As we move on with our preparation for fundraising in 2017, you should already be laying the groundwork for a prosperous and exciting year ahead.

All it takes is three simple steps.

Step One: Rally Your Students to Support a Truly Compelling Cause
What exactly are you aiming to raise funds to support next year? There are always plenty of school projects desperate for funds. If you haven’t already chosen and announced a worthy cause, now is the ideal time to do so.

If you have a great many projects that you would like to support, pick the most compelling (from the perspective of the students) of those projects and provide that heavily in the final assembly of the year.

By the way, if you don’t already have a cause that’s more deserving than others, Kevin Baughen of Bottom Line Ideas recommends that you should let the students decide which cause to support, through votes, competitions or even a school debate. If the students own the project, they will nearly always be more successful.

Step Two: Get The Students Totally Excited
Once you’ve identified the hero project, what can you say about it that will really energise your students and get them thinking about it over the summer break? They are, after all, the primary advocates for your fundraising efforts and their support is essential.

That’s why the choice of project is so essential: if you can tap into your students’ passion, you’re halfway there.

Beyond that, however, there are a number of techniques and incentives that you can offer that will really get your community buzzing.

These can include:

  • Prizes and giveaways linked to specific sales achievements, of course, but with a difference. Aim to make the top prizes as unique as possible.
  • Group prizes based on the collective performance of a specific class or a school sports or arts team. Again, attempt to make these prizes as rare and sought after as possible — for example, a group trip to a major sporting fixture, access to a preview of a highly anticipated movie or lunch with such a visiting celebrity.
  • Results that involve the teaching staff. PTO Today comments that “Kids love it when their principal or coach or class teacher—someone they see every day—agrees to do something fun and crazy for hitting a certain level or dollar amount”. Might they be willing to dye their hair for a day? Shave their heads?

Step Three: Give Them Homework
A holiday break isn’t normally conducive to homework (especially about fundraising) but if you’ve chosen a sufficiently compelling project and have offered worthwhile, unusual incentives, many of your students will be willing to devote a little time planning for this year.

Their homework might include:

  • Write down a list of at least 10 people you know who might be willing to donate/buy a product to support the school
  • Write down three ways that you might be able to encourage those people to double the amount of money that they will be willing to give you

Inspire your students and you just may transform your fundraising success in 2017.