5 tips to engage families in your fundraiser

“Help!  The parents just aren’t interested in fundraising this year!”

This is something we hear all the time and we are the first to admit that you simply can’t wave a wand and expect parents to cooperate – some years are just plain hard…. but we have found that these 5 simple tips can help to spark enthusiasm in at least some parents, and quite often, all you need is for a couple of them to jump on board before you see the snowball effect!

1. Get in early. It’s essential that your participants know your fundraiser is coming up and what they need to do.  Tell them at least 2-3 weeks before the start of your fundraiser, include clear instructions and deadlines and keep the communication going.  People will appreciate being engaged from an early stage, rather than having a surprise fundraiser put on them!

2. Be specific. People are much more likely to get behind your fundraiser if they know what your targets are, i.e. how much you need to raise and what the money will be used for, for example, “We need to raise $1,000 to buy new sports gear”.  Make the fundraiser fun by setting weekly targets, e.g. create a money ‘thermometer’ that shows how much money has been received each week.  Use assemblies, newsletters, group emails, social media and your website to highlight the progress of the drive.

3. Get people involved. Let’s be honest – fundraising is never a one-person job so make it easier on yourself and give people jobs!  Plus when people feel like they are a part of a project, they usually want to see it succeed.  Delegate specific tasks, e.g. money collection or helping with distribution and work with teachers, staff or committee members to help get people enthused and involved in the drive.  Teachers can be an amazing help as they see the families and kids every day.  Ask them to follow up with the parents and hand out notices.

4. Provide options. Give your families the option to make a donation instead of fundraising.  If you make the donation value higher than the fundraising amount, it will be an incentive to get involved (even if it is a little cheeky!)

5. Offer incentives. Providing prizes and incentives for the biggest seller, fastest seller, most creative seller, etc. is a great way to spark enthusiasm – kids especially will be enticed by competitions and if the kids are keen, then their parents are more likely to get involved.  Prizes could be as simple as icy-poles or a casual clothes day for the class that does the best.