Are you tired of fundraisers that do not yield expected results? Do the parents in your program lack enthusiasm for
participating in fundraisers? Are you struggling to find ways to simplify fundraising efforts and keep the time invested to a
minimum while at the same time increase fundraising dollars?
When to Sell
There is a definite season for fundraising, and it centers on the start of the school year. Some early childhood program,
like to hold their fundraiser in August to “beat in kind donation the schools,” or in November when most schools have completed their
fundraising efforts. But conducting a fundraiser around elementary and high schools misses the prime fundraising season,
which lasts from early September to mid-October. Fundraisers held during this time period have the greatest success. A second
fundraising season takes place in February and March. Usually, this season is smaller in size and focuses on delivering
products for Easter.
Whom to Sell to
Picking a fundraising program is key to success. When choosing a program, try not to focus on what parents will buy or what
would be “fun to sell,” but on identifying who will buy the products. Most likely, parents of the children in your program
will have to sell to their friends, family, neighbors, and businesses.
What to Sell
Look around. What retail stores have the biggest parking lots? The answer is those with a variety of merchandise (Wal-Mart
and K-Mart). Variety encourages more shoppers, and more shoppers mean more sales dollars. Fundraising programs are a lot like
retail stores. Fundraisers that offer little or no variety have limited appeal. Catalog fundraisers with a variety of
products raise the most money.
When choosing a catalog, look at the quality of the printing and design. Does the catalog cover have a good visual appeal?
Does it say “open me”? Remember that the catalog will have to capture the interest of potential customers. If the
catalog/brochure doesn’t have “eye appeal” it isn’t going to do the job.
How to Sell
Once you have decided what to sell, you need to develop a sales force. Teachers and staff cannot do all of the fundraising.
The parents of children enrolled in your teacher training programme will need to participate as well, and not just as
customers. Keeping parents motivated, however, can be a challenge. Parents and the customer base they sell to burn out
easily. For best results, limit fundraising efforts to two or three fundraisers a year. In addition, tell parents of the
fundraising plans when they enroll their child at your facility. They will work harder if they know fundraising is not an
Set a goal. Show parents and staff how the children will benefit from their fundraising efforts. If they can see how their
children will benefit, whether it be new playground equipment, games, materials for arts and crafts, or books, they will be
more inclined to sell.
Offer a reward. Ask yourself, “What would motivate parents to participate actively in their child’s fundraiser?” A free week
of child care? Dinner for two? Movie tickets? By making an investment in a prize to the top seller or sellers, you help