thons, and much more.
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