Ideas for Success - Selecting a Fundraiser
"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them."
Know Your Product - Know Your Audience - Know Your Group!
Know your Product: What do people want to buy? That's the question that multi-million dollar comapanies spend billions on! Most of your customers have a memory of selling something. Normally, they will buy something from the kid at the door. Just do them the courtesy of selling something worthwhile. Have a low priced item in the mix of products. Remember selling 10 items at $5.00 raises cash faster than 10 "no's". Speaking of which, I had a little girl that came to my door one afternoon selling magazines, it took me 5 minutes to find something I could order! I'm not sure if her advisors had picked the lamest magazine selection on the universe, seriously, it was like the "B-squad" of magazines. Learn from that! If you're picking Christmas wrapping paper, make sure there is birthday paper in the selections! No reason to lose a sale because the door you stopped at doesn't celebrate Christmas!
Know your audience: What is the economic situation of the your area? Are people really going to spend $30.00 on a candle when paying the electric bill is their top concern? In this type of area, schedule your choir at an area Shopping Mall for a concert (obviously contact the mall for how that works) - then do an "add-on" by collecting donations from area businesses for a raffle and sell raffle tickets! The performance is fun for your choir, it's good practice AND you automatically have lots of people milling around to buy raffle tickets! Another thing to consider, if the football team sold chocolate treats last week, don't have the debate team sell the chocolate delights this week (although if any group could debate the topic, they could). Make it easy on yourself, pick a different product OR wait 4 months and then sell your chocolate item.
Know Your Group: Choosing the right fundraiser is important but knowing your group is the most important. You must know the people you are working and you must realize there are many ways to raise $5,000. One big-bang event is NOT the right event for every group - some groups will raise the same $5,000 but it will take them 7 different activities. Now that you've set a goal (if you haven't, read "Goal Setting") the path to reaching the goal should be fun! I believe the reason people hate fundraisers is because they have been matched with fundraisers that are opposite to their personalities. Yes, your group's personality is the ultimate factor is achieveing your fundraising goal!
Is your group made up of lazy people or go-getters? Do they "talk big" or do they get things done. If you have a group of lazy people then planning an event like a talent show will leave 2 people doing all the work! They'll be mad because they've done all the work. Then you have that to deal with! UGHH! Successful fundraisers will match the type of people in your group (OH and the opposite is true, too) you have to have a good match!
Lazy group - pick a product that will nearly sell it's self. Something like pom-pom's at a football game - many little low involvement fundraisers help your group reach it's goal.
Go-Getters - wide scale event with many "add-ons". You're lucky because you'll have fun and raise lots of cash! Any fundraiser will work in this group. However, with most go-getters, your group is made up of people that are involved in 75 other activities so TIME is your main concern. Read "Worth Your Time" and "Really Worth Your Time" - because you need the biggest bang for your buck!
Big talkers - pre-sell something but make sure you have short deadlines. Your group will be excited at the start but their short attention spans will quickly be diverted. Make sure to have deadlines that come up quick. Face it, these people will only contact their immediate circle of family and friends, despite the fact they say they're going to sell to the entire neighborhood. You might as well get them to contact these people quickly. Presell - Order - and move on to the next fundraiser.
Get Things Done - this group is exciting! They can take a fundraiser that is on the brink of failure and some how turn it around to be succesful. For example, this is the group that can still sell Homecoming Buttons the Monday after the game. If you're in this type of group - spend a little more time planning so you can focus your efforts on "taking it to the next level" instead of rescuing a fundraiser from the tank.
Every group has each type of person. You need strong leadership that can delegate responsiblities to truly make this the best fundraising experience.