The school year has just begun, your fundraising kickoff is coming up, and all the logistics are figured out. Now it’s time to start building some excitement! Putting up posters in the hallways, sending out emails to parents, and offering samples at Back to School Night are great places to start. But there is more that needs to be done to make sure that kids are excited to start selling and parents are excited to start buying!
Let's start with the kids! How can you get your students excited to raise money over the fall season?
- Incentives! Incentives are the best way to get kids excited to fundraise. We suggest low-cost, fun experiences that let the class celebrate as a group and take a break from their normal routine. Some memorable and popular ideas we suggest are pizza parties, movie showings or dress-up or dress-down days. To keep up momentum, keep track of your progress throughout the fundraiser with charts in the hallway where each homeroom can mark their progress for all to see. For fun, unique incentive ideas check out a great list compiled by Believe Kids!
- Engaging lesson plans. Get kids excited to sell fairly traded foods by using our lesson plans. By connecting the fundraiser to what they are learning in class, it will take on greater meaning for them. Help draw the connection between small-scale farming communities and the things they see in the fundraising catalog with our videos, presentations and more. They can also take what they learned and use them as talking points when discussing the fundraiser with potential buyers!
And now to the parents. As we all know, parents are busy people, and sometimes important things (even your catalog fundraiser!) can get lost in the shuffle. Here's how to keep parents engaged and ready to support your cause.
- Show them how an Equal Exchange fundraiser is different. This isn't your usual popcorn, artificial candy or cheap knickknacks! Be clear about what you're offering: organic, fairly traded and truly delicious coffee, tea, chocolate and more — things they'll be excited to try and share with friends and family.
- Emphasize the goal of your fundraiser. When parents know that their money is going toward a specific project, trip or resource, their participation in the fundraiser becomes more meaningful. Remind folks what you are working toward with every fundraising announcement. And don't forget to follow up! When the fundraiser is over, make an announcement through social media, email or a letter to thank parents for participating and show them how the money was used and how much you raised. This will lay the groundwork for a great fundraiser the next year, too!