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Secrets To Successful School Fundraising

These Secrets may seem obvious. However, Why is it over 80% of schools doing fundraising do not apply these principals? Maybe because most schools are train to focus on the wrong principals while choosing and planning a fundraiser.

Here are 5 secrets on school fundraising:

Secret #1 - Profit % Does Not Equate to Higher Profits.

A company offering 90% profit vs a company offering 20% profit is not better. Remember groups can not deposit % in the bank. But a group can deposit $1,000 in the bank. Most groups look at percentages as #1 priority. It does not mean percentage (%) is not important but it should not be the group's #1 priority. The group #1 priority should be to raise the HIGHEST PROFITS with the minimal volunteer work, stress and time!

Secret#2 - The Product You Sell Makes a Difference

Choosing the right product for sale makes a difference. However, it is not a the most important factor on having a successful fundraiser. As mentioned on the prior, both groups decided to sell cookie dough and sold them at the same exact price too. But the difference in their results (Profits) were HUGE! So it was not the product that made the difference. So what is it?

Secret #3 - Timing on the Fundraising is Very Important

Deciding when to start the fundraiser is super important. It is always known that the first group to go into an office or neighborhood to ask for orders in fundraising has higher chances of success than the following groups. However, timing is not the #1 reason why groups have successful fundraisers. As mentioned on the prior, both groups started at the same time but results (profits) were very different. So Timing was not the reason for the results! Main 2 secrets coming next...

Secret # 4- Person in Charge Of Fundraiser is Critical!

Maybe this is a pretty big reason why one group does well while other does not. The leadership and excitement on a fundraiser starts at the top. This means the person organizing the fundraising project is probably the single most important factor whether a fundraiser will be a success or failure. Sorry to give you this news but yes fundraising sponsor's have a very important responsibility and yes they can make or break a fundraiser. But the good news is now you are aware of the importance of your position as leader on a fundraiser! The next secret is probable the one most important and where most groups fail to do.

Secret # 5- Program Management is Number One

Both elementary schools had excellent leadership and both were excited. They both did everything they knew so WHY was there such a HUGE difference in results ($8,000 sales vs $15,500 in sales). Well here is the BIGGEST secret of all. Program Management is the most important element on having a Successful fundraiser. You may Say, "well I knew that." Yes you may know program management is critical but maybe the main problem is not many companies train the leaders or fundraising sponsors on proper Program Management.

The are several key elements on Program Management:

A) Setting Goals on Group and Individuals
B) Successful Kick Off
C) Maintain the Excitement During sale
D) Gather Other Good Volunteers to Help
E) Motivation of Student/Sellers
F) Motivation of Teachers and Staff members.

I would like to focus on the last two elements which are the main reason why some elementary sales are so much larger than others.

The most important factor for HIGH sales on a fundraiser is the motivation on student/sellers and the motivation of teacher/staff members at school.

The main reason why one elementary sold $8,000 while the other sold $15,500, was the way they did their prizes/incentives to students and teachers!

We at AIM have a saying "With proper motivation you can have students sell $5 bills for $10." So part of your job in fundraising will be to find out what truly motivates your student and teachers! This can have a dramatic impact on your fundraising sales!

Juan Franco is a fundraising expert who works for AIM Fundraising. Juan has worked with hundreds of elementary schools and well as many other youth groups, helping them in their fundraising projects. For more information or ideas of prizes for elementary schools, visit