Have you been thinking about signing up for the Cravings fundraiser? If so, you are not alone! As Michigan’s top fundraising program, hundreds of local schools, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations have successfully raised money by selling delicious Michigan-made popcorn, cheesecakes and coffee.
While offering tasty and local products like Cravings Popcorn, Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes and Blue Owl Coffee can definitely improve your fundraising results, there are several other ways to make your fundraiser a success. As you think about your upcoming sales, keep some of these tips in mind.
1. Plan Effectively
How is your planning going? When it comes to successful fundraising, having an effective plan is essential. Before you can start earning money, you need to know your goals as well as your audience. In addition, you should have a clear vision. Start by thinking about the purpose of your fundraiser and who you expect your biggest supporters to be. This information will give you a clearer direction for all fundraising efforts.
2. Set a Timeline
Your fundraiser goals and vision are important, but so is having a solid timeline. Typically, shorter fundraisers do better because it creates a sense of urgency for both sellers and supporters. That’s why the Cravings Fundraiser was created to be completed within three weeks. When thinking about your timeline, consider upcoming events that may interrupt (or help) your fundraising such as school holidays.
3. Spread the Word
With fundraising plans in place, the next thing to do is get the word out. This is where networking and community engagement are critical. When reaching out to potential supporters, online channels like social media and email can really boost your fundraiser’s exposure. With that said, don’t be afraid to also include traditional marketing techniques in your strategy, such as customized fundraising flyers like the ones we provide in the Cravings Fundraiser. Finding ways to engage your local community can also be helpful.
4. Have a Fun Fundraiser Kickoff
As you get closer to your fundraiser start date, having a fun kickoff event can be a great way to get organizers and participants excited. With the Cravings Fundraiser, we offer a free sample pack to taste test all 10 of our fundraiser flavors, but there are other ways to take this a step further. For example, schools might want to have a classroom popcorn party kickoff where students have the opportunity to taste test the products they are selling. (If this is something you are interested in doing, be sure to reach out to our special orders coordinator with your ideas for pricing information.)
5. Fuel Support With Tie to Impact
When you are sharing information about your fundraiser, another way to increase your success is by tying your message to the impact of supporting your cause. For example, if you are raising money for your dance or sports team’s uniforms, make your fundraiser story personal and share the importance of dance or sports in the lives of fundraiser participants as well as your community.
6. Create Videos To Inspire Action
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can be worth so much more. In addition to creating a personalized message that highlights the impact of supporting your group’s fundraiser, you can take it one step further by creating a video to communicate the information. Not only does video offer a quick and easy way for people to learn more about your group and fundraiser, but it can also be an interactive way to engage the creativity of your participants. To ensure you don’t lose viewers’ interest, try to keep videos under three minutes.
7. Celebrate Success
Speaking of getting creative, finding ways to celebrate your fundraiser’s successes is one more way to keep the momentum going and show appreciation for your fundraising participants along the way. With this in mind, you never want to lose sight of your fundraiser “wins.” This is true for both final sales results as well as the daily sales that occur between your fundraiser’s start and end dates. You might consider offering participant prizes or hosting a pizza or popcorn party.
8. Engage Supporters
As you move forward with your fundraiser, remember to engage your supporters as well. Although technology offers many excellent engagement opportunities, face-to-face interactions can also go a long way. For example, consider all of the situations where you talk to friends, family and other acquaintances. Outside of school, work and sports, many people are also members of clubs, churches and other organizations. At the end of your fundraiser, be sure to thank supporters. Technology can also be helpful here, or you can send traditional thank you notes.
9. Be Responsive
How often and how quickly are you responding to supporters when they reach out about your fundraiser? A big part of successful sales comes down to timing. You don’t want to leave a supporter’s questions unanswered, especially if they want to know more details like popcorn flavors. To increase your selling potential, try to be as responsive as possible to information requests. You never know when a simple inquiry can lead to a huge sale.
10. Follow Up
Another way to step up your supporter engagement is by following up with anyone who has expressed interest but hasn’t made a purchase yet. Sometimes, sellers who are new to fundraising hesitate to follow up with potential supporters out of fear of bothering them, but often, people unintentionally lose sight of fundraisers they care about because they are so busy. A simple follow up can make a big difference.
With these fundraising tips in mind, what do you think? Are you ready to start selling delicious popcorn, cheesecakes and coffee?
Use this list for inspiration, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your own fundraiser ideas, too. Good luck selling!