Aloha! It seems that when you say the F word -- not the one you're probably thinking of -- although those who are involved in any type of school fundraising probably want to say that F word -- everyone would rather pull their hair out. If this sounds like you, here are 7 helpful fundraising ideas that will help make your next school fundraiser a "smooth" and profitable event.
TIP #1: Plan For Success
Efficient planning is integral to the success of not only your school fundraising campaign, but any project you might think of. Without a well thought-out plan of action, chaos will reign and your project will suffer as a result no matter how good your fundraising ideas are. Map out what needs to be done, assign people to the tasks, and schedule deadlines for every activity. Communication is key and our motto is "Communicate a lot, Communicate often." Talk to other schools to see what programs have been successful for them. Great events where Maui Wowi has been are bingo nights, school carnivals, back-to-school events, and holiday parties. Get these on the calendar and try to do something every 2 months.
TIP #2: There Can Only Be One!
There can only be one captain of a ship and the same holds true for your school fundraising program. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians is a recipe for failure as well as a bad idea. Pick a competent person to be in charge of each program and then let them be in charge. At Maui Wowi, we find it works best to communicate with one person via email and/or phone -- the person who ultimately makes the decisions and is in charge of the event we're at. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks, as we know what questions to ask and can give you strategies to ensure everything runs "smoothly".
TIP #3: Delegate Authority
Assign specific tasks to people in whom you have confidence and trust. In your planning, create a list of tasks that must be accomplished and choose people to help with each task. Ensure that each of your chosen staff understands that accountability for their assigned task falls squarely on their shoulders. The nice thing about fundraising with Maui Wowi is that you won't need a lot of volunteers -- we do it all -- providing equipment, staffing and product. So no worries about who will setup, who will buy supplies, who will staff it, who will clean up, etc.
TIP #4: Promotion is the Key
It is critical to get the word out about your fundraiser. Proper promotion of your event will ensure that you reach/exceed your goal. Send home flyers with the students. Put something on the school/PTA Web site. Depending on the type of fundraiser you are planning will dictate the type of promotion, but consider asking local businesses to help you as well by posting/distributing flyers and/or talking to customers about your event. There are many ways to promote an event and you should take advantage of as many of them as possible. At Maui Wowi, we give each school ideas that have worked at other events. We also encourage putting our name/logo on all promotions as that helps increase attendance -- after all, who wouldn't be thrilled to come to an event where you can get an Ultimate Hawaiian Getaway Without the 12-Hour Flight while helping your school earn money?
TIP #5: Pre-Sell for Success
This tactic will work effectively for any type of school fundraising event. If your event is a dance, dinner, guest speaker, or other ticketed type of event you must pre-sell your tickets. Start your revenue stream long before the actual event. At many Maui Wowi events, the schools will pre-sell tickets for smoothies so all they have to do is come up and get one -- it makes the line go faster and the school gets the money ahead of time.
TIP #6: Don't Do It All Yourself
An outsourcing manta is so true for school events: "Do what you do best, outsource the rest." With school fundraising, this is so true. If you're going to be offering food/drinks, chances are that concessions are not your forte` -- Do you really know how much to buy? Do you have the proper licenses/permits? Will you have enough staff to manage the crowd? Who is going to buy everything? What are you going to do with left overs? When you partner with a vendor like Maui Wowi -- they do it all, so there is no risk to you. And most vendors, including Maui Wowi, donate a percentage of sales to the school. So when you do the math and factor in the time/expense of doing everything, schools always realize that they net much much more when they let an expert like Maui Wowi do it -- all you have to do is cash the check!
TIP #7: Post Event Analysis
Analyze how your school fundraising efforts performed. Which ones had the largest attendance? Which ones made the most money? Which ones were the easiest to do? You can use your analysis to enhance future fundraising efforts. It is especially helpful to write everything down in a journal that can then be passed on to the next board. This way, they don't have to re-invent the wheel. At Maui Wowi, we provide our schools with feedback as well, and also followup with pictures/videos we take at each event that the school can then use those as they'd like.
What types of fundraising has worked best for your school? Share your thoughts, comments, and experiences. Mahalo!
And if you've decided you'd like to keep your hair intact and can handle cashing a check, then contact us about having Maui Wowi at your school events.