Tips for a successful fundraiser

Tips for a successful fundraiser

Vishakha Joshi

What we can learn from Gov Team’s successful community sale

Whether it is to hold a special event or to get your club out of debt, almost every team, organization, and group at MVHS has participated in some kind of fundraiser. After being almost $2000 in deficit after this year, Gov Team held a community sale to improve the status of their budget. They offered to sell MVHS students’ old belongings, keeping 40 percent of the sales. At the end of the sale, Gov Team made almost $900, taking out a big chunk of the deficit and helping out the team for the following year.

There is something to be said of the success of Gov Team’s selling methods. Anyone who wants their fundraiser to generate similar success might want to read the following tips from a fellow consumer.

Students browse through the various sales items, like this necklace, in order to support Gov Team on May 20, their first day of selling. The items were donated by fellow students who will receive 60% of the sales they make, with the remaining 40% funding Gov Team. Photo by Kevin Tsukii.1. Give ‘em what they want.

Make sure you hold activities that people will want to attend and participate in. A fundraiser that piques the interest of one specific type of person obviously won’t rake in as much money as a fundraiser that pleases many. Gov Team sold a wide range of products at their community sale, from AP prep books to stuffed animals, attracting a wide range of clientele.

2. Shout it to the skies.

If nobody knows about your fundraiser, nobody is going to attend your fundraiser. Promotion is a major part of a successful fundraiser, but it’s not just about the presence—it’s about when and how. Promotion should start at least a week before the event to allow it to soak in to people’s minds. Go for every type of media. Announcements aren’t always heard and paid attention to in every classroom, and a fair portion of the student population doesn’t have a class during fifth period. Go for the whole hog: not just posters and Facebook or Gmail statuses, but visiting classrooms posting creative videos on Youtube for all to see.

3. Switch up the location.

In terms of other clubs, suggestions would be to hold a variety of fundraisers at different places. Don’t just go for the same restaurant time after time after time. At the same time, it is difficult to persuade people to attend a fundraiser at a place that’s unusual or out of their way. Fundraisers at school are one of the best ways to attract students. Why wouldn’t you hold one at a place where 2, 503 students are required by law to show up five times a week?

4. Timing can make or break your sale.

Timing is everything. Just like having a fundraiser at school is the best location, having a fundraiser during school (at lunch or brunch) makes it convenient for students to attend, as long as the event follows general school rules. All they need to remember is to bring their wallets. Similarly, if a fundraiser is not on campus, timing it immediately after school means students can just drive there instead of driving home.

5. Think outside the box.

No matter how obvious it seems, it just makes sense that fundraisers will fly over people’s heads if they don’t notice them. Anything unique and out of the ordinary catches eyes and makes for a more interesting fundraiser. Much like Gov Team allowed students to keep some of their profits, organizations can use incentives like raffles to spice up their fundraisers for all those who attend.

It’s not about what you sell, it’s about how you sell it. You don’t need to sell foam noodles, or real ones, for that matter, to attract attention. All you need is a little attention to detail and some common sense to make your event a successful fundraiser.