Whether it’s the PTA fundraising for the school, a coach organizing a fundraiser for their sports team, or a teacher leading a fundraiser for an academic club, planning a school fundraiser can be a daunting task. Many school volunteers have minimal experience with fundraising, let alone being in charge of organizing and executing a fundraiser. Without proper organization, a fundraiser can become a stressful event, deterring future volunteers and donors.
But, with proper planning, school fundraisers can be rewarding experiences. Not only can your group achieve its fundraising goals, but participants can have fun and achieve a sense of accomplishment in the process. From arranging a committee to determining and executing the best fundraiser for your goals, follow these six simple steps to planning a school fundraiser that’s sure to be a hit with volunteers and supporters alike.
How to Put Together a Fundraiser for Schools
- Start a Fundraising Committee
Whether you’re the head coach or chairperson of the PTO, you can’t manage an entire fundraiser yourself. The first step to success is to put together a committee of about 3–5 people who will help plan and organize your fundraiser. This can consist of other PTO members, parent volunteers, teachers, or even students.
- Set Your Fundraising Goals
Define the “why” behind your fundraiser. Consider things like how much money you’re looking to raise, what it will be used for, and whether there’s a deadline, like a playoff game or club tournament, that you need to meet. Having a clear goal will help your fundraising committee get on the same page and plan a successful event or campaign.
- Determine Your Budget
As the saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money.” While a successful fundraiser will recoup these costs and leave your group with plenty of additional proceeds to put toward your cause, you’ll likely have some upfront costs to cover. Whether you’re purchasing products to sell, like meat sticks from Country Meats, or buying decorations and refreshments for a big event, you’ll need to be realistic about your budget.
On a tight budget? Consider one of these alternative fundraisers that require little-to-no upfront cost. Online fundraisers with Country Meats are one excellent option because each group gets a custom URL that they can promote to potential supporters; whenever anyone places an order for delicious meat sticks using that link, the group automatically receives roughly half of the purchase price. No purchasing product in bulk means minimal startup costs, making this an accessible option for just about any school group. Another great option are Pre-Order fundraisers, where supporters make their product selections and provide payment upfront. Your organization can aggregate the orders and use the collected funds to buy in bulk, then distribute the meat sticks to the appropriate supporters after.
- Select a Fundraiser
With so many different types of fundraisers to choose from, you’ll need to consider how the options stack up against your goals, resources, timeline, and budget. If you’re raising funds for general school activities, it might make sense to choose a fundraiser that’s available throughout the year, like a virtual platform to sell branded apparel or meat sticks. If you’re fundraising for a specific event or activity, you’ll want to choose something with a shorter timeline, like in-person product sales or a fundraising event.
- Schedule Fundraising Promotions and Events
Once you’ve chosen which type or types of fundraisers you’ll pursue (pro tip: it’s totally possible to organize more than one fundraiser at a time!), it’s time to create a detailed plan. If your fundraiser requires in-person activities, determine the logistics of each one, allowing your group sufficient time to prepare for and promote each activity to maximize success.
Regardless of whether your fundraiser takes place in-person or online, you’ll need to get the word out in order to gather support and maximize your efforts. Consider your timeline, then determine how frequently and through which channels you will promote your efforts.
- Coordinate Volunteers
Whether it’s for manning a product sales booth in the hallway, hanging promotional flyers in each classroom, or arranging decorations, refreshments, and more for a big event, you’ll need to look beyond your planning committee for volunteers to execute a successful fundraiser. Once again, look to fellow PTA members, parents, teachers, and students who can commit to their assigned activities. Then create a detailed plan and schedule to ensure everyone is on the same page and avoid confusion and frustration.
After Your Fundraiser: Set the Stage for Future Success
Once your fundraiser is complete, be sure to show your appreciation for everyone who helped with planning, promotion, execution, and more. Celebrate your group’s successes and use this opportunity to receive feedback: what worked, what didn’t, and what would they do differently next time? Not only does this help your volunteers feel appreciated and heard, but it will help set the stage for greater success in your future fundraising endeavors.
Country Meats: A Top Choice for School Fundraisers
Many school groups choose Country Meats for their fundraisers, and for good reason. With Country Meats, you’ll be selling delicious, nutritious meat sticks that supporters love to purchase. School groups appreciate the various fundraising options available, including traditional product sales, where you purchase product up-front to sell during in-person events, or online fundraising, where you receive a custom order URL to share with friends, family, and supporters near and far. Sell meat sticks for as little as $1.50 each and keep 50% of the profits to put toward your cause, or create custom bundles to boost sales in bulk. With an easy ordering platform and flexible options, school groups come back to Country Meats fundraisers year after year.