Bringing your school fundraiser online makes your cause convenient to donate to and easy to manage. But even with all the benefits of online fundraisers, there are still things you and your team can do to truly amplify the success of your event.
Try these 10 steps to see how just a little extra effort can maximize your next online fundraiser:
Prep and Plan
A successful fundraiser needs a clear, and thoughtful road map. Consider defining the following aspects of your fundraiser before launching it online:
- Get a team – Before you can officially start your fundraiser, you’ll need to identify key players that will help plan, manage, and monitor the process. While holding a fundraiser online allows you to rely on less volunteers and resources, you will still need a small team of people to bring the process together. Find someone to:
- Set up the fundraiser online
- Communicate the fundraiser to donors
- Manage and allocate the donated funds once your event is complete
- Set a goal – Think about how much you will need to raise in order to reach your goal? If you’re goal is to get new equipment for your school’s gymnasium, how much money will you need to raise in order to cover all associated costs? Try to have a specific target in mind that will keep your team on track during the fund raising process. Develop a timeline that your fundraiser will follow. When will you start accepting donations? How long will you collect funds for?
- Define your story – Have the 4W’s of your fundraiser clearly defined; who, what, when, and why. It’s important to remember that donors like to feel connected and know how their donations are making an impact. Have a story to share and let them know exactly how their contributions will help. Create an emotional connection that your donors can have with your cause to build excitement around reaching your goal.
- Get creative! – Fundraising for your school should be fun! Take the 'story' of your online fundraiser and make that a part of your messaging to donors. Develop a theme, get students involved, and make fun posters to get the word out to parents. And don't forget to check out some fun fundraising ideas here.
Execute and Promote
Now that you have your team, your goal, and your story, it’s time to get started!
- Kick off your fundraiser – Set up your fundraiser online using a payment solution such as MySchoolBucks. This makes it easy to collect, manage, and monitor your donations online. Parents can make donations with credit cards, debit cards, or e-checks.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate - Get the word out so people know you’ve started collecting donations online. Send out a recorded phone message to parents, post fliers around school, get an article in your local newspaper, or share your event on your social media pages. Remember, not everyone receives communications in the same way. Depending on the resources available to you and the size of your volunteer team, consider all forms of communication and pick what works best.
Recognize and Update
By now you're actively accepting donations and working towards your goal. Keep in mind that the communications with your district about your fundraiser don’t all have to be about the fundraiser itself. Consider sending out messages like these:
- Say thank you – Without the generous donations from your community, your fundraiser would not be possible. Thank donors with emails, hand-written cards, press releases, or messaging on your website and social media pages.
- Keep your donors informed - Throughout the fundraiser, let donors know how it’s going. Send out updates on how close you are to your goal. Remind your donors how the funds are going to be put to use. Sending reminders is a great way to garner a positive relationship between you and your donors. This is also a great way to remind your community why you started raising money in the first place.
Analyze and Look Forward
Great job! Now your fundraising event is officially complete. And while your hard work has hopefully paid off, there's a few additional steps that can help set your next fundraising event up for success.
- Reflect on your process – Take note of the processes that were successful and the ones that may need some work. Here's some questions to ask yourself:
- What did you and your team do well?
- Were there any unforeseen roadblocks that you ran into along the way?
- How could you organize better next time to address these issues?
- What channels of communication triggered the highest amounts of donations?
- Document your success – Now it’s time to reap the benefits of your hard work! Share your success with the people who helped get you there. Let your community see how successful the fundraiser event was and what you plan to do with their donations. Thank your supporters again and use this opportunity to let them know about any future fundraisers.
Fundraisers are a great and essential way for schools to raise additional funds to make lasting change in their programs. With a little extra planning and communication, online fundraisers can be an easy, cost-effective way to gather donations.
What kind of fundraisers does your school hold? What are some successful ways you maximize your online fundraisers?