Almost every school we know holds some kind of holiday fundraiser – from bake sales, to dances, to charity drives. For many schools, fundraising is a critical part of their operations, and offers a unique opportunity to teach students valuable lessons about finance, and charity. But what about etiquette? Should this play a role in your fundraising campaign? Most definitely!
Good fundraising etiquette is not only a great way to show your supporters how much you appreciate them, it’s also a good lesson for students to learn.
Here are a few of our favourite holiday fundraising etiquette rules to fundraise by:
1. Don’t ask too much, or too often
People are certainly in a giving mood during the holidays, but especially during such economic times, it’s important not to take advantage of this. With school fundraising, your students are often asking friends, neighbours, family members, or their parents’ coworkers for support. Remember that your supporters are also being asked by many other organizations.
2. Say thank you!
Sounds simple, right? And yet, so many times we forget this one. Encourage your students to say thank you to the people who support them. With younger children, it’s a fun activity to actually practice saying thank you in class. You can prepare your students by breaking your class up into smaller groups, and have each group put together a skit of how they will ask for support, and how they will say thank you. It’s a lot of fun for the kids, and it will certainly stick in their minds.
3. Offer a product people actually want
Is that really part of fundraising etiquette? It sure is! You’re asking people to support your school. If you’re running a sales fundraiser, it’s important that the product you’re selling is something people will actually want. Even better is a product that will actually help them out during the holidays. It shows people that you have also taken their needs into account when organizing your fundraiser.
Some great holiday fundraisers for schools are magazines and gift brochures as these fundraisers offer products that can help people with their holiday shopping, at a low cost. Another great way to make life eaiser for your supporters is a cookie dough fundraiser, because it gives your supporters the joy of warm, freshly baked cookies to warm up their holidays without all the work and mess.
4. Say thank you!
Didn’t we already cover that one? We sure did! But it really is important enough to repeat. In fact, don’t stop at just your supporters. Thank teachers, volunteers and parents for all their hard work and great efforts.
5. Invite rather than ask
An invitation to participate in something is a great way to ask for support. It really shows people that you value their involvement. Inviting someone means informing about what the fundraiser is for, and how the school will benefit. Tell them exactly how their support will help out, and ask them to be a part of the school community by offering their support.
Younger children will probably not fully grasp this concept. This is where role playing can really help you out (see #2 above). Give children ideas for how to invite their supporters to help, and then have them act it out as part of a class activity.
Etiquette is a crucial part of fundraising, especially for schools, because you’re not only showing your appreciation to supporters, you’re also giving children valuable learning experiences they will carry with them for years to come.