7 Expert Tips for Running a School Fundraiser

Running a school fundraiser may sound easy when you’re in the brainstorming stages, but you’ll likely encounter unexpected challenges along the way—especially if you’ve never run one before. Thankfully, fundraising for your school can be easy (and fun!) with the right team, planning and helpful resources, like those available from Booster. When you do it right, your school fundraiser can be a huge success that everyone remembers for years to come.

Use these seven expert tips to help you run a school fundraiser that will raise the funds you need and get the community involved. Whether you’re planning a small event or a major annual fundraiser, these tips will help you get the most out of your fundraising experience. 

Tip #1. Plan Ahead

First, give yourself plenty of time to plan. There are several reasons to do this. By starting early, you’ll have extra weeks or months to create and execute your plan, which will reduce your stress. Plus, the sooner you start your fundraiser, the more money you can raise for your school community. You can also coordinate back-to-back fundraisers so there’s no “lag time” between seasons.

At Booster, we recommend planning for fall fundraisers in the summertime, and spring fundraisers during winter break. Following this suggested schedule will allow you to ample time to plan, form your team, and get all of the pieces you need in place to launch your fundraiser for success.

Tip #2. Recruit Volunteers

When you’re thinking about how to run a school fundraiser, it may be tempting to do everything yourself, so you have complete control—but going it alone means you’ll also carry full responsibility for the workload. Instead, recruit volunteers from your school community. Talk to other parents, faculty and staff, and create a fundraising team to share the work. The more the merrier! 

Ideally, your volunteer team should include people with different skill sets. Is there someone on your team who can handle social media and emails? Do you have someone talking to local businesses? What about people who can help get kids involved? As you recruit volunteers for your fundraiser, consider making a list of “job roles” to fill. 

Tip #3. Set Goals and Expectations

As you and your team create your school fundraiser, think about your goals and expectations. Are you raising a specific amount of money for a school trip or new sports equipment? How much money do you hope to raise? If you only raise 50% of your goal, will that still be enough to help your school community with this endeavor?

Be clear about your goals and expectations from the very start. This is an important step in learning how to run a successful fundraiser. Remember, if you’re not sure how much you should be raising, talk to your school administration or seek free advice from fundraising experts like the team at Booster.

Tip #4. Have Fun and Get Creative!

There’s a reason you can’t spell fundraiser without FUN! You’ll have a more successful fundraiser if you’re enjoying yourself. Be creative and make it fun for you, your team and your community by using a theme, holiday or creative prizes to get people involved.

A fun, creative fundraiser will stand out from the crowd and encourage people to both make more donations and share the fundraiser, so their friends and family can participate too.

Tip #5. Keep Your Community in the Loop

You’re raising this money for a reason—so your school community should always understand what’s going on with their donations. Periodically update parents, teachers, staff and other community members about your progress. 

Give notice about the fundraising dates, send reminders, and create an email list, social media group or website where you can share updates as you get closer to your goal. Platforms like Booster make it easy to create an online component for your fundraiser, which makes it super easy to keep everyone in the loop.

Tip #6. Get the Whole Family Involved

As you plan how to run a fundraiser, why not encourage the whole family to get involved? Kids can participate by decorating cookies for a bake sale, creating arts and crafts to sell, holding a car wash, or putting on a talent show. 

With kids and families involved, more people will want to donate to your fundraiser. And bonus—this is a great way to reinforce what kids are learning in school, broaden their social skills and boost school spirit.

Tip #7. Use Technology

Nothing beats an old-fashioned fundraiser, but technology like email, social media and streaming videos are a great way to broaden the scope of your fundraiser. For example, if you’re having a school talent show, relatives and friends from out-of-state can join the fun via Zoom and make donations online.

Booster makes it easy to run school fundraisers online, with online software that’s customizable for all your fundraising needs. 

Remember—You’re Not in this Alone! 

Booster is here to help you create a successful fundraiser for your school community—big or small. Have questions? Ready to get started? Connect with us today to discover how fun it is to raise funds with Booster! 

Lisa Cardinal is the manager of brand marketing and marketing operations at Booster.

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National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product or service. No endorsement is implied.