You can have a great school fundraiser planned, if parents, teachers, students and community members don’t know about it – then your school isn’t going to raise nearly as much as it could. So getting the word out is super important for the success of your fundraiser. Here are 5 tips for successful publicity for your school fundraiser.
1. Focus on the benefit of the fundraiser. Parents, teachers and community members are more likely to participate if they truly understand how funds raised will be used for the school. Doesn’t it sound better that your school is “raising money to send the marching band to a national competition” as opposed to simply “please support our school?” Even if you’re doing just a general school fundraiser it still benefits the school’s education programs, right? Focus on what benefits your students will receive from funds raised.
2. Offer alternatives to asking “the usual suspects.” Many workplaces today do not permit fundraising activities at all, so parents cannot ask co-workers for their support. Suggest creative alternatives such as asking contacts from religious groups, social and civic clubs. If you’re doing a product sale fundraiser like a gift catalog remind them that the items will make good gifts. You can shop now for the holidays and beat the store crowds!
3. Send Press Releases to Media. Former students or parents that had children in the school may like supporting your fundraiser – but will only have the chance to do so if they are made aware of it. Write a press release with all of the information about the fundraiser and contact information. Then you will need to submit your press releases to your local media outlets and to online distribution services. Reporters and newscasters are often quite busy – so don’t hesitate to follow up with a phone call or two for those who don’t respond.
4. Send Flyers Home. Parents should be notified immediately once your school decides to do a fundraiser. Sending a flyer or letter home is one thing you should always do. If you have the budget for it, you may want to mail the letter so you can be sure the parents get it. Many schools now maintain email lists for parents, and sending an email to all parents could be a terrific way to notify give them all of the necessary details. Send another flyer midway through the campaign so parents will know how the program is going and remind them to contribute.
5. Use Your Internal Media. Many schools have a web site and you can create a special page dedicated to your fundraiser. If your school, PTO or other group has a newsletter make sure your event gets included. The Principal or teacher who gives the morning PA announcements can keep students updated on the progress of the fundraiser. Even better, let the students who have raised the most give the morning announcements!
To really get the most awareness and participation for your fundraiser, you need to communicate with your supporters several times. It takes more than just one flyer to get the message across. People may intend to join in but get busy and forget. So a gentle reminder may really be appreciated, and give your group a better chance for success!
About the Author
Angela Costas enjoys helping school groups find fundraisers. She is a frequent writer for TopSchoolFundraisers.com a site that provides many free fundraising ideas including school spirit, school carnivals and much more.