Fundraising

Gathering financial support for your child's activities

Every fall, as kids across the country return to school, parents and teachers begin planning their fundraising efforts for the upcoming year. By creating a plan for the school year early, and coordinating your plans with other school groups, you can give your money raising efforts the best chance for success.

A fundraising timeline is something that outlines how many fundraisers you plan to have during the school year as well as when you plan to have them. It is best if you can create a sample timeline and then collaborate with the other groups in your school that will be running their own fundraisers throughout the year; to make sure you aren't competing with other groups from your own school, during your fundraisers.

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It may also be to your advantage to try and combine fundraising efforts with other groups from your school. If the drama club, the school band and the cheerleaders all work together on one big fundraiser (maybe an auditorium event where they all get a chance to showcase the skills that make them special), it can help prevent burnout from your customers or event attendees. The groups can combine their efforts and split the profits.

There is nothing worse than trying to plan a last minute fundraising event. It can be stressful on the event organizers, the volunteers and without proper time to promote the fundraiser, you may not have the type of success you could have had if you had pre-planned the event.

It is often better if the fundraisers for the year are decided in advance. You can choose specific companies closer to the date of your fundraiser (be sure to contact the representative, for any company you want to work with, at least six weeks before you want to have the event) - but, knowing the general types of fundraisers or fundraising events you want to have, can help your success. As with your fundraising timeline in regards to other groups within the school, you also don't want to have a candle fundraiser three weeks after another group within the school does.

When deciding when you will hold your fundraisers, keep in mind that some families travel during the winter and spring breaks in the school year. It may also be smart to avoid any massive fundraising efforts during the end of December or the beginning of January as many families are "spent out" from the holidays that happen around those times. Many schools also run food drives in November for families less fortunate and you wouldn't want to compete with the generosity being shown during that time.

If you serve on the fundraising committee of your school or school group, be sure to approach things with an open mind. Everyone has the same goal - to raise money for the organization.