5 Fundraising Tips for Your School’s Booster Club
As a member of a school booster club, you’re probably very familiar with how important fundraising is to keeping your student’s extracurricular activities up and running. Fundraising supplies the money your student’s team or group relies on to compete, travel, and purchase equipment.
Even so, many booster clubs dread fundraising. In some booster clubs, fundraising has earned a reputation for being time- and labor-intensive with very little reward. Putting in hours of planning and preparation only to fall short of your revenue goals can be frustrating, leaving booster clubs feeling burned out and with few ideas about how to improve.
These five fundraising tips can help make your fundraising process more efficient (and profitable):
- Hold a pledge drive fundraiser.
- Leverage matching gifts.
- Market your fundraisers online.
- Focus on one fundraiser at a time.
- Stay organized.
For some booster clubs, improving fundraising results comes down to choosing the right type of fundraiser. For example, your soccer team might launch a kick-a-thon, a type of pledge drive fundraiser that raises money through peer-to-peer fundraising. Let’s get started by learning more about this type of fundraiser.
1. Hold a pledge drive fundraiser.
During a pledge drive fundraiser, participants collect donation pledges from their social networks before a fundraising event. These pledges are based on activities the participant plans to complete during the fundraiser itself. For example, during a walk-a-thon, supporters might pledge $5 for every mile the participant walks.
According to 99Pledges’ guide to booster club fundraisers, these are the basic steps to hosting a pledge drive fundraiser:
- Set up fundraising pages for each student.
- Ask participants to share their donation pages.
- Collect donations through online donation pages.
- Track and share your participant’s progress.
- Conclude the fundraiser and receive the proceeds.
Pledge drive fundraisers can be very simple and lucrative depending on the idea you choose, whether that’s a read-a-thon, swim-a-thon, or fun run. To simplify the process even more, be sure to choose a fundraising platform that can manage pledges and donation pages for you. Not only does this make fundraising more streamlined for your booster club, but online giving platforms make donating convenient for supporters.
2. Leverage matching gifts.
Matching gift programs are a part of broader corporate giving initiatives that encourage businesses to contribute to social good. When someone who works for a company with a matching gift program makes a contribution to your school, their employer will match that contribution at a given ratio.
Workplace giving has major benefits for your school’s fundraiser. Because most employers match at a 1:1 ratio, supporters can double their contribution to your club without needing to dig deeper into their own wallets.
As Double the Donation’s guide to matching gift software explains, an estimated $4 to $7 billion in matching gifts goes unclaimed each year. So many of these matching gift opportunities go unclaimed because people are unaware that their employer offers matching gifts at all. To ensure your supporters check for these opportunities, include reminders and educational resources about matching gifts in any marketing or fundraising resources you share.
3. Market your fundraisers online.
One of the most important parts of fundraising is getting the word out about your fundraiser to the people who want to support your cause. The best way to do this is to market your fundraiser to your community.
You might assume that marketing is unattainable for your booster club. After all, it can be fairly expensive. However, you can promote your fundraiser online at little to no cost. Here are a few of the ways booster clubs can leverage digital marketing:
- Use your school’s website. Your school probably already has a well-established school website that parents and students visit regularly for updates. To take advantage of this built-in audience, inquire about posting information about your fundraiser on the website. Be sure to include instructions and links for signing up so getting involved is easy.
- Post on social media. Raise awareness for your fundraiser by posting updates and information on your team’s social media pages. To reach people outside of your existing audience, ask to make a few posts on your school’s social media platforms as well.
- Market through email. Many schools send out weekly or daily emails with important updates and announcements. Inquire about featuring your fundraiser on a few of these emails to reach more parents and students who aren’t directly involved with your student’s activity.
By using your school’s established digital communication platforms, you can reach more people than you would if you started a website or social media account from scratch. Being featured on these more authoritative sources also makes information appear more trustworthy to those who aren’t as familiar with your club.
4. Focus on one fundraiser at a time.
It’s no secret that fundraising is incredibly important to keeping booster clubs and the teams they support running smoothly. However, many booster clubs make the mistake of running multiple fundraisers at once in an attempt to generate more funds. While this might sound like an easy way to bring in more money, it can fracture your team’s focus and frustrate your supporters.
Instead, it’s best to choose one great fundraising idea and commit all of your club’s focus and energy to that idea alone. A few of the benefits of settling on just one fundraiser include:
- Higher satisfaction from members and supporters. Multiple fundraisers can be overwhelming for your club members. Holding a few, well-executed fundraisers will make your members’ workload more manageable.
- A higher-quality fundraiser. While your team could hold several lackluster fundraisers that bring in below-average revenue, why not hold one creative, exciting fundraiser that maximizes your fundraising ROI?
- Better end results. If you run a few fundraisers at once, supporters will likely feel like they are constantly being asked to give more and that their contributions aren’t valued. However, they may be more likely to contribute if your club holds just one compelling, well-organized fundraiser.
Narrowing down which fundraiser to focus on can be the hardest part of cutting back. Be sure to choose one that aligns with your team’s activities and unique needs rather than only pursuing the ideas you think will be the most profitable.
5. Stay organized.
The daily operations of a booster club can be hectic and unorganized, especially during fundraisers when everyone is working hard to meet your club’s fundraising goals. Lacking organization or standardized procedures can have negative consequences for your team.
An unorganized booster club will be less efficient, meaning you won’t be able to unlock your club’s full fundraising potential. A chronic lack of organization and structure can even lead to burnout and frustration from members if there is an uneven distribution of work or confusion about what individual responsibilities are.
These tips can help your booster club stay organized and ensure all members are on the same page:
- Establish specific roles. Outline specific job descriptions and designate members with the appropriate skills to fill the positions. Make sure these appointees have the time and the desire to perform well in the role.
- Clearly delegate tasks and responsibilities. Communicate what each member of the club should be doing to stay active and involved. While those in officer positions should have a detailed understanding of what’s expected from their role, providing other members with instructions and next steps can make the whole team more productive.
- Set up accounting procedures. Establish a structured, standardized system for your club’s accounting procedures. This system should properly track revenue and costs, as well as outlining policies for handling the funds your club receives.
An organized booster club will work like a well-oiled machine. Adding more structure to your club can have positive changes that show in your fundraising revenue, improve your members’ experience, and promote higher member satisfaction and retention.
Whether you’re raising money for your school’s football team or generating funds for the band’s next competition, holding regular fundraisers is a key part of your job as a member of the booster club. With these strategies, your club can maximize revenue to give your students the best experience possible.