Fall is in full swing, it’s already a winter wonderland at Target and, if you have a spring performance tour on the calendar, you know that the countdown is officially on. This is the prime season to ramp up (and possibly wrap up) your group’s fundraising efforts. We’re here to help you do just that with four helpful steps:
At this point in the process, you’re ideally two-thirds of the way towards your fundraising goal. If you’re not quite there, don’t worry – though it’s important to know exactly how far from your goal you are. Make it a priority to give your fundraising a thorough “check up,” whether you’re tracking your fundraising with pen and paper or entering funds into an Excel spreadsheet. Identify the amount you’ve currently raised, remind students to turn in any outstanding funds from recent efforts and make sure everything is up to date. You can’t reach the finish line without knowing how much farther you have to get there, so make sure your numbers are in order before taking the next step.
You’ve completed your check up and know where your current fundraising stands. If you haven’t already, map out the remaining months before your tour and set clear, date-driven fundraising goals. Be specific and decide exactly what you’d like your group to accomplish before 2016 comes to a close. Then, update your students and their parents with your progress to date – they’re excited and eager to see this trip funded, so make sure they know how the numbers are looking and what the next steps are. This can be an email update, a printed flyer that students bring home or in a student/parent fundraising meeting. Consider showing your progress visually – think the classic thermometer imagery – rather than just numbers on paper. However you choose to communicate, make the update and upcoming goals fun, exciting and easy for everyone to jump on board with.
Fundraise your holidays
Holidays = hustle and bustle. Why not help your donors knock out their holiday gift giving or inspire some holiday cheer? There are so many options for fundraising at this time of year. Of course, there’s selling items to friends, family and neighbors – gift wrap, candles, food items, etc. And a holiday bake sale is always a treat (see what we did there?). Host a “Gift-wrap-a-thon” where students provide the gift wrap and trimmings and guests have their gifts wrapped in exchange for a donation. Or schedule a night to go Christmas caroling and collect donations after a sweet holiday serenade. Students will love working as a team and getting in the holiday spirit to achieve their goals – if they’re feeling festive, their excitement will be contagious (and profitable!).
New Year, new plans
Focusing your fundraising efforts during the holiday season will be just as fun for your students as it will be effective. In your planning, make sure to consider how your fundraising will change in January when school is back and session and the holidays are behind us. If your goals take you into the New Year, keep up the momentum by planning engaging fundraising activities during the winter months. Think helpful jobs your students can do (shoveling snow), Valentine’s Day fun (serenades!) or a warm pancake breakfast. Keep fundraising interest high, by giving students opportunities to shine and work towards their goals. They’ll be even more invested in and excited for their upcoming tour – which means that your fundraising activities should continue even after your goals are met! We’ve found that excitement is highest just before and right after a student tour; so even if you’ve achieved your group’s initial fundraising goals, take advantage of that energy to start saving for your next trip.
Need more ideas? We’ve worked with hundreds of student groups just like yours and would love to help you with ideas that will get your trip off the ground and on the road. Contact us today and we’ll help you get there.