It’s that dreaded time of year again-school fundraisers! Your little ones come home so excited about what they are selling and what the money will be for. You suspect that half the school day was devoted to amping up the students. Of course, there are wonderful prizes, too, and your child just HAS to have one. So, you put on your door to door sales hat-you can’t let the neighbors outsell your child, can you? Well, here are some fundraising tips to make things a little easier:
1. Know The Product
The most important factor in fundraising is to know the product and to know what the money is being raised for. People are more apt to buy something if they know their purchase is going toward a worthwhile project. Study the best selling points of the product and concentrate on them. Then, tell a little story about how the kids will use the money… new playground equipment? A better science lab? Computers? Help your customer to be part of a solution.
2. Use a Script
It’s okay to write down what your child is going to say. In fact, it is a good idea to practice a few times before actually going door-to-door. It is frightening to walk up to a door and begin talking to a stranger, so it helps if you get your child comfortable about their sales speech. Also, have some cheat sheet answers on the back, in case they forget what to say or if they are asked a question. Jot down things like due dates, who to make the check to, etc. Practicing what to say will take much of the fear from your child.
3. Define Your Goals
Set goals and tell your customers what they are. If you need to sell 10 boxes of candy and you’ve sold 8, tell them that. Many times, people are a soft touch for helping kids reach their goal. Also, setting a realistic goal will help your child to keep going when they get tired or want to give up.
4. Use Your Network
Decide how you want to help your child. Do you want to take the fundraiser to work and hit up your co-workers? (Especially the ones you have bought things from, for their kids.)
Or do you want to just make a sign and leave the forms in the break room? Either way, you and your spouse can both help your child by networking your contacts.
5. Make It Fun
A fundraiser is all about you and your child working together to help someone or to accomplish something. Let them know that it is the cause that is important, not the prize or who sells the most. Keep priorities straight and clear, but have fun together as you practice and as you travel through the neighborhood.
6. Emphasize Respect
Use this opportunity to reinforce manners and respect. Emphasize to your child the importance of always saying, “thank you,” even if the person doesn’t buy anything. You may run into some grumpy people who don’t feel like being bothered. Help your child to understand why some people may react this way or why some people can’t buy things. (Maybe they are out of work or maybe they have other obligations.)
7. Work with friends.
Fundraising is an excellent opportunity to team up with other families. You can pick a large neighborhood and then tackle it together, splitting the sales. Or team up with a group to sell things in front of a business, if you have the business’ permission. Working together for a great cause builds a close community.
8. Keep Good Records
Make notes of people who tend to give generously and those who don’t participate. You can use the notes for the next fundraiser. If someone asks you to come back, make a note. You can also use this list to send thank-you notes to those who helped you.
9. Always Be Ready
Carry fundraising materials everywhere you go. Don’t get caught at the doctor’s office without your fundraiser. Keep forms for donations available all the time. You never know when you might run into a colleague or friend who would like to participate.
10. Be Thankful
At the end of the fundraiser, take time for gratitude. Review the days of sales with your child. Help them see how the generosity of people will help achieve a goal. Also, review the fun times you had selling things together. Stop to laugh at yourself and to appreciate the time with your child, because before you know it, these days will be gone and the only school fundraising you will see is when a little one knocks at your door.