If you are a community organization supporting your school right now, you are probably already thinking about your Fall fundraising strategy or even better, how your PTA or PTO is going to make Back-to-School special for the kids this year.
As we start to think about how fundraising trends and requirements are going to be impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some quick thoughts and ideas on how you can leverage a digital fundraising strategy to promote a successful Back-to-School fundraiser.
The impact of social distancing will make all of us re-think how we are going to implement a family engagement program that will deliver the fundraising results we need. Going digital with a community engagement message will allow your PTA, PTO or school the ability to market a fundraiser that can drive higher participation rates (mobile phones) and reach a larger audience (social sharing) that can be promoted anytime, anywhere no matter what your social distancing requirements are for your school.
Going beyond the customer reach benefits, digital also provides considerable cost savings vs. traditional fundraisers (cookies; carnivals; jog-a-thons) as it pertains to volunteer resources and underlying fixed costs to manage your fundraiser - up to 25 to 50% cost savings! These savings can be used to generate additional prize incentives or just better ROI making digital a viable alternative when planning for Back-to-School.
Create the right fundraising message to your supporters
Fundraising is about storytelling and telling the right story is everything when you are trying to maximize the impact of your fundraiser. Here's some simple things you can do that can make your supporters feel like there is more to your fundraiser than just a donation page experience.
- Post an image of your school or image of the impact of your fundraiser theme. Example: school mascot; students supporting your cause.
- Post a video! The greatest call-to-action for any fundraiser is someone actually telling the story you want your supporters to get behind.
- Cool tip: Have your principal share a short video to get kids excited about your upcoming fundraiser. It shows the support of faculty and provides parents a strong connection between the school and your PTA/PTO.
- Write out your fundraiser objectives. Be honest and let your supporters know about why you are fundraising. The more they know, the more they will embrace your fundraising ideas.
- Set up goals that are obtainable and reward those who reach them. The core strategy of fundraising is about giving and a successful fundraiser strategy should be focused on not only giving back to the school, but also giving back to the community that supports it.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
A successful fundraiser is all about developing the right communication plan so that you supporters are aware of your fundraiser as well as what you are asking them to do. Design a 30-day communication plan and focus your strategy around three (3) key objectives:
- Pre-launch communication plan - Start around 2 week before the launch of your fundraising event. Establish your key objectives, generate excitement and provide guidelines on what your expectations are. The more your supporters are informed, the more they will engage once you start your fundraising event.
- Launch and ongoing communication - Design a day of launch as well as weekly communication plan so that
- Post event communication - Design a fundraiser closing statement that celebrates achievement as well as rewards - both overall as well as individual