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2 Easy High School Fundraising Ideas that Boost Sales

2 quick tips that can increase your high school group’s profits

School district budgets were shrinking even before the coronavirus pandemic. Many now predict that money for schools will grow even more scarce. What if you want to fund extraneous things like new equipment, field trips, or a new marquee?

Most will agree that tax dollars are barely paying for essentials. Should parents now have to raise even more money, and are we using students as pawns exchange for prizes?
This concerns many, for sure. But we don’t have much of a choice. If we want what our tax dollars can’t provide, the money has to come from somewhere. So how do we find a compromise?

One answer is to incorporate more effective high school fundraising ideas. This way we can do fewer sales but raise more money. No one wants to spend more time than they have to on endless campaigns.

Of course, everyone would love to have fewer sales projects. But for some reason the opposite is happening. It’s because high school groups aren't taking the necessary steps. Many are doing little more than handing out sales information and asking students to help. Will the items sell themselves and the money just roll in? High school fundraisers are in zombie mode. There’s little to no passion or energy. Some students are only selling because their sponsors are asking them to. They don’t understand why.

It turns out there are many tools sponsors can use that will help bring in more money. Why? People don’t have the time. It’s a matter of priority. We understand. Raising money doesn’t usually make the priority list. Yet we always reaps what we sow. What happens next is pretty predictable. The first sale doesn’t go well so sponsors end up planning another one, and so on.

Two goals are at the top of every high school sponsor’s wish list when it comes to planning a sales campaign.
  1. Achieve their financial objective.
  2. Make everything simple and easy.
This is what everyone strives for. but effort and planning are still necessary before the sale. It would be nice to simply roll out the ball and have the sales come in. Unfortunately, that's not reality. Execution of the following 2 fundraising ideas will improve your high school sale. And what's the long-term benefit? You won’t have to work as hard because you’ll accomplish your financial goals with fewer campaigns. 

1. Schedule a Formal Kickoff Meeting

The most important step in the fundraising process is your kickoff meeting. It's an essential building block that provides the foundation for your success. Your students should have a clear understanding of your expectations and the process.

Don't fool yourself. High school students won't automatically respond just because you're offering them incentives. Explaining how the prize program works is only one part of your presentation. They're more apt to sell once you've provided them a clear path to success.

Don't assume. It's always best if you leave no stone unturned. In other words, think about what questions could come up and cover them in your meeting. Be detailed and give examples. When showing the brochure, ask them to think of people that might want the strawberry candle.

Filling out an order form may be obvious. A great way to get your students excited is to demonstrate a sale. Ask a student to come up and do a sales presentation. Complete the order form and purchase an actual item! This not only shows the students how it's done, but also gets them to see how easy it is to get a sale.

Take the time to decide what you plan to discuss at the meeting. You should have some sort of presentation outline that has been well vetted. But your purpose is probably the most important part of your discussion. How will you get your group to buy into your cause and how will it be beneficial? 

Goal setting is also important. Not only the group goal, but each student's individual goal as well. Here are 3 questions that your students will need to know the answers to:
  1. How much money is the group trying to raise?
  2. How many items does each student need to sell to reach the group's goal?
  3. When will they need to turn in the money and order forms?

2. Successful High School Fundraising Ideas Set Goals

Students needs to know what’s expected of them. You can’t just tell them to ‘do their best’. Of course, we all want this, but what does it mean?

Everyone will interpret it in a different way. Instead set the bar with a concrete number. This way each student clearly understands what they need to do. In other words, how many items do they need to sell to help the group reach its fundraising goal? 

This requires some advanced research and calculations. Have you established your purpose?

First, you’ll need to know how much money it's going to take to achieve it. Once you know that, based on the size of your group, how much will each student need to sell?

What follows is a simple formula:

Group size x Student Sales = Total raised

To break it down even further, let’s consider an example:

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you have 100 students and you need to raise $5,000. The retail price of each item will vary depending on what you're selling. So let's use $15 for the average retail price. 

So, if you make 40% of the retail, you'll make $6 profit off each item sold ($15 x 40% = $6.00).

To raise $5,000 each student will need to sell 8.3 items.

Here's the math:

$5,000 ÷ 100 Students = $50 needed from each student. Since each item sold will bring in $6 in profit: $50 ÷ $6 = 8.3 Items (Round your goal up to 9 items just to make sure). 

See our fundraiser goal setting guide if you're still unclear about the math. There's a ‘Calculate Your Profit’ tool found on each brochure or product page. The average profit per item is already set for each product. So this is a good way to double-check to make sure your calculations are correct. 

If you think the student goal is to low, or too high, adjust it accordingly. Your estimated profit will reflect your changes.

The bottom line is your students will have an absolute number to shoot for. This will also allow them to measure their progress along the way. And progress usually leads to success.


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