Time to get planning: 6 tips to help this be your best school fundraising year yet!
Updated: Aug 13
Are you a new P&C or P&F (or other school-parent group) eager to fundraise? Or an established one that's trying to improve your fundraising results? To achieve the most you can out of the new year, you need to make sure your group is hitting the ground running come January - which means you need to start planning NOW. Here are my best tips on how to make this your best school fundraising year yet.
1. Elect next year's office bearers, before the end of this year (don't leave it to February). Have your executives in position right from day 1, and you'll be off to a winning start! There's nothing worse than a leadership position being left vacant for a few months (if you can't fill a position by December, at least you have the holidays left to recruit before term starts). Not only do you lose planning time and profits, but it's nearly impossible to get volunteers. Electing leaders now allows your event schedule to be planned for and settled early, so volunteers can see exactly what might be asked of them - and by who. It provides ample time to identify problems and manage workload, and parents appreciate a clear schedule of fundraising payments to plan for.
2. Mark out important fundraising dates on the school calendar and secure them with the Principal - early! You won't be allowed to fundraise on certain days such as exams, sports carnivals or religious festivals. Holding an event on the same day a large section of the school is away on camp or an excursion will also reduce your profit. Find out whether you are expected to hold an event on certain days (eg Mothers'/Fathers' Day, Easter/religious holidays) and what is available and acceptable as fundraising for these days (or discuss if they're unprofitable or you don't want to). Consider special days in the school calendar - Book Week, Grandparents Day, Science Week, Art Shows or Celebrate Teacher Day - and how you can add to these.
3. Set a target for fundraising for next year - the $ amount to raise, the preferred type of fundraising, and the desired outcomes for students. Setting a financial target helps you figure out how many and what type of events are required to raise it. More important is defining what you are raising the money for - because the reason for fundraising inspires the volunteers (and often the customers too)! But does your parent body want to continue with the same type of fundraising as it's done in the past few years? If you are:
* having difficulty recruiting volunteers to help,
* if you want to switch to healthier or more educational options,
* if you want students to have a more hands-on fundraising experience,
* if you feel the current fundraising isn't inclusive, or
* if you have noticed a decline in returns on a particular fundraiser (as the novelty has worn off, or a particularly effective organising parent has moved on),
then you might want to have a discussion about what is important to your school body and how can you make fundraisers more relevant. Don't waste several months next year in endless discussion, or losing profits on fundraisers that aren't working any more. Discuss and settle it NOW.
4. Investigate new fundraising ideas early and settle your fundraising events on your school calendar. New fundraising idea? Ask for a sample pack to be sent to you. Or investigate insurances and town planning conditions. Determine volunteer interest by getting a roster done early (TIP: pass around the sign-up sheet during parent-body meetings) and if enough people aren't willing to commit, it might be a sign that you shouldn't run that particular event. Settling the fundraising events and dates early gives parents time to plan (to volunteer, as well as participate financially) and reduces workload stress on Executives. Failure to plan means missed opportunities, resorting to poor habits or lacklustre fundraisers and like all last minute things, not doing your best job.
5. Plan your publicity to maximise your fundraiser's potential. It's best to delegate a person just to this task. You'll need to start publicity at least 6 weeks ahead of the fundraising event. That means events for the start of 2019 will need their publicity started (or at least planned) soon! Check this blog post for great tips.
6. Consider grants, tax-deductible programs and motivated donors and plan them into your schedule. They may actually take less effort per dollar! Read this blog post for more details and tips.
Getting a fundraising framework in place early will prevent unnecessary friction, will maximise your available time and will inspire everyone to work towards your common goal ... creating a better school for your children!
My School Adventure customises gamebook adventure novel
The Art Show That Came To Life At [Your School Name Here] to schools including 4 real teachers as characters and 22 different endings, as a unique and exciting reading fundraiser. Stay tuned for our second novel, The Science Fair That Went Berserk At [Your School Name Here]. For more information on how we can assist your school please visit www.myschooladventure.com.
Interested in buying The Art Show That Came To Life At Bundock Primary School? Australian readers please click here; rest of the world, click here.
You can also connect with My School Adventure on Facebook and Pinterest, or with author Melanie Notaras on LinkedIn.