You’re at an exciting stage of the planning, and it’s time to put everything into motion. You’re ready to go. Everything is set-up, and the event is starting soon. Here are some final steps you’ll want to take to make your school fundraiser a success:
An excellent way to ensure that your guests enjoy themselves is to provide great food and drinks. If you’re doing the foodie fundraiser (mentioned our previous article), this is already covered (at least the food is). We recommend selecting a menu that complements the theme of your event. A karaoke event or games event would have finger foods that people could easily eat off of small plates, for example. Another factor to consider is if any regional/local dishes are popular in your area. You may want to include these to keep school spirit high and to remind students and parents what they love about attending this school. Also, this can be another area of the event where you can make a profit (food sales).
Often, food and drink expenses are a high budget item when planning a school fundraiser. Do what you can to shop around for vendors, but always keep high quality in mind. Food for the sake of food won’t please anyone.
Pro Tips: Select healthy food and drink for your event. Don’t offer too many junk food like candy and soda. As a school event, it should promote the health and well-being of the students and their families as a priority.
At your school fundraiser, you may have VIP guests who have donated to significant events. Mail handwritten invitations to these donors. Send community leaders the same type of invite, like the city/town mayor or local CEOs. Be sure to give them a little extra TLC to show respect for them spending their time with you.
Your options may include creating a special section for them to sit or a table for them to enjoy the event. You could assign volunteers to attend to their needs at the event. Always think of VIP comfort and how to make them smile as you want these influencers happy. They can sometimes make or break your success. It’s good to ask them if they want a name drop in the welcome speech.
Some donors prefer to remain anonymous. This is probably not true for the Mayor, however. The mayor would more than likely appreciate visibility as a major donor and supporter of local education. If they did donate, it’s a simple favor to give them some positive press for their contribution. It also helps set a positive example for future candidates and may lead to future funding from local politicians trying to out-do one another.
This is just as critical as attending to their comfort. You want to be confident that someone of influence at the school has a conversation with them. Keep in mind this may not be when you ask the VIP for something, but more about sharing information about the event and why you are holding it.
Though it may seem obvious, school fundraisers are about trying to raise money. But more than that, they are about increasing the school’s visibility and building strong and long-lasting relationships within the community. Your school fundraiser can do a lot more than just raise money. It can make your community a better place, even if it’s only your local community. Make the VIP feel involved in the event, so they feel like a big part of your success and want to see your school succeed even more.
Don’t neglect this task at your school fundraiser. Guests will need information. Some may call this a Registration or Sign-in Desk. Your Information Desk is accommodating as guests can find whatever they need about the event. Adequately inform volunteers working at this desk so they can be as helpful as possible.
Hand each person who enters the event some form of literature on what the event is about, why you’re raising money, and how you’ll use it. These should be created by the marketing and design person on the appropriate committee.
Fortunately, school fundraisers tend to attract enthusiastic volunteers. This is a task you want to assign to your most ardent volunteers. At the event, you need to place welcoming and informed volunteers near guests to help them get seated or to find their way around the event. Volunteers can share fundraising goals and all the fun things available at the event. During the event time is valuable. Put some of your best people on getting information out.
Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing articles on specific topics related to school fundraisers. We will provide fundraising ideas, fundraising instructions, and other useful insights.
If you’re interested in getting all of that information at once, GraduationSource recently published an eBook detailing school fundraising – it’s a draft that’s continually improving with feedback from readers like you.
If you would like to read the entire eBook “Fundraising for Your School” – DOWNLOAD IT HERE